We wrote a while back about how a website, web app, or any other kind of software is best thought of as an investment in your business. Because it’s an investment, it’s best not to think in terms of simply driving the cost down to zero — as you would if it were simply a […]
From Frozen Toothpaste and Press Up
There’s a seldom-discussed secret I want to let you in on: changing your life is not all that complicated a procedure. You just need to do these three things, in approximately the order I list them and you’ll be able to accomplish the change. Ready? Here are the three steps: Care Plan Do See how […]
Two weeks ago we talked about the languages you need to know to make or modify WordPress themes. This week we’re focusing specifically on the most important of those languages for theme work, PHP. PHP is the language that the majority of WordPress is written in, it’s the part of WordPress that makes the serverContinue Reading
The Thanksgiving holiday is tomorrow in the US, and I thought it made sense to take some time to reflect on some of my favorite tools this year. Most of these are one’s I’ve used for a while and still love intensely. Some are new, but I imagine I’ll use them for years to come. […]
The post The Five Software Tools I’m Most Thankful For in 2013 appeared first on Press Up.
It’s the week of Thanksgiving here in the USA, and that got us thinking about gratitude, and the things we’re thankful for. One of them is WordPress. It’s easy to take the software for granted, and skip straight to wishing that your social sharing plugin had a way to turn the Twitter bird upside down—orContinue Reading
In life, we can be certain of two things: Things will change Some of those changes will be in a direction we wouldn’t have chosen From those two certainties, you can build a whole philosophy of life. I’d maybe even go so far as to contend that the only valid philosophy of life grapples with […]
More than anything else, programming is built on top of the idea of enclosed and reusable functionality. While it is possible to write a working program without the ability to enclose and reuse functionality, it would be a painful process. Programming can seem like a complex and esoteric activity, but most parts of it are […]
The post Basics of Programming: Understanding PHP Functions appeared first on Press Up.
I spoke at WordCamp Denver this weekend, about what someone needs to know to really succeed at making WordPress themes. The slides are online and browsable if you’d like look them over. If not, I’m splitting the core concepts of it into posts for this week and next, so if you follow along on WPShoutContinue Reading
This is a post from WPShout. If you enjoyed the post, please head over to the site and share or leave a comment! –> The Four Languages You Must Know to Understand WordPress Themes
In a former job — at a company large enough to have thought a lot about institutional support materials and goals — I was being preened for a promotion. In this company, you become a “leader”, not a “manager” and so the conversations focus around the values of good leadership. I was handed a document called “Leadership […]
Somewhat jokingly, when I shared last week’s post about using Markdown to our Facebook page I threw in a line about how Markdown should destroy Microsoft Word. While I don’t really hate Word, or any other tool in Microsoft’s Office suite, I think they’re almost never the best tool for a given job. And it […]
One request for help we hear far too frequently in our work at Press Up is: “I pressed an update button, and now my site doesn’t look right.” The cause is usually that people have customized the look-and-feel of their public site without using a child theme. Just using the theme works fine for them,Continue Reading
Please excuse the profanity of the title, but it’s one of those things that’s stated so simply and undeniably by someone else that I’d be a jerk if I changed it solely for the sake of propriety. Jesse Thorn penned the tweet from which I tore this title over three years ago, and it still […]
From Link Banana
Ben Thompson’s analysis of social networks along the axes of ephemerality and symmetry is pretty interesting. Nothing you couldn’t have thought of if you’d set out to do the exercise yourself, but I sure hadn’t. I found this especial novel:
The companies towards the top of the graph – the more permanent type of content – were founded in the PC era. The PC itself has always been a destination-type device; normal people weren’t using a PC most of the time, but rather made a point to use it.
It’s the exact same with the type of content created for these PC-originated services: more permanent, thoughtful content is intentional; ephemeral content is much more whimsical and meaningful only at a specific moment in time. It follows that this type of content is really only possible in mobile on a device that is always with us.
