Note to modern web designers: since the displays are becoming wide and short, please do not squander vertical screen space. Here’s a good example of what not to do:
Viewed full size, you see a window that is 705 pixels tall. The OS claims 24 pixels, the web browser claims 90 pixels, and the web application claims 250 pixels. So, by the time you hit the actual content, 50% of the window has been wasted!
Squinting into a tiny pane to read news makes me angry. Google, you can do way way better than this!
Hotpatch: Install New Google Reader Rectifier for Chrome, which relies on you bringing up the left pane. (Thanks, Mike!)
I get Mei back from the land of endless highways this evening.
A nice story from Emily Rogers of Talent, Oregon, printed in The Sun.
Tossed to the curb at Cal Ave Farmers Market.
Sneaking through an apartment complex I came upon this wall of water and a dozen or more ducks enjoying the pond.
The middle unit has an alarm clock function, pest control feature, and can perform basic cleanup of anything that tastes like meat, but “not too spicy please!”
Ninja Cat blends invisibly into his surroundings. Stealth is his greatest weapon!
Or, if that video isn’t available, just Google “UC Davis Pepper Spray”
You want to know why your fellow Americans are in the streets? You want to know what their message is? The message is that the power and the money are in the hands of fewer people, and that these folks at the top feel entitled to grab more and more and stomp on anyone who gets in their way. Getting angry over numbers is a little difficult, so this cop decided to illustrate the core problem by simply spraying peaceably assembled young people in the head.
The Occupy movement is giving voice to our collective anger. It is an anger we too often stifle for the sake of getting along in our own lives, but most of us know that things have gotten out of whack and this country needs to correct the way it manages things. Oh, but you say you want a fully-formed political agenda? I don’t have one. Nobody does and nobody should. Its called Democracy. But here are a few things, off the top of my head, that we could do:
- Raise taxes on the rich. The top marginal tax rate has been as high as 90% and our nation somehow survived.
- Simplify the tax code. Capital gains is income. No more deductions. As an upper-income American seeking to buy an expensive house, I say get rid of the damn mortgage interest deduction. It only benefits a minority of upper-income Americans who buy expensive homes. Children need a good education more than I need to save a few bucks on an expensive house.
- Stock transaction tax. There are people who make money simply by looking at the squiggly lines in the market and making intelligent bets where those squiggly lines will go. The purpose of the stock exchange is to efficiently allocate capital to companies who will use it to invest in our economy. Betting money on squiggly lines is a distraction.
- If corporations are people, and a corporation commits a capital offense, the corporation is to be executed. All of its assets will be seized and sold and the money goes to the victims as restitution.
- Equity compensation to executives doesn’t even begin to vest until about three years after its awarded. Don’t fudge the numbers to make the numbers work for the quarter, manage the business for long-term success!
I’m sure you have got an idea or two that may be worth talking about as well. Let us talk about these ideas. Let us promote these ideas. Heck, maybe we could even pass some of these ideas in to law. And let us give thanks to the radicals out there who by provoking Power provoke the anger within each of us.
UPDATE: studentactivism.net has an excellent summary of the events and their aftermath, and excrementalvirtue.com has good commentary regarding the above video, which if you can stand to watch through the first six minutes, you then see the angry student protesters calmly invite the cops to leave: “You can go! You can go!” Although one guy is waving tear gas canisters in the air, the cops huddle and back-step away. (Some of the cops have very clear body language that they do not want to be there.) “Whose quad? Our quad,” the students cheer upon the retreat of the police force. The eight-minute video is a beautiful illustration that starts with an abuse of false authority which rapidly gives way to a retreat by the abusers as the people proudly and non-violently secure their right of peaceful assembly.
These Davis students deserve an A for demonstrating how non-violent resistance can overcome oppression.
A friend is in surgery. His folks should be in from the East Coast before long.
There will be friends you haven’t exchanged a word with in years, and one day you’ll meet and it is as if no time has passed, except that you are a little older, a little wiser, a little more foolish, and you have a bunch of gossip to catch up on.
There were friends before there were text messages, or email, or telephones, or letters, or even an alphabet or a language.
Which is just a long-winded way of suggesting you don’t need to worry too much who is texting you back. Years from now you’ll know who some of these best friends from today are, and it won’t have much to do with who texted you back this week.
(From some unsolicited advice posted to a nephew on Facebook.)
I was poking around my CloudFlare Control Panel, and pulled up stats for the past month, from Oct 11 to Nov 11. It says it had blocked a bunch of attacks on my site, and consequently saved me over 5GB in bandwidth.
I said to myself, "I pay for bandwidth! Maybe this free service is saving me money?!"
“Really,” I said, “I pay for bandwidth, so if CloudFlare is saving me bandwidth, it is saving me money!”
But 5GB seemed kind of high. So, I checked my invoices from RackSpace. Here is the outbound bandwidth I have been charged for this year:
Invoice Date Bandwidth Out
11/11 4.660 GB
10/11 4.972 GB
09/11 7.534 GB
08/11 5.467 GB
07/11 6.402 GB
06/11 5.978 GB
05/11 4.694 GB
04/11 6.294 GB
03/11 6.254 GB
02/11 9.652 GB
01/11 7.117 GB
RackSpace charges me on the 11th of the month, and, conveniently enough, I started using CloudFlare around October 11th. The highlighted line above is my first month on CloudFlare. It is my lowest number of the year, and it is conceivable that I could have totaled 9.5 GB in October since I pushed more than that in February. I’m skeptical that they are saving me as much as they claim to be, but for a free service to speed up my web site and save me even a little money . . . that is a good deal in my book!
What up, yo?
PJ reminds me of drawings of Lucy Knisley’s cat.
Stuffed Polar Bear demonstrates proper airplane safety procedure.
This is the passenger who had the middle seat on my flight back from Chicago yesterday.