Saturday, September 26, 2009

Flourishes of Prose

Words can dance likes bees, and buzz about in the minds of readers. Well-written language grasps the reader by their attention and gives an author a better opportunity to get their point across.

You can't go wrong with flowery words; words with a seasonal influence are also great. By using such language, you awaken the visual part of the reader's brain, further engrossing them in your work.

Sometimes it is a good idea to purposefully mispell a word so that people will re-read it. This breaks a reader's flow, which can be either a good thing or bad thing depending on what you are trying to achieve as a writer.

There are other great tricks for superb, engrossing writing. Try throwing a word from another language in every once in a while; not all of your audience will get it, but those who do will really think it is meliora. It's also great to throw in ten dollar words, like copacetic, and use synonyms, like "there, their and they're." These three words all mean the exact same thing, but if you mix them up, people will really think you're smart and it will improve their opinion of your writing.

Wednesday, September 23, 2009

Hide Menubar Extension

Don't waste space. Waste not, want not. A wasteful walk is an excursion into the realm of destitution.

Be thrifty with your space. A pixel saved is a dollar earned. Thrift, in short-shrift, is a gift!

Every reasonable adult has a toolbox. In this box, you carry an assortment of tools which, given the occasion, are extremely useful. Perhaps you have an adze for squaring up posts, an awl for punching holes, or an axe for chopping down trees. But you don't always square, punch and chop. Even a lumberjack doesn't need quick access to his axe all the time. A lot of the time, carrying around heavy and cumbersome tools is a hinderance. It's nice to have someplace to tuck them away for later use. God bless the toolbox.

On this tack, it's clear that menus which are rarely used on a computer system shouldn't be displayed by default. The Hide Menubar extension for firefox does just this. It enables a smoother browsing experience by enlarging the web page viewing area of the browser, thereby giving users access to more simultaneous information. It's a fantastic product.

Thursday, September 17, 2009

Single-Payer Healthcare

I've often heard people ask questions about medical and health-care issues. I've heard questions like:
  • How many nurse's does it take to screw in a light bulb?
  • What do you call an occupational therapist with the runs?
  • What did the x-ray technician say when he saw his parking ticket?
  • What did the doctor say to his patient who had a sore knee?
I am just paraphrasing here, but you get the idea.

I am not a health-care professional, so I don't have the answers to these questions. However, there is one health-care question that I unequivocally do know the answer to:
How awesome is the single payer health-care system?
The answer is, of course, totally awesome! Every citizen in Canada has the same access to medical care, and we do well by it. We live long, healthy lives filled with the best hernia treatments, doughnuts, brain surgery and hockey that the world has to offer. Every aspect of life is more enjoyable, knowing that medical treatment is equally accessible to all.

Wednesday, September 9, 2009


Wordpress is a top notch blogging platform. It's active developers frequently release new versions with multiple improvements and security fixes.

Administration Interface
Wordpress' admin interface is by far the most intuitive of any blogging platform or CMS I've used (i.e. Blogger, Joomla, Drupal and so on). It is a fully featured administrative section, providing ample opportunities for various forms of moderation, media management, plugin control, theming, and so on. The administrative interface itself even supports theming, which is a nice touch; it give those who can't help but meddle with everything one more knob to fiddle with.

Wordpress' plugin library is by far the most extensive of any blogging platform or CMS that I've used. There are plugins to alter the basic functioning of the software, add interesting new features and extend existing ones. Do you want scheduled database backups perhaps, advanced caching technologies, in-depth statistics and user monitoring? It's all in there. The only downside is that each additional plugin will use computing resources on your server, so page loads are slower.

Nobody ever said life was easy; get over it.

In the midst of A Tribe Called Quest's fabulous New York period, they released a charming little ditty, titled What? wherein they pose the following question (paraphrased):

What's Rasheed without Tonya, Tamika?
What's (a blogging platform) without (themes)?
Not a not a not a, not a damn thing

Blogging was just in its infancy when this track was released, but as with many of these minstel's hits, time would tell that truer words are rarely spoken. And never in polite company.

Using a blog with a default theme is the blogging equivalent of wearing last year's culottes. It shouldn't be done. The wordpress community has a very active theming contingent, so no faux-pas-culottery is necessary.

When it comes to blogging image is everything. Or it's at least seven tenths of everything: content is important too.

Appearing to be important is more important than being important. It's the old "cleanliness is next to Godliness" routine. Everybody who is everybody has a Flickr, a LinkedIn, a BoogieTootie, a Facebook, a MySpace and a Tumblog and the odd Orkut. It's important to let your blog's readers connect with your multi-faceted web personality. Wordpress facilitates this interaction by providing a bevy of widgets capable of spewing tweets, posting pics and blasting tunes to your audience in the aptly named "sidebar."

A mile is approximately 5800 feet long, but let's say it's 6000. This means that in today's mile-a-minute world, that we are all travelling 100 feet per second. This is approximately 100 times better than travel by horse, an animal which is limited to about 1 foot per second. It stands to reason that there will be a lot more interesting stuff to blog about in 100 feet than in 1 foot, so the horse loses.

Don't let the smell of the horse being rended, turned into glue and sold for meat in exotic markets turn you off... blog about it! Handsome men and bosomy ladies will be your reward, and your throne will be polished daily by anxious commenters hoping for a share of your snarky glory. When you look down upon your followers, just be sure to do so through the best of lenses, wordpress.

Wednesday, September 2, 2009

PC Blue Menu Low Fat Instant Vegetarian Chili

This chili is so tight. It's like eating an early 90s Mike Tyson boxing match on pay-per-view. The chili, after watering, microwaving, and waiting a few minutes will have your taste buds on the ropes with a deft combination of blows that will remind you of a mid-career Sugar Ray Robinson. Nutritionally, the meal could hold its own against George Chuvalo, or maybe even Evander Holyfield. With heavyweight refried beans and simulated meaty texturized vegetable protein, the chili has the protein needed for your most George Foreman-like workout routines. Tipping the scales at a meager 64 grams, the freeze dried nature of this meal makes it easy to transport, like Oscar de la Hoya.