Joe Crawford
Web developer & user interface engineer
Tinkering with the web since 1996

email: · twitter: @artlung
San Diego, California, USA

December, 2014: 70 posts.


I write code for a living now.

I was trained as a Respiratory Therapist and worked in hospitals for many years. I was trained to care for people. When I graduated from RT school we were obliged to take a professional oath. “Do no harm” a concept from the ancients.

I have avoided the videos of Garner but this morning I thought I’d go look. It’s horrifying. Yes, that’s a belligerent guy. Yes he may have caused trouble. But once he’s on the ground, at the bottom of a tackle of several men. A human being says “I can’t breathe. I can’t breathe. I can’t breathe.”

What the hell professional code do police officers swear to?

I’ve watched human beings die. When it can be prevented– When it’s clear as day it DID NOT HAVE TO HAPPEN– When it’s clearly avoidable. When it happens as the result of human neglect, malfeasance, or professional incompetence. That’s a clear moral wrong and those responsible must stand tall before the law and be made to account. It’s all so clear. As clear as the writing on a piece of paper that says citizens of the United States have the right to “life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness”


from Instagram


from Instagram

Frs Rd.

Hide All From Terrible Site

How I stay sane on Facebook:

Hide All From Terrible Site

The Blight of Guantanamo

Guantanamo continues to be a blight on the reputation of the US and a corrupter of our professional military. If it does not operate according to the laws and ethical codes of the United States, then what, exactly does it stand for?

Nursing group urges military not to punish Guantánamo nurse who refused to force-feed detainees

In letters the American Nurses Association made public on Wednesday, the organization of 3.1 million registered nurses asked defense secretary Chuck Hagel and the chief of naval nursing to spare the anonymous Guantánamo-based nurse any disciplinary measure, as the nurses’ professional code of ethics enshrines a right to “make an independent judgment about whether he or she should participate in this or any other activity”.

“A nurse’s primary commitment is to the patient,” reads the letter, dated 17 October and first reported by the Miami Herald, which in July broke the story that a Guantánamo nurse, apparently for the first time, refused to participate in the force feedings.

Glucose Update!

Back in 2012 I posted about my health and glucose level. The news was all bad.

Last month, I got re-tested. I posted to the-facebook:

My fasting glucose in 2012: 104 mg/dl. Pre-diabetic. Bad. Worry.

My fasting glucose this morning: 99 mg/dl. Normal.

Continuous quality improvement.



And so goes the improvement kids.

Also, blogging. I’m toying with the site. Making it a bit better. The site had gone fallow and all I do is post my Instagram photos here. Recalibrating.

Comic-Con 2013

I went to Comic-Con this year!

It was great.

Things I did:

Things I wanted to do but couldn’t.

My happiest Comic Con acquisitions this year were the Beanworld ones.


I started this as a draft and NEVER wrote about my experiences at Comic-Con 2013. PLUSWHICH I didn’t write about my experiences at 2014 Comic-Con.

Will I write about my 2015 Comic-Con experiences?

Only time will tell. But time to clean house and turn this draft into a terrible post.


TabSweep.txt PART 1

I’ve been keeping a text file with links. Some of which I have read and listened to, some of which, not. It’s sort of my “todo” list of links. And it’s unwieldy but it’s time to catch up with them all! And so, I present to you, TabSweep.txt. I’ll be doing these in chunks of 25 links a day until it’s cleared. So, like yeah man, enjoy!

