Old CSS, new CSS: “I’m here to tell all of you to get off my lawn. Here’s a history of CSS and web design, as I remember it.” This is a wonderful rundown of how HTML and CSS web design has changed over the years. I still have a few mid-’90s pages on my site that use a lot of the earlier techniques.
NSW and Victoria just jumped 1.8 metres north: Added to the list of “things I didn’t know about Australia”: It sits on a particularly fast-moving (~7cm/yr) tectonic plate, and due to a lack of updates since 1994, the GPS system is currently off by about six feet (but is soon to be fixed).
Sometime between January 11th and January 23rd, I thought this stuff was interesting. You might think so too!
- A meteor hit the moon during the lunar eclipse. Here’s what we know.: “In what may be a first-of-its-kind event, a flash of light seen during totality has astronomers on the hunt for a new crater on the moon.”
- DuckDuckGo Taps Apple Maps to Power Private Search Results: "We're excited to announce that map and address-related searches on DuckDuckGo for mobile and desktop are now powered by Apple's MapKit JS framework, giving you a valuable combination of mapping and privacy."
- To save the sound of a Stradivarius, a whole city must keep quiet: “Cremona is home to the workshops of some of the world’s finest instrument makers, including Antonio Stradivari, who in the 17th and 18th centuries produced some of the finest violins and cellos ever made. The city is getting behind an ambitious project to digitally record the sounds of the Stradivarius instruments for posterity, as well as others by Amati and Guarneri del Gesù, two other famous Cremona craftsmen. And that means being quiet.”
- An Idea for Electoral College Reform That Both Parties Might Actually Like: “As long as we continue to have the Electoral College, we should make it work as intended. This means bringing it back into compliance with the majority-rule principle.”
- The oral history of the Hampsterdance: The twisted true story of one of the world’s first memes: “What started 20 years ago in Nanaimo, B.C. spawned hit songs, worldwide LOLs and a giant hairball of drama.”
Sometime between November 29th and January 2nd, I thought this stuff was interesting. You might think so too!
- 365 IETF RFCs: a 50th anniversary dive: "April 7th, 2019 is going to be the 50 year anniversary of the first ever Request for Comments, known as an RFC. These documents started out in 1969 as a way for ARPANET engineers to keep track of notes and discussions on their project. In honor of this anniversary, I figured I would read one RFC each day of 2019, starting with RFC 1 and ending with RFC 365."
- Is Grover swearing? No, it’s in your ears.: “As a phonetician, these types of misperceptions are sometimes fun because they force you to carefully listen to what people (in this case, Grover's voice) are doing as they produce speech very quickly. Phoneticians focus on the transcription and, more often, careful analysis of speech. Speech is fast, speech is messy, and when the conditions are right, one can misperceive one sound for another.”
- Against Peter Jackson’s “They Shall Not Grow Old”: "Peter Jackson’s They Shall Not Grow Old is…a stunning technical achievement made by a filmmaker and producer at the top of their form. […] But…I can’t help but refuse and reject this picture in the strongest possible terms. It is a brilliant film that is also, unfortunately, a total mistake."
- On radical kindness (another aspect of hopepunk): “i will say this again: we are all going to die. the universe is enormous and almost entirely empty. to be kind to each other is the most incredible act of defiance against the dark that i can imagine.”
- The opposite of grimdark is hopepunk:: “The world is the world. It’s really good sometimes and it’s really bad sometimes, and it’s sort of humdrum a lot of the time. People are petty and mean and, y’know, PEOPLE. There are things that need to be fixed, and battles to be fought, and people to be protected, and we’ve gotta do all those things ourselves because we can’t sit around waiting for some knight in shining armor to ride past and deal with it for us. We’re just ordinary people trying to do our best because we give a shit about the world. Why? Because we’re some of the assholes that live there.”
Sometime between September 23rd and October 1st, I thought this stuff was interesting. You might think so too!
- Well, this is a good way to keep me from visiting New Zealand:: "New Zealand's Customs and Excise Act 2018 went into effect today. That means travelers who refuse to give their phone or laptop password to customs officials will be fined NZ$5000. In addition, their devices will be confiscated and forensically searched." Not that I had plans to visit New Zealand, but this sure puts a damper on any interest.
