2016/07/23

Nine years of blogging: 40 blog posts and a million visitors - good coders code, great reuse

Nine years of blogging: 40 blog posts and a million visitors - good coders code, great reuse


Nine years of blogging: 40 blog posts and a million visitors

Posted: 23 Jul 2016 01:49 AM PDT

Six Years of BloggingToday is 9 years since I started this blog. Year 9 was super productive. I wrote 40 blog posts, doubled Browseling in size, gave it a new look, launched web developer tools, launched a new webcomic about programmers, became hacker-in-residence at hackers/founders, wrote a ton of code and had a lot of fun.

In this post I'll quickly summarize last year's statistics. Here are links to previous years' stats: 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, and 8 years of blogging.

Here's traffic statistics for Jul 1, 2015 - Jun 30, 2016:


Statcounter traffic statistics for Jul 1, 2015 - Jun 30, 2016.

My blog had 1.11 million visitors and 1.37 million page views. I wrote 40 blog posts. Here are the top 10 most read articles:

My personal favorites:

Goals for 10th blogging year:

  • Publish parts 6, 7, 8 of my favorite books.
  • Maintain 1 million visitors.

Until next time!

Neatorama

Neatorama


The Common Chameleon

Posted: 23 Jul 2016 03:59 AM PDT

This “nature documentary” is actually animated. The chameleon’s biggest flaw is its “untamed sense of appetite.” He wants to eat anything that flies by, which turns out to be his downfall.

(vimeo link)

Karma, chameleon! This is episode two of the series Our Wonderful Nature. You can see episode one here. We may see episode three in another five years. -via Digg

Dark Helmet Hates It When Her Schwartz Gets Twisted

Posted: 23 Jul 2016 02:00 AM PDT

(Photo: David Ngo)

For the San Diego Comic Con, the famous cosplayer Leeanne Vamp dressed as Dark Helmet, the Darth Vader analog from the Mel Brooks parody film Spaceballs. I doubt she'll find the suit as suffocating as Rick Moranis did.

15 times <i>Star Trek</i> Altered the Timeline

Posted: 23 Jul 2016 12:00 AM PDT

In the Star Trek universe, the Prime Directive prohibits Starfleet personnel from interfering with the internal development of alien civilizations. They violate the directive over and over, but even worse, they interfere constantly with the space-time continuum. You can’t really blame the Enterprise crew, or even the writers, because time travel makes for wonderful stories. But it does mess up the continuity of several TV series and a dozen feature films. The Deep Space Nine episode “Trials And Tribble-Ations” even had the DS9 crew interacting with the characters in the 1960s series!

Plenty of Trek episodes dealt with time travel before DS9, but “Trials And Tribble-Ations” is the first to show characters traveling back to the events of a previous series; in a way, it serves as a prototype for the direction the new movie franchise would take, dipping in to the nostalgia of the original series while still maintaining its own voice. The plot here is largely an excuse to let the crew of DS9 interact with some of their “heroes,” as the episode uses footage from the classic original-series entry “The Trouble With Tribbles” intermixed with matching footage from the present. The effect is hugely entertaining, allowing the show to both mock and pay homage to the flaws and wonders of its predecessor. As a bonus, “Trials” also introduces the Department Of Temporal Investigations, a group dedicated to maintaining the internal logic of history. They mostly serve as a framing story, but the existence of the department is a helpful reminder that time travel and the shenanigans that result from it are an integral part of the franchise.  

The A.V. Club counts 14 other instances that time travel threw the Star Trek universe off-kilter. They always manage to “set things right” by the end, but who knows what changes they made in their timeline that the characters will never realize?   

(Image credit: Nick Wanserski)

How to Use Your Cell Phone to Check Your Sperm Count

Posted: 22 Jul 2016 09:59 PM PDT


(Image: TBIT)

Does your semen contain a sufficiently large number of sperm cells to make fertilization likely? You may no longer have to visit a doctor's office to find out. Researchers in Japan have developed a process that permits a man to examine a sample with a cell phone and get an accurate sperm count. It takes the form of a tiny lens that turns a cell phone camera into a microscope. New Scientist talked to researcher Yoshitomo Kobori about the procedure:

To do a home test, a man would have to wait for around five minutes after ejaculation for the semen to liquefy, then apply a small amount to a plastic sheet and press it against the microscope for inspection. This can be done without getting semen on to the phone, says Kobori.

The process uses the camera to take a 3-second video of the semen, then sends the recording to a lab for analysis. The system is as effective as what's used in fertility clinics:

Kobori says the system works as well as the software used in fertility clinics. In a test, the team ran 50 semen samples through both systems, and got almost identical results.

