I have always loved maps. A friend of my father's whom I knew at Uncle Steve once gave me a world atlas as a birthday present. He said the atlas was mine if the next time he came over for dinner, I could show him where Kuala Lumpur was. After that, I spent many afternoons mentally walking the lakes of Kazakhstan and wondering about the people who lived there, and if they had maps like mine.
Long ago, I worked at an R&D center at the University of Texas at Austin. It was a fun job. One the the perquisites of working at a university is that you hear about and can attend all sorts of lectures. A hero of mine, Oliver Sacks, the neurologist, writer, and lover of ferns, came by one day and talked about his research. Another time Richard Avedon discussed his photography. And once, a professor of Human-Computer Interaction lectured to us about what he had learned from the research and design of airplane cockpit hardware and software.
Bret Victor delivered a talk recently at the Stanford Human-Computer Interaction Seminar. It was about the need for scientists, engineers, and artists to make and communicate ideas using pictures. Not symbols, but the direct manipulation of pictures.
On Valentine's Day, the hip-hop instigators De La Soul released their entire catalog of music to fans. It has been 25 years since De La Soul released 3 Feet High and Rising. It still sounds as original and linguistically clever as it did back then.
They have a book and a new album coming out soon. I'm going to give it a listen.
I just cooked some BBQ in my backyard, and it was pretty good. I smoked a rack of pork ribs and a whole chicken over oak for about 6 hours at 200-250 degrees Fahrenheit. I even made some BBQ sauce. My sauce recipe is from Aaron Franklin, of Franklin's BBQ right here in Austin, Texas. I found the recipe via a site known as Griffinsgrub.wordpress.com. I wonder if Griffin got the recipe from the PBS special I saw which featured Aaron Franklin talking about how he makes BBQ, including sauce?
In recent years there's been a move towards what people in software and product design call responsive or adaptive user interfaces. This means designing a screen that adapts nimbly in presentation and function to all screen sizes and contexts found on desktops, laptops, mobile phones, and tablets, and TV screens.
People today talk as if responsiveness were something new and exotic, something that was invented only recently. The reality is different.