- The Eternal Life of the Instant Noodle: “Last year, across the globe, more than 100 billion servings of instant noodles were eaten. That’s more than 13 servings for every person on the planet.”
- Science Says Toxic Masculinity — More Than Alcohol — Leads To Sexual Assault: "Every drink is downed amid cultural expectations and societally mediated attitudes about women and power. Those things — and how young men absorb them — have a stronger causal influence than the alcohol alone. When a man feels entitled to assault someone, he may get drunk before he does it, but the decision to act was ultimately his alone."
- iOS 12 Siri shortcut for traffic stops: Pauses music, dims the screen, turns on Do Not Disturb, and activates video recording on the front-facing camera. When done, sends the video to a trusted contact or uploads the file to Dropbox. Clever.
- Everything You Know About Obesity Is Wrong: “For decades, the medical community has ignored mountains of evidence to wage a cruel and futile war on fat people, poisoning public perception and ruining millions of lives. It’s time for a new paradigm.”
Sometime between September 3rd and September 23rd, I thought this stuff was interesting. You might think so too!
- The truth about false rape accusations: “Critics argue that reports of rape should be treated with more caution, since men’s lives are so often ruined by women’s malicious lies. But…every part of this narrative is wrong. What’s more, it’s wrong in ways that help real rapists escape justice, while perversely making it more likely that we will miss the signs of false reports.”
- Does the OK Sign Actually Signify “White Power,” or What?: "The answer is neither simple nor straightforward, which is why it’s such an effective trolling tactic."
- “Oh my god. If i see one more of these ‘India legalizing gay sex = India decolonizing’ posts in my dash I will murder someone.”: Interesting look at homosexuality and gender nonconformance in India in the light of the recent ruling decriminalizing homosexuality and some unfortunate and ill-informed reactions from Western liberals.
- Forget the new iPhones, Apple’s best product is now privacy: “I now believe the best product Apple offers is intangible, yet far more valuable than a flagship smartphone. The best product Apple has–and the single biggest reason that consumers should choose an Apple device over competing devices–is privacy.”
- The Matrix as a Transgender Coming Out Story: This theory/reading/interpretation is apparently a few years old, but it’s the first time I’ve come across it. Fascinating, and worth thinking about.
Sometime between September 1st and September 3rd, I thought this stuff was interesting. You might think so too!
- It Came From the ’70s: The Story of Your Grandma’s Weird Couch: “The ’70s, however, was a time when everyone, even the Western-loving square, was more open to experimenting in some way. Some people tried drugs or hosted swinging sex parties; others channeled their sense of adventure exclusively into garish upholstery.”
- Why tech’s favorite color is making us all miserable: “The cold blue light of modern touchscreens may be aesthetically pleasing, but it poses health problems. Designers and technologists should take cues from military history and embrace the orange.”
- Lego Wants to Completely Remake Its Toy Bricks (Without Anyone Noticing): “It wants to eliminate its dependence on petroleum-based plastics, and build its toys entirely from plant-based or recycled materials by 2030.”
- The man who owns the Moon: "For more than 35 years, Dennis Hope has been selling land on the Moon. Hope registered a claim for the Moon in 1980 and, since the US government & the UN didn’t object, he figures he owns it (along with the other planets and moons in the solar system)."
- A twitter thread in which I drag every single US president in order:: Not many get off lightly — nor should they. Not an approach to history you're likely to find in most history classes.
Sometime between August 1st and September 1st, I thought this stuff was interesting. You might think so too!
- The P-I error that changed Seattle history: "Occasionally, newspapers report factual errors. A well-intentioned interview subject gives bad information, a name is spelled wrong, a breaking news story is inadvertently peppered with grammatical errors. But no incorrect newspaper story has had a bigger impact on Seattle history than one published June 7, 1889."
- 98.6 degrees is a normal body temperature, right? Not quite: “Forget everything you know about normal body temperature and fever, starting with 98.6. That’s an antiquated number based on a flawed study from 1868 (yes, 150 years ago). The facts about fever are a lot more complicated.”
- The “I Am Steve Rogers” Joke in ‘Avengers: Infinity War’ Is the Definitive Captain America Moment: That’s who Captain America is, a man who listens to and believes in people when they tell him who they are. That’s a lesson we all should take away from that moment.
