Category Archives: Uncategorized

Poverty on the rise… in the burbs

Cities, for the first time in 100 years, are growing faster than the suburbs. Meanwhile, poverty has grown everywhere rapidly, even in places not thought possible:

While the overall suburban population grew slightly during the previous decade, the number of people living below the poverty line in the suburbs grew by 66 percent, compared with 47 percent in cities. The trend quickened when the Great Recession hit, as home foreclosures and unemployment surged. In 2010, 18.9 million suburban Americans were living below the poverty line, up from 11.3 million in 2000

Read the rest: NYTimes: Editorial: Struggling in the Suburbs

Beginner’s Eyes: on storytelling and growth

John D. Cook, in a short, poetic post, describes how experts end up where they started, as beginners, and why, in his blog post “Coming full circle”. A few folks in his comments thread make the connection with Zen’s concept of “Shoshin”, the Beginner’s Mind, and it does, but I hear echoes of another journey just as strongly.

YouTube: “The Hero’s Journey / Monomyth”

“Hands that Feed Us” was fantastic and so were the custom motorcycles

Friday night I made it down to Fishtown to check out Albert Yee’s show at Gravy, “Hands that Feed Us” a photo exploration and celebration of those working across the region in agriculture and produce. There are many ‘behind the scene’ looks at crisis and issues related to food production, it was uplifting to see organizations and people working towards the humane treatment of animals and sustainable agriculture.

The Metro, on the 30th, “Small-scale farms: The whole picture” had this to say:

Yee has been working for Fair Food Farmstand for more than three years, and along with his wife, Kate Donnelly, writes a popular Philly food blog, “Messy and Picky.”

His passions are set to collide this weekend, with the opening of his photography show, “Hands That Feed Us,” at Gravy Gallery in Fishtown.

The series of 13 prints represents Yee’s travels to alternative small-scale farms in the Philadelphia region. The show is intended to be a celebration of these producers, upholding them as a model for humane treatment of animals and sustainable agriculture.

“The exposé of huge corporate farms has been done many times over. And I think people are horrified, but they’re desensitized. They don’t need to see piles of dead carcasses,” says Yee. “This is the other side: It’s happy animals and happy farmers working the land. That’s a possibility that’s out there.”

I commented on how I could see a children’s book inspired by this. I’d definitely read it with my daughter because as the description of the essay put it, “Knowing the people who cultivate the raw ingredients you eat can and will make a difference in your life.”

Follow Albert on Twitter @dragonballyee

Subscribe to his blog: Albert Yee

His food blog with Kate Messy and Picky

The Gravy Studio has a blog for more information about it.

The show runs all month so if you didn’t make the opening, get on over there.

About the custom motorcycles I mentioned in the headline…

Gravy runs in a space provided by Adam Cramer’s garage in Fishtown. Adam Cramer restores vintage motorcycles and I had the chance to talk with him for a few minutes about his work. I’ve been thinking of getting a motorcycle and if I do, I think I’d be very happy to purchase one from him.

Etsy featured him in a fantastic short you can see on YouTube: “Handmade Portraits: Liberty Vintage Motorcycles”:

You can read more about his company on its home page: Liberty Vintage

You can read more about the Etsy piece on him on their blog

First post from WordPress

Recent happenings with Six Apart and the momentum behind WordPress convinced me to migrate paradox1x.org.

I used to migrate this blog every few months to a new platform during blogging’s early period; Userland Frontier, EditThisPage, Userland Radio, Nuke, PostNuke, GreyMatter, and eventually MovableType. I’ve had plenty of experience with Drupal, Blogger, and WordPress on other projects over the years and I’ve gone the build-it-your-self route a few times too.

I had considered some other great options for paradox1x.org; Melody, Jekyll, Hyde, PyBlosxom and going hosted with WordPress.com, or Tumblr.

In the end, this blog is primarily an outlet for my writing. And WordPress, like MovableType, just works, not exciting technologically I know, but that’s what is important for this space here.

3164 posts and 3592 comments, 21 pages later, here we are. Thank you Movable Type and Six Apart for a long run. Movable Type was never as bad a some made it, nor was it the bees knees. It got the job done and the community that was a round it was instrumental in blogging’s history. Thank you. Now on with WordPress.

Let me know about any flakiness. I am trying to determine the optimal comment toolset (Disqus is an option) so there will be some issues, I’m sure, to work out.

‘Perfectly proportioned’ websites may be the worst

New Scientist:

…a study by Paul van Schaik at the University of Teesside, UK, has found that the golden ratio does not benefit all designs. Websites with golden proportions can be harder to extract information from, he says.

Van Schaik put 98 students into five groups and asked them all to answer questions using information on five separate websites. He recorded the time it took participants to answer each question, together with the number of web pages they looked at to do so.

All the sites had a navigation bar with links to other sections of the site on the left of the page and a frame for content on the right, but the sizes of these two sections differed for each group. The pages of one group were divided according to the golden ratio, while the websites of the other four groups gave over less space to the navigation bar.

Those in the golden group answered the questions slowest, taking an average of 15.8 seconds to answer each question – 3.5 seconds longer than the fastest group. The golden ratio group also took 2 seconds longer than the next slowest group and had to visit more pages to find the information required.

“It has been suggested since antiquity that the ratio is aesthetically pleasing,” says Van Schaik. “But we found that not only is it not liked in web pages, it is also less efficient in terms of accuracy and speed.”