  1. The TAG Interview: A Brief History of CGI — Part III
  2. Why mobile web apps are slow from Drew Crawford
  3. Steranko’s adaptation of Outland: Outland
  4. 2013 Comic-Con audio of panels
  5. Mechander Robo aka Mekanda (something for my robot todo list!)
  6. Corporate Open Source Anti-Patterns: Doing It Wrong
  7. Glen Keane (animator!) Lecture
  8. Creating gradients with Copic Markers
  9. Califone.Stitches is an ever-changing ‘music video’ that creates itself on the fly using imagery and animated GIFs drawn from a curated set of blogs within the Tumblr ecosystem.”
  10. The improbably improbable story of Boxxy.
  11. The Bechdel test asks if a work of fiction features at least two women who talk to each other about something other than a man. The requirement that the two women must be named is sometimes added.
  12. 3-D model of the Giant Robot Danguard Ace! (more: Wakusei Robo Danguard Ace
  13. A comforting lie (on skeumorphs) by Daniel Rutter
  14. Adam Savage talks about his fascination with the dodo bird, and how it led him on a strange and surprising double quest. It’s an entertaining adventure through the mind of a creative obsessive.
  15. Excellent post about Jack Kirby on the occasion of what would have been his 96th Birthday
  16. Jeremy Keith testing webmentions (more about webmentions)
  17. Richard Feynman on Rubber Bands
  18. A unified theory about the utter unity of all the Pixar movies: THE PIXAR THEORY by Jon Negroni (along the same lines as The Tommy Westphall Universe)
  19. Five hundred and seven mechanical movements
  20. Marion Marguerite Stokes, a librarian, social justice advocate and TV interview program host, believed that it was vital to preserve television news.
  21. What are Double Dee and Steinski up to? (for what they made that was so awesome, see Waxy’s post Double Dee and Steinski’s “The Lesson”)
  22. Why isn’t programming futuristic?
  23. Bill Harris’ post about his absent father is haunting and spare and made me cry.
  24. Little Boots’ Cyber Cinderella LED Dress
  25. The comic book works of Rafer Roberts (Thanos and Darkseid is brilliant)

TabSweep.txt PART 2

Hey look kids, more links! Links are fun. Links are the essential currency of the net. Or maybe it’s apps. Apps are the essential currency and nobody is reading this.

But when the apps die, the links will live on. Maybe. (Bonus: read about webiness)

  1. It Don’t Gitmo Better Than This, journalism by Molly Crabapple
  2. Restoring Trust in Government and the Internet by Bruce Schneier
  3. Big Jelly by Rudy Rucker & Bruce Sterling
  4. Molly Crabapple: finding art in the dark a story about Molly Crabapple. She inspires me.
  5. How Concept Art Helped Sell the U.S. Space Program by Charley Parker
  6. The Landline by Bruce Sterling
  7. David Simon on 12 Years a Slave
  8. How to redirect domains using Amazon Web Services
  9. How Netflix Architects for Survival
  10. This MacOS application displays the lyrics for the currently-playing track in iTunes or Spotify. by jwz.
  11. Bruce Sterling on Design Fiction (design fiction as a concept has been inspirational to me of late)
  12. I have been mentioned in two metafilter Podcasts. (55: transcript) and (86: transcript for my AskMe question What did or would Walter Sobchak’s dog tags say?).
  13. Blogging is independent in a way that the big social software services are not.
  14. Clever interactive visualization of traffic waves
  15. Kate Darling on Robot Ethics: Humans bond with robots in surprising ways – soldiers honor robots with medals, demand that robots be repaired instead of being replaced, and demand funerals when they are destroyed. She tells us about a mine-defusing robot that looked like a stick insect. It lost one of six legs each time it exploded a mine. The colonel in charge of the exercise called it off on the grounds that a robot reduced to two or three legs was “inhumane”.
  16. Snowden, the NSA, and Free Software – Bruce Schneier + Eben Moglen
  17. Design your world this way; this should be your philosophy. I look at Forbes 400, look at their figures and see how it’s gone up in the last 30 years. Americans at the bottom are also improving, and that is great, but we don’t want that degree of inequality. Only governments can correct that. OMG Warren Buffett is awesome. This thought experiment is a lens to observe and correct inequality.
  18. War Nurse a public domain superhero.
  19. Four Freedoms, expounded upon by Matt of WordPress. ArtLung blog has run WordPress for a long time.
  20. Preaching Back At You: Billboard Campaign (billboards based on more negative biblical passages)
  21. Reboot or die: bidding a fond farewell to ‘FF’. I really liked that run of FF by Allred.
  22. Chinese on the moon! (previously: India, China, Space Race)
  23. Sequential Wednesdays #23.1 – NYCC ’13 Interview With Paul Pope (Paul Pope is a comics artist)
  24. Why Indie Developers Go Insane by Jeff Vogel (I have been reading writing by Jeff Vogel for a long time) Also, Please Stop Complaining About Free Mobile Games Now. PLEASE.
  25. Don’t Let Harlan Ellison Hear This Portrait of the pulp writer as an old man by Nick Mamatas

Previously in TabSweep.txt.

TabSweep.txt PART 3

The link disbursement continues! Another 25 or thereabouts links for your enjoyment.

