If you’ve never heard of Richard Feynman you are not alone. I was only introduced to him recently when I started watching the Symphony of Science videos. He appears in a few songs, but is prominently featured in the second video, “We Are All Connected.”
Feynman was an American physicist whose theories on quantum mechanics, particle physics and quantum electrodynamics made him one of the most renowned scientists in the world. He was a key member of the Manhattan Project. Despite expressing some regrets for the part he played the atomic bomb’s development, Feynman knew that if they hadn’t made the discovery someone else would have. In interviews later in his life he talked about how, during the 50s and 60s, he believed that humanity was doomed to destroy itself. Feynman even mentioned thinking that people were foolish to make long-term plans because nuclear war was inevitable.
Thankfully Feynman’s sense of impending destruction didn’t keep him from working. He was a genius in the truest sense of the word (although he would have never said this himself). When you hear Feynman speak his intelligence doesn’t jump out right away. He had a thick Brooklyn accent and was extremely self deprecating. Unlike many scientists he was also extremely funny. His lectures were more like standup routines than classroom speaches. He took pride in developing ways to teach complex theories to non-physicists. He often taught freshman-level courses for this reason. For Feynman, science was fun and he encouraged others to have fun with it too.
Before I get into anything else, I want to point out my awesome new top-level domain (TLD), [dot]is. It comes courtesy of the Republic of Iceland. I borrowed the idea from noted WordPress guru, John Ford. I imagine that [dot]ises (it’s fun to say ises) will be more widely used in the future. Registering the domain was fairly simple and I’m paying less than I would have expected.
After registering joepahl.is I looked at what else I could lockdown. There are a lot of [dot]is domains available. Just for grins I checked joey.is. Lo and behold is was available! I had been planning on creating a link shortener at a subdomain of joepahl.is, but this was even better.
My tens of readers may have noticed my recently updated banners. Thanks to a post on the blog designboom, I discovered Hu2 Design.
Hu2 creates wall art with an environmental message. Each one of their products serve to invoke environmental consciousness through design. Whether it be a shower timer or a sticker that goes over a light switch, their graphics are quirky reminders that everything we use has to come from somewhere, and the less we consume the better off we’ll be.
Three guys run the company:
Romain (Artistic Director), Alex (Web Developer) and Antoine (founder). After sending them an email, Hu2 has graciously granted me permission to use their images in my banner. Please, take a moment and pay them a visit. I’m really excited about getting my Apple Power sticker. Thanks Hu2!
I ran across this video on YouTube and couldn’t stop watching.
ambient electronica + auto-tune + science = AWESOME
I opened my eyes this morning to a pink light coming in my window. The sunrise blew me away so I rolled over and snapped a few shots. It happened to coincide with me downloading Instagram.
Instagram is a photo editing and sharing app for iPhone. It launched 3 months ago, and passed 1 million downloads just before Christmas. Instagram has a camera, but you can also import images and just use its editing capabilities (unlike Hipstamatic). Within the app you can connect to and follow your friends’ activity. The Web feed, along with RSS, is reportedly coming soon. Added bonus (at least for now), it’s free! Here’s a sampling of the filter options.
Really excited about this.
The Pruitt-Igoe Myth: an Urban History
If you live in St. Louis and you don’t know the story of Pruitt-Igoe you’ll need to see this movie (honestly even if you aren’t from St. Louis you probably should). Pruitt-Igoe was an urban housing project built in the early 1950s. Before it was completed it was hailed as a model for urban architecture and housing. In 1951 its architect, Minoru Yamasaki (who also designed the World Trade Center), won an award for “the best high apartment” of the year.
It started out as an experiment. Being a front-end developer, I wanted my blog have a unique feel. I changed the typography, but the Twenty Ten theme already uses the two best Web-safe fonts: Helvetica and Georgia. Any change I made felt like a step backwards.
A few sites have started using font embedding via the
@font-face property, but I hadn’t tried it yet. Typekit was my first stop. I set up a free account and perused their library.
There are a few decent options in Typekit, but the best fonts are reserved for paid users. I really like Museo and Museo Sans, but in my case I don’t think they’d work. Plus, I really dislike the fact that Typekit makes free users include a floating badge. It’s too obtrusive.
I already tweeted a link to this, but I felt like it deserved more prominence. It’s obvious that “Meatstick” is the key to world peace. Here comes the hot dog.
When I implemented Google AdSense I noticed my pages loading slower. This was to be somewhat expected, but pages were stopping while each ad loaded. The sidebar was especially slow to appear.
I decided that the best solution would be to load the ads in the footer, but I was a little nervous about how best to achieve this. Luckily, I found a great tutorial on building an AdSense loader. I had to make a few tweaks to the jQuery, but it was a great starting point.
I explained in an earlier post how to display multiple AdSense ads in the loop using
WP_Query properties. This builds on that functionality.