Monthly Archives: September 2014

Add colour to your room: no paint required

While there are lots of great rooms that consist only of neutrals, I think every room benefits from bright colours. If you can’t paint your walls — and many people who rent cannot do that — there are ways to get around that, as this article shows: Put Down the Paintbrush: 10 Ways to Add Color Without Painting — Renters Solutions | Apartment Therapy. Some require more require more work than others. Others, like in the photo above, just require some a book shelf, coloured paper and adhesive. (If you are stuck for coloured paper, go to a place that sells sheets of wrapping paper.)

Sofas online and on sale

Shopping for sofas is a pain, I think. But I was looking into them and came across this: Bargain Alert! 10 Stylish Sofas on Sale Now at Apartment Therapy. The prices are good, the styles are varied and should appeal to many, and best of all, many of the places featued deliver.

If you are in the market for a sofa, check it out.

(The sofa above is Fog Kendall Sofa from World Market; was $699, now $549.)


Resources for people wanting to start getting into coding

My daughter asked me for good on line resources for people interested in learning about programming. I’ve collected a number of them here. If you know of any more, please let me know.

  • Code School and Codecademy are both well done sites that teach the basics of programming. I’ve used Codecademy and liked it alot. People say good things about Code School too.  For example, at Code School they came up with this fun way to learn Rails: Rails for Zombies.
  • is another highly publicized site that teaches programming, though it seems aimed more at younger people. Still, a good site:
  • Other good sites I found were The hard way to Learn Python and The Hard Way to Learn Ruby. I honestly didn’t find them that hard. For people who find the other sites I mentioned too slow or not for them, try “the hard way” sites.
  • If you want to focus more on HTML and CSS, then there are good tutorials on HTML, CSS, and more here: W3Schools Online Web Tutorials. I have a big fan of w3Schools for a long time. There’s also this: HTML, CSS, and JavaScript Tutorials, References, and Articles over at HTML Dog. As well, the other sites mentioned above have lessons on HTML, etc.
  • There are tons of  of programming references here -> Become a Programmer, M—–F—–. (Yeah, that word is what you think it is. Still, that site has alot of great links.)
  • What language should you learn? Well, here are the top 10 languages of 2014, according to Mashable. It really depends on alot of things, but I think you can’t go wrong learning Javascript, then maybe Ruby or Python. Some SQL is good to know.  But hey, I still use Perl and PHP. Java and C have their strengths. If someone made me choose one, right now, it would be Javascript.
  • Last, but not least by any means is a great story for anyone learning to program but is worried about it.  So How Did You Learn How to Program? : A Cubicle Of My Own. I highly recommend this to anyone who thinks “I really want to code and use computers” but is put off by the culture or the attitude of other programmers or for any reason is thinking that they can’t do it. You can. Really. Give it a try.

Having trouble sleeping? Have an iPhone? Try this.

It’s free and it’s from Muji. It’s the MUJI to Sleep App, available at the App Store on iTunes.

Two takes on robots that stem from one fact

Take 1: Over at Make,  A Peek Into the Design of The Robot Anyone Can Afford | MAKE.

Take 2: Over at Kottke is a good post on why we shouldn’t be blase about robots replacing us (Humans need not apply).

The one fact is that as microprocessors get small, cheaper, and faster, the ability to make robots gets easier and cheaper. That means more people can experiment with them, from individuals to corporations. Soon robots will be ubiquitous, just like personal computers and now smart phones are ubiquitous.  And just like now there are fewer and fewer jobs without computers  or smart phones involved, soon there will be few jobs without robots involved.

I don’t think this will result in robots taking all the jobs. My belief is that there will be a mix of robots and people doing work for some time to come, rather than just robots replacing people. But robots in work and play and all aspects of our lives in inevitable and coming soon. (Depending on your work day, you may not see this as a bad thing.)


The typical American room, and incidentally, the importance of home decor

This is not a typical American room:

No, not because of the actors in it. It’s not typical because it is interesting. It is packed with things to capture the eye. It is a “typical” room to an art director of a TV show.

To see and think about the typical American (and Canadian) room, I highly recommend this piece, The American Room — The Message — Medium. The author takes a number of YouTube videos to explore the typical American room and what it means. It sounds potentially boring, but I found it thought provoking.

I think home decor is important. The furniture you choose, the pictures you hang, and the color of the walls you choose are important. It stimulates the mind and gets you to think about yourself, your world, and your  life. I read once that the great artist Ferdinand Leger painted his floor red because he wanted it to stimulate him to produce better art. You need to live in rooms that make you better.  The typical room discussed in the article has none of that.

Here’s me hoping you strive to furnish your home in a way to gives you a better life.

Billy Bragg and David Byrne on streaming and music

David Byrne kicked off the discussion on music streaming with a long and thoughtful post. Billy Bragg picked up on that and replied with an equally long and thoughtput post, fround here (Streaming Debate: Billy Bragg’s Response To Byrne’s ‘How Will The Wolf Survive…’ — MusicTank.). I highly encourage anyone who is interested in music, the music business, or music and IT to read both of these.

If you go to the Billy Bragg link, you’ll also get to see a link to David Byrne.