- The Bullshit Web: “An honest web is one in which the overwhelming majority of the code and assets downloaded to a user’s computer are used in a page’s visual presentation, with nearly all the remainder used to define the semantic structure and associated metadata on the page. Bullshit — in the form of CPU-sucking surveillance, unnecessarily-interruptive elements, and behaviours that nobody responsible for a website would themselves find appealing as a visitor — is unwelcome and intolerable.”
- Ignorant Hysteria Over 3D Printed Guns Leads To Courts Ignoring The First Amendment: "…in the last few days the hysteria [over 3D-printed guns] has returned… and much of it is misleading and wrong, and while most people probably want to talk about the 2nd Amendment implications of all of this, it's the 1st Amendment implications that are a bigger deal." Interesting. I'm not at all comfortable with wide availability of 3D-printed guns, but this analysis of the issues is worth reading.
Sometime between May 3rd and May 7th, I thought this stuff was interesting. You might think so too!
- Connecticut OKs Bill Pledging Electoral Votes To National Popular-Vote Winner: “The bill adopts an interstate compact that's officially called ‘The Agreement Among the States to Elect the President by National Popular Vote.’ The agreement won't kick in unless it's backed by enough states and other voting areas to claim a majority of Electoral College votes. In addition to Connecticut, the other jurisdictions in the pact are California, Hawaii, Illinois, Maryland, Massachusetts, New Jersey, New York, Rhode Island, Vermont and Washington state, along with Washington, D.C.”
- The original iMac: 20 years since Apple changed its fate: “Sitting in the Flint Center in 1998, it would have been impossible to imagine the Apple of 2018. But without that day, and the product that Steve Jobs unveiled on that stage, it’s hard to imagine that Apple would have ever had the chance to become what it is today.”
- One space between each sentence, they said. Science just proved them wrong.: Bah! Science did no such thing! It’s one study with a small sample size, screwball parameters (Courier? Seriously?), and a barely measurable result that only really affected those participants already predisposed to two-spacing. Sentences get one space, and one space only. (My favorite part: “Note: An earlier version of this story published incorrectly because, seriously, putting two spaces in the headline broke the web code.”)
- ‘Who Gets to Be Sexy?’: Interesting look at how the porn industry is changing. “Amateurs are flooding the internet; piracy has addled the once-dominant studios; production has atomized and scattered. But along the way, something interesting has started to happen: Women are rising up.”
- Swedish Meatballs Are Turkish? ‘My Whole Life Has Been a Lie’: “The country’s national Twitter account made the announcement in a tweet this week. ‘Swedish meatballs are actually based on a recipe King Charles XII brought home from Turkey in the early 18th century,’ the tweet said. ‘Let’s stick to the facts!’”
Sometime between April 12th and April 15th, I thought this stuff was interesting. You might think so too!
- GrayKey iPhone unlocker poses serious security concerns: “The existence of the GrayKey isn’t hugely surprising, nor is it a sign that the sky is falling. However, it does mean that an iPhone’s security cannot be ensured if it falls into a third party’s hands.”
- While TOS is my home fandom, I’m of the belief that as a whole, DS9 is the best of the various Star Trek series.: "Star Trek: Deep Space Nine was not a perfect show but its treatment of imperialism, war crimes, and genocide was light-years ahead of some of the stuff coming out today (looking at you, Star Wars)."
- A short history ~700 years of “they” as an English gender-neutral singular pronoun:: “Bath ware made sun and mon, / Aiþer wit þer ouen light [Both were made sun and moon / Either with their own light]” —Cursor Mundi (~1325)
- poor people deserve things they want, too.: "These tiny luxuries you give yourself are not sins as dictated from on high by some divine economist who decided you must earn your freedom through oppressive sorrow. These luxuries are the handholds you need to climb out of that pit, to have stamina, to keep focus, to remember that there is another type of life. It can be had, and by you too."
- Charities/organisations to avoid (with links to reasons):: PETA, FCKH8, Autism Speaks, Susan G. Komen for the Cure, The Salvation Army, Wounded Warrior (I knew all of these already, but it's good to have a handy reference)