Having looked at the chemistry behind beer previously, it seemed only fair to also take a look at cider for all the cider drinkers out there. On a hot summer’s day, the cool, refreshing taste of cider is hard to beat. But what are the chemicals behind this flavour? Before we look at the chemistry, […]
If there's one thing we can all agree on when it comes to summertime and fruit, it's that summer is not complete without watermelon. Lots and lots of watermelon. What's not to love about a snack that's sweet, refreshing, and healthy?
But watermelon isn't just about the sweet, pink flesh. There's one part of this fruit you're probably ignoring (but shouldn't be): the rind! This is far more than a scrap to be thrown in the trash; it's more versatile than you think and still has a lot of life left in it.
When Daniel Korell scanned a QR code on a bottle of Heinz Ketchup, he got more than he bargained for. Rather than bring up the competition page he was expecting to see, it instead linked to a German porn site called Fundorado. Oops.
rjmarvin writes: The ECMAScript 6 specification is now a standard. ES6 is the first major revision to the programming language since 1999 and its hallmark features include a revamped syntax featuring classes and modules. The Ecma General Assembly officially approved the specification at its June meeting in France, ECMAScript project editor Allen Wirfs-Brock announced.
Няма нищо по-хубаво от лошото време гарнирано с порция изненада.
Само този, който не е изпитвал тази максима, не знае колко истина има в нея.
Най-лесно може да се тества в Стара Планина, където времето се променя на 360 градуса за минути.
Слънцето щедро напичаше докато се изкачвах към скалния феномен Пеещите скали.
Някак подозрително големи мрачни облаци надвиснаха над тях малко преди да ги приближа.
В югоизточна посока небето притъмня.
От време на време снопове светлина рисуваха фигури по зелените хребети.
Краткотраен слънчев портал се отвори над Пеещите скали и същите тези снопове светлина озариха околността в божествен блясък.
Неподправена, чиста до съвършенство, картина изплува пред смаяните ми очи.
Гръмотевичната буря, тихо се промъкваше на запад, където се водеше ожесточена борба за надмощие между земята и небето.
От другата страна, над ждрелото на река Габровница, купести бели облаци, намекваха показно за проливен дъжд.
В посока на залязващото слънце небето се възпламени.
Заваляха златни лъчи.
Бях като хипнотизиран.
Не усетих как онази буря се е пременила в подмамно красиви огнени лъчи, заобиколила ме е и се носеше право към мен.
Ударих го на панически бяг, когато цялото небе се изсипа отгоре ми, без ни най-малко състрадание.
Оглушителни мълнии пронизваха сгъстения въздух, а между гърма и проблясъка дори нямаше забавяне.
С ужас осъзнах, че се намирам в самия епицентър на стихията и мога да се надявам единствено на късмета си, преди следващата светкавица да се стовари отгоре ми.
Поуспокоих се когато наближих гората.
Циклонът измести центъра си и вече не бях в опасност.
Няма нищо по-хубаво от това да се окажеш в периферията на лошото време.
Можеш да прогизнеш до кости, можеш да бъдеш отнесен от гръм, но с кураж и доза късмет получаваш неповторими емоции, които не могат да се купят или откраднат.
by Robbie Gonzalez on io9, shared by Chris Mills to Gizmodo
It’s been almost ten years since NASA’s New Horizon’s spacecraft embarked for the Pluto system. Next month, it will finally arrive. The National Space Society commissioned the video above in anticipation of the spacecraft’s historic flyby. Are you all excited yet? Because we’re excited.
An anonymous reader writes: Let's Encrypt, the project that hopes to increase the use of encryption across websites by issuing free digital certificates, is planning to issue the first ones next month. Backed by the EFF, the Mozilla Foundation, the Linux Foundation, Akamai, IdenTrust, Automattic, and Cisco, Let's Encrypt will provide free-of-charge SSL and TSL certificates to any webmaster interested in implementing HTTPS for their products. The Stack reports: "Let's Encrypt's root certificate will be cross-signed by IdenTrust, a public key CA owned by smartphone government ID card provider HID Global. Website operators are generally hesitant to use SSL/TLS certificates due to their cost. An extended validation (EV) SSL certificates can cost up to $1,000. It is also a complication for operators to set up encryption for larger web services. Let's Encrypt aims to remove these obstacles by eliminating the related costs and automating the entire process."
