Notes

Ideas, inspiration, links

Notes are for quick thoughts, random ideas, creative thinking and links to interesting things found on the web. Also useful as a personal bookmarking system. If it’s here, at least I can find it again!

The “Do Something” Principle

Most people misunderstand how motivation works. This great article by Mark Manson helps us re-frame our understanding so that we can finally get things done:

Creativity, Happiness, Work

Your Body Text Is Too Small

Why website body text should be bigger, and ways to optimize it.

Design, WebDev

Elon Musk drawn into farting unicorn dispute with potter

“Tom Edwards was thrilled to hear the CEO was a fan of his work, until he saw Tesla using a copy without permission.”

It seems that Musk (and all the others who do this) choose to deliberately misunderstand the meaning of the word “copyright”. But the clue is in the word: the right to copy. He doesn’t have the right unless the original creator allows it. Musk is a thief and should be ashamed.

Art, Design, Work

Rachel Andrew's Twitter feed is a goldmine of knowledge and advice

Anyone who’s been in web development for a while will know of Rachel Andrew. She’s a great teacher, shares tons of knowledge, has been instrumental in getting CSS Grid ratified and deployed, and continually shares great insights into Grid and how to use it. Her Twitter feed is an absolute goldmine and worth looking at regularly:

WebDev

Alice Cooper on art vs. life

“I would be dead if I tried to be Alice Cooper all the time. Once I got sober I realised that art is illusion. It is stuff we create. It’s not reality. Now I can go shopping, I can play golf, I can go to the cinema if I want to, and it’s more fun to play the character than be the character.”

Alice Cooper in an interview with The Times Magazine, 16 June 2018

Art, Entertainment

Mr. Rogers had simple rules for talking to children

“Fred Rogers insisted that every word, whether spoken by a person or a puppet, be scrutinized closely, because he knew that children—the preschool-age boys and girls who made up the core of his audience—tend to hear things literally.”

I love this so much. It really shows what a remarkable man Fred was: how he carefully thought about the smallest details to make sure that he taught kids in the best possible way.

Learning

The earliest images of the Moon were better than we thought

Fifty years ago, 5 unmanned lunar orbiters circled the moon, taking extremely high resolution photos of the surface. They were trying to find the perfect landing site for the Apollo missions. After their use, the images were locked away from the public until after the bulk of the moon landings, for they would have revealed the superior technology of the USA’s spy satellite cameras.

Technology

Treat your contractors as part of your team

I’ve recently been frustrated by my current contract. I’ve been unable to make good progress on the work I was asked to do, because I didn’t know enough about the in-house software. I asked for help many times, but the in-house developers were already too busy to assist. This is a daft situation and one that can be avoided if companies treated contractors more like in-house team members. I tweeted a thread about it:

Work

Insights into the awful situation with US immigration policies

“In 2015, I shook President Obama’s hand, thanked him for DACA, and asked him to reverse course & close the for-profit baby jails (also known as “family detention centers”) he opened in Dilley & Karnes City, Texas. What he said shook me to my core”

Human Rights

Jean-Michel Jarre: Explorations and early works

Just saw this tweet from electronic music pioneer Jean-Michel Jarre. Looks like a new album of earlier demo pieces is landing soon. Noice!

Entertainment

Moments of joy

“One of my absolute favorite things: After a PhD student finishes their dissertation defense and the committee discusses while the student is outside the room. I love opening the door to bring the student back in and simply saying “Doctor”. 17 times and counting.”

Happiness

Insights into being a good manager

I’ve been following Amélie Lamont on Twitter for a few years. I love her take on business and technology. This is a great tweet thread about what makes a good manager and I found myself nodding, almost aggressively I was so on board with it:

Work

In a world of digital nomads, we will all be made homeless

An uneasy piece looking at the implications of the last 20 years of digital innovation and how it’s broken down many ideas of what a stable life actually looks like. Ties with our home and families are vitally important, and the older I get the more I realise I need to rebuild those broken ties:

Technology

Find lightness of a HEX colour in JavaScript

Cool little snippet from Heydon Pickering, with some extra ideas in the comments:

WebDev

Observations on the conflicts in parenting

Lea Verou wondering on Twitter about the conflict of parenting, elicited a wonderful response from Jorge Rimblas:

Parenting

Neil Lang's sketches for Neal Asher's book covers

Nice to see that even the highly regarded professional cover designers don’t dwell on their sketches :-)

Design

Want to make friends? Buy a metal detector

“I just rented a metal detector from a woman in her 70s and I asked her what the best thing she’d ever found was and she said friendship.”

Relationships

London Necropolis Railway: Trains For The Dead

There’s a building on Westminster Bridge Road that was once the terminus station of the London Necropolis Railway. This article doesn’t give much info, but it’s a great primer for further research. I’m sure there’s a great book to be written about it.

History