Or, gravitational lensing. It is when a distant object in space has so much gravity that it bends light around it allowing for us to observe what is behind the object. Blackholes, quasars and galaxies being the primary sources of gravitational lensing.
Sometimes this effect helps us to see distant objects even clearer because it magnifies that which is behind it. Recently astronomers were able to see a supernova replay over and over as this light reached us from the same event many times over several years. Weird.
Here is a fairly good explanation:
Last night I quipped, on Twitter (I know, I know):
Office for Mac 2016 Preview. AKA Toolbars McGee.
I think complaining about the menus in office and the massive number of features is pointless. Office exists to satisfy IT checklists and every obscure feature has its group of advocates out there … somewhere. Put simply, Microsoft Word is going to be big and ponderous just like the scorpion will always sting the frog.
Office has never been for me. It does way too much. Even Apple’s Pages, Numbers, and Keynote are generally overkill (though great applications). I actually enjoy using Google Drive applications like Sheets, Slides, and Docs.
Today NASA’s Dawn Mission reaches dwarf planet Ceres.
Looks like a pretty stellar group of women coming out of Twitter to form an investment group called #Angels. Excellent reasoning too:
Technology is no longer an industry category. As has been well-chronicled, it has become a foundation to every business, ranging from healthcare to transportation to finance to education and beyond. Every company will be a technology company. And the lessons learned from building a company like Twitter are relevant to an increasingly wide range of products, businesses, and industries.
Every single client we have that “builds an app” as their business I tell the same thing; “You’re building a software company”. It doesn’t matter which industry the company works within. Perhaps I should change what I say to “You’re building a technology company”.
Matt Haughey, matthowie, had an incredible 16 year run with Metafilter. And, in true Mefi fashion… the post about his departure drips with just the right amount of MetaFilter-isms:
LobsterMitten is returning as a full-time moderator
All yours LobsterMitten.
It turns out, that last one is a bit tedious out of the box. The Organize tool that Flickr has is nice… but it doesn’t want you to close it while it does its work. So moving “just” 7,500 images into the private group appears that it will take around 15 minutes. I have around 75,000 images to move. Oy.
Perhaps there is a better way? @cdevroe me.
I am going all-in on Flickr. However, I haven’t logged into Flickr in, oh, forever? If you’re in the same boat you may want to check out which applications you’ve given access to read/write to your Flickr account. You can do so right here.
Why? Flickr has been around for a decade. It is owned by a public company that hasn’t shown signs it wants to kill Flickr (on the contrary they’ve given people more space than ever). And, I believe Flickr may just be too big to fail at this point.
So, as I speak, thousands of photographs are being uploaded to Flickr. Let’s see how this goes.
Photo: A pre-Instragram photo of a hot air balloon. Remember when images weren’t just square?
As creators, there’s a temptation to seek out our heroes and ask them how they achieved their success. We think if we follow their instructions, we’ll be able to reproduce their winning magic. But it doesn’t work that way.
Tips, tricks, advice… these should all be used to help you mold your own thoughts, opinions, processes, and workflows. But blindly copying them is never a good idea.
Luke James Taylor has made an Apple Watch “container” in CSS that can be used to create mock ups for how things will look on the Apple Watch. Nice.
Another instant classic from Frank Chimero where in he describes the essence of designing for the web:
an edgeless surface of unknown proportions comprised of small, individual, and variable elements from multiple vantages assembled into a readable whole that documents a moment
Fascinating read and I’m sure it was even better as a presentation in person. I can give it no higher praise than to say that I wish I had written it.
Similar to things I’ve tried to do in the past, for the rest of March — not quite 30 days left in it but who cares — I’ll be posting only to my blog.
If I want to share a photo, video, tweet-sized-quip, or anything else I have to share it here. I’m allowed to link to it from elsewhere but not allowed to add any context on any other platform. Just a link.
It should be fun.
Update: @replies too. ;-)
Update March 4: I’m going back on my word about no context. I just remembered how much I hate vague tweets that seem like linkbait. So I will add a bit of context to Twitter, Facebook, LinkedIn, etc. when I decide to share there.
New music podcast from Jon Hicks. The first episode is ready for your earlobes:
This first edition of Troika is about ambient music. Not the bleepy,beaty, dancy kind, but the more soothing ‘neo-classical’ or drone style of Ambient. Music for watching the stars (amongst other things).