For electric vehicles to truly supplant their gas-guzzling predecessors, there needs to be as many charging stations on the roads as there are gas stations—if not more. So BMW proposes upgrading the street lights that already line roads everywhere with charging capabilities and energy-efficient lighting.
"The Science Of Noise", the new video from Swedish melodic death metallers DARK TRANQUILLITY, can be seen below. The song is taken from the band's tenth studio album, "Construct", which was released on May 27, 2013 via Century Media Records. The CD was mixed by Jens Bogren (PARADISE LOST, OPETH, KATATONIA) at his Fascination Street studios in Örebro, Sweden.
The band comments: "The festival season has just started, which is a good reason to release our very live based video clip for 'The Science Of Noise'.
"The bulk of the material was shot during last year's 'World Construct' tour, but, for various reasons, the video wasn't completed until now.
"Also, we're very pleased to welcome Erik Jacobson (from the Gothenburg-based DEALS DEATH) as a stand-in guitarist while Niklas is busy with parental duties. Furthermore, our old brother Anders Iwers (TIAMAT, AVATARIUM, CEREMONIAL OATH) is handling the bass guitar, making this a very special run.
"Hope to see as many of you as possible at the shows!"
Speaking about the progress of the songwriting sessions for DARK TRANQUILLITY's follow-up to "Construct", drummer Anders Jivarp told Josh Rundquist (a.k.a. That Drummer Guy): "Myself and our keyboard player [Martin Brändström] have been writing ever since June. Pretty much three times a week we meet up in his studio and just write, so we have a lot of material — actually, almost six [or] seven songs done. Not with guitar solos and vocals, but it's there."
He continued: "We're talking about recording the album in October [and] November, [and it makes] sense to release it in maybe March [or] April [of 2016]."
Regarding the musical direction of the new DARK TRANQUILLITY material, Anders said: "I've been writing, like, 95 percent of it. It's very guitar oriented. It's very… I'm surprised, actually, how a drummer and a keyboard player can create so many guitar riffs. 'Cause 'Construct' was a little bit different; it was more… [It didn't have] too many guitar riffs necessarily. But I would say it's gonna surprise a lot of listeners. Maybe they wil say, 'Oh, [it sounds like] old DARK TRANQUILLITY,' with so much guitar riffs and stuff. It's a little bit towards that direction, I dare to say, even if it's not… I played some of the songs for Niklas [Sundin], our guitar player, and he was, like, 'Woah! Fuck! What's this?' [Laughs] So… We'll see. No ballads so far. I'm very happy with it."
He continued: "I'm surprised, actually, that me and Martin could do that, actually. 'Cause I was… When I started writing, I was, like, 'Hmm… How is this album gonna sound? Maybe like ANATHEMA [and] OPETH… This mellow, soft…' You know?! 'Cause I like that. But when I started writing, it was, like… no. This is what I've got. All this fast stuff. So… Maybe the album after that will be the slow one. We'll see."
Study finds decreased social anxiety among young adults who eat fermented foods
Psychologists have traditionally looked to the mind to help people living with mental health issues. But a recent study led by William & Mary researchers shows that the stomach may also play a key role, suggesting that...
by Casey Chan on Sploid, shared by Alissa Walker to Gizmodo
It’s good to be young. It’s good to be young when life is simple and fear isn’t something you’ve learned yet and fun can be expressed in its most joyful form. It’s good to be young and have a dad who can take you on a stunt plane ride of your life and bend the world. I mean, look at 4-year-old Lea, she’s having the time of her life in the plane.
If you work on the web, you’ve likely seen heated emotional outbursts in the office. When someone barks at you because their business process must change or you’ve presented a concept that doesn’t match their mental framework, it’s easy to take their words personally and get agitated. But people have a right to experience emotions. They might not always cope in healthy ways (and you don’t always have to accept the resulting behavior), but it’s part of our job to hear them out.
