Archive for the ‘mnp is for the children’ Category

Mommy, What’s a Web Browser?

Here's why I'm sharing this story: there are a lot of Internet users like my mom. As web developers and engineers, we live in a fantasy world where every user understands exactly what he or she is doing on the Internet and has a deep appreciation for web standards. The real world doesn't reflect the fantasy at all. Users don't understand the Internet; they don't understand web browsers. If they don't understand web browsers, that means they also don't understand if they're using a good browser or a bad browser, nor do they understand how to upgrade it.

For many, the Internet is just an icon on their desktop with a particular logo and color just like the toaster is a black or silver box that sits on the kitchen counter. What brand of toaster do you have? Who cares? You know how to make your morning bagel with it, right? For many of the billion Internet users, web browsers are simply a box that displays stuff. Whether or not that stuff has rounded corners and drop shadows is irrelevant. Whether or not you want them to change that box is irrelevant.

So the next time you get angry at "those damn IE6 users," stop and realize that these are people who probably have no idea what a web browser is. They're a lot like the poor senior citizens who were still paying toAlease their phone from the phone company - what they had worked, so they didn't see a reason to change. The sooner you accept that most of your users don't even know what a web browser is, the better you'll be able to design appropriate experiences and messaging for them.>


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Posted: November 12th, 2010
at 4:03pm by Koookiecrumbles

Categories: web,mnp is for the children

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End Our ‘Multiuniversities’

Before leaving the topic of, "Education, Need to get government out of," in my naive Sunday series on "What is to be done," let me touch specifically on the topic of our universities.

I wrote, recently, a rather facetious piece on this topic for a Catholic website in the United States, in which I asked whether universities were ever a good idea, in the face of the modern assumption that such questions need never be asked. I alluded to evidence that, back in the 13th century, when Europe’s oldest universities were new, the same sort of nonsense prevailed on campus as today: kids suddenly "empowered" by freedom without adequate discipline; professors with a little too much tenure for anyone’s well-being.

The "behaviour issues" that followed from that were noted in ancient Alexandria, too. Young people can easily be persuaded that they know everything. Yet wisdom requires us to realize that we know very little. This should be easiest to grasp when we focus on a subject. It is then that we are most likely to appreciate what perhaps Eratosthenes first observed: that as the radius of our knowledge advances, the circumference of our ignorance spreads.

Forms of "post-secondary" teaching within tightly disciplined monastic institutions, before the Western invention of universities, may well have been a better idea. The Renaissance of the 12th century was, after all, achieved without campus life. (Alas, chronological prejudices inculcated in our modern universities leave students unable to comprehend the significance of that intellectual and spiritual revolution.) Now, do I propose that we go back to the Middle Ages? I would if we could, but since we can’t, I propose something more subtle: that we create the conditions in which significant intellectual and spiritual growth (as opposed to mere technological accumulation) would become possible again. Everything I have written in this newspaper, over the last 14 years, may be read as an indictment of the smug and plausible "liberal" attitudes inculcated in our public schools and universities; of attitudes that are, in fact, inimical to a genuine humanism.>

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Posted: October 19th, 2010
at 7:41am by Koookiecrumbles

Categories: mnp is for the children,education

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Stephen Fry : What I’d Wish I’d Known When I Was 18

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George Lucas Stole Chewbacca

The creation of Star Wars is comprehensive mythology onto itself, populated by rarely documented anecdotes, the likes ofA"the Millennium Falcon was inspired by a hamburger, with the outrigger cockpit being an olive off to the side" (1)AorA"My original inspiration for Chewbacca was my dog Indiana." (2), compelling enough to be repeated until they're so prevalent that theyAmust be true, and are accepted even by hardcore fans and Lucasfilm itself. Unfortunately sometimes they're embellished truths or half-truths, sometimes entirely false and in pretty much all cases oversimplifying a truly interesting, and luckily exceptionally well documented creative process.

And that's what this is about; the creative process. Cultural touchstones like Star Wars might seem to have sprung fully formed from the minds of their lauded creators, but as in all creative endeavors, movie making, web design or this very post, nothing could be further from the truth. Creation is a process, and strangely, by looking at how everyone's favorite plushy first-mate sprang into existence, we can learn a lot about any collaborative creative endeavor.

