A lot of good tough-love lessons for donors in this piece. The most important? Don’t attach conditions to how your money is used if you trust the organization. If you don’t trust the organization to spend it wisely without strings attached, give elsewhere.
I think the kingdom of heaven is like this. There was little girl playing on the beach with her bucket and shovel, building a sandcastle. She started way up high on the beach, at low tide. And she built and built, building towers and walls and using driftwood sticks as flagpoles. After a while she began to notice that the waves were getting closer. So she built seawalls, and moats, and drainage ditches. But the water kept coming closer and closer. She stopped for a moment, and turned and looked at the ocean. There was water as far as she could see. She looked back at her little castle. It didn’t seem quite so big anymore. Then she threw her bucket and shovel over her head and ran down into the surf, splashing and yelling and full of joy.
We can spend the whole of our lives trying to protect the little sand castle we’re building from the waves of the rising tide, or we can say to heck with it, and go swim in the great big ocean.” —
My brother in law Andrew, who really should update his blog (*ahem*) with more of his sermons, writes beautifully. I love this image.
“Just root the phone” the Android loyalists would say, “you can install whatever ROM you want.”
Let me say as a moderately technical and resourceful person who spent some time this morning trying to figure out how to root a Galaxy S I to run Android 2.3 (currently on 2.2)…this is not a solution for the faint of heart/time/patience. Fragmentation on Android sucks. A lot.
I blame Ezra Klein (via a tweet around election time) for leading me to this site….literally for the article. The profile is well worth a read as Colbert gets to step away from his character for a bit to reveal his true nature as a thoughtful and caring person who takes his craft tremendously seriously.
Love this oral history of the Avetts from Michael Kruse. Looking forward to reading the full piece in Our State soon. This is a quote from the brothers’ father.
I’ve been enjoying my post-holiday vacation time like most folks by eating too many leftovers (including the sinfully delicious homemade cinnamon rolls we made Christmas morning), reveling in the return of the West Wing to Netflix streaming, and….trying to organize a few aspects of my digital life.
A few things I’ve found recently have been insanely useful, so I wanted to share:
1. If, like me, you have a personal DropBox account but also use DropBox for work, you’ve likely encountered the frustration of only being able to sync a single account with your computer. Thanks to this item on Lifehacker I found this incredible guide to adding 2 DropBox accounts to your computer. Works great—pain point no more!
2. We received a new fancy DSLR camera this Christmas in preparation for baby’s arrival in May. I wanted to establish a process to both save and backup our photos but also easily get them from camera to computer. So far I like the Eye-Fi card, which uploads over our wifi network to a folder I designate on my computer. Their software interface is pretty horrendous, but with a little poking around I established this system (posting in case it’s helpful to anyone else):
- Picture is taken on the camera
- When connected to our wifi network, camera downloads the photo from the Eye-Fi card to a folder on an external hard drive connected to my iMac
- The photo, once downloaded to the external HD, is posted automatically to our Flickr account as a private photo
- The external HD is regularly backed up via BackBlaze
So, in theory, photos should automatically exist in 3-4 places: the Eye-Fi SD card (until it runs out of room, at which point it automatically deletes old, successfully transferred photos); the external HD; Flickr; and the BackBlaze back-up. Let’s see how this holds up once baby arrives and photos increase exponentially.
3. Related: I moved all of my music over to my external HD as well. Here are simple instructions for doing this without losing play counts, etc from your iTunes library.
Back to West Wing viewing.
Above all remember, dear, that you have a great opportunity. You are in one of the world’s best schools, in one of the world’s greatest modern empires. Millions of boys and girls all over this world would give almost anything they possess to be where you are. You are there by no desert or merit of yours, but only by lucky chance.
Deserve it, then. Study, do your work. Be honest, frank and fearless and get some grasp of the real values of life.” —
I really love this note from W.E.B. Du Bois to his 14 year old daughter, away at prep school.
This is a really great and thorough piece that you should send to anyone who wonders aloud “Why don’t we have online voting yet??”
Mr. Loughner, by making death and producing tragedy, you sought to extinguish the beauty of life. To diminish potential. To strain love. And to cancel ideas. You tried to create for all of us a world as dark and evil as your own. But know this, and remember it always: You failed.[…] there is what persists in Gabby: her love for this city, this state and this country. Her commitment to lifting us all up, and her ability to lead. Mr. Loughner, you may have put a bullet through her head, but you haven’t put a dent in her spirit and her commitment to make the world a better place.” —From Mark Kelly’s statement at Jared Loughner’s sentencing hearing. The whole thing is heart breaking and worth your time.
I’ve been interested in switching over to a standing desk for a while. This piece in Wirecutter helped seal the deal for me, and I began researching options. As somebody who is moderately handy but by no means a legitimate carpenter—and who also reads Lifehacker regularly—the concept of Ikea hacking appealed to me.
The first and very crucial step was deciding on the correct ergonomic heights for my keyboard and monitor. This graphic from the Tinkering Monkey tells you all you need to know. Using their guide I determined that for my 6 foot frame, I needed my keyboard shelf at about 44” and the monitor shelf about 6-8” inches above that. I use a 21” iMac, so I tried it on various surfaces around the house to make sure placing it at 50”-52” put the center of the screen at standing eye level.
Knowing the dimensions I needed, I looked at a variety of approaches posted online, including:
- Gina Trapani’s modification of the Ikea Jerker desk, which didn’t match the style and sturdiness I was going for but which might be a good fit if you want to limit the construction and modification steps. This desk can also be switched from standing to sitting in case you change your mind.
- This desk, which seems similarly easy to build and customize but not quite my style.
- This option from Ikea Hackers was a little short for my frame. I like the style but it looks complicated to build.
- This one was appealing but wouldn’t work with my iMac.
- This standing/sitting desk combo looks great but I’m a bit short on space to do this and my wife doesn’t work from home.
- Other options shown here.
In the end, I liked this approach from Peter Marks the best, but the height of his model was too tall for me. I liked his idea of using the Expedit shelf units as a strong and sturdy base, so I started there.
I feel like there’s an unexplored companion angle: what of those individuals who went to Washington (or their local state house, etc) with West Wing idealism only to be let down by the systemic failings and entrenched interests? Not to be wholly pessimistic, but the West Wing spoke to an idealism in many like me that simply (regarding domestic policy at least) today feels entirely foreign to our political process.