I can't remember how I found Jelly Blocks. Seriously, I'd opened it at some point, but I didn't get to it for days. It's a puzzle game, just brainy enough that I can deal with it at the moment.
Just after 2am on 24 July, after a swift labour, my lovely wife Nic gave birth to Hazel — our first kid. She's lovely, but obviously we would say that. Our world just shifted sideways, in the happiest way. Yay, Nic — well done!
PS. Many thanks to the person who has been thoughtful (or not thoughtful) enough not to lock down their nearby wireless internet connection (SSID: NETGEAR). Internet from the maternity ward is a precious, precious thing.
You know it's not a good idea to trust search engine aggregators, right? These sites sometimes look like real sites, but usually they're little more than a banner and a ton of links to Google searches. These sites are run by the less reputable internet professionals, and typically make them a very small amount of money per click. Fifty sites might be run by one person, giving a small income by linking to sites of questionable relevance.
So, they're not very useful, but they're not harmful, right? Wrong. If you were to, for example, search for "girls" on the site linked above — babycentral.net — you'd expect to find information about baby girls, or girls' names, yes? Instead, you find links to porn. Gah.
I'll get to my web rules eventually, but when I do, I expect to be cribbing a chunk of Apple's Web Page Development: Best Practices. My major point of difference so far is that I'd recommend against designing pages that need tables to make them work. Enjoy!
Reading old back issues, I came across this editorial from New Scientist, 16 September 2006 (article behind paywall, educational institutions may provide access). The key quote, summarised:
...brilliance in academia, sport, music and many other fields is due only in very small part to innate ability. Mostly it comes through inspirational instruction, a supportive environment and sheer hard work. "It isn't magic and it isn't born."
John Sloboda, a psychologist at Keele University, has demonstrated a strong correlation between expertise in music and the amount of time spent practising. The notion that people love doing things because they're good at them is back to front — they're good at them because they love doing them and will spend hours practising.
For a start, if the aim is to nurture successful adults, creating elite schools for highly intelligent pupils... is a waste of resources because it doesn't work. More importantly, it gives the wrong message to thiose children who are not selected... it tells them that hoever hard they try, they will never break the mould their genes have cast for them. Unless these children are highly motivated and confident, the chances are they will carry this message with them forever.
More surprisingly, this form of streaming can be disruptive for brilliant children as well, because it makes it harder for them to deal with failure... [it] discourages them from trying things that challenge them and potentially make them look less smart. They tend to develop an inflexible mindset and stick to things they know they'll succeed at.
The summary of the summary: hard work, not innate skill, leads to success. I'd add a dash of luck (so make your own) and a smidge of networking (because who you know is important).
If you were in an art gallery with just four blank walls to decorate and erase, would you think to create this animation? Me neither.
Ever wondered how to sell a bidet-in-a-toilet-seat in the most irritating way possible? Of course, you can't mention bodily functions at any point. Why not just talk about how happy the product will make you? Beware of patronising Flash-based talking heads. Sickened yet? Here's the antidote, from The Onion.