Good CSS Practices

Here are some useful tips to help organize and make your CSS files more usable to you and anyone else who works on them after you. I don’t agree with #3 and #4 is likely for large websites, but the rest of the list is very useful. Like this one:

6) Place color scheme in one place for refrence.
Before you start your CSS file, comment your common colors and add it to the top of your style sheet. This will save you ton of time and will insure that your site has one color scheme.

Brand New

If you’re a fan of logos or logo design, or even a fan of design before-and-after, you should check out the blog Brand New. The blog features company and organization logos that have been recently redesigned. In addition to a before-the-redesign logo and the after-the-redesign logo, the blog gives excellent commentary on the old, the new, and the process. Check it out!

The Chicago Olympic bid logo:

Chicago 2016 before and after from Brand New

The All-Powerful Google

Some cool things around the world people found using Google Earth. And the site give the coordinates, so you can check them out too!

Stupid Criminal #45,623,731

From Jay Leno’s Headlines:

Jay Leno Headlines

Mapped Out

Cool info-graphic on the doctor-to-patient ratio around the world.

The Joke’s On Us

Rudy Giuliani’s presidential campaign is solely about two words:

I honestly fail to understand why his supporters don’t see him as the enormous joke he is.

How to Make Windows Crashes Beautiful

Make a haiku about it:

Windows NT crashed.
I am the Blue Screen of Death.
No one hears your screams.

Can NBC Beat Apple?

Since NBC decided to pull its TV shows from the iTunes store, they’ve since launched a beta version of their own media center.

Christopher Breen at playlistmag.com sums up NBC’s Hulu as compared to iTunes.

The [NBC, Fox, and FX] shows will be available from the Hulu site as well as from partner sites that include AOL, MSN, and MySpace. Sample videos are higher-than-YouTube quality and free. What’s not to like? Not a thing, unless you’ve actually experienced television and the Internet during this millennium.

Holy Hell

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=kbblLniZbdk

Engulfed

Check out these hauntingly amazing photos from the recent California wildfires.

CA Wildfires

Eco-Footprint

Care to know yours? Answer a few questions here to find out. I got a 14, and “if everyone lived like [me], we would need 3.2 planets.” Ouch.

Locked In… Illegally?

Now, I’m no expert in anti-trust legal affairs, but doesn’t the cell phone industry with their exclusive contracts and back room deals smell of monopoly-esque activity? Like, for instance, Apple and AT&T’s exclusive deal for the wireless carrier to be the sole provider of service for the iPhone. Isn’t that akin to Ford or GM saying only BP or Mobile gasoline will run their cars? That sad thing, though, is we’ve come to accept these exclusive wireless deals. But why?

Macnn.com ran an article on this topic a couple days ago:

Lashing out at the wireless carrier cadre, Walt Mossberg says that the United States federal government has been duped into allowing AT&T, Verizon, Sprint and others to lock consumers into terms unprecedented by any other industry.The problem lies in two areas: the US government did not set up a wireless standard when it needed to a few years ago, so there are two competing networks: CDMA and GSM. This means that switching to a new provider often requires a new, compatible phone. Second, the government allows the GSM carriers to ‘lock’ their phones, “so a SIM card from a rival carrier won’t work in them, at least for a period of time.”

Mossberg argues that lifting these restrictions and standardizing the network would result in cheaper, unsubsidized phones and the elimination of draconian contract cancellation fees.

Wow

Paul Potts’s “Britain’s Got Talent” audition:

How Embarrassing

Just like every other year, Cleveland sports fans are left saying to each other “maybe next year.” The Indians were up in the series against the Red Sox three games to one. All the Indians had to do was win one more game. And they were given 3 chances to do so since the Red Sox forced game seven. Of course, like a true Cleveland sports team, the Indians choked and were outscored in the last three games five runs to the Red Sox’s thirty. Absolutely embarrassing. I was hoping for a Indians/Diamondbacks World Series, and now I have neither the Indians nor the Diamondbacks in the World Series.

Thanks, though, for a great season, Cleveland.

Here’s to next year….

Spot the Differences

This is easily the coolest rendition I’ve seen of the popular spot-the-differences game, which tasks you to locate the differences between two seemingly identical pictures.

Bush and the Environment

A quick look at the numbers for environmental programs in Bush’s FY2008 budget:

  • 90% of the Department of Energy’s funding increase is directed toward research in fossil fuels and nuclear power, rather than towards developing new renewable and efficient technologies.
  • $400 million cut from the Environmental Protection Agency’s budget, dropping it to its lowest level in nearly 10 years. This includes cutting EPA’s clean air and climate funding by $22 million, and a 12% ($6 million) cut to the popular Energy Star program.

(Nod: ThinkProgress)

The Price Is Not Right, But Not Wrong Either

The Price is Right

On Monday, Drew Carey began his new job as host of The Price Is Right, taking over from Bob Barker, TV legend. Given the enormous challenge, Drew did an adequate job, but certainly nothing spectacular.

While watching the show, I jotted down a few notes. Here they are.

  • The new set design looks good. A little more coherent and cohesive than the old design, but still firmly stuck in the 70s.
  • There was a new music arrangement of the theme at the beginning and end of the show and whenever the audience was shown while going in and out of commercial breaks.
  • And speaking of commercials, everyone should be pleased to note that a majority are still are tailored to 80-year-olds.
  • Drew was most definitely nervous. He continuously played with the little flaps of fabric that cover his two side pockets in his suit jacket. But who wouldn’t be nervous taking over this role? It was reassuring to see a big, confident Hollywood-type visibly nervous. They’re regular people after all.
  • Drew, like Bob, uses a stick microphone, but Drew’s doesn’t have a cord like Bob’s did. Just not the same.
  • Both times the game prize was a car, Drew began asking where the contestant came from and then said “maybe you’ll be driving home” before Rich Fields did his “A NEW CAR!!!” line. Drew’s saying that, I think, steals some thunder from that famous, surprise-inducing line. I hope he stops that.
  • And during the game “One Away,” where the contestant must rotate numbers to guess the correct price of the car to win it, the line the contestant asked to verify how many numbers were correct used to be “Ladies, do I have X numbers right?”. For whatever reason, it was changed on Monday to “Oh mighty sound effects person, do I have X numbers right?” What was wrong with the ladies?

