Wednesday, 31 January 2007

Relevance not Determined by the Beholder?

“Relevance is determined by influence.” – Norman Mailer

That was Mailer’s response to: “Has your writing had an impact?”

While Mailer was referring to the larger influence of who controls the past determining what is relevant.

The same is true on a much smaller, person-to-person scale. Perhaps relevance is like identity – defined by everyone else. Individuals can only filter and prioritize.

Home Roasting Hack Method #2


There are three problems I’ve run into since roasting with the Poppery

  1. Small batch sizes (a maximum of 1/2 cup at a time)
  2. Inconsistent roast times (the Poppery continually gets hotter – shorting roasts, burning beans)
  3. The ambient temperature needs to be warm. So, no roasting in the Minnesota winters

Looks like a new roasting technique solves all three problems at once.

Like podcasting, I’m pretty sure I’ve got all the necessary gear in the basement. More later.

Tuesday, 30 January 2007

Spanking is Striking

There, I said it.

Spanking a child is child abuse. There, I said it again.

For three reasons:

  1. If same action anywhere else on the body would be considered abuse – it’s abuse.
  2. It shows children that bigger, stronger people have the right to hurt smaller people. So, big brothers think it’s OK to strike their little brothers.
  3. Not putting spanking on the list of disciplinary options – even as a “last resort” – doesn’t make it an option.

If adding spanking into the definition of child abuse isn’t possible, then yes, striking a child under 4 should be punishable by a year in jail and $1,000 fine. Kudos to California Assemblywoman Sally Lieber for initiating an anti-spanking bill.

I learned about this from NPR’s Day to Day: California Lawmaker Pushes Anti-Spanking Bill

New Work Playlist – Thanks to Tangerine

Since discovering Tangerine a couple months back, I’ve been tweaking the BPM-based playlist to find the ideal collection of tunes that keeps me working without calling too much attention to themselves.

Here’s the iTunes Smart Playlist that’s been working for me for 2 weeks:

BPM - is in the range - 90 to 110
My Rating - is greater than - 2 stars

This give me 6.4 hours including tracks from; Minutemen, Mac Lethal, Brad Sucks, Transplants, The Odd Numbers, The Gentle Readers, Two Cow Garage, Casiotone for the Painfully Alone, The Its, Winter Blanket, Diesel Jenny, and Tullycraft.

Sunday, 28 January 2007

Where Do You Want People Talking About You?

One of the complaints I continually hear about companies supporting forums, comments, reviews under their own domain is that their customers will say something “bad”.

The reality is, customers find places to have these conversations – with our without formal support.

Case in point:

Jason Kottke doesn’t have comments on his blog, so a reader created a site for readers.

Thanks to Jackie Huba @ Church of the Customer.

Saturday, 27 January 2007

New Year. New Approach

The FeedSeeder Project is awakening from a brief hibernation. While the core ideas will remain (they’ve even gotten more defined), the code is undergoing a rewrite (thankfullly, there wasn’t much to begin with).

First item on the To Make Better list: OPML import speed.

Wednesday, 24 January 2007

The Problems with School Choice

Seems to me, programs that encourage parents to send their kids to schools outside of their immediate neighborhood is a bad idea in a number of ways:

  1. Gives parents no incentive to improve their schools or neighborhoods.
  2. Makes bad schools worse by reducing their resources.
  3. Redirects education dollars into fuel tanks to bus kids further away and back.
  4. Increases the strain and demand on “good” schools, making them less good.

My kid isn’t school age yet, the schools in my neighborhood are pretty good.

There’s a parallel in here with immigration. Until Mexico is a place worth staying at, borders will continue to be jumped. This only helps the bus drivers.

Tuesday, 23 January 2007