EJM Designs Limited Blog

Sunday, February 28, 2010

Monday Inspiration: Smile On

Motivating yourself is not just a Monday thing, but an everyday thing.

I think I found my daily motivation anthem. Humorously enough, it's by a band called Anthems. You may know it from a commercial advertising San Diego. It's called "Smile On."

You're in the place you're in. You can change that place if it's bad. You can be that place, if it's good. Either way, it will be wonder or misery.

You make your place in life. You make your reality. You make your joy or feed your pity. The only difference is how you decide to see it.

Make it good.

Make it your own.

Enjoy the song. Think on it. And smile!

Wednesday, February 24, 2010

Twitter Today! Dalai, Irish, Not English?

I'd love to say this week that there's a whole buzz over some Twitter news, but after filtering out the useless celeb noise (like Adam Lambert's musings on hottest 12 guys), I'm not left with much this week.

Excitingly and somehow not-so-celeb, the Dalai Lama has opened a Twitter account - and is apparently using it. Founder Evan Williams suggested it and it was laughed off, but the next day, Here's Dalai! You can follow him at the verified account of the Dalai Lama.

And I don't usually toss out my differing projects, but my wife and I have been very involved as of late in helping get the Irish Heritage Center of Greater Cincinnati up and running for their theater opening this weekend. If you've got a few minutes, take a look at the IHC website, follow them on Twitter, and even join the Facebook Group. Thanks!

And, finally, what language you tweeting?
According to Semiocast, which examined 2.8 million tweets over two days in February, 50% of all messages sent on Twitter are in English. Japanese, Portuguese, Malay, and Spanish follow English with 14%, 9%, 6%, and 4% of tweet share, respectively. Several other languages, including Arabic and Italian, make up the remaining 17% of non-English tweets.
Very interesting that Twitter is garnering an international following. I actually picked up on the Japanese aspect a month or two ago when looking for tweets having to do with Xbox 360 game Fallout 3 and was answered with almost solidly foreign language tweets. Which raises an interesting question: Related to video games, how do the percentages fall?

Yeah folks, sorry. That's all this week. If you're really hurting for celeb news on Twitter, feel free to comment. I might be persuaded to add a "Celeb box" to each weeks' Twitter blog post if I get some comments on the subject. Cheers!

Binary Numbers in 60 Seconds

Just in case you didn't know...

Monday, February 22, 2010

Astronauts: Inspiration

There are some things that are above words:

There is something about being outside of the world, outside Earth, that can - possibly - make us take pause.

Let us - all of us - take another look. Just one more. And build a world where we look at things a little differently, a little more objectively. Be bigger than our differences. Be bigger than our qualms.

Just be bigger. Drive the conversation, don't be driven by it.

Guide the wisdom. Don't be sucked in with easy outs.

Being stronger means working harder. Being wiser means thinking longer. The easy path is no path at all; everyone's already doing that one.

If you want to make a difference, you need to make it different.

So make it different. Change the angle. Change the outlook. Make that difference.

The hard part is that that will be your day. And tomorrow, you'll have to do it again.

But that's also the beauty in it.

Be that.

Friday, February 19, 2010

Friday Video: Google FTW, Media Crank, Raptors!

Google "Responds" to Buzz Feedback

(NSFW language bleeped)

CNN Jersey Prank

Raptor Devours Cheerleader

Have a great weekend!

Monday, February 15, 2010

Monday Inspiration: Digging Out

Cincinnati Snow Alberta Clipper

If you live in the Cincinnati area, you need no reminder that there is going to be between 6 and 8 inches of the white stuff out there later today. We've already earned about 5 in the southeast by 2:30.

Turns out I had to get out on the road for a necessary grocery stop a little while ago and as I was preparing to step outside to dig out the car and shovel the drive, I paused as I opened the door. "This is going to be misery," I thought. Another piece of my mind immediately followed it with "Why?" It occurred to me that this task (and the subsequent driving) was either going to suck or it was going to be enjoyable. And that both were possible.