It’s snowing here today, so it feels appropriate to link to these amazing photographs. I don’t really have anything to add to Jason Kottke’s post, where I discovered them:
On second thought, one thing to add: here’s the link straight to the fullscreen slideshow. It makes a quick and beautiful pseudo-screensaver. Throw on some seasonal music, put that up on a screen and you’ve got a quick holiday party.
99% Invisible is a great podcast about design. If you don’t regularly listen, you really should. This episode was so great I couldn’t let it go by unnoted: a musical exploration of the way we relate to nature, based on a book I’d not heard of but feel I really must read now. Roman Mars explains the episode:
So, when I read Jon Mooallem’s brilliant book, Wild Ones: A Sometimes Dismaying, Weirdly Reassuring Story About Looking at People Looking at Animals in America, I didn’t think we’d ever do an episode of 99% Invisible about it. I just read it for fun.
But then I saw Jon perform stories from the book live with musical accompaniment from the band Black Prairie. And that changed everything. I accosted Jon and the band in the dressing room and told them they had to let me share it with the 99% Invisible audience.
You’ve probably, by now, heard that bees are disappearing. It turns out, the monarch butterfly is too:
[The migrating butterflies] began to straggle in a week later than usual, in record-low numbers. Last year’s low of 60 million now seems great compared with the fewer than three million that have shown up so far this year. Some experts fear that the spectacular migration could be near collapse.
The article goes onto articulate the problem more thoroughly, though there’s no clear an simple solution to any of it. This wasn’t an issue I’d thought about recently, though its obviousness makes saying that a bit embarrassing:
Farm fields are not the only problem. Around the world people have replaced diverse natural habitat with the biological deserts that are roads, parking lots and bluegrass lawns. Meanwhile, the plants people choose for their yards are appealing for showy colors or shapes, not for their ecological role.
It’s a bit of an old saw here by now, but I think there’s a lot of “science”, especially as reported to popular culture that’s utterly bogus. In the guise of helping politicians, the Nature blog has a good piece about how to be intelligently skeptical of scientific claims. This is “publication bias” looms large in my mind:
Because studies that report ‘statistically significant’ results are more likely to be written up and published, the scientific literature tends to give an exaggerated picture of the magnitude of problems or the effectiveness of solutions.
The list does go much deeper, too. Here’s a harder issue I’d nearly forgotten about (my last experience with sample size significance is nearing a decade ago):
Effect size matters. Small responses are less likely to be detected. A study with many replicates might result in a statistically significant result but have a small effect size (and so, perhaps, be unimportant). The importance of an effect size is a biological, physical or social question, and not a statistical one. In the 1990s, the editor of the US journal Epidemiology asked authors to stop using statistical significance in submitted manuscripts because authors were routinely misinterpreting the meaning of significance tests, resulting in ineffective or misguided recommendations for public-health policy.
(via The Browser)
Well, actually this video which is posted on YouTube some fifteen years after it was created around 1998, doesn’t have an nuclear explosions in the last 15 years. Still, I’m a sucker for maps and history, and this is a member of both of those sets. I learned that France did a lot of their nuclear testing in Africa, which I’d never thought of.
The poster’s description:
Japanese artist Isao Hashimoto has created a beautiful, undeniably scary time-lapse map of the 2053 nuclear explosions which have taken place between 1945 and 1998, beginning with the Manhattan Project’s “Trinity” test near Los Alamos and concluding with Pakistan’s nuclear tests in May of 1998.
Malcolm Gladwell seems to have ever more detractors, but his success and appeal is undeniable. I appreciated John Gray’s explanation of that appeal, most strongly manifest in his latest book:
Pretending to present daringly counterintuitive views to his readers, he actually strengthens the hold on them of a view of things that they have long taken for granted. This is, perhaps, the essence of the genre that Gladwell has pioneered: while reinforcing beliefs that everyone avows, he evokes in the reader a satisfying sensation of intellectual non-conformity.
(via The Browser)