The Newest New Typography

I love what Gerry Leonidas says in his Ampersand Conference talk (at about 29:30) about making better use of stuff like Markdown to create a more browser-centric set of tools. We use so many apps for slides, spreadsheets, writing, etc. and they do a terrible job of talking to each other (you can’t copy, paste, import, or share files between apps without furious rage).

Actually this is the first step for them [App Creators] to throw away all their applications that are standalone for desktop users and just roll everything onto something that happens through a browser.

Happily, I see this starting to happen with things like Editorially and Reveal.js. And psst. I’m speaking at the November 2 NYC Ampersand, which you should attend.

A Cartoonist’s Advice

I came across this wonderful comic by Gavin Aung that takes words directly from a graduation speech given by Calvin and Hobbes creator Bill Watterson in 1990.

bill watterson quote comic
Be sure to read the entire comic at

Honestly, I’m just posting this here so I remember to read it every once in a while. The comic also reminded me of one of my favorite bits from Frank Chimero’s Great Discontent interview:

We all have desires. There’s always discontent and, as far as I can tell, there are two ways to go about it. The first is to get more. Make more money, make more stuff, work more, buy whatever you want. The second is to want less, to not be so desirous. Work less. Have less. Be still. Savor. All that gets easier if you look at success and say, “It’s just a ride.”

Comic via @leesteffen & @prusso

Bond Movie Ranking

Earlier this Spring I watched every James Bond movie, including the off-grid Never Say Never Again, and the Everything or Nothing documentary. Most (if not all) of the Bond movies cycle in and out of availability on Netflix & Amazon Instant services. This August, you can catch them on Amazon. If you don’t want to watch them all, here’s my ever-changing list of favorites for you to pick & choose from:

  1. Goldfinger
  2. On Her Majesty’s Secret Service
  3. Casino Royale
  4. Skyfall
  5. From Russia With Love
  6. You Only Live Twice
  7. GoldenEye
  8. The Spy Who Loved me
  9. Thunderball
  10. Dr. No
  11. For Your Eyes Only
  12. The Living Daylights
  13. License To Kill
  14. Diamonds Are Forever
  15. Live and Let Die
  16. Quantum Of Solace
  17. Moonraker
  18. The World Is Not Enough
  19. A View to A Kill
  20. Tomorrow Never Dies
  21. The Man With The Golden Gun
  22. Die Another Day
  23. Never Say Never Again
  24. Octopussy

Disagree with my ranking? Let me know why I’m wrong.

Update: 12/11/13

I’ve recreated this list over at Letterboxd. Some of the lower ranked films have shifted, but the more I think about it the more I realize they’re all in the same bucket anyways.

I Won It Once

After watching Bones Brigade this weekend I decided to learn more about Rodney Mullen. I particularly enjoyed this excerpt from his TED talk about competing and winning early on in his freestyle skating career:

I think I was on tour when I, I was reading one of the Feynman biographies. It was the red one or the blue one. And he made this statement that was so profound to me. It was that the Nobel Prize was the tombstone on all great work, and it resonated because I had won 35 out of 36 contests that I’d entered over 11 years, and it made me bananas. In fact, winning isn’t the word. I won it once. The rest of the time, you’re just defending, and you get into this, like, turtle posture, you know? Where you’re not doing. It usurped the joy of what I loved to do because I was no longer doing it to create and have fun, and when it died out from under me, that was one of the most liberating things because I could create.

The creative process is most exhausting when you have to do a million little things to meet expectations (self-imposed or external) before you can begin to break new ground. It’s like the further you go, the more boxes you have to check before you can return to that intersection of quality and brand new. Sometimes you have to abandon the idea of standards if you want to set a new one.

Responsive Maps

Most embeddable maps are touch friendly in that you can swipe/scroll to reposition the map within their frame. This is great, but users can get stuck if the embedded map happens to fill a viewport at any given time. If there’s no piece of the actual page in site, there’ll be nothing to touch or swipe from.

Test this on a small touch screen. Unless you channel all your swiping mojo, you won’t be able to scroll to the bottom of the page.

This is most common with single column mobile views where containers occupy 100% of the viewport’s width. To avoid this, I’ll usually set the container closer to 90%. This provides rails on the right and left sides that ensure there’s always part of the page to swipe. I also try and keep the map’s height short. Maybe something like this: