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A bunch of stuff I would have emailed you about.

Last Build Date: Mon, 30 Oct 2017 13:55:39 +0000


Camera advice: a film camera for a novice

Mon, 30 Oct 2017 13:55:39 +0000

A friend of mine sent me a question about a good film camera to get started with: My partner has been thinking for some time about her first camera and she likes the idea of film photography. Her birthday is coming up and I’m thinking of buying a camera as a surprise gift to bring […]

On disfluencies

Thu, 17 Dec 2015 15:56:45 +0000

Your Speech Is Packed With Misunderstood, Unconscious Messages, by Julie Sedivy: Since disfluencies show that a speaker is thinking carefully about what she is about to say, they provide useful information to listeners, cueing them to focus attention on upcoming content that’s likely to be meaty. […]   Experiments with ums or uhs spliced in or […]

Compact camera recommendations

Mon, 24 Aug 2015 03:55:04 +0000

A friend asked the internet: Can anyone recommend a mirrorless camera? I have some travel coming up and I’m hesitant to lug my DSLR around. Of course I had an opinion: I go back and forth on this question myself. My current travel camera is a Sony RX100 mark 3 (the mark 4 was recently released). […]

Rewrite git repo URLs

Thu, 21 May 2015 17:17:47 +0000

A question in a mail list I’m on introduced me to a git feature that was very new to me: it’s possible to have git rewrite the repository URLs to always use HTTPS or git+ssh, etc. This one-liner seems to force https: Or you can add these to your .gitconfig:

Docker stories from New Relic

Mon, 13 Apr 2015 16:16:33 +0000

From New Relic’s August 2014 blog post: [W]e didn’t try to create a full PaaS framework all at once. Though this may be our eventual goal, it wouldn’t have solved the immediate deployment problem.   We did not begin Dockerizing our applications by starting with those that have the highest data volume. Rather, we started […]

Sinistrality vs. dextrality in design

Tue, 07 Apr 2015 20:27:27 +0000

This post on why people focus on the right-hand side of a design is an old one, but still valuable today: These days there is a lot of talk about emotional design and how to properly create a connection between users and our products. Focusing on the right-hand side of our designs can create these […]

Hasselblad Dating

Tue, 17 Mar 2015 08:11:05 +0000

Hasselblad Historical and Blue Moon Camera both offer this table to translate Hasselblad serial numbers to year of manufacture: V = 1 H = 2 P = 3 I = 4 C = 5 T = 6 U = 7 R = 8 E = 9 S = 0 That should work for both the […]

How Jackie Chan wins

Wed, 11 Mar 2015 15:22:48 +0000

Tony Zhou’ video is genius, as are the nine principles of action comedy he’s identified: Start with a DISADVANTAGE Use the ENVIRONMENT Be CLEAR in your shots Action & Reaction in the SAME frame Do as many TAKES as necessary Let the audience feel the RHYTHM In editing, TWO good hits = ONE great hit […]

Photo hipster: playing with 110 cameras

Sun, 25 Jan 2015 18:44:07 +0000

After playing with Fuji Instax and Polaroid (with The Impossible Project film) cameras, I realized I had to do something with Kodak. My grandfather worked for Kodak for years, and I have many memories of the stories he shared of that work. He retired in the late 70s, just as the final seeds of Kodak’s […]

Backbone and WordPress

Fri, 09 Jan 2015 23:46:51 +0000

The three are from 2013, so details may have changed, but they seemed useful enough that I’ve had them open in my browser for a while:–wp-30056–wp-30121

Parable of the Polygons is the future of journalism

Fri, 19 Dec 2014 17:35:13 +0000

Okay, so I’m probably both taking that too far and ignoring the fact that interactive media have been a reality for a long time. So let me say what I really mean: media organizations that aren’t planning out how to tell stories with games and simulators will miss out. Here’s my example: Vi Hart and […]

Unit test WordPress plugins like a ninja (in progress)