Letting it suck was the easy choice. Simply let go of hope and allow physical discomfort bleed into your emotional state. Before you know it, you'll be a grump, loudly cursing every strain of your back, every heap of snow you push off the drive, every chill under your clothes. That doesn't sound fun at all.

I wasn't entirely certain how to make it enjoyable, so I started with my standby: At the risk of appearing mad to my neighbors, I put on the biggest grin I could muster. I smiled and shoveled. I thought about the mailman and what a relief it would be to him to tread on a cleared, salted walkway. I thought about my wife effortlessly making it from her car into the house. I thought about how my shoveling was giving the car time to heat and that my drive would be nice and toasty. My smile grew and by the end I was genuinely enjoying myself.

Two lessons here:

Whistle in the Dark
Your actions and attitude will directly translate into emotional state. If you approach a task already discouraged, how do you think it's going to go if you encounter even the least bit of resistance? Smile before a physical task. Mentally smile before a non-physical one. The alternative is not pretty and will drain you.

Little Now, Little Later
I went outside today knowing that maybe half of the snow had fallen. There would be more snow. There would be more work. But instead of allowing that to frustrate me, I took comfort in the fact that now I'm half done and later today or tomorrow I'll be shoveling another 4 or 5 inches while others are hefting 10 at a time.

So let me know: how do you mentally and physically approach challenges? What works for you?

It's going to be a great week!

Friday, February 12, 2010

Friday Video: Sand Animation, Betty White, T-Shirt War, & FAIL

This past week just blew by; I can't believe we're at Friday already. Here's some entertainment to end the week:

Kseniya Simonova's Amazing Sand Drawing

Also referred to as "sand animation," if you haven't seen the winner of Ukraine's Got Talent in action, you owe it to yourself to do so. Now.


This was one of my favorites from last week. You can't beat Betty White and Abe Vigoda.

T-Shirt War

Especially clever stop-motion clip, also worth your time.

Slide FAIL

I'm sorry. What was I thinking? I'm sure you're in the mood to get the weekend started with something a little more mindless. Here you are.

Have a great weekend!

Monday, February 8, 2010

Inspiration: Give Always

A koan for you:
Zen Master Ryokan lived a simple and frugal life – all by himself in a small hut at the foot of a mountain. One evening, a thief visited the hut only to discover there was nothing in it to steal. When Ryokan returned, he was 'caught' red-handed. Instead of being angry or alerting the authorities, Ryokan said, 'As you must have come a long way to visit me, you should not leave empty-handed. Please take my clothes as a gift.' Stunned and bewildered, the thief nevertheless took the clothes before sheepishly hurrying off. As Ryokan sat naked while watching the moon, he exclaimed, 'Poor fellow, I wish I could have given him the beautiful moon!'

You give. You give heartily. You train and consult and meet with people who have no intention or ability of paying you for the time. How do you remedy that?

Give more.

Ryokan had it right. The thief had it wrong.

If you're looking to give, you can give the moon.

If you're looking to take, you can have tattered, worn cloth.

Which one will you be?

Comments, always. I'll give you the moon.

Wednesday, February 3, 2010

Wednesday Twitter Headlines: Security, XLIV, Space, Teens


No! No celebrity news this week! Not one blip about Fall Out Boy or Lady Gaga. Not one!

Unsecured Twitter?

But this week Twitter did say: "I's been haxed!
"A red flag was first raised on Twitter's end when it noticed an abnormally high number of followers for certain accounts. This prompted the company to investigate and eventually reset the passwords for anyone following those suspicious accounts. Twitter noted that although torrent sites have been around a while, this is the first time it's seen an attack using this angle."
It was a custom-built, torrent site back door, password reset phishing scam. W00t! As always, Twitter kinda has it under control.

