Vultaire's Blog

Experimenting with the Wim Hof Method

I’ve been looking into cold-related exercises recently. Part of this has been due to reading diet or diet-related books, such as Penn Jilette’s Presto or Tim Ferriss’s 4 Hour Body, where they talk about using cold showers or cold/ice baths for weight loss purposes. (For those who haven’t read anything about this, in short, it is related to the development of “brown adipose tissue” (brown fat) which is supposed to help burn more calories. (Yes, I may be horribly misquoting things, but this is my recollection.)

Along with this, through watching videos on London Real, I’ve been exposed to Wim Hof, “The Iceman”. I’ve also seen the VICE documentary about Wim, which got me genuinely quite interested in him and his method.

The basic method is explained in freely available documents online, however there is also a 10 week course on the method that is sold on Since it’s on a Christmas sale and I had extra money on a company gift card, I decided to give it a try.


Facing mortality

It happened again tonight.

The dread.

The terror.

The instinctive shaking of my head, as my mind tries to wake my body up, trying to awake from a nightmare that unfortunately is only too real, trying to reject the logical conclusion it is faced with.

I am going to die.

However, dying does not particularly scare me per se.

I am going to cease to exist. From my perspective… There won’t be anything to perceive. I won’t even be aware of the fact. There’ll be nothing left of me to perceive the finality of my death.

And I will never come back again. After I die – that’s it. The clock is ticking, and when time runs out, from my personal and limited perspective, the entire universe will end – as I will end.

However, I am not writing this purely to be depressing. I don’t want to throw others deep into the pits of this despair, although inevitably this post may cause that for some. But rather, this is my rationalization of the situation – along with how, indeed, there may actually be some hope, however slim.


“Line-oriented JSON”: Using JSON for quick-and-dirty protocols and REPLs

As a Python and JavaScript programmer, I love JSON. Both languages support JSON really well, and it generally is more terse than XML while also providing basic built-in types. It’s very easy to rely on JSON as a general-purpose serialization format which can cross between both languages with a minimum of effort.

As such, one time I decided to use JSON for controlling a program via a read-eval-print loop (REPL). Rather than creating my own parsing scheme, it made sense to try to do things using JSON. Indeed, it is relatively easy to use JSON to do remote procedure calls, as is proven by existance of the JSON-RPC specification. (However, this post is not about JSON-RPC, nor do I use that particular protocol in this post, although similarities undoubtedly exist.)

As an example, here’s what a JSON-encoded remote function call might look like:

    "fn": "hello_person",
    "args": ["Steve"]

This can trivially be converted to JS or Python on the receiving side:


Now, the one key weakness I see with protocols based upon JSON is: what happens when an invalid JSON object is sent?


Re-evaluating my editor of choice: The first batch of editors

In my previous post, I made this list of programming-oriented text editors I wanted to take a good look at:

  • Emacs
  • vim/gvim
  • PyCharm (Community Edition)
  • Eclipse
  • NetBeans
  • Visual Studio Code

Since then, I’ve made a few minor additions:

  • IntelliJ IDEA (Community Edition)
  • Atom
  • Leo (maybe)

I’ve had a chance to take a look at a few of these. And while personal time constraints have reduced my ability to rate editors in the way I originally planned, I’ll at least provide what details and opinions I can.

So, without further ado…