Good Reads: February 2013

Lately my (online) reading experience has been improved a lot, partly because of Quote.fm. I noticed I was storing a lot of good articles for later use, but wanted to share these with people but at the same time keep a log of what I’ve been reading and what good stuff I came across.

To keep track of what inspired me or what I simply marked as “awesome”, I’m going to keep a log of interesting articles. I’m not set yet on a rythm for this, but here’s a first attempt.

  • Employees leave managers, not Companies – An eye-opening view on how managers affect their coworkers happiness in work life.
  • A short lesson in Perspective – An amazing read on things that matter in our lives, but in a context that I know: in the worlds of creative agencies, workaholics and self-deceit.
  • