momentofmoore:

The Extraordinary Works Of Alan Moore

The Extraordinary Works Of Alan Moore (2002), artist: Dave McKean

A good magazine article doesn’t need an introduction, so don’t begin with the background of your subject, how you happened to get interested in it, why the reader should read it, or how you obtained the information for it. Begin your article with conflict that produces tension, often revealed by including a brief example or anecdote and problem that will be resolved at the end. It’s a good rule to start as near the end as possible and then plunge your reader into the central tension. When you’ve involved your reader in this way, weave in background facts or information as you think the reader needs it to understand the purpose and point of your piece.

DONALD M. MURRAY

Before the crisis years of the AIDS epidemic I had that sense that one does of a long, expansive living ahead of me. When my friends and my partner began to sicken and die around me, that shifted everything in a sense that you just don’t know what prospect is ahead of you. For me, that exacerbates desire. On the other hand you have to negotiate because desire enflamed can become a blinder. It’s a balancing act I have never felt especially good at.

Secretly, I believe balance is boring. I used to take yoga classes and there’s these exercises where you’re supposed to be standing on one leg in this position as a stork, and I was terrible at them! I would get annoyed because they would always turn it into metaphor: “If you don’t have physical balance it means you need to seek balance”; No I don’t!

7 Rules for Dialogue

1. Dialogue should be brief.

2. It should add to the reader’s present knowledge.

3. It should eliminate the routine exchanges of ordinary conversation.

4. It should convey a sense of spontaneity but eliminate the repetitiveness of real talk.

5. It should keep the story moving forward.

6. It should be revelatory of the speaker’s character, both directly and indirectly.

7. It should show the relationships among people.

ELIZABETH BOWEN 


7 Rules for Dialogue

Libra Horoscope for week of November 10, 2011 During the reign of President George W. Bush, many Americans viewed France as being insufficiently sympathetic with American military might. So enraged were some conservatives that they tried to change the name of French fries to freedom fries and French toast to freedom toast. The culminating moment in this surrealistic exercise came when Bush told UK’s Prime Minister Tony Blair, “The French don’t even have a word for entrepreneur” – unaware that “entrepreneur” is a word the English language borrowed from the French. The moral of the story, as far as you’re concerned, Libra: Make sure you know the origins of everyone and everything you engage with, especially as they affect your ability to benefit from entrepreneurial influences.

The funny thing is, no one’s really hiding the secret of how to make awesome online communities. Give people something cool to do and a way to talk to each other, moderate a little bit, and your job is done. Games like Eve Online or WoW have developed entire economies on top of what’s basically a message board. MetaFilter, Reddit, LiveJournal and SA all started with a couple of buttons and a textfield and have produced some fascinating subcultures. And maybe the purest (!) example is 4chan, a Lord of the Flies community that invents all the stuff you end up sharing elsewhere: image macros, copypasta, rage comics, the lolrus. The data model for 4chan is three fields long - image, timestamp, text.

Now tell me one bit of original culture that’s ever come out of Facebook.

The Social Graph is Neither (Pinboard Blog)

A truly amazing, enlightening, provocative post from Maciej Ceglowski. No single quotation can do it justice. Read it, please, and get a sense of what it would really take to achieve a mapping of our online social lives.

(via ayjay)

Lyanda Lynn Haupt / Crow Planet / household spiders

“Claire knows our household spiders freakishly well. She names them all: currently we have Abigail behind the front door, Puddles in the bathroom, and a wandering Fiona. Claire monitors their webs, diagrams their whereabouts, and worries over their diets. She wonders whether it is ethical to toss an insect Abigail’s way if it seems none are finding their way to her web themselves. She puts up notes to reroute guests if their ramblings might disturb one of our arachnid roommates. She knows our household spiders every bit as well as I know the neighborhood crows, and I’m impressed with her studies.”