  1. “Mira la loca!” by Suebob. Also, Just A Minute, Buddy, advising dudes on the inadvisablity of trying to mask objectifying women with humor. It’s ungentlemanly.
  2. Google’s Material Design for Bootstrap
  3. The myth of the fall by Eric S. Raymond (open source was only possible when software became portable which was only possible because we could write software that thought less about the hardware) & Reflections on Eric Raymond’s “Myth of the Fall” by Tim O’Reilly
  4. Iggy & Charli’s homage to Clueless is perfectly executed. Problematic racial politics of Iggy notwithstanding
  5. If The Numbers Don’T Lie – What Shall We Put Above The Fold? by David LaFontaine. Are we doomed to clickbait?
  6. Things which are accidentally Turing-Complete (and what, pray tell, is Turing completeness?)
  7. Background stripes in CSS
  8. But WHAT CAN BE DONE: Dos and Don’ts To Combat Online Sexism by Leigh Alexander
  9. Eloquent JavaScript by Marijn Haverbeke
  10. JIX: Build things with straws. This looks like real fun.
  11. Buckaroo Banzai Anniversary Special: Island of Misfit Films – Part 2
  12. Rare Animation Books and Interviews on
  13. Comic Neue, a free font. “Comic Sans wasn’t designed to be the world’s most ubiquitous casual typeface1. Comic Neue aspires to be the casual script choice for everyone including the typographically savvy.”
  14. A bicycle and a few friends lead a big man into an even bigger world by David Boerner
  15. Jest painless JavaScript unit testing
  16. Music Actions Export your music listening actions using ListenAction
  17. The Secret History of Hypertext by Alex Wright
  18. Dave Gibbons (of Watchmen of course) interview.
  19. Americans are almost as ignorant as Italians. Quite a headline.
  20. Extreme Web Performance for Mobile Devices by Maximiliano Firtman
  21. David Simon on the state of America. Horror Show he says.
  22. Figure & Gesture Drawing tools for artists.
  23. This is something I wrote in 2008. About race and my own identity. Race & Cesar Chavez Day. 2014 has been racially charged. I hope someday the USA can have something like South Africa’s Truth and reconciliation commission
  24. Nick Mamatas on fighting words
  25. A Brief History of Batgirl

Clash of Clans X-Mas Tree

I’ve been playing Clash of Clans since the Summer. I play it to keep in touch with my Godson Zac, though I think he’s playing it less than me these days.

Today I removed a little Christmas Cheer, an “X-Mas Tree” which is an Obstacle in the game. Obstacles can be removed for a cost, and then sometimes, usually will give a benefit in one of the currencies of the game: experience points, gems, coins, or elixir. I pretty much always just want gems as they are the least “earnable” items in the game. But Putting out 25,000 coins to get back 75,000 coins is not so bad. See also: Is there any benefit to removing the X-Mas tree from my land? over on

Here’s what my base looks like today:


And what’s that in the lower left corner? A little present and a little tree?


Merry X-Mas! 🙂


Any of my readers play Clash of Clans?

TabSweep.txt PART 4

The TabSweep.txt continueth!

  1. What Every Frontend Developer Should Know About Webpage Rendering by Alexander Skutin
  2. The Case for Reparations: An Intellectual Autopsy “Four years ago, I opposed reparations. Here’s the story of how my thinking has evolved since then.” by Ta-Nehisi Coates
  3. Leaflet — an open-source JavaScript library for mobile-friendly interactive maps
  4. Mega Engineering–Process and Progress of drawing Mega City 2 by Ulises Farinas
  5. Outer Space: VVVVVV: Make and Play Edition!
  6. In defense of Howard the Duck
  7. The Personal Blog by Fred Wlson
  8. Blogs Are Cool Again by Mustapha Hamoul
  9. JavaScript and the Netflix User Interface Conditional dependency resolution by Alex Liu of Netflix
  10. Teaching Engineering As A Social Science by Edward Wenk
  11. Will Eisner did covers for The Preventative Maintenance Monthly. Pinuptastic!
  12. Amanda Conner, comics artist, was interviewed by People Magazine. Which is surprising.
  13. Mirrortocracy. Meritocracy is easier said than done.
  14. 2014 article about not-San Diego Comic-Con Comic-Con events by my pal Susan Myrland
  15. Beets: “The purpose of beets is to get your music collection right once and for all. It catalogs your collection, automatically improving its metadata as it goes using the MusicBrainz database. Then it provides a bouquet of tools for manipulating and accessing your music.”
  16. Originally, Toy Story was meant to be dark and edgy. Cooler heads prevailed. Also includes amazing Up parody.
  17. The insane, sexist history and feminist triumphs of Captain Marvel
  18. No Girls Allowed: Unraveling the story behind the stereotype of video games being for boys.
  19. Game of Thrones: Being A Princess Is A Rough Gig. A great survey of women’s role in the world of Game of Thrones, along with possible historical parallels.
  20. Abandoned railways of California
  21. Wanderers – a short film by Erik Wernquist from Erik Wernquist on Vimeo:
  22. Lockjaw: the world’s greatest superhero
  23. Playboy Paymates decades later. AWESOME.
  24. San Diego Comic Con 2014 (July 23-27) mp3 audio files.