Beer! I Mean Super Bowl XLIV

And if you've been waiting with baited breath to see what's going on with tweeting and Super Bowl XLIV, your wait is over: Super Bowl XLIV Earns an Official Twitter Hashtag: #SB44. I'd give you a blockquote on this one but that's the whole story. Not that this is actually news. I went to a conference this past December where a half dozen of us tweeted the event. We had a hashtag too.

Note to media: A hashtag is not earned. You don't have to file with the IRS or anything. You just make it up, let people know, and start using it.

Um, Teens and, um, Twitter

And I also noticed an abnormally large number of stories covering the fact that teens still aren't showing Twitter the love that they show Facebook. Also, this is not news, just like it wasn't news last August when I talked about it.

Maybe I need to start a blog on Twitter headlines that aren't news.

Not Cosmic Microwave Background Radiation

And this one's a little older than a week, but: Tweets From Spaaaaaaace!
NASA has set up an impressive wireless connection that provides astronauts on International Space Station with Internet access so they can surf the Web, e-mail their friends and family back home, and even send Twitter messages.

Flight Engineer T.J. Creamer started using the connection this morning by sending the first tweet originating from the space station.

Sweet. Question: Is a tweet that you're going to the bathroom more interesting if you're going in a suction-powered space toilet on the ISS?

Answer: Yeah!

So what did you learn from Twitter this week? I'm always happy to read your feeback!

Tuesday, February 2, 2010

Google Shuts Down IE6? Hope hope?

Google logo

Every developer's plea* of "Dear MS: Make IE6 die pls. k thx." was brought one more giant step towards fruition. In my inbox this morning was the following from Google:
In order to continue to improve our products and deliver more sophisticated features and performance, we are harnessing some of the latest improvements in web browser technology. This includes faster JavaScript processing and new standards like HTML5. As a result, over the course of 2010, we will be phasing out support for Microsoft Internet Explorer 6.0 as well as other older browsers that are not supported by their own manufacturers.

We plan to begin phasing out support of these older browsers on the Google Docs suite and the Google Sites editor on March 1, 2010. After that point, certain functionality within these applications may have higher latency and may not work correctly in these older browsers. Later in 2010, we will start to phase out support for these browsers for Google Mail and Google Calendar.

Google Apps will continue to support Internet Explorer 7.0 and above, Firefox 3.0 and above, Google Chrome 4.0 and above, and Safari 3.0 and above.
Yes, this is where you smile and sigh and possibly float a little. It's okay. I'll wait.

But maybe you're saying "Wait a second, IE6 is just a little older. What's the big hubbub?

The Big Hubbub about IE6

The World Wide Web Consortium (W3C) is an international group that works to develop a set of standards for how websites should be coded. And if browsers followed their recommendations, all would be well: A website viewed in IE6 would look the same as IE7 and 8 and Firefox, Chrome, Safari, Opera...

But all has never been well in the world of internet browsers. As a matter of fact, until Firefox 3 and IE7, the land of web development was a sad and desolate place full of angry programmers yelling at their computers at how a website would show up in a particular version of a particular browser because that version didn't follow a W3C spec.

All is not milk and honey quite yet, but it's getting better. Word on the street is Opera is the most compliant, but if you develop in Firefox and fix for IE bugs, you'll probably be fine - just check it in all of them to be sure.

The IE6 Scent Lingers

The souring of development continues. Why? IE6 is still alive and remains the biggest W3C compliance mess out there. Based on the January 2009 numbers, the browser still has a little over 10% of the market share.

But there is hope with the note from Google. There is hope that IE6 will just die, will go away forever. How practical that hope is, only time will tell. All we can do is educate people and spread the word.

So what's your favorite browser? Do you stick with a version of Internet Explorer, shun all but Safari, give Google love on Chrome, or something else? I'd love to hear from you.

* I am personally aware that there are multi-million dollar corporations with active web apps that will not function properly in any browser except IE6. For those developers we weep, say a little prayer, and hope corporate gets on the stick with that, our small exception.