Lyanda Lynn Haupt / Crow Planet / household spiders

Carve Out Time for What’s Important

This is one of the rules that has served me well, as a Program Manager at Microsoft:  Carve out time for what’s important.

You don’t have time, you make time. If you don’t make time for what’s important, it doesn’t happen. This is where The Rule of Three helps. Are you spending the right amount of time today on those three results you want to accomplish? The default pattern is to try and fit them in with all your existing routines. A more powerful approach is to make time for your three results today and optimize around that. This might mean disrupting other habits and routines you have, but this is a good thing. The more you get in the habit of making time for what’s important, the more you’ll get great results. If you’re not getting the results you want, you can start asking better questions. For example, are you investing enough time? Are you investing the right energy? Are you using the right approach? Or, maybe a different thing happens. Maybe you start accomplishing your results but don’t like what you get. You can step back and ask whether you’re choosing the right outcomes for The Rule of Three.

Here are some things to think about when you’re carving out your time:

  • How much time minimum should you spend today for each of your three outcomes?
  • How much time maximum should you spend today for each of your three outcomes?
  • Are you spending too much energy in below the line activities? (This is where you’re just treading water and making it through each day, but not actually getting ahead.)
  • Are you spending enough time in above the line activities? (This is where you feel you’re on top of your day and investing your time where you get the most impact.)
  • Are you investing time in the most important Hot Spots in your life: mind, body, emotions, career, financial, relationships, fun?

This is a tip from my book, Getting Results the Agile Way (now on a Kindle), a time management system for achievers.  You can test drive the system by taking the 30 Day Boot Camp for Getting Results, a free time management training course.


Carve Out Time for What’s Important

If you acknowledge all this resistance and act on your plan anyway, you will make one of the most liberating discoveries possible for a human being—that you can take constructive action in any moment no matter what you feel, and no matter what excuses occur to you.

In short, you are free. Thoughts come and go. Feelings arise and fade. But none of them need to stop you from living a meaningful life based on your values.

Sometimes we do find the words to express an idea, and only then realize what a stupid idea it is. This experience would suggest that our thoughts are not as clean and beautiful as we would like to believe. Instead of blaming language for failing to capture our thoughts, maybe we should thank it for giving some shape to the muddle in our heads.

Using Keyboard Maestro to fix Safari 5.1 keyboard dumbnesses

Part of a keyboard containing Insert, Home, Pa...

The MikeBook has been receiving tons of app upgrades due to Lion (haven't upgraded yet; waiting a few months for the bugs to shake out).

In general, the app upgrades have caused no problem except for Safari, which disabled the Page Up, Page Down, Home and End keys. I mean...what?? Sorry, Apple, but I don't have a Magic Trackpad, and I still use my quaint little keyboard to navigate through my web pages.

Fortunately, a poster to this thread on the Apple support forum provided the secret handshake:

  • COMMAND UP ARROW takes you to top of page
  • COMMAND DOWNARROW takes you to bottom of page
  • OPTION UPARROW takes you up a page
  • OPTION DOWNARROW takes you down a page

So, using the wonderfulness that is Keyboard Maestro, I remapped my Home, End, Page Up, and Page Down keys to the above keystrokes. Now, I can use my keyboard the way God (and not Apple) intended.

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Vivian Maier

In 2007, John Maloof ran across a storage locker at a thrift auction house that contained over 100,000 negatives of pictures. The photos spanned the years from the 1950s–1990s and were primarily urban scenes of Chicago and New York. Maloof began posting the pictures on a blog and dug into the life of the woman who had taken these pictures: Vivian Maier. It took a lot of detective work, but it turned into a labor of love for Maloof, who has parlayed his interest in Maier and her photos into a handsome site, exhibitions, a film, and a book.

I particularly love her urban photos, seemingly taken on the fly, the sort of thing you might see yourself as you briskly walk past a street person or sightseers or a woman talking on a telephone. They’re wonderfully evocative of a different place and time.

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