The Writings of

Jesse Herrick

student · developer · singer

I Can't See the Stars

I realized recently that the lack of stars that I see at night is due to the amount of light pollution in Ohio. Centuries ago, one could stand where I stand now and see our entire galaxy, but now, I’m lucky to even see 10 stars.

I don’t know the solution to our light pollution issues, but I need to see the splendor of our galaxy. I know that sounds cheesy, but it’s a key human experience that too many people never have. I attempt to comprehend how infinitesimally small we are in the universe, but someone less curious won’t have the inspiration to try if they can’t see the stars. Think of the thousands of would-be astronomers who will never be inspired by our galaxy in the way thousands before have.

There is a world (or rather, galaxy) out there to see that I have missed all of my life. It’s time to change that.

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How to fix "File `Sweave.sty' not found." error in Latex

I write most of my papers in LaTeX. This time, I’m writing an IB Biology IA and need to include R-generated graphs and figures. Usually I just generate the PDFs seperately and include them inside of the document using \includegraphics, but I wanted to give Sweave a try.

I created a Makefile and setup my documents just so then gave it a spin. Aaaand error!

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Make Awesome (Easy) Aeropress Coffee

I love coffee. I also love clean, organized things. The Aeropress combines all of these into one awesome device.

I actually forgot how useful an Aeropress was until I read this article on Matt Might’s blog. He suggests using an Aeropress to make coffee, then embeds a great video about it. However, I don’t own an electric kettle, cooking thermometer, grinder, or electric balance/scale so I couldn’t really use any of the techniques in the video. Instead, I decided to make my own method using just a microwave.

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Jekyll and AngularJS

I love Jekyll, but I can’t use AngularJS with it by default. That’s why I created this nifty little plugin.

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Spring Musical: How to Succeed in Business Without Really Trying

This upcoming Thursday, I will be starring in Fairmont’s spring musical, How to Succeed in Business Without Really Trying.

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PGP Keys

As you may have noticed, all of my emails are now PGP signed by default. There are many reasons why I do this, and while I could write a long blog post about them, these links should do the trick.

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Printing Your Stuff Again

The other day, I had finally decided upon a musical piece for the spring musical audition (Someone is Waiting from Company). So I decided to go online and buy the sheet music. Now, I didn’t know this at the time, but sheet music has really weird copyright laws. So I went on, and bought my piece.

Now I assumed that (like any person buying sheet music online for the first time) they would give me access to a PDF or something, but it turns out I had to install a plugin (yes, a plugin) for my browser to even view it. After doing that, I decided that I would print it out. So I pressed the print button and quickly started printing it. That’s when I realized that I didn’t want to print it to that printer (because it’s an inkjet and would have a lower quality than a laserjet), so I deleted it from the queue.

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Hand on Fire

I apologize to everyone who is a regular reader of my blog. I’ll try to do it more often, I just get very busy sometimes. Today’s is just a short post about Chemistry class today.

In Mr. Jordan’s Chemistry class today we had our hands lit on fire! The trick involves soaking one’s hand in water and then putting methane bubbles on the hand. The methane in the bubbles burns without burning the hand because of the barrier of water.

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Acapella Fest

This has been a busy week for me, and it’s all because of Acapella Fest (the site loads slowly). Starting tomorrow, acapella groups from all over the country will be coming to Kettering Fairmont High School (my high school) to perform and share their talent. I’m very excited to be a part of this event as one of Fairmont’s own acapella groups, Fusion. You should really come and see it, it will a great show.

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The Complete Works of William Shakespeare (Abridged)

Hey blog readers! I’m in a play this week: “The Complete Works of William Shakespeare (Abridged)”. It’s a hilarious comedy and you should really see it. Here’s some data!

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rbenv to chruby

Yesterday I switched my main development environment over to chruby. I feel that this is fitting to blog about because I’m currently writing an article about both rbenv and chruby. Now before we go any further, I want you to keep in mind that this is just an opinion. So if you would like to discuss with me the pros and cons of each, go right ahead in the comments below :smile:

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...and we're back! Sophomore Year Begins

5am. What a strange time to wake up, but I do it anyway. I go through my usual morning routine and get in the car with my morning coffee. “Where is Jesse going?”, the inquisitive reader might ask. The answer is one of many connotations: sophomore year of high school.

Let’s go through my schedule, shall we?

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Outsmarting Panera's WiFi

Here I am again at Panera — during lunch time. Suddenly, my WiFi shuts off, the login page warns of too much time spent on their WiFi. Well not for me. I have a few tools at my disposal to destroy your WiFi limit.

Just a little disclaimer here: don’t do this unless you’re a regular somewhere or like really need to use their WiFi for more than the alloted time. Alright, let’s go.

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GitHub Pages-like Deploy System

GitHub Pages is awesome, but I wanted a few other features. Before I was using RSync in a rake command, but I knew I could do better. So now I use hookshot to activate a shell script when I push to the 3.0 branch on my server.

Check it out!

Also, if you do use this, make sure to chmod +x your file!

Update: (July 21, 2014) It’s branch 4.0 now!

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Post Headers and Types

You’ve probably noticed that I’ve been making a lot of changes to my blog recently. So far I have added a bunch of new design changes, but the main one that I would like to talk about are the new post types.

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Freedom Tour

About two weeks ago, my family and I went on a vacation of the USA. Enough said. Okay fine, I’ll elaborate.

Note: This post took several days to write, so please appreciate the work I put in to tell you all about my life here.

Day 1 – Niagara Falls

On the first day of the trip, we spent most of the day driving. It was about a 6 and 1/2 hour drive up to Niagara Falls (American side, of course!). When we finally arrived, the view was breathtaking. It’s hard to describe the Falls with just words, so maybe this picture will help.

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Reset the Net

Hey guys! I’d like to take a quick moment to talk about the Reset the Net movement.

If you haven’t noticed, my site now has SSL. This is one of the steps that I’m taking to prevent mass government surveillance. If you have a website, or any sort of blog, you should run this splash screen to show that you support the movement, and will stand up for your rights. At midnight tonight (June 5th), sites across the internet (including mine) will start displaying banners and splash screens about resetting the net.

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My First Week Out of School

I was told by a friend of mine (you know who you are) that I should post more personal things on here, so I’m going to blog about my first week out of school.

Since I really don’t feel like writing a long blog post right now, I’ll just list things and post photos. Maybe with captions…

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GIFs and Whatnot

Hey guys! This should just be a quick post.

About two days ago, I decided to make an index for all of my favorite GIFs for different moods. Jekyll, of course, was perfect for this, and I made a little repo for it on GitHub. Check it out, and submit a pull request on GitHub if you want one of yours added.

Check it out!

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JSON for Your Thoughts

A few weeks ago, I began writing an article on Net::HTTP for SitePoint Ruby. I usually like to write out my ideas, thoughts, and other outline-y things on a whiteboard. However, this time was different. Don’t get me wrong, I love a good whiteboarding session, but I needed something a little more flexible.

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