I have to check out this webcomic: SEASONAL DEPRESSION


The smartest take on The Interview debacle I’ve read is in “America didn’t cave. Hollywood didn’t cave. Capitalism caved.” by David Atkins. This is the free market everyone says solves everything. Well, it does, but it doesn’t solve things in ways that have anything to do with “freedom of speech.”:

“But in truth, neither “America” nor “Hollywood” caved to the terrorist threat. Capitalism did. Sony is a Japanese-owned multinational corporation. Its decision to cancel the opening of the film was precipitated not by Hollywood studios, but by the defensive decision of a bunch of corporate conglomerate theater chains with only tenuous connections to the star-studded production companies in Tinseltown.”

“That’s capitalism. Capitalism doesn’t care about standing for the principle of free speech, or for patriotism, or for standing up to bullies. It cares about money.”

TabSweep.txt PART 5

More linky links, linktastic linkies!

  2. Why I Just Asked My Students To Put Their Laptops Away by Clay Shirky
  3. Seeing Spaces by Bret Victor
  4. The Other Side of Diversity
  5. JavaScript Memory Management Masterclass by Addy Osmani
  6. Skadi is a great comic about a barbarian girl who quests with her sidekick Diseaseoid to partake of every kind of flesh. You shoud be reading it.
  7. Superman and Atticus Finch
  8. I hanker for a hunk of cheese! (see Time for Timer)
  9. Rap Genius has turned into just Genius and now they even annotate books. Like Neuromancer.
  10. One Day I Will Die On Mars by Paul Ford
  11. The Field Negro on Bill Cosby Oh my goodness how the news about Cosby disappoints me
  12. An art process post by Melissa Ballesteros for her pinup piece “Ukelele Bunny.”
  13. Racism is a huge bummer. My Vassar College Faculty ID Makes Everything OK by Kiese Laymon
  14. Add to the “TO-WATCH” list: Luis Buñuel’s Simon of the Desert
  15. Force Five was a giant robot tv show anthology. It included Danguard Ace!
  16. Mark Twain reviews The Book of Mormon
  17. And more giant robot tv
  18. And Robotan, another robot tv show
  19. And another one which includes some Mazinger Z!
  20. Let’s read some scripture! Lamentations.
  22. Ten Ways to Add Life to a [COMIC BOOK] Page by Steve Lieber
  23. An oral history of Boogie Nights
  24. Matsumoto Katsuji and the American Roots of Kawaii

GetGlue → tvtag → /dev/null

This morning (December 19, 2014) I got an email:


Breaking Bad. Lost. The Office. Friends. Good things come to an end.

Later this month, we will be shutting down tvtag and its supporting apps in order to refocus our efforts on other initiatives.

Effective January 1, will no longer be accessible and the tvtag mobile apps will cease to function. We recognize that some of you may want to save and archive your user data. If you’re interested in requesting a copy of your data, please email your username in the subject line to

We’re grateful for all of your support over the last four years. You’ve helped us build an incredible community of fellow TV fans. We’ll miss it dearly.

While this is a goodbye for now, we hope to say hello again soon. Until then, join the conversation about your favorite shows by following the tvtag Twitter accounts listed right here.


The tvtag Team

i.TV, LLC, Provo, UT 84604

Back on January 25, 2014 I got this email:

GetGlue is now tvtag


Next week, there will be some major updates to GetGlue and we wanted you to be the first to know.

As many of you are aware, this update has been a long time coming. In fact, when GetGlue joined i.TV in November, one of the reasons we were all so excited about both companies coming together is that both teams shared a vision for how to make watching TV more fun and interesting. The update to GetGlue you’ll see next week is a culmination of a lot of hard work and your feedback. We can’t wait to share it with you!

Here’s what you’ll see:

  • GetGlue will now be known as tvtag
  • The app icon and brand colors will change from blue to red
  • In response to your feedback, we will incorporate a ton of new features we can’t wait for you to try out

Thanks for all your support. We look forward to watching TV with you for many years to come!

