The Egg

For as long as I’ve known about the Kurzgesagt YouTube channel I’ve been a huge fan. They usually make great scientific videos, but in this team-up with Andy Weir (author of The Martian amongst other fine works) they’ve gone into a whole new, beautiful realm.

Lanman Adventures

Some dear friends of mine — Rachel and Jon Lanman — have been on a number of amazing skiing and backpacking adventures. Lucky for us, they’re both fantastic writers and have made a blog to tell us all about them (replete with photos). I recommend to start at the beginning and read all the entries, but I’ve pulled some quotes in case you need further convincing.

The trail carries us further distances, carved into a hillside, parting a field of grass. Flowers appear like fireworks keeping my attention busy, as my quads contract, pushing me further from the cities in my head.

Jon Lanman — Big SEKI Loop – Trail Journal: Day 2

The meadow is a popular day hiking destination, and it’s easy to see why. It is a wide and steep valley, about 1 mile in length flanked by granite and snow. We enter the valley from the east – where the trees give way to open fields of flowers. At the western end it knits back together 1,000 ft above the valley floor at the bottom of the Spider Gap glacier. The sound of water is everywhere – coming from tiny waterfalls in every direction. A bubbling creek flows to our left. Flowers and butterflies, lifting fog and sunshine create a swirling, mystical beauty to an already breathtaking place. It’s morning and everything is drying off in the early morning sunshine, ourselves included. We take several pictures and then start making our way up the meadow to the base of the glacier. It’s a strenuous climb out of the meadow, so I put on my game face and start walking.

Rachel Lanman — Spider Gap – Buck Creek Pass Loop – Day 1

Less than a mile from the JMT junction, we notice it’s happening again. Behind us, over the peaks, the clouds begin to darken, moving in our direction. This is to be expected. We move on until the sprinkles gently tap our backs, reminding us of yesterday – “remember us” they say.

Jon Lanman — Big SEKI Loop – Trail Journal: Day 4

When I read their words I can see what they saw, hear what they heard. Their excitement shines through in their thoughtful descriptions, as does the wonder of nature. Thanks for sharing, Jon and Rachel.

Lost Designs: Awesome Note

I was going through a bunch of my files a fews days ago and came across an app design I made in May of 2014, which I had completely forgotten about. There aren’t many designs of mine that I love five years later, but this one definitely qualifies. It’s also funny that I put design notes in the sample files.

I didn’t end up making the Awesome Note, or anything derived from this design but there’s a big part of me that wishes I had. I am keeping the color scheme close at hand though.

Playdate Fan Art

Panic is a fantastic software and game company (I use their Transmit app every day). Yesterday they announced their new game console called Playdate. It looks like a lot of fun so I made some wallpapers in tribute. Expect to read more about Playdate here in the near future.

iPhone X, XS, XS Max, XR

Old school iPhones like the 6 – 8 Plus (16×9)

How the Moon Was Made

Sarah T. Stewart presents her fascinating theory of how our magnificent moon was made.

‘Fundamentally Wrong’

WARNING: the linked articles contain extreme descriptions of violence.

John Gruber on Daring Fireball writing about the the Verge piece The Trauma Floor: The secret lives of Facebook moderators in America:

There is something fundamentally wrong with a platform that — while operating exactly as designed — requires thousands of employees to crush their own souls.

Blade Runner 2049 – Movies with Mikey

Movies with Mikey is unequivocally my favorite movie review channel. His reviews are more like deep-dives than reviews, but that’s more of what I’m looking for anyway. I don’t suggest watching his videos until you’ve watched the movies as spoilers run very deep. That’s true for his review of Blade Runner 2049 as well. So, if for some reason you haven’t watched that already, go do that first, then come back to this review for greater understanding.

xkcd: Voting Software

XKCD - web comic - Voting Software

Source: xkcd: Voting Software

CHVRCHES cover Kendrick Lamar ‘LOVE.’ for Like A Version

How did Google get so big?—60 Minutes

Daring Fireball linked to an excellent 60 Minutes report yesterday, covering how Google got so big, and the likelihood that there’s a lot of anti-competition going on there.

In addition to 60 Minutes’ excellent report, I’d like to point out that Google makes most of the products that people use to interact with the internet on a daily bases. Here are the ones I could think of off the top of my head.

  • Google Search: the most used search engine in the world.
  • Android: the operating system of choice for 80% of the world’s population. This gives access to phone calls, SMS texts, what apps and games are installed, and the location of everyone who uses it.
  • Chrome: the web browser that most people use most of the time.
  • YouTube: by far the biggest social video service.
  • Google Maps: the most used mapping service in the world.
  • Gmail: one of, if not the most used email system in the world.
  • Hangouts, Chat, etc: huge communications platforms. I’ve lost track of all the different apps they have like this.
  • Doubleclick & Adwords: probably the first and second biggest ad platforms in the world (besides maybe Facebook).
  • Adsense: a service for putting ads on web sites other than Google’s.
  • Google Analytics: the most used web traffic statistics and analysis framework.

Google has access to every endpoint on the internet and a whole lot more. I’ve been moving further and further from using their services and software for personal activity, but as a web developer, I can’t avoid it professionally. If I can make one recommendation, try DuckDuckGo for search. I use it for everything and am quite happy with it. DuckDuckGo famously don’t track people and their searches, and still manage to get great search results. With the recent breaches from Facebook and their Cambridge Analytica fiasco, I shouldn’t have to explain how our online activity and personal information can be used in nefarious ways.

Note: I don’t use Google Analytics (or any other analytics on my personal websites), but I am fully aware that the YouTube videos embedded on this site report back to Google. I try to avoid that kind of thing, but it’s nearly impossible right now.