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sparkline

Friday, July 3rd, 2020

Replying to

A novel.

Sunday, June 28th, 2020

Hemimastigophora

Probably fewer than a hundred people in the world have seen what you’re looking at right now.

Jessica and I were taking turns at the microscope when we were told that.

Let me back up a bit and explain how we found ourselves in this this situation…

It all started with The Session, the traditional Irish music community site that I run. There’s a big focus on getting together and playing music—something that’s taken a big hit during this global pandemic. Three sections of the website are devoted to face-to-face gatherings: events (like concerts and festivals), sessions, and the most recent addition, trips.

The idea with trips is that you input somewhere you’re going to be travelling to, along with the dates you’ll be there. It’s like a hyper-focused version of Dopplr. The site then shows you if any events are happening, if there are any sessions on, and also if there are any members of the site in that locality (if those members have added their location to their profiles).

Last August, I added the trips I would be taking in the States. There’s be a trip to Saint Augustine to hang out with Jessica’s family, a trip to Chicago to speak at An Event Apart, and a trip to New York for a couple of days because that’s where the ocean liner was going to deposit us after our transatlantic crossing.

A fellow member of The Session named Aaron who is based in New York saw my trip and contacted me to let me know about the session he goes to (he plays tin whistle). Alas, that session didn’t coincide with our short trip. But he also added:

I work at the American Museum of Natural History, and if you have time and interest, I can provide you with vouchers for tickets to as many special exhibits and such as you’d like!

Ooh, that sounded like fun! He also said:

In fact I could give you a quick behind-the-scenes tour if you’re interested.

Jessica and I didn’t have any set plans for our time in New York, so we said why not?

That’s how we ended spending a lovely afternoon being shown around the parts of the museum that the public don’t usually get to see. It’s quite the collection of curiosities back there!

There’s also plenty of research. Aaron’s particular area was looking into an entirely different kingdom of life—neither animal, nor plant, nor fungus. Remarkably, these microscopic creatures were first identified—by a classmate of Aaron’s—by happenstance in 2016:

The hemimastigotes analyzed by the Dalhousie team were found by Eglit during a spring hike with some other students along the Bluff Wilderness Trail outside Halifax a couple of years ago. She often has empty sample vials in her pockets or bags, and scooped a few tablespoons of dirt into one of them from the side of the trail.

That’s like a doctor announcing that they’d come across a hitherto-unknown limb on the human body. The findings were published in the paper, Hemimastigophora is a novel supra-kingdom-level lineage of eukaryotes in 2018.

In the “backstage” area of the American Museum of Natural History, Aaron had samples of them. He put them under the microscope for us. As we took turns looking at them wriggling their flagella, Aaron said:

Probably fewer than a hundred people in the world have seen what you’re looking at right now.

Saturday, June 27th, 2020

W00t! My copy of Purple People has arrived! Really looking forward to reading @QwertyKate’s “jolly dystopia.”

W00t! My copy of Purple People has arrived! Really looking forward to reading @QwertyKate’s “jolly dystopia.”

Monday, June 22nd, 2020

Saturday, June 20th, 2020

Monday, June 15th, 2020

Replying to

Heck, yeah!

Replying to

I really like this approach!

https://adactio.com/links/17006

Sunday, June 14th, 2020

Sitting in the sunshine with something for all the senses.

Sitting in the sunshine with something for all the senses.

Playing Johnny O’Leary’s (slide) on mandolin:

https://thesession.org/tunes/11897

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=oKnmxSe7E1I

Saturday, June 13th, 2020

Friday, June 12th, 2020

What was it like? (Phil Gyford’s website)

Congratulations and kudos to Phil for twenty years of blogging!

Here he describes what it was like online in the year 2000. Yes, it was very different to today, but…

Anyone who thinks blogging died at some point in the past twenty years presumably just lost interest themselves, because there have always been plenty of blogs to read. Some slow down, some die, new ones appear. It’s as easy as it’s ever been to write and read blogs.

Though Phil does note:

Some of the posts I read were very personal in a way that’s less common now, in general. … Even “personal” websites (like mine) often have an awareness about them, about what’s being shared, the impression it gives to strangers, presenting a public face, maybe a feeling of, “I’m just writing personal nonsense but, why, yes, I am available for hire”.

Maybe that’s why I’m enjoying Robin’s writing so much.

Tuesday, June 9th, 2020

Tuesday, June 2nd, 2020

Replying to

Monday, June 1st, 2020

Picture 1 Picture 2 Picture 3 Picture 4

Summertime meals.

Tuesday, May 26th, 2020

Replying to

Ich kenne die Regeln nicht, also ich weiß nicht ob ich das richtig mache, aber hier sind sechs Bücher die ich (ziemlich) neulich gelesen hab’ (die nicht auf mein Kindle oder aus der Bibliothek sind). https://adactio.com/notes/reading

Ich kenne die Regeln nicht, also ich weiß nicht ob ich das richtig mache, aber hier sind sechs Bücher die ich (ziemlich) neulich gelesen hab’ (die nicht auf mein Kindle oder aus der Bibliothek sind).

https://adactio.com/notes/reading

Responsive web design turns ten. — Ethan Marcotte

2010 was quite a year:

And exactly three weeks after Jeremy Keith’s HTML5 For Web Designers was first published, “Responsive Web Design” went live in A List Apart.

Nothing’s been quite the same since.

I remember being at that An Event Apart in Seattle where Ethan first unveiled the phrase and marvelling at how well everything just clicked into place, perfectly capturing the zeitgeist. I was in. 100%.

Sunday, May 24th, 2020

Playing The Floating Crowbar (reel) by Brendan McGlinchey on mandolin:

https://thesession.org/tunes/457

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=LOh_jjGLZUo

Friday, May 22nd, 2020

An Event Apart Human-Centered Design - Web Design & UX Conference

I’ll be speaking at this online version of An Event Apart on July 20th, giving a brand new talk called Design Principles For The Web—’twould be lovely to see you then!

Designing and developing on the web can feel like a never-ending crusade against the unknown. Design principles are one way of unifying your team to better fight this battle. But as well as the design principles specific to your product or service, there are core principles underpinning the very fabric of the World Wide Web itself. Together, we’ll dive into applying these design principles to build websites that are resilient, performant, accessible, and beautiful.