The Best of Blog Overflow: October 2011

We here at Stack Exchange love our blogs. Blogs! The way our users can have all that fun that we don't allow here. Not to mention that Jeff and Joel, and CHAOS all blog regularly.

We've noticed that our site-specific blogs have some amazing content that just isn't getting the attention it deserves. Maybe some of you don't know that we have a Theoretical Computer Science blog, or a Gaming blog. Which is why we're going to give them a bit of a bump and showcase some of our favorite entries from Blog Overflow.


Fitness has a post that struck a chord with a lot of us: Finding a Fitness Niche. The author shares a story that felt a little too close for comfort; despite having done a lot of different athletic things in his youth, he had trouble finding an activity that both piqued and held his interest. It's something we think many people, techies and geeks and civilians alike, have trouble with.

I’m a nerd. I’ve always been one since I was a kid. I never grasped the rules of sports that other kids just seemed to innately understand. I lacked coordination, strength, and speed which resulted in me being picked almost always last for any kind of team sport. That was a regular experience for me since early elementary school all throughout the end of high school.


We here at Stack Exchange have something of a soft spot for DIY Home Improvement. Not only have we had one of their top users guest star on our podcast, but a number of us have asked questions on there. So when the site users finally banded together to get a blog up, well, only good could come of it. Our pick for October is this entry: Romancing the Floor: Saving and Restoring Old Hardwood. This entry is fantastic; lots of photographs, step-by-step chatter about the process, and a lot of honesty about how he went about bringing the floor back from the edge of terrible. Plus, the author has a wry sense of humor -- always a bonus.

Now we were ready for the next step – the power sander! Now this is a step that, quite honestly, should not be undertaken by the faint at heart, or the inexperienced, when you really care about how the floor ends up looking. In our case, the floor was original 1940 hardwood and we figured a little damage was “character” (hey, at 67 years old, see if YOU look this good!). It’s a good thing we didn’t mind too much because learning how to handle a drum sander takes a bit of getting used to.

In a similar vein (and a close second) was this entry about patching drywall and popcorn ceilings.

Sci-Fi & Fantasy

The Sci-Fi and Fantasy blog did a great entry about the order in which to watch the Star Wars movies. This is one of those questions that causes a great deal of angst amongst Star Wars fans.

This [question] got me thinking about more than just how I voted on that one question, but how I vote on a lot of questions. I fully support ever answer I upvote, but in all honesty, most of the answers that I have given the “big up arrow” to were ones I just believed were right. But I wanted to change that. I wanted to actually use the information given to me on this wonderful site and put it to practical use.

IT Security

Over in Security, we have an entry that ties in very nicely with our most recent podcast: Risk Assessments: Knowing What to Protect. This entry sums up the crux of business risk, and why security is not only relevant to everyone, but also a constant struggle, as epitomized by the recent Sony hack.

It may seem a surreal comparison, but data exposure can have an impact as substantial as losing a primary building. A bank without customer records is dead regardless of the cash on hand. A bank with all its customer records made public is at risk of the same fate. Illegitimate transactions, damage to reputation, liability for customer losses related to disclosure and regulatory reaction may all work together to end an institution.

Honorable mention goes to their post about password strings, based on the recent XKCD comic.

We're going to be doing a round-up of the best of Blog Overflow maybe twice a month or so. Support these communities by commenting on the entries! And, if your community's blog wasn't featured this time, either post more (I'm looking at you, GIS) or just wait -- we're going to do our best to feature an array of topics across all the blogs.

Happy readings!

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