peta hypocrisy

This is a screenshot from a PETA (People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals) website called They want to convince people (from the looks of it, children) that fish are actually kittens of the sea.

Presumably, people think kittens are cute, and therefore do not want to harm/eat them. Their aim is to prevent the unethical treatment of fish, and more generally, all animals.

But take a look at the banner ad… Not quite in line with the goals of their organization, don’t you think?

web design badness

I’m not a web designer, but I am a web user. Web sites have started to follow some design rules over the years and things have gotten exponentially better, but there are still some common practices that I find frustrating. For anyone who cares here they are:

  • Flash

    Everyone uses flash, so what’s the big deal? Consistent interface is the big deal. When I’m working in a web environment I have certain expectations. I have my mouse setup to follow links a certain way, such as to open them in new tabs, windows, etc. I have an expectation about the context menus that will appear when I right-click an image, file, or other link. Flash breaks all of these things. It totally hijacks the usual behavior for input, and it implements it’s own behavior. That creates a horrible user experience that is consistently inconsistent.
  • Music

    Seriously, there is no reason for your website to play music. It’s unnecessary. If I’m a person who likes music, then I already have my own music playing long before I browse into your site. I’m not saying you can’t play music if I request it, but I should never have to hear it by default. One obvious exception is band websites. If the site specifically promotes a music group, you’re off the hook, but otherwise get rid of it.
  • Resizing and Repositioning

    This is without question the worst. If browsing into your site causes my browser window to change size or position, chances are I’ll close it right away. This is similar to my first issue with flash and its unexpected behavior. I know how I like my browser window. I made it just the size it is, and just the position it is in. A web designer should never presume that such things are arbitrary, and free to be tampered with as they see fit. If you can’t design a site that is dynamic enough for me to view it how I want to, then you don’t have any business designing websites. You should just send me a PDF.

That’s my four cents (that’s two 1982 cents with inflation).

new lens

I’m getting a new lens for my camera next Wednesday in the mail. I haven’t gotten a new lens since right after I got my camera. This one has a much farther zoom range than my previous ones. Hopefully I’ll be able to get some more great candid shots (my favorite) by staying a little farther back from the action. You can check it out here. I’m excited to try it out. Hopefully I’ll have more pictures to show everyone soon.


Microsoft – Essential online etiquette I recently discovered this article. There is more to say, but it’s pretty good. You should read it, especially the part on email. I’d like to highlight this point:

  • Don’t send or forward virus warnings. These might be hoaxes.

You can check these as well as other ‘hoax’ emails on, and some viruses have been propagated through email disguised as warnings.

Also, if you are not the geekiest person on your contact list you never need to send an email about a virus. If there is a real threat, your geekier friends have already heard about it. Let them send out the email warning if necessary.

One guideline I would like to add. Never send anything to everyone in your email address book. If your email is so general that it can’t be targeted to a specific group of contacts, then it’s probably unnecessary to send at all. It’s very unlikely that your email is relevant to everyone. Really, you shouldn’t forward email at all.

jesus is my friend

This is a legitimate band from the late 70s. This video was brought to my attention by one of my roommates recently, and it made me smile.

fast fifty

If you are an aspiring photographer, hobbyist, or advanced amateur with a DSLR, and you don’t have a “fast” (large aperture, <= 1.8) 50mm lens you are wasting your camera. The miniscule depth-of-field and incredible sharpness from a fast prime lens can make seriously killer portraits, and lots of other awesome shots too. There is nothing that will make your subject pop in your photos quite like blurring the snot out of everything else in the image. Not too mention the fact that it is probably the cheapest lens you will ever buy. Nikon

new google icon

Google got a new favorites icon:

I just thought it was interesting.

the wheel, reinvented

Anticipation of Apple presentations and announcements always yields some rumors, and sometimes, parodies.

funny picture

This one is pretty subtle. Read the title and look closely at the picture: Parenting Fail

feliz ano nuevo

This has been the best year yet. For the second year in a row I’d like to recap some highlights. Here is my photo review of 2008:

Two thousand and eight rocked, and I can’t wait for ’09! It will be even more amazing.

@skoda on @technochocolate on