ArtLung

November 30th, 2007

Misc Never Knows

I’m up relatively early this morning. I can hear rain outside the window of the office. Leah acquired some of the lovely All Natural Cola by Whole Foods and I’m having one of those. I feel a tickle in my nose and I think I might be getting a cold. That’s not optimal.

I have a backlog of Misc and here it goes, helpfully organized by vague category!

Programming

I’m very impressed by DateJS — it provides functionality like PHP’s function strtotime() but in JavaScript. This is a tool I’ll be using. I found this via the excellent Ajaxian blog.

The Amazon Kindle has been getting nothing but hate on the net, but it feels like a different class of product to me. These two reviews in particular make me wonder if this device might be something I’d use: Andy Ihnatko and Don MacAskill.

Douglas Crockford wants to fix HTML. I think Crockford is the smartest programmer in JavaScript-land, but I think he’s late to that party. I do like some of his ideas though. Crockford also points out how crazy the expectations are on programming for the web, when talking about Unobtrusive JavaScript he says:

It also calls for Graceful Degradation, which means that a page should do something useful even if the JavaScript assets fail to run. This is bizarre. No other programming environment threatens to pull the rug out from under the programmer the way the web does. If you are writing applications in Java, you do not have to be prepared for having Java turned off. But because of the browser’s long and tragic history of security screwups, JavaScript does get turned off. It is ultimately the only security control given to users that works. So not only does the programmer have to be prepared for failure, the program is expected to fail gracefully.

And he adds: Madness.

Yup.

Speaking of madness, The Web Standards Project points to the Email Standards Project. I end up with responsibility to debug and test HTML mail sometimes and it’s a mess dealing with the various email clients. This a good development. As one of the original members of what would become the WSP, I am all for this. I’m glad to see momentum here.

I’d like to see JavaScript Beautify added to either/both of Firebug and the Web Developer Toolbar.

Comics and Animation

This image of a Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtle toy posted by Slashfilm reminds me of two of my cousins. I got into (back) into comics at age 13 and while I didn’t get into TMNT, the art style was cool. This figure really seems to hit the aesthetic of those black and white indie comics well.

One of the funnier blogs about comics Again With The Comics, did a series called Thanksgiving Turkeys, featuring terrible supervillains from comics past that made me laugh.

Not funny, but aesthetically beautiful is the work of illustrator Julienne Hsu, on startdrawing.org. Spare, impressionistic, but a turns precise. I find it very inspiring. Her website is www.juliennehsu.com

Marlo Meekins is a cartoonist from the John K. posse who has a way with markers I envy. She says of her work, anticipating the question, this about marker choice: “To answer a super common question about marker brand: I use most brands of markers and only a few select shades. But, all and even the best brands make gross colors and plenty of them. Never buy marker sets. It’s decisions about color combinations, line and application not brand.”

Also from the John K. posse is Uncle Eddy, on Underlight.

Terminus is a short film that spans animation and culture. It’s a disturbing but perfectly executed short film about a man and a looming concrete figure. via jwz.

Culture

Ads from the past might have been demeaning to women.

The estimable ze frank has two Christmas songs out: Listen and Buy, if you want! I particularly like Santa Ain’t Fat.

This interview with the Coen Brothers on Charlie Rose makes me want to see No Country For Old Men more. Open Culture has a few more links.

Anil Dash points out what’s interesting about memes and net culture, and points out ROFLcon, which looks seriously fascinating, bizarre, and potentially educational and entertaining.

Undercover Black Man points out some silliness by one Tay Zonday — a Dr. Pepper promotional song called Cherry Chocolate Rain. It’s fun, it’s silly, it’s a, well, I suppose it’s a parody of hip-hop videos, sort of, but it also uses the conventions of the genre, but funny. So fine, it’s cute, it’s funny — but this feels like a “forced” viral meme, and the production values are way too high to be homegrown. Then I zipped over to the young man’s YouTube Page and check out Internet Dream and I found myself inexplicably laughing. Well, maybe explicable. The dude is funny and talented. Sort of They Might Be Giants meet Biz Markie. Just watch Internet Dream:

And to complete this series of Misc items, I’ll make this a loop — this post on O’ Reilly Radar is about the confusion between Bill O’Reilly (right wing windbag) and O’Reilly (the publisher, mostly known for programming books).

And with that, I’ll start my day.


Comments: 7

Jim Treacher

November 30, 2007 11:21am

I was on the fence about the Kindle too, until I read this helpful FAQ.

Jukebox JT

December 2, 2007 1:07am

I was disheartened and a little saddened to hear of your enjoyment of Cherry Chocolate Rain. To say it “feels like a ‘forced’ viral meme” is like saying “putting your hand in a blender may prick a little.”

Sassy

December 3, 2007 9:31am

Kindle = Microsoft Zune

Joe Crawford

December 3, 2007 9:35am

@Jim Treacher – I don’t know what to say to that. I will mention that links added in comments on this blog get “rel=nofollow” added though, so you gain no PageRank from me.

@Jukebox JT – I get that. And seeing Tay Zonday’s earlier work I see how much he sold out, still, I can’t deny my enjoyment.

@Sassy – I don’t know, it’s Amazon’s first foray into hardware sales. It’s a miss, but one with some unique capabilities. Zunes merely suck in an existing category already dominated by a great brand. The Kindle is making a whole new category of device. Possibly sucking, but creating space for other products possibly.

Jim Treacher

December 3, 2007 5:02pm

Huh? I wasn’t trying to get PageRank or whatever. Just thought you might like it. Sorry. I also have some comics on my blog you might like, but I wouldn’t want to be accused of anything else.

Joe Crawford

December 3, 2007 5:10pm

@Jim Treacher – I didn’t like it. But thanks for contributing.

Jim Treacher

December 3, 2007 5:13pm

No kidding.

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