I recently picked up the book “Applied Secretarial Practice,” published in 1934 by the Gregg Publishing Company (the same Gregg of Gregg shorthand). It’s fascinating in so many ways—even the little ways that language has changed. Many compound words were still separate, e.g. “business man.” The verb “to emphasize” seemingly did not exist, and is […]

Translating a document that involves optics, I ran into what I immediately recognized as ROYGBIV in Japanese: 紫、青、水色、緑、黄、オレンジ、赤 (actually that’s VIBGYOR, but the point is the same) I had never really stopped to consider how ROYGBIV might be expressed in Japanese, but it’s an interesting question, because the Japanese word that is ordinarily rendered in […]

Using CSS to impose order on long lists.

Back on the bike

You know those school-anxiety dreams where you show up in class, and discover there’s a test you weren’t expecting, or work-anxiety dreams that are similar? I had a burner-anxiety dream last night. I almost never remember my dreams, and this one seems funny enough to bear writing down. In my dream, Gwen and I had […]

Small online services offer subscriptions that aren’t great value but might be a good idea anyhow. But Adobe’s subscriptions create upside-down economic incentives.

These are some of the best stories, articles, essays, blog posts, etc, that I read during 2013. They weren’t necessarily written in 2013. I’m including them in roughly the order I encountered them.

I’ve started a new blog for posting extracts from a weird book of tips and recipes

Apple’s update to Pages prompts me to look at file formats.

This morning there was a story on NPR about bike sharing, specifically how it doesn’t do a good job of serving the poor. There are basically three reasons for this: The bike stations are not located in areas most useful to poor people; You need a debit card or credit card to use the system; […]