Sunday, March 28, 2010

Activation Phenomenon

As soon as I read this passage I knew my participation in groups was going to be different in the future. No longer will I sit quietly/politely at the table not knowing who EVERYONE at that table is and why they are there. No longer will I ask a group that I am leading to participate if I don't first ask them to introduce themselves; Who I Am, Why I Am Here.

You know, this sounds a lot like an Agile stand-up now that I have written it down.

Look Inside!“The researchers called it an ‘activation phenomenon.’ Giving people a chance to say something at the start seemed to activate their sense of participation and responsibility and their willingness to speak up.” Page 108 of The Checklist Manifesto by Atul Gawande, 2009.

Saturday, March 27, 2010

Books that stop bullets

Can a W. E. B. Griffin novel stop a bullet? Is it thick enough?

Dense Book And Hollow Bullets attempts to answer this and other literary questions (see video below).

I'll going to start reading W. E. B. Griffin's The Presidential Agent Series soon.

Friday, March 19, 2010

Dr. Horrible

Found a treasure in the Netflix Steam, Dr. Horrible's Sing-Along Blog, 2008, 43 minutes.

It's a one off opera (technically a musical because there is some dialog and monologues). I really enjoyed the love story and romance. The music and lyrics are clever and easy to follow. I'll watch this story again.

Here's a quote from the movie. Dr. Horrible has a secret crush on Penny, a strong advocate for helping the homeless. She is talking with him and suspects that he in not very interested in her cause.
Penny: You're not really interested in the homeless, are you?

Dr. Horrible: No, [pause] I am, but... it's a symptom. You're treating a symptom while the disease rages on, consumes the human race. The fish rots from the head, so they say. So I'm thinking, why not cut off the head?

Penny: [pause] Of the human race?

Dr. Horrible: It's not a... perfect metaphor.

There is a website with the lyrics and such, There is a darling duet that Sharon and I are considering, My Eyes, here is a YouTube clip of the duet incorrectly titled On The Rise.

IE Tester

Just discovered the existence of IETester (Windows application) yesterday. Haven't tested it yet but it sounds like it will be very useful to Sharon at her work.

IETester allows you to have the rendering and javascript engines of IE8, IE7 IE 6 and IE5.5 on Windows 7, Vista and XP, as well as the installed IE in the same window/machine. Just point it at the page you're working on and try your HTML code under different versions of Internet Explorer. What fun seeing how your well formed pages are mangled.

Look under the hood of the "acid test" on the site. Take the Acid2 Test.

Thursday, March 18, 2010

960 Grid web design System

The 960 Grid System is a framework for web pages using CSS. On their homepage they mentioned floating system that appeals to me. So I decided to work with the Fluid 960 Grid System instead.

However, goto for the demos and documentation, it is excellent.

I learned about this tool and others while listening to the video podcast The Art of Code by Ted Forbes.

Tuesday, March 16, 2010

Sol LeWitt, quilting ideas

We visited the Hirshhorn Museum and Sculpture Garden in D.C. this year. Seeing so many of the works one after the other inspired me to start quilting again. I took pictures of the pieces that interested me to save in my "Quilting Ideas" photo folder.

Pictured above: Sol LeWitt, Wall Drawing #356 BB Isometric figure within which are 3" wide black lines in three directions. (Cube without a cube), 2003.

Across the room from #356 is a study in color that had me fascinated, #1113 (above). Appeals to my Ikebana and quilting sensibility. See it through this videographer below.

Check out Variations Of Incomplete Open Cubes.
How many lines does it take to suggest/represent a cube?

Monday, March 15, 2010

Wandering is a necessity

As I read The Buccaneer-Scholar I came to realize that the big vacation I have been thinking about most of my adult life could be describe as a buccaneer voyage.

...The beginning is a terrible time to plan. It's the moment of greatest ignorance....

In buccaneer learning, wandering is a necessity, not a luxury. —James Marcus Bach, Secrets of a Buccaneer-Scholar

I am collecting seed ideas for the voyage in this someday blog stream.

Thursday, March 4, 2010

Kuler; Color Pallet and web design

Kuler is a web app from Adobe that lets you see/save color pallets on the fly as you manipulate them.

Note, you need to create an Adobe account to use all the features.

I learned about this tool and TypeTester while listening to the video podcast The Art of Code by Ted Forbes.

Tuesday, March 2, 2010

Vim on Mac

Just installed Vim on my Mac. I did it so that I can learn all the stuff that it does beyond vi. Vim should be useful as I extend my CSS and XHTML skills.

I've been studying The Art of Code podcast by Ted Forbes and really like the tool he uses for editing because it uses color to denote XHTML syntax. He also introduced me to TextExpander and TypeTester.

A Byte of Vim is a book recommended for MacVim users by Swaroop C H. First thing I want to investigate is Vim scripting.

GFR-vim As A Personal Wiki article.
GFR-How to Get Started with Getting Things Done, about David Allen's work.
GFR(optional)-Why, oh WHY, do those #?@! nutheads use vi?
GFR-Vim Recipes