Unfortunately, perhaps because of the verisimilitude of the disciplines needed to make a film like Star Wars come together, the making-of narrative is surprisingly fragmented and often incomplete. A quick look at the bibliography needed to put together this post should give a good idea of justAhow fragmented. And once you're down the rabbit hole, you quickly learn that nothing found there can be taken at face value. Quotes, drawings, photos and diagrams lack sources, are undated, some old, some new, some so distorted as to be pure fiction and most of it entirely out of context.>

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Posted: September 29th, 2010
at 1:28pm by Koookiecrumbles

Categories: myninjaplease,not ninja-worthy,film,mnp is for the children

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Grammar Vigilantes Fined

Misplacing an apostrophe isn’t a federal offense, but fixing one is — at least when it involves a historic sign inside a national landmark. ABenjamin Herson, 28, of Virginia Beach and Jeff Deck, 28, of Somerville, Mass., learned that lesson the hard way. Federal officials in Arizona charged the self-described "grammar vigilantes" with defacing a nearly 70-year-old hand-painted sign in a watchtower along the Grand Canyon’s South Rim. AThe two men, Dartmouth College graduates whose friendship was forged in a creative writing class, pleaded guilty this month to one misdemeanor count of conspiracy to vandalize government property. In their plea, they acknowledged using error-correcting fluid and a marker to conceal a misplaced apostrophe, insert a new one and add a comma. AThey added an apostrophe in "women's" and added a comma in a list, both in the first paragraph of the sign’s text (see large photo). The location of the concealed apostrophe is unclear.>

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Posted: August 14th, 2010
at 8:42pm by Koookiecrumbles

Categories: myninjaplease,crime,mnp is for the children,real life news,"ninja"

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Save the Butterflies

Help support the Butterfly Conservation Society Ghana with their new t-shirt in a bottle initiative.>

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Posted: July 24th, 2010
at 6:37pm by Koookiecrumbles

Categories: green,mnp is for the children,10th dan

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Information Overload

How to deal with information overload? Consume information consciously, practice attention fitness and breathe.

"As long as the centuries continue to unfold, the number of books will grow continually, and one can predict that a time will come when it will be almost as difficult to learn anything from books as from the direct study of the whole universe. It will be almost as convenient to search for some bit of truth concealed in nature as it will be to find it hidden away in an immense multitude of bound volumes." - Denis Diderot>

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National Civil Discourse Day

MNP will be celebrating this September! (help Preemptive Karma by spreading the word about this day!)

The goal of National Civil Discourse Day is for everyone in all forms of media, from Keith Olbermann and Rachel Maddow on the Left to Rush Limbaugh and Glenn Beck on the Right on down to the most anonymous members of the politicosphere, to commit to a day of respectful and substantive discourse.

Hopefully, the NCDD will raise awareness and show people that America will be better and stronger if we can have respectful debate about our differences in ways that foster consensus (even if that means just agreeing to disagree) and produce beneficial solutions.>

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Posted: June 28th, 2010
at 11:38pm by Koookiecrumbles

Categories: mnp is for the children,politricks,et cetera,internets,today in history

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Sativex Mouth Spray

LONDON, June 18 (Reuters) - GW Pharmaceuticals Plc’s (GWP.L) cannabis-derived medicine Sativex has been approved in Britain for treating spasticity in patients with multiple sclerosis, in a landmark decision for the small drugmaker. AThe much-delayed product was finally granted a British licence on Thursday, an official from the Medicines and Healthcare products Regulatory Agency (MHRA) told Reuters on Friday. AThe company later issued a statement confirming the move. AClinical trials have shown GW’s Sativex, which is sprayed under the tongue, reduces spasticity in multiple sclerosis (MS) in patients who do not respond adequately to existing therapies. AIt became the world’s first cannabis medicine to win regulatory clearance when it was approved in Canada in 2005 for neuropathic pain but its roll-out in Britain — and other European markets thereafter — is a larger sales opportunity.>

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Posted: June 19th, 2010
at 11:50pm by Koookiecrumbles

Categories: too good to be true,drogas,business,mnp is for the children,real life news,science,development,health

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