File this under ‘brilliant ideas’. PaveGen – a UK Company no less – has come up with what appears to be a product of absolute genius. Each time a person steps on a little rubber mat, their kinetic energy – the energy expended with the foot fall – is converted into electricity. A single step is said to generate 2.1 watts … not much, but in areas of high foot traffic that could turn out to be huge.
This is just brilliant. Apparently they’ve already installed a bunch outside a school of 1100 pupils and are scheduled to use them in some places during the Olympics. There are case studies on the PaveGen site.
Simple ideas like this do get me excited to the point where sometimes I even feel that maybe we’re not all off to hell in a hand basket!
Sometimes I’m just about the luckiest person I know. One of those times was yesterday when the most deliciously colourful, sumptuous and beautiful piece of artwork arrived on my doorstep. It came courtesy of the Kenspeckle Letterpress. It’s hard to do it justice on such a small web page. In real life it measures 4ft by 3ft. That’s huge! Laurena and I are both so thrilled with it.
So, I know, I know … ‘Where an I get mine?’ … well, just here as a matter of fact: As Above, So Below. Ours was a custom size, so you’d have to get in touch with Kenspeckle if you wanted one that large (they go up to 5 feet wide!) … but it’d be stunning at any size.
(Lara sees it as trees. Jonah sees it as rain – the Irish in him, I first saw it as river delta’s but now can’t get past trees. I’ll update later with Laurena’s take!)
So, this is always worth a quick Friday blog post … there’s a new Tom Waits video, and it’s for Satisfied. The Sunday Times, in it’s review of Bad As Me, described Satisfied thusly:
… his most extraordinary vocal performance yet, in a career that has been pretty much nothing but extraordinary vocal performances.
It’s not his strongest song, but I just love the energy:
So, a lot has been written about Steve Jobs this past week or so, (and for what it’s worth, this Stephen Fry piece is my favourite), but the quote below is one that is resonating particularly strongly with me at the moment.
You can’t just ask the customers what they want and then try to give that to them. By the time you get it built, they’ll want something new.
I don’t want to get into too many details because, clearly, I’m writing about a (soon to be ex) client (no, not you – obviously, someone else). But it goes back to this basic point: you hire a web designer (or accountant, or lawyer, or architect, or whatever …) to provide expertise and knowledge that you do not have. Let them do that job. You’re paying good money for their expertise, for their knowledge – don’t waste it. Andy Rutledge has said this far better than I can:
… if you’re the client, you describe problems or concerns and the designer then shows you changes. If you’re asking for changes you’re the one doing the designing. In that case there’s no need for you to have hired a designer and you’re wasting money. In fact in this scenario, … you’re definitely taking the pressure off the designer because he’s no longer designing. He’s just taking and filling your orders; like a waiter. Congratulations. You have a failed project.
You owe it to yourself to let the designer do the job you’ve hired them for.
This is so useful – I can only think that 99% of mac users already know how to do this and that I’ve been floundering around in the dark all this time … but if you’ve a need to take all email addresses from Mail and plonk them into Address Book (this is on a mac, btw) all you need to do is, in Mail, click ‘Window > Previous Recipients’ – highlight the relevant addresses and click ‘add to address book’. Ta-da!
How cool is that? (I wanted to do this because I’ve just downloaded Powerpack – the ‘pro’ version of the Alfred productivity app – and now I can open a new email addressed to any recipient just by typing into the Alfred dialog box. Pretty soon I won’t need my mouse at all).
So, here’s a few useful bits and pieces I’ve found lately:
- Web Standards Sherpa have a useful little post on Making the transition to HTML5. I still refer to Dive into HTML5 as my default resource on all things HTML5, but this is a useful, quick ‘how-to’ that people will find useful I’m sure.
- For a recent project I needed to get to grips with GitHub (and working with GIT in general). It helped to have an extremely helpful developer to work with and the Rockable Press Book – Getting Good With Git, as well as some helpful blog articles, but this video post is perhaps the most appropriate: Let’s Suck at GIT Together!
- This was just quite funny / cute: HTML for Babies
- And finally, a good collection of resources for Responsive Web Design from .net magazine
Something useful there for most of us, I’m sure.
This is doing the rounds on twitter etc., but worth posting here … LinkedIn are assuming your acceptance of having your photo and name available for use through third party advertising! Nice touch! So, here’s the box you’ll be wanting to uncheck: