These minimalist designs are lovely failures

I'm a minimalist but the art director in me says: all but two or three of these are  design failures. Don't get me wrong, they look lovely, but they fail to fulfill the products' core brand promises.For all but the 


Education as production line

This is a brilliant animation featuring education reform & creativity expert Ken Robinson. His central thesis is that all modern education systems are built on industrial-age models that are no longer appropriate. Take 12 minutes to watch it, you won’t 


I wish

I wish I knew how to surf, and how to make things with my own hands. I never tried the first and I fail repeatedly and miserably at the second.(Inspired by this interview with Jay Nelson.)  


Thoughts about the Forest Park bike access decision


(From a comment I left on BikePortland.org, more info here) I have two dogs in this fight. So I've spent a few hours thinking about my reaction and writing it down. I apologize in advance for the length.Beginning in the 


Don’t walk your bike up a hill


Tonight on my ride home up Montgomery Drive I passed a woman walking her bike up the hill. Don't ever do this.I've written previously about this hill and how I conquered it. Here’s my recipe for mastering hills:Ride your bike 


The thing about Drupal

I have not been feeling the Drupal love lately. Drupal seems hell-bent on making my designs as difficult as possible. I thought this reflected either a technical failure on Drupal's part, or a profound lack of getting-it on mine.This weekend 


Job advice for recent grads; and working at Mercy Corps

I get “networked” a lot, especially now that I’m working at Mercy Corps (which is a really great place to work). Similarly, a lot of people come to me with leads: “do you know any Drupal developers?” That kind of 


“How then do I live it?”


Dave Moulton writes:Pro-cycling change is happening all over the US, and I believe it is partly because of this change that the non cycling public is kicking against it; people don’t like change.This is probably true but I think it's 


Why I moved to Oregon


In 1994, when I was 23, I was shopping for graduate schools. I remembered a paper I’d read by U of O archaeologist Madonna Moss, “Shellfish and Gender.” So I applied to the U of O. A year later Dr. 


Teaching, for Non-Teachers


My wife is a teacher and I help her a lot with creating and planning computery classroom things. I used to work at a school, where I helped teacher create and plan computer classroom things. At that school I also 


Facebook, the new town directory

For two years in college (1990–1991) I shelved books at the University of Nebraska’s Love Library. One day I discovered a whole class of reference books I had no idea even existed: town directories. Love Library had collected all of 


What has it got in its pocketses?


I’m in Seattle right now for a web conference. When I travel I’m highly aware of my usual patdown routine. This is the thing I do every time I leave the house: I pat all my pockets to check for 


Three stories about “Tough + Fun”


ONEThis morning when I got the trailer loaded up in POURING FRICKING RAIN I thought “today is a ‘tough’ day, not a ‘fun’ day.” Before we even left the driveway I was defeating myself. I started up the street with 


Fun + Tough

Today, peopleforbikes.org asked me to share my ideas about “improving the future of cycling.” Here’s what I wrote them:Check out this ad, for the Gap: This ad for pants does more for bike advocacy and bike love than any specifically 


Don’t make the stylesheet grep for you

For the last decade or so, every time I wanted to design something like a “subheader,” I’d code it like this: <h3 class="subheader">This is a subheader</h3> And then I’d define a style in the main stylesheet like this:.subheader { color: 


Mountain Bikes


Dave Moulton wrote today about the evolution of mountain biking. He asked for his readers’ “take on the period” — here’s mine:I grew up in rural Nebraska in the 1970s when banana seats gave way to BMX. My favorite thing 


When is an “accident” not “unintentional?”

So I’ve been thinking a lot about the recent sentencing of Antonio Cellestine in the hit-and-run death of Gordon Patterson. Mr. Cellestine was, by his own testimony and subpoenaed cel phone records, texting at the time (and smoking a cigar). 


Today I learned about Lady Gaga

...via a music-related internet discussion group consisting mainly of people I know in the Real World™ (i.e. 30- to 40-something white people, mostly male). Prior to today all I knew about Lady Gaga was the name. Based only on this 


Oregon’s new hands-free cel phone law

...has not apparently rendered Oregon drivers any less inattentive.I’m all YAY for this new law but it feels like rearranging deck chairs on the Titanic. Hell, it feels like writing a strongly-worded letter to the White Star Lines home office