-via David Thompson

Drink Like A Sponge - How Wet I Am *Hic*

Posted: 22 Jul 2016 09:00 PM PDT


Drink Like A Sponge by NemiMakeit

When you go out for a night of drinking and debauchery with your buddies it's easy to forget your limits, so take it from Bob of Bikini Bottom and drink like a sponge. Now this may sound wrong to you since I've just warned against drinking too much, but in reality little sponges like Bob can't drink very much before they're soused, and they always make it to work on time the next day. So take it from SB- drink up, have fun, be merry, but limit yourself to an amount SpongeBob could handle (which is about two drinks maximum) and don't let strong drink derail your life!

Take the Bikini Bottom party with you wherever you go with this Drink Like A Sponge t-shirt by NemiMakeit, it's the festive way to declare your love for drinking, burger flipping and sentient starfish and sponges!

Visit NemiMakeit's official website and Facebook fan page, then head on over to her NeatoShop for more ridiculously cool designs:

Kill ScratchySuper Mario kissBreaking DexterHulk Play Smashketball

View more designs by NemiMakeit | More Funny T-shirts | New T-Shirts

Are you a professional illustrator or T-shirt designer? Let's chat! Sell your designs on the NeatoShop and get featured in front of tons of potential new fans on Neatorama!

The Ecuadorian Walking Palm Tree

Posted: 22 Jul 2016 08:59 PM PDT

A tree named Socratea exorrhiza is better known as the Ecuadorian walking palm tree. It can “walk” up to a couple of centimeters per day. Palaeobiologist Peter Vrsansky spent months with threes to see how they move.

“As the soil erodes, the tree grows new, long roots that find new and more solid ground, sometimes up to 20m,” said Vrsansky. “Then, slowly, as the roots settle in the new soil and the tree bends patiently toward the new roots, the old roots slowly lift into the air. The whole process for the tree to relocate to a new place with better sunlight and more solid ground can take a couple of years.”

The tree’s actions sound like it could have inspired the Ents of The Lord of the Rings. However, the walking trees live in an area of Ecuador that is being sold off to locals who cut down trees to establish their right to live there. Under the same program, Vrsansky has managed to buy several hundred hectares to set aside as a refuge. Read more about the walking palm trees and other species of Ecuadorian wildlife at the BBC. -via Nag on the Lake

(Image credit: Hans Hillewaert)

Beautiful Portraits Made of Flowers

Posted: 22 Jul 2016 08:00 PM PDT

Vicki and Brooke are a mother-daughter team of artists. They operate Sister Golden, an online boutique of their marvelous crafts. The most fascinating among these works are their compositions made with pieces of flowers and other plants

-via Fubiz

What It Was Like To Buy And Own A Car In The USSR

Posted: 22 Jul 2016 06:59 PM PDT

A big part of living in the erstwhile USSR was dealing with shortages, waiting lists, and a massive bureaucracy. While there was never the equality that Karl Marx dreamed of, there were millions of people who shared the same privations with a shrug. Yeah, you could get a car in the Soviet Union, but it wouldn’t be a good car, and getting it wouldn’t be easy. First you had to apply, undergo a background check, and convince the powers-that-be that you had earned the right to purchase one.  

At your chainsaw factory job, you were one of 300 workers. Most of them didn’t have a car and were eager to get one. Let’s say that the Trade Union designated five cars per year for your company. (That’s not to say that all companies would get five cars per year, this is just an estimate was based solely on information conducted during the interviews. The number of cars allocated would differ throughout the years, depending on the industry, company size and the region of the USSR. If anything, five cars per year is an overly optimistic estimation, according to some of those who reviewed my article.)

The first in line for their VAZ or ZAZ or GAZ were those who passed their background checks with flying colours. Those would the most productive, skilled or otherwise distinguished employees. You know, employee of the month types. Of course, having Communist Party membership didn’t hurt either. Anyway, if you were an average worker, the chances that your car was going to arrive the year you ordered it was close to non-existent. The same went for the next year. And for the next one.

In the Soviet era, the average waiting line for a car was seven to 10 years or more. Fingers crossed that your plumber isn’t coming on the lucky delivery day.

If you ever got the chance to actually purchase a car, you had other problems to deal with, like a place to park it and replacement parts. Gabrielius Blažys talked to people who lived through the experience of buying and owning a car in the Soviet Union, which you can read about at Jalopnik. -via Metafilter

(Image credit: Gabrielius Blažys)

What It's Like to Be an Underwater Crime Scene Investigator

Posted: 22 Jul 2016 06:00 PM PDT


(Photo: Underwater Criminal Investigators)

The diver is holding a holstered knife in one hand and a stolen handgun in the other. Perhaps the last criminal to possess them thought that they'd disappear in the murky water. But crime scene divers found them.