One other new thing was an updated logo. The type didn’t change as far as I can tell, but two shapes were added to the background. These new shapes give the logo a greater sense of coherency. Well done.

The Price is Right

Give Drew some time and see if he grows into the role. That’s what I plan on doing. But after the first show, he left a wrong price impression. Too much chit-chat and not enough classy swooning. I’m sure as he becomes more comfortable in the role, he’ll find his groove, and I hope he does. He’s still no Bob Barker, though.

One final thought I was left with: after now 36 years on the air, how many miles has the Big Wheel gone around?

(Photos: cbs.com)

Racking Up the Hardware

An Oscar. An Emmy. And now something new. Congratulations to Nobel Peace Prize winner Al Gore. Perhaps he can keep his prize in his lockbox.

Staying in Line

I went back to Ohio last weekend for my cousin’s wedding, and while standing in the line for security in the Cleveland airport, I realized how well we as humans are socialized to follow rules and, literally in this case, stay in line.

The line to move through security screening at the Cleveland airport, like most airports I assume, has a line for first class and a line for everyone else. The line for the common-folk, naturally, snakes around ten times or so, and the wait is around twenty minutes. Then there is the “elite” line which goes around the edges of our line, bypassing all the snaking and the wait altogether. While the common-folk line is jammed-pack, the elite line is empty, saved for the occasional “special” person every few minutes.

The part about our socialization process enters here. Common sense would dictate that all of us in the common-folk line are fools for waiting in this line and not jumping into the empty express line. But our socialization process dictates otherwise. Because we’re taught to follow the rules, stay in line, and obey the authority figures, we simply do as we’re told and stay in the common-folk line. There is nothing stopping any of us from getting into the elite line — no barriers, no special ticket screening at the entrance of the line. At any point, any one of us could have simply moved under the railing and gone into the elite line. And had we done that, would the TSA agents checking our boarding passes and IDs said, “hey wait a minute, you aren’t first class — go back to the end of the line you belong in and wait”? No, they would have likely just passed us through like normal without questioning why we came from the first class line without a first class ticket.

Yet no one did this. Why is that? Why do we not disobey the rules when there is no apparent consequence for breaking the rules? Why do we still stay in line even when there is apparent reward for not staying in line? This is a very curious human socialization process question. Think about this next time you’re waiting at the airport.

Title Sequence: “Bicentennial Man”

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=quINm_8HrKg

Designed by: Imaginary Forces
Year: 1999

Testing

So I received my iPod Touch this morning, and I’m actually typing this post from my iPod! I’ve only played with it for about twenty minutes, but I think it’s awesome so far!

Legos Rule

…and they apparently store all your important files. A 2-gig USB drive, in a Lego brick:

Lego USB

Lego USB

How cool is that?! Order one here!

I Pledge Allegiance

From the NYT:

Federal immigration authorities yesterday unveiled 100 new questions immigrants will have to study to pass a civics test to become naturalized American citizens.

That got me thinking. How many natural-born Americans could pass the test?

From 2006 using the old test in downtown Roanoke:

QUESTION #1: What do the stars on the flag represent?

Michelle McGee said, “The freedom… the freedom of… uhhhh.”

Melissa Richards answered, “Stars represent colonies. I don’t know.”

And after a few minutes of thinking, Bethany Gramm said, “Isn’t that the amount of the states?

There we go. Finally. Old Glory’s 50 stars do represent the 50 states of the Union.

Let’s stick with numbers for our second question.

QUESTION #2: How many senators are there?

Daniel Colton of Roanoke said, “50.” Carol Conway, also from Roanoke, said, “There’s two from each state. So that would be 102 or 104.”

Roanoker Anne Perrin came in a little lower, saying, “Uhhh. 45?”

Dina Daniels from Boones Mill didn’t even give it a guess. “I have no idea.” Shirley Wright did have a guess, although it was a little high, saying, “125… maybe.”

And the right answer is, given to us by Matt Wiram from Roanoke, is 100. There are two senators from each state.

And from Jay Leno several years back:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=LUmviuceomk

Think you can answer these questions? Test yourself here. Good luck with #19. That should be the only one you miss!

Title Sequence: “Spider-Man” and “Spider-Man 2”

Designed by: Kyle Cooper
Year: 2002

Designed by: Kyle Cooper
Year: 2004

Movie Stuntmen: Unsung Heroes

News came today of a special effects technician that was killed while working on a stunt sequence for the new Batman film.

Stuntmen and those who work supporting stunt sequences in movies deserve more credit from the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences. Just as there should be an Oscar for Best Film Title Sequence, there should be an Oscar for Best Stunt Sequence.

Of all the crew who work on a film, who besides the stunt crew are willing to be severely injured or risk death for their art and the film? How many costume designers, make-up artists, or film composers risk their safety and well-being for their job? And how many films have crucial scenes involving stunts and would not be the same film without those sequences?

The last major push for inclusion in the Oscar ceremony came in 2005, but as was previously done since 1990, the Academy said no.

It is beyond time to recognize this hard-working, injury-suffering group of people with an Oscar.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=6Hss3L5QkoE