Fri, 31 Oct 2014 03:53:40 +0000

Unit testing a plugin can be easy, but if the plugin needs dashboard configuration or has dependencies on other plugins, it can quickly go off the tracks. And if you haven’t setup Travis integration, you’re missing out. Activate Travis CI To start with, go sign in to Travis now and activate your repos for testing. If you’re […]

Unit testing WordPress plugins

Mon, 27 Oct 2014 22:18:24 +0000

We’ve been unit testing some of our plugins using the old WordPress-tests framework and tips from this 2012 blog post. The good news is that the framework has since been incorporated into core WP, the bad news is that it was changed along the way, and it wasn’t exactly easy to get the test environment […]

Deliverables, iteration, and constraints

Mon, 22 Sep 2014 06:09:59 +0000

When asked to give a timeline for project delivery, my first questions, of course, are about the details of the project. Then, I take a guess about the timeline and double it, and fight like hell to eliminate blockers and distractions for the team, work with them on implementation theories, ask leading questions that help balance […]

Ruins of Roebling’s Works

Sun, 14 Sep 2014 16:55:00 +0000

From Flux Machine: a tumbler of Kevin Weir’s creepy gifs. The original is from the Library of Congress. If the name “Roebling” sounds familiar, it’s because this is the company, founded by John A. Roebling, that built the Brooklyn Bridge and setup a good business making cables, or wire rope. The Roebling brothers suspected the […]

Google’s link policies raise hell for simple bloggers

Wed, 03 Sep 2014 06:09:30 +0000

I get a bunch of emails like this: We have recently received a notification from Google stating that our website has unnatural links pointing towards it. This has affected our rankings on Google and as a result, we’re trying to clear things up. Our website URL is We noticed the following links are pointing […]

A/B Split Testing Calculators

Tue, 26 Aug 2014 22:45:12 +0000

Mixpanel’s A/B testing calculator is a competent performer and valuable tool: Thumbtack’s split testing calculator, however, is a surprise standout: That their code is in Github is especially delightful.

Algolia Search

Mon, 25 Aug 2014 22:43:27 +0000

The multi-category autocomplete and autocomplete on filtering operators demos are interesting:


Mon, 25 Aug 2014 22:34:30 +0000

Sarah Lewis on mastery: Mastery is in the reaching, not the arriving. It’s in constantly wanting to close that gap between where you are and where you want to be

Rebuild iPhoto library

Tue, 05 Aug 2014 01:01:54 +0000

Yeah, iPhoto is just about dead, and I’m probably a little crazy to still be using it at all, but I do and now I need to rebuild the library. The knowledgebase article can be summed to this: Hold down the Command and Option keys while opening iPhoto. You can’t just click the icon in […]

X-ray scanners vs. film

Sun, 27 Jul 2014 02:34:14 +0000

Airport x-rays can damage, maybe ruin film, and there's nothing more you can do about it than beg for hand inspection.

Porn consumption by geography and type

Tue, 15 Jul 2014 21:11:31 +0000

This is shamefully old news, but Pornhub released stats that correlate viewing preferences by geography and pulled out a quote too juicy to ignore: Dixie loves dicks so much that the percentage of gay viewers for every single state in the South is higher than the average of the legal gay marriage states. I’m concerned […]

Followup: Triggertrap latency and Fuji Instax tips

Tue, 15 Jul 2014 09:35:13 +0000

Short answer: Triggertrap app audio triggering latency is too long to capture a fast moving event. The app, the dongle, my trusty EOS Rebel XTi, Lensbaby (manual focus, soft edge details), and Neewer flash worked, but too slowly. The phone was just inches from where I was throwing the dice, but the flash and camera […]

Air-gap flashes for fun, and more fun

Thu, 10 Jul 2014 04:17:49 +0000

This 2011 blog post by Maurice Ribble explains the problem with xenon flash tubes such as those typically used in photography: [X]enon flash tubes have a minimum duration of 1/40,000th of a second. That’s fast enough for most things, but not for a shooting bullet [that] travels around 1000 feet/second. In 1/40,000th of a second […]