This is the world of underwater criminal investigation, a criminal justice specialization described at length in an article at Atlas Obscura. These divers know how to search bodies of water for evidence and how to handle that evidence so that it can be used in the criminal justice system. Mike Berry, an underwater criminal investigator, describes the hazards of his profession:

The taxing conditions don't just involve muck and pitch blackness. “The water that we dive in, a lot of it is contaminated," Berry says, "so just ingesting some of that water could kill you.” Divers can step on broken glass or injure their hands on nails. And then there are the creatures of the deep, some of whom make their presence known at highly inconvenient moments. Depending on the location of the investigation, divers may have to contend with turtles, poisonous snakes, alligators, or inquisitive fish.

“The worst I’ve been bit was from a snapping turtle," says Berry. "You know, you can’t see them, so as your hand is moving along the bottom, feeling, you hope you get the rear end of the turtle instead of the front end. I got the front end one day ... it went right through my hand, from one side to the other.” The pain, he says, was "like a lightning strike.”

Images That Will Restore Your Faith In Humanity

Posted: 22 Jul 2016 05:00 PM PDT

(Image Link)

We're exposed to so much negativity these days, and there's so much strife and turmoil in the world, that sometimes it's nice to peruse a collection of positively inspirational images and stand proud again.

(Image Link)

It's easy to fall into a pattern of negativity and see everything through a dark lens when you're constantly tearing others down, but what we really need to do in these dark days is lift each other up.

(Image Link)

Why go around spreading hate when so many destructive forces in the world are already using hate as their weapon of choice? It may sound like a cliche, but there are times when the best way to kill hatred is with kindness.

(Image Link)

See 15+ Images That'll Restore Your Faith In Humanity here

Dog Howls with the Wolves in <i>Zootopia</i>

Posted: 22 Jul 2016 03:59 PM PDT


(Video Link)

This German Shepherd feels for his comrades. When the wolves in the new Disney movie Zootopia howl, he joins in.

Appropriately, the scene is about a mass howling that started accidentally.

-via Pleated Jeans

8 Amazing Science Tricks

Posted: 22 Jul 2016 02:59 PM PDT

via GIPHY

Science can produce weird things that appear to our brains to be impossible, only because we don’t have the necessary information to reconcile what we see with the way we understand the normal world. That includes images like water falling in a spiral, water flowing uphill, inanimate objects that start to move, and as you see here, a person setting their hand on fire without being burned. (Don’t try this at home.) See all those things with their scientific explanations at IFL Science. -via the Presurfer

First Contact

Posted: 22 Jul 2016 01:59 PM PDT


(Berkeley Mews)

It could be cool if the Earth was a Poké Stop. But there's too much risk. It could attract potentially hostile and dangerous alien civilizations to Earth. As Stephen Hawking warned us last year, that's something that we don't need.

Donald Duck Cleared of Extremism Charges

Posted: 22 Jul 2016 01:00 PM PDT

Current law in Russia criminalizes any public calls for extremism, including on the internet. In 2010 a man in far eastern Russia was convicted of distributing extremist materials after he posted the 1942 Donald Duck cartoon “Der Fuehrer's Face” on the ‘net. The cartoon was listed in the Russian federal list  of banned materials. The case was recently revisited by the highest court in Kamchatka. 

When prosecutors discovered this fact they filed a cassation with the regional court explaining that the video is a classic Walt Disney cartoon made within the framework of an anti-Nazi propaganda campaign. They also wrote that the film contains no calls to extremism - on the contrary, it depicts Nazi ideology in satirical and mocking forms.

The court agreed with this statement and also ruled that the film’s characters are not promoting violence against anyone.

It is not clear whether the court ruling will change the cartoon’s inclusion in the list of banned materials, or exonerate the man who was convicted. -via Arbroath  

The Spooky Science Behind Ouija Boards

Posted: 22 Jul 2016 11:59 AM PDT

Ouija boards have been associated with the supernatural since the 19th century, with claims it allows the living to communicate easily with the dead, but really the Ouija is merely a novelty product.

However, there is some real science behind the way people interact with the “spirit board” when they get together, and the magic can be cast aside in favor of one scientific explanation- the ideomotor effect:

The ideomotor effect occurs when someone moves themself or an object without being conscious of their actions. This combined with a strong subconscious need for an answer, like what one might feel when using a Ouija board, leads to players moving the planchette without any knowledge of doing so.

So the desire to "speak" through the board can make people move their hands without knowing it, and what seems like intentional deception is really just subconscious desire facilitated by the fingers.

Read The Spooky Science Behind Ouija Boards at mental_floss

Tobias Vs Dean - Please Let It Be A Fight To The Finish!