During my time managing content strategy at a university, I witnessed tears and frustration over font colors, training requirements, form fields, and access levels. It took me years of studying human behavior to realize it was my responsibility to accept the emotions. I could no longer chalk it up to people “not getting the web” or “not seeing the big picture.” Those excuses weren’t getting me anywhere when furious folks showed up in my office unannounced. And those excuses weren’t fair. I needed to be a better partner.
So how do we turn challenging outbursts into productive conversation?
Look for the signs and pick your strategy
Validating emotions isn’t a glorified psychological process. It’s about being a real, authentic human being who empathizes with another’s emotional state. And, guess what, that’s damn hard.
Instead of releasing a defensive remark, refocus and try to understand what’s fueling the outburst. Psychiatrist Dan Siegel believes that by naming our emotions we have a shot at removing ourselves from their grasp. I’m certainly no psychiatrist, but after years of watching humans build web products together, I’ve noticed most people get wound up over four core issues:
If we look for signs that indicate what’s behind fierce comments, we can attempt to defuse and move forward.
Working on the web involves a lot of change. We test new technologies, try out different processes, take on diverse clients, and integrate new best practices. It’s easy to feel a few steps behind. Anyone who provides direct support knows what it’s like when people experience something new and unfamiliar.
“I NEED THIS FIXED NOW.”
“I DON’T KNOW WHAT’S GOING ON!”
“I KEEP TRYING THAT AND IT’S NOT WORKING. THIS IS BROKEN.”
Perhaps a CMS user is struggling to make updates. Maybe a sales rep is trying to pull a new analytics report for a client. If not handled well, these emails are followed up by phone calls or drive-by office visits. In my experience, they can even lead to high-level meetings with angry department heads voicing concerns about how the web team doesn’t care.
These hectic reactions often indicate that people feel insecure. They’re a step or two outside their day-to-day domain and they don’t feel confident. Ultimately, they’re experiencing fear of the unknown. And fear releases adrenaline bombs launching us into fight-or-flight mode, which is why we love scaring ourselves and why people get hot and hung-up.
Witnessing this type of response is our cue to scan the context to identify what’s driving the insecurity. Did we move to a new CMS and now a colleague is struggling to relearn their job? Is a marketing specialist preparing quickly for a meeting and they’ve forgotten how to pull the right report? When we read through their emotions, we can identify their basic needs, and then:
Avoid blame. Steer the conversation away from what they’re doing wrong or what they don’t understand. Instead, let them know you’re happy to help and together you can make it happen.
Tailor language to make people feel comfortable. Using insider jargon is the fastest way to make someone outside our field feel even more insecure. Instead, see the conversation as an opportunity to help colleagues or clients boost their confidence.
Give away your knowledge. Beyond simply making a fix or giving a brief explanation, try digging up a few resources to help someone understand your field even better. I worked with a designer who’d respectfully send me links to articles after we worked through heated challenges. Instead of protecting his expert knowledge, he’d direct me right to his source so I could feel more confident in the future.
Addressing the fight for freedom
No one likes being told they can’t do something. But web work, be it enterprise content management, development, or design, involves lots of saying no. Workflows dictate who can and can’t publish pages. Browsers and devices constrain our key strokes. Content templates confine layout flexibility. Like I said, lots of no. And inevitably our saying no is going to stir up opposition.
In enterprise contexts, we sometimes encounter those who push back because they want more personal independence. In my higher ed days, I came across professors and department staff who refused to attend CMS training or neglected our architecture standards. They openly challenged these governance practices because they wanted to manage their sites without conforming to institutional process.
In agency environments, enforcing well-intentioned web standards can make others feel like they’ve failed. When we say no to requests that come from our sales or client reps, their frustration with our restrictions is less about personal freedom and more about wanting to deliver. They don’t want to let the client down so they’ll insist it’s absolutely necessary.
When it comes to freedom issues, we can start by asking questions like:
What are you trying to accomplish?
How do our restrictions keep you from doing your job?
What alternatives do we have?
Then, we need to pop open the hood to show them exactly what we’re up against. If a client rep makes a last-minute request to add a content chunk that will change the functionality of an entire template, we can bring up the CMS, show them how the template works, and outline what their change would entail. Or, if a renegade web editor repeatedly breaks basic usability best practices, we can call a meeting, walk through examples of the user experience we’d like to create (and avoid), and brainstorm other ways to meet their goals.