Music for watching the stars. Or, perhaps reading a few Space Bits.
/via Jeremy Keith.
Designal Tap is an informal meetup of local designers, sharing what we‘re working on. A lot of people in the area work on small teams or by themselves, which can be both lonely and challenging. Sometimes it‘s nice to have a second set of eyeballs look over a layout or a few people to bounce a branding concept off of. The goal here is to fill that void, to get feedback, offer opinions, share advice and ultimately become better designers.
If you’re a designer or a developer that would like to learn more about design principles I recommend seeking this out.
Recently I read Charlotte Spencer’s blog post about being a new developer. The entire post is worth a read but this bit jumped out at me:
I am not a new developer and I still don’t care what you’re programming in. I’ve lived through so many changes on the web. I survived the move from tables to CSS. From Web 1.0 to Web 2.0 to whatever the heck we have now. I’ve had to listen to so many pub discussions about “Rails doesn’t scale” when, indeed, Twitter and other large platforms were crashing hourly. And these days I see a new way to “build” HTML, CSS, and JS pop up ever single day.
I don’t care. I do like that I have options for doing my work. Different tools and methods and frameworks to help me accomplish my goals quicker. That’s just fine. However, the ferocity of some of the discussions about how one language or framework or process is better than another seems counterproductive. I almost never take part.
I don’t care if your app is written in Obj-C or Swift, PHP or Ruby, Node or Angular. I take little notice in the latest framework-name-here-dot-jay-ess that is currently at the top of the list on Hacker News. What I do care about is what you’re making! What is it? How will it help me or anyone else? Why does it exist?
I believe the what is more interesting than the how.
Imagine a bulbous ball of ice, rock, and metal that stretches at least 6 miles across moving at 85,000 miles an hour smashing into another bulbous ball of ice, rock and metal traveling at similar speeds. It would create an explosion that, if it were to happen in our atmosphere, would do some serious damage to our planet. Now, imagine this happening 2,000 times a day every day for millennia.
I had a lot of fun researching this piece.
For the month of February, Bill Gates will be guest-editing The Verge. Over the course of four weeks, Gates will be guiding us as we explore how technology will transform the lives of those in the developing world through advancements in banking, healthcare, farming, and education technology.
Bill Gates and his work the last decade or so has been far more fascinating to me than his work while at Microsoft.
A shorter scrapple post today. Not sure why but perhaps I’m too busy to be thinking of little nuggets of scrapple lately.
If we want it to get better, we need to start pushing back against the trend, modernizing blogs, and building what we want to come next.
If you’ve read my blog for any length of time you know that I agree with him. And I also don’t pretend to know the answers. Here is what I wrote about the blog format being ready to be “disrupted” back in the spring of 2011:
I believe the blog format is ready for disruption. Perhaps there doesn‘t need to be “the next“ WordPress, Tumblr, or Blogger for this to happen. Maybe all we really need is a few pioneers to spearhead an effort to change the way blogs are laid-out on the screen. There are still so many problems to solve; how new readers and also long-time subscribers consume the stream of posts, how people identify with the content of the blog on the home page, how to see what the blog is all about, how to make money, how to share, and how interact and provide feedback on the content.
This is far from the first time this topic has come up in the blogosphere. In 2013 a discussion sprang up about the blog being dead. At that time, I wrote:
A set of protocols or standards will need to come along to help connect all publishing platforms together. The incredibly useful features we find inside of networks like Twitter will need to find their way out onto the world wide web. This means bringing actions like following or subscribing, mentioning, citing, link previewing, etc. to the independent web and have them be completely separate from any single service.
I then pointed towards IndieWebCamp. Since that time the IndieWeb movement has made a considerable number of strides towards making these connective innovations a reality.
What Marco means by “modernizing blogs” I do not know. I hope he expounds on this idea a bit because his blog has been a bit of a trumpet lately for getting things moving. It wouldn’t be a bad thing if some innovation in the blogging space happened again.
One last note; I consider Barley an “innovation” in the way people write content for any type of site — blog or otherwise. Inline editing is beginning to show up just about everywhere now. However, it isn’t what the web needs to make blogs “live” again. No publishing platform is. It is more about how blogs are consumed, interacted with, subscribed to (for the lack of a better term) and shared, and less about how they are built or how content gets onto them. The blog needs to be rethought as if someone were to build it anew here in 2015.