Yesterday Thousands Took A Stand Against Violence

…The March to Save the Children, a gathering of people from different races, ages, and walks of life, began at Cecil B. Moore Park at 20th Street and Lehigh Avenue and ended in a rally outside Faheem’s school, T.M. Peirce Elementary, at 23d and Cambria Streets.

LaTasha K. Blackston, 26, of North Philadelphia, pushed 14-month-old daughter Treasure’s stroller through the thick crowd.

“I’m here to give my daughter hope,” Blackston said.

Blackston grew up in North Philadelphia and dreamed of raising her own children there. Now she wants to leave. She has seen rough times before, and she’s seeing them again.

“I was going to a funeral every week from July to October 1996,” she said. “Then it got better. Then it got worse again.”

The march was supposed to have been silent.

But as marchers walked the deadly streets of North Philadelphia, many found that they could no longer hold their tongues.

“Don’t be silent! Stop the violence! Save our children!” they yelled.

Read the rest in the Philadelphia Inquirer.

What Is Easter To Me?

Easter is possibly the greatest holiday of the year for me. While almost everyone knows the outline of events (Sunday School Lessons), it’s the metaphors they represent that mean so much. They embody facing terrible dark times, making impossible choices, the struggle to find faith thru it all, and ultimately being reborn.

This year it is especially significant since Richelle’s 30th birthday takes place on it. How awesome is that? I find it very fitting. She helped me see past my terrible dark times and she’s helped me become a better man for them.

Update: It was Angus Young’s birthday back in 2002. Tony Pierce took the opportunity to use Angus to teach some lessons (great link!).

Monday was the anniversary of Kurt Cobain’s death

It didn’t surprise me when I heard the news, I always expected Axl Rose to go first, but there were plenty of signs laid all over Nirvana’s music. And that’s the rub. When a musician lets you inside, no matter the technical talent, if he or she can write songs, and if it is from the heart – you are changed. Cobain did that.

I didn’t appreciate him or Nirvana enough when he was here. Ten years later it still it still resonates. The music goes on. But back then I was angry. Angry at a selfish bastard who checked out of this world and broke so many hearts. I still want to believe it was murder. Now all that remains is a strange feeling of guilt for someone who I knew only thru music, and whose music I originally resisted. More in this Metafilter thread.

“Humans are failure machines”

…Humans are failure machines. We’re not success machines. We’re failure machines. We fail all the time. And it’s only through processing the feedback of our failure that we learn how to correct for them and do better. That is why it is important to stick with the choices you make and understand how well they worked.

Read the rest of Becoming An Architect at

Only by staying with a project thru multiple releases do you get the kind of experience that leads to becoming a domain expert and a system architect. A couple failures along the way are great opportunities to learn, so by constantly moving from new thing to new thing you loose the chance to apply those lessons in a consistent way to test them. It wrecks, long term, the software solutions you’ve built as well. If this sounds pessimistic – you are missing the point. It’s about “if at first you don’t succeed…” and taking the lessons learned with you. You can’t get more optimistic then that. Great article.

On The Delaware River, Citizens Bank, and Slings And Arrows

Slactivist exposes some little known information: They are planning to dump nerve gas waste into the Delaware River! There has to be some other option. I have not read about this anywhere else.

Uncle Horn Head reviews the Phillies new home: Citizen’s Bank Field.

Atrios announces some changes in his political advertising support in response to the Kos blowup. Mitras says this is why he blogs anonymously. Alex, on the other hand, was so furious that he e-mailed the Mr. Hoeffel campaign to inform them of Kos’s insenitivity. My take: no one can get more insensitive to the lives lost in Iraq then Bush joking about the hunt for WMDs. What Kos did was insensitive and stupid. Like many weblog posts, they can be done in the heat of the moment and in haste. Bush planned that joke routine before hand. Just my opinion. I could be wrong.

Mac vs. Windows vs. Linux: Usability and Design

There is just too much goodness to share in this essay at Daring Fireball (source

Some things are worth repeating:

  • UI development is the hard part.
  • UI development isn’t cheap.
  • Windows and Mac trump Linux in usability because they have talented, dedicated people who get paid to do it.
  • “Fast, good, cheap: pick two.” can’t be avoided. It is a software project’s destiny. Reminds me of the four “levers”, the four factors in every project, that are mentioned in Extreme Programming; Cost, Quality, Scope, and Time. If you move one of those “levers”, one of the others is going to change.

  • Life In The Fast Lane And Taking Time To Listen

    …The supermarket is a great place to study human behavior, Trinkaus says. In a 1993 report, he described 75 visits in which he watched the same checkout lane for 15-minute stints.

    …”all my studies point in the same direction?that things are changing for the worse” in terms of courtesy and civility. “We?re seeing more selfish behavior, more people looking out for themselves,” he notes. He suspects that Americans? infatuation with technology?cell phones, MP3 players and the Internet?has led to a lack of communication. “People interact less with one another these days and more with machines. That can be isolating, possibly contributing to antisocial behavior.”

    Read the rest in Scientific American.

    …there is indeed a clear link.
    … a teenager who thinks his or her complaints are not being taken seriously by the parent loses some self esteem, and loss of self esteem has been shown in many other studies to be related to drug and alcohol abuse.

    So when a father laughs off a request from a son who wants to date more, as one father did during the study, the teenager is left diminished in his own eyes. In this case, as in many others, the teenager whose request was not taken seriously admitted using alcohol and drugs.

    …Teenagers who thought their parent wasn’t listening, or taking his or her concerns seriously, were far more likely to turn to dangerous substances. The parental plea that they not do so was not taken seriously by the teen.

    “I think what happens is if the parents show the teenagers that when an issue comes up, it’s OK to withdraw and not really talk about it, teenagers pick up on that and they see that as a legitimate way to deal with an issue,” Caughlin says. “They will turn around and do the same thing to the parents.”

    … If a parent doesn’t listen to a teenager who wants to talk about a complaint, no matter how trivial, it’s unlikely the teenager will listen to the parent when it comes to life or death issues.

    Read the rest in this ABCNews article.

    The more television children watch between the ages of 1 and 3, the greater their risk of having attention problems at age 7, U.S. researchers reported on Monday.

    … They found that each hour of television that preschoolers watched per day increased the risk of attention problems such as attention deficit-hyperactivity disorder, by almost 10 percent later on.

    Read the rest at Yahoo!.

    Pay attention. Listen. Don’t use the TV to replace person to person time.