It’s respectful to offer our full knowledge and shoot for shared understanding instead of hiding behind the technical veil. Also, don’t be afraid to change your mind. If you understand their motivations, logic, and rationale, you might decide to adjust your processes or tactics. That’s okay. You don’t always need to defend your ground as the expert.
Affirming the identity-seeker
Some of the most delicate emotional responses we run into surface when people experience identity issues. A new hire wants to solidify their role. A new team lead wants to redirect the project because of their years of experience. A company goes through rebranding and longtime writers have to find a new voice.
“Well, I’ve used Drupal for over 10 years. I don’t understand why that wasn’t the obvious choice.”
“Of course I know QR codes. I’ve used them. That’s why we need a QR code.”
“That’s something my strategy team does. It’s not your job.”
Working as a contractor and consultant, I prepare myself to hear these types of comments from those trying to reposition when I join a team. I don’t blame them. They simply want to be seen as a valuable contributor. So do I.
Instead of shooting them down by defending my expertise, I reinforce their identity by inviting them to share their knowledge and experience. A helpful phrase is Kristina Halvorson’s “tell me more about that” line:
“We’re glad you’re on this team. We need your expertise. Tell me more about what you know.”
“Sounds good. Tell me more about how a QR code will help us drive traffic.”
Affirming others by asking them to share their experience doesn’t mean you need to go along with their ideas. But it helps you calm their defensive posture, not look like an opponent, and move the conversation to productive ground.
Restoring value and worth
Emotions don’t always manifest in loud declarations or snippy emails. Sometimes people just check out. At the university, I noticed a once oppositional stakeholder had grown silent. But just because I no longer heard his clamoring didn’t mean everything was cool. He had disengaged and wasn’t keeping his site up to date, to the detriment of his users. I realized it was our failure because we hadn’t been listening to him.
Withdrawal usually happens when people don’t feel heard, repeatedly. Maybe in a large organization, a department head’s project keeps getting shoved to the end of the queue, so they give up. Or maybe a junior developer feels overshadowed by seniority. They’re not chiming in because they believe it doesn’t matter.
The good news is we can boost worth with seemingly simple things like listening and letting people be themselves. Margaret Wheatley, known for her organic approach to organizational behavior, believes it’s more about being present than formulaic strategies:
So what’s the takeaway? We need to make an intentional effort to be present and recognize people as we go about our daily bustle. How do we do it?
Invitations. Draw others into your conversations. If a developer seems quiet in a meeting, ask for their opinion (even if it’s not about development). If you’re working on a new approval workflow, grab coffee with one of your more challenging web contributors and ask them how a process change could make their job easier.
Specific praise and appreciation. In their book How the Way We Talk Can Change the Way We Work, researchers Robert Kegan and Lisa Laskow Lahey advise us to put more power in our compliments if we want people to know their worth. Instead of saying:
“Thanks, Greg! You’re doing great work.”
Take a few seconds to think about why Greg’s work is great. And then tell him directly:
“Thanks, Greg! I like the way you programmed that content type. It’s smart development. I think it will make maintenance a lot easier for our client. And I appreciated the way you advocated for that in our meeting.”
Access. If you work in large systems, offering a clear, reliable support channel provides all stakeholders with equal access to be heard. Or holding open meetups can give your web colleagues regular face time and an avenue for bringing up concerns.
Ultimately, listening and recognizing others takes time, and in the fast-moving chaos of web development, strategy, or production, we don’t have the cycles to acknowledge someone who’s not asking for our immediate attention. So we need to get intentional about being present.
See the common sense above the struggle
These arguments might seem like common sense. And honestly, they are. It’s easy to step back objectively when we’re not under the gun. But, at our core, we’re not logical beings. We get swept in and stir things up. It’s difficult to stay levelheaded.
So when strong emotional reactions spike, we have to do our best to accept them and not make it personal. Only from a non-defensive stance can we accurately assess what’s triggering the reaction. If we can pinpoint the issue, be it security, freedom, identity, or worth, we have a chance to turn the conversation around. So next time someone barks, temper your hackles, draw a deep breath, and be present.