The GetGlue Team

P.S. And as a final reminder, getglue will become tvtag next week. So heads up!

I did send a request to get my data out. And got a prompt reply from their system with the subject line “tvtag Data Archive Request Received Re: artlung”:

This is a quick confirmation to let you know we received your request and are in the process of packaging your data archive. Once we are finished compiling your data, we will send you a download link.

In the meantime, stay in touch with tvtag by following your favorite shows’ Twitter accounts listed here:


The tvtag Team

Less than an how later I got back an email and a link to a zip containing a data file.

Subject: Download Your tvtag Data

Please use the following link to download your tvtag data archive: ... /

The datafile is not actually valid JSON, but rather a file with each line as a valid chunk of JSON like this.

    "action": "Liked",
    "director": "harold ramis",
    "displayName": "",
    "image": "",
    "link": "",
    "objectKey": "movies/groundhog_day/harold_ramis",
    "private": "false",
    "source": "",
    "timestamp": "2010-09-28T15:26:14Z",
    "title": "Groundhog Day",
    "userId": "artlung"

You can look at it here

Web pages must live forever, social software, less so.

See also: GetGlue successor TVtag is shutting down (GigaOm)


Aniversary: 10th

10 YEARS MARRIED TO Leah as of December 21st this year.

Here’s what we sounded like a bit after we got married:

Because of this, we know where we actually got married: The Stained Glass Wedding Chapel in Las Vegas, Nevada.

Wedding Balustrade

Fancy Christmas party means pull out the cape I wore to Alex n Ryan's wedding.

Hey, Onward.

Christmas Cheer.

Sometimes I think I’ve made more cool stuff than I actually have. In particular I thought I made more headers that were Christmas themed. Turns out there’s only one.

Archived Header for ArtLung 20011224

Still, there are a few cool Christmasy things in my archives:


THE MEN FROM S.A.N.T.A., by me in 1986/2012. Amiga 1000, DPaint III, dot matrix+iPhone 4, Snapseed, Flickr.

Merry Christmas! A Doodle By @ARTLUNG. Peace on Earth, Goodwill toward men!

Circumspect Santa is making a list (while my PC reboots)

I’ve improved the display of search on my site, still not perfect, but improving. Christmas for example. Useful to me if not anyone else.

Merry Christmas Everybody!

Reflecting on myself, August 2014.


Back in August I made this image of myself from different eras. It was fun to put it together.

It showcases my various haircuts and facial hair.

Top Left

A driver’s license photo from the mid 1990s. I arrived in California to try to get into movies. I cultivated long hair and a bushy beard. Driver’s License Party Trick, Goodbye

Top Middle

Bolo tie, mustache. I was in Respiratory Therapy school. I posted this photo, from my college yearbook, back in 2002.

Top Right

Me, California Hospital, 1996. Self-taken shot of me as a Respiratory Therapist on the roof of the parking garage of the hospital where I was working in 1996. Archeology: 1996: When I was a Respiratory Therapist.

Middle Row, Center

I’m in headphones. Roughly 7 years old. I’m probably listening to music or to a Star Wars soundtrack. You can see old splash pages here: Jan 30, 2002.

Middle Row, Right

From this year, particularly good hair day.

Bottom Left

2010 I think. Grieving. Over-sideburned and over-goateed.

Bottom Center

This year at La Jolla. Wet head and slightly chilly. The beach is where it’s at.

Bottom Right

13 year old me with my sister at Yellowstone. I posted this one back in 2002. Whew! Long Lost Geyser Picture.

Enough narcissism! Onward, dudes.

“a climate-ravaged corporatist dystopia of inequality that mirrors feudalism”

The phrase “a climate-ravaged corporatist dystopia of inequality that mirrors feudalism” is quite pithy, no?

Obviously, if you’re looking for bad news you can find it everywhere. It’s entirely possible we’re headed for a climate-ravaged corporatist dystopia of inequality that mirrors feudalism.

But signs of a new moral awakening are also out there—not the least of which is, incredibly, coming from The Vatican.

Source: David Atkins, writing for the Washington Monthly.

Have a robotic new year!

Current Robot CollectionIt’s been a while since I’ve given the bots any attention. Welcoming Baymax to the fold. There are more coming this year including the Kickstarter-funded Project: Vulkira. I probably will move to replace the Mazinger Z and Aphrodite A bots. The gashapon size and poseability is just way too low. I’m looking forward to a fun robotic new year.

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