Posted: 22 Jul 2016 11:00 AM PDT


Tobias Vs Dean by Tom Trager

When two forces of freaky-deaky-dom decide to throw down it's hard to decide who will come out on top because they're both pretty awful in their own way. Dean Pelton is a real pest who refers to himself as Dean far too often, and his Dean related puns get quite tiresome considering he unloads them on Greendale students via the PA system all day long. But Tobias Fünke is about as funky as they come, and if anyone's development has been arrested it's his, but he doesn't have a community standing somewhere behind him so he's clearly the underdog of all underdogs. So who would win in a fight between Tobias and Dean Pelton? The television viewing audience at home, that's who!

Protect your torso from contusions with this Tobias Vs Dean t-shirt by Tom Trager, it's all the fighter with none of the street!

Visit Tom Trager's Facebook fan page, then head on over to his NeatoShop for more never nude approved designs:

Whedon AssembleThe Heroes of OooTobias SaysTime Relative Shirt

View more designs by Tom Trager | More Funny T-shirts | New T-Shirts

Are you a professional illustrator or T-shirt designer? Let's chat! Sell your designs on the NeatoShop and get featured in front of tons of potential new fans on Neatorama!

Feline Masterworks

Posted: 22 Jul 2016 10:59 AM PDT

Your cat considers himself an artist. His creations are found all over the house, as gifts to you or decorations for his domain. One of the typical works not featured here is live bird my tomcat presented at my feet under the desk without warning one day last week. The bird was eventually freed from the house in fairly good condition, but it took a while to resolve the situation. This is the latest from John Atkinson at Wrong Hands. -via Laughing Squid

How Did The Klingons Get Warp Drive?

Posted: 22 Jul 2016 10:00 AM PDT

Klingons are one of the most barbaric and less technologically advanced races in the Star Trek universe, and they typically prefer to solve problems with combat actions rather than words.

So how did a race who spends too much time yelling, fighting and feuding and not nearly enough time studying, experimenting or inventing manage to create a warp drive?

According to this comic from Sheldon Comics they got it from that one Klingon who was super into science, the one who has a pencil tucked behind his ear instead of a knife.

-Via Geeks Are Sexy

Power Plant Energy Sources in the U.S.

Posted: 22 Jul 2016 08:59 AM PDT

This map from Metric Maps shows us what energy source power plants use to produce the power we use for (almost) all areas of the U.S. You can enlarge the map at the site, to see where your power primarily comes from. The data comes from the Energy Information Administration’s report for March 2016. What’s really notable is the surprisingly large areas served by wind and solar power (green). My area shows that we have no power plant, but somehow I have electricity. Now I’m curious about the biomass that’s powering the western half of Kentucky. -via Digg

These Photo Realistic Illustrations Took Hundreds Of Hours To Create

Posted: 22 Jul 2016 08:00 AM PDT

Photo realistic artwork can be created by tricking the eye with implied depth, using photo reference and digital painting software, or by spending a really long time making sure every detail is perfect on each piece.

Italian artist Emanuele Dascanio has chosen to go with the latter, and he spends hundreds of hours creating each one of his incredibly realistic portraits.

Emanuele uses the chiaroscuro related technique of single source lighting to help sell the realism, and he works primarily in charcoal, graphite and oil paint which make it easier to create high contrast imagery on white canvas.

Here's a video showing his full creation process from start to finish:

(YouTube Link)

-Via Time Wheel

The Seance and Other Denver Craigslist Ads

Posted: 22 Jul 2016 07:00 AM PDT

Have you ever looked at your significant other and said, “There’s nothing to do tonight, maybe we should talk to the dead” ? I didn’t think so. I guess that’s why the hosts put an ad on Craigslist Denver to give you the idea. If you are in the area, the “talking dead” session comes with an optional dinner.

With the tag line ‘Nothing to do tonight? Come talk to the dead’, this service is by far the most insane service being advertised on Craigslist. The ad was posted by ghost hunters Bryan and Baxter, who are offering a once in a lifetime opportunity to attend a seance and contact some spirits. The photos contained in the ad resemble that of a satanic ritual and certainly looks shifty, but for the bargain price of $42, to take part in a seance and also have dinner, who could ever ask for more?

Apparently they do this every night, or whenever someone buys a ticket, since there’s no date posted for the seance and it’s been up for more than a week. It’s just one of the 9 Craziest Craigslist Denver Ads you can read about at Housely.

6 Times Players Were The Real Villain In Video Games

Posted: 22 Jul 2016 05:59 AM PDT

Players always assume they're the hero when playing a video game, unless the box says otherwise, but they can never really tell what the game designers actually had in mind.

I mean, what if Dr. Robotnik was trying to save the defenseless animals from that hyperactive hedgehog, and Bowser was trying to convert the Mushroom Kingdom into a Democratic union?

(YouTube Link)

Dorkly did an amazing job of making gamers wonder- which other video game "heros" have we been wrong to believe in all these years? Personally, I've always thought there was something not quite right about that Paperboy...

-Via Dorkly

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