Darren Barefoot
Darren Barefoot


Thinking Chaos, Thinking Fences

This is for those who descend into the code
and make their room a fridge for Superman

Thursday, May 22, 2003

For any of you technical writers or sundry techy types, I'm speaking next Tuesday at the Society for Technical Communication's (STC) meeting. The topic is entitled 'Developing a Support Web Site' and here's the blurb:

If you don't create an effective means for your users to talk to each other, they'll build their own. That's why an informative, dynamic technical support site is one of the keys to a successful organization. The best that a lot of technical support sites can offer are a few moldy FAQs and an unmonitored email address.

It's a 45 minute talk followed by some Q and A, drawing mostly on my experience managing CapeScience. For a complete description of the talk and the usual details, go here.

11:08:23 PM    

Today I shared a theatre with two (that's right, just two) other people and watched Better Luck Tomorrow, an independent Asian-American story that is one part Kids, one part American Pie and two parts Suburbia. Here's what the critics thought (Roger Ebert really liked it). Despite the fact that the acting was spotty (with the exception of the excellent John Cho--famous, I think, for licking the photo of Stifler's Mom), the editing shameful and the writing loose as Iraqi military discipline (that wins most forced metaphor of the week, incidentally), I was quite intrigued for the first half of this film. Its characters are Ivy League college-bound over-achievers. Their lives revolve around getting into the right college. They're not social outcasts, though, because they live in an affluent Los Angeles suburb. Its Asian upper-middle classness reminded me of my own upbringing in West Vancouver. There was a nearly unilateral sense of privilege. As Roger Ebert puts it:

These kids use money as a marker of success, are profoundly amoral, and project a wholesome, civic-minded attitude. They're on the right path to take jobs with the Enrons of tomorrow, in the dominant culture of corporate greed.

That nails the majority of the graduating class (and an especially high proportion of my Asian classmates). And, so far, so good on the corporate greed front. I won't reveal the story, but suffice it to say that the second half of the film devolves into a predictable plot device.

The whole point of this entry, however, is that I saw a trailer for what looks to be a wonderful documentary. It's called Spellbound and follows eight teenagers on their quest to win the 1999 US National Spelling Bee. It looks like Hoop Dreams, except with extremely difficult words. The critics really like this one. Check out the trailer for yourself.

10:02:15 PM    

The English are so weird. I can say this with authority after watching the BBC (1, 2, 3 and 4) over the past couple of years. Check this out from the Isle of Wright:

Unruly students are being forced to ride a pink bus in an effort to subdue their bad behavior, according to a Local 6 News report. Officials said that the move to put misbehaving children on the pink vehicle was prompted after a number of incidents of children fighting and abusing the drivers. So far, the move has not been opposed by parents and students are acting better during their trip.

I can just see the news story in five or six years: "Classmates Sue Because Pink Bus Made Them Gay".

12:41:39 PM    

Thanks to James Bow, I discovered EasyRGB, a site all about colour. One of its tools enables you to enter an RGB value for a colour and then discover its complements. I'm currently building a Web site, so I entered one of the colours to see what complemented it (and to see how close I'd gotten). The original colour is in the center of the table below.






RGB = 137162203

HTML = #89A2CB








The actual complementary colour I selected looks like this:

It's too late to change things at this point anyway. Besides, I quite like #091F5B.

9:05:52 AM    

Make Bart write anything you want on the chalkboard. As a bonus in this entry, here's the complete list of lines that Bart writes at the beginning (or, occasionally, during) of each episode). A few of my favourites (rules to live by, really):

  • A trained ape could not teach gym
  • I will not instigate revolution
  • I will not trade pants with others
  • I saw nothing unusual in the teacher's lounge
  • I will return the seeing-eye dog

8:57:24 AM    

© Copyright 2003 Darren Barefoot.



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