DSPTCH camera accessories#

I just ordered their sling strap and wrist strap for my new Fujifilm X-Pro1. I'm a little worried the wrist strap is going to be a bit too "bracelety" for me, but we'll see. You'd be surprised at how few options there are when it comes to wrist straps; last year I searched forever trying to find the perfect wrist strap for the Leica M9--it doesn't exist.

Top 100 scientists on Twitter#

[W]e've collected 100 amazing scientists that use Twitter (listed by category, not ranking) that provide perfect reading material for anyone hoping to learn more about a field or just keep up with the latest in research and writing on some seriously interesting topics.

The brain is wired in a 3D grid structure#

Far from being just a tangle of wires, the brain's white-matter connections turn out to be more like ribbon cables -- folding 2D sheets of parallel neuronal fibers that cross paths at right angles, like the warp and weft of a fabric. [...]

If they can turn in just four directions: left, right, up or down, this may enforce a more efficient, orderly way for the fibers to find their proper connections -- and for the structure to adapt through evolution.

Study may reveal why our ancestors switched to bipedal power#

[F]indings suggest that chimpanzees switch to moving on two limbs instead of four in situations where they need to monopolize a resource, usually because it may not occur in plentiful supply in their habitat, making it hard for them to predict when they will see it again. Standing on two legs allows them to carry much more in one go because it frees up their hands.

50 years

April 02, 2012
JB SC wedding

A week ago, as we flew into Honolulu for our honeymoon (Kauai was our ultimate destination), a series of everyday human interactions launched me over my emotional limit.

Directly to my right was an old couple that slept for most of the flight, but woke up as soon as we started our descent. She was sitting next to the window, he to her left, their intertwined and wrinkled hands resting on her lap.

As she looked out the window and made first sight of the island, she took a deep breath, smiled slowly to herself and gripped her partner's hand … as a tear rolled down her cheek. They grinned at each other and then looked back out the window, all four eyes wide open and wet.

She tried in vain to hold steady his shaking hands. They both were overwhelmed, and unbeknownst to them, so was I. Their actions and reactions caught me off-guard, as I was at that moment, and for most of the flight, thinking about the fact that I had just gotten married and was now on my honeymoon. The scene was as affecting as any in recent memory.

She was Japanese, he was not. My mind started racing, and in typical fashion I began (over-)romanticizing the situation. Was he in the Navy? Did they meet here when they were in their 20s? Was this their first time back to the island since he was stationed on the mainland 50 years ago? Was their first child conceived here? Who was this incredible couple sitting next to me?

As they stared at the coast and no doubt replayed in their minds the life they'd shared together, I could tell that for brief moments each of them felt young and sturdy again. For brief moments his hands didn't shake.

It was a beautiful movie that I couldn't stop watching, and deep inside I was projecting my life onto theirs, hoping I would be fortunate enough to have a similar experience 50 years from now, with the girl whose hand I was holding ... as a tear rolled down my cheek.

Simon Page's iPad 3, retina-display wallpapers#

A couple of weeks ago I linked to these wallpapers on Twitter and noted that while they were very pretty, they probably were too "busy" for me. However, I couldn't get out of my head the angled "action" shots Simon used to show off the backgrounds, and later that night I picked out the one I liked best and threw it on my iPad. I've been using it ever since.

(It seems Simon has added a few more wallpapers since I originally linked to this on Twitter.)

Remove OS X's dock's display delay (only works in 10.7)#

YES! This delay has always annoyed the hell out of me, but it was something I lived with because, well, I had to; as any reasonable person knows, the dock should be oriented vertically, anchored to the bottom-right of your screen and hidden if not being used.

I know it may seem odd (especially given how rarely I actually invoke the dock for anything), but I'm positively giddy about getting rid of this delay.

HTTPS Everywhere#

HTTPS Everywhere is a produced as a collaboration between The Tor Project and the Electronic Frontier Foundation. Many sites on the web offer some limited support for encryption over HTTPS, but make it difficult to use. For instance, they may default to unencrypted HTTP, or fill encrypted pages with links that go back to the unencrypted site. The HTTPS Everywhere extension fixes these problems by rewriting all requests to these sites to HTTPS.

How engineering the human body could combat climate change#

Your paper also discusses the use of human engineering to make humans smaller. Why would this be a powerful technique in the fight against climate change?

Liao: Well one of the things that we noticed is that human ecological footprints are partly correlated with size. Each kilogram of body mass requires a certain amount of food and nutrients and so, other things being equal, the larger person is the more food and energy they are going to soak up over the course of a lifetime. [...]

And so size reduction could be one way to reduce a person's ecological footprint. For instance if you reduce the average U.S. height by just 15cm, you could reduce body mass by 21% for men and 25% for women, with a corresponding reduction in metabolic rates by some 15% to 18%, because less tissue means lower energy and nutrient needs.

Readable bookmarklet, customized to look like iA Writer

March 11, 2012

Since publishing my post last year about how to make any app look like iA Writer, several people have reached out to me via email and Twitter asking for the Readable bookmarklet I mention near the end of the article. Even though I explained there how to get the bookmarklet to mimic iA Writer, these folks were uncomfortable with the steps, or tried and failed to get it to work. In all cases, I ended up just sending them the JavaScript, while noting that that they'd obviously have to own both the Nitti Light font and iA Writer for Mac (for the subtle background image) in order for this to work as intended.

With that in mind, drag this link to your bookmarks bar. The font, if it's installed on your system, should be picked up without issue, and so the only thing you'll need to specify is the location of the image iA Writer uses for its background. The image can be found here, inside the application package:

.../iA Writer.app/Contents/Resources/English.lproj/backgroundPattern.png

Once you have the image you need to put it somewhere where it can be referenced by CSS, and then replace URL_OF_BG_IMAGE in the bookmarklet code with the path to the image. Alternatively--and this probably is the easiest method--you can convert the image into a data URI using this simple tool (hat tip Brett), and then replace URL_OF_BG_IMAGE with the resulting string.

Believers are happier only in religious countries#

[P]eople who are religious have higher self-esteem and better psychological adjustment than the non-religious only in countries where belief in religion is common. In more secular societies, the religious and the non-religious are equally well-off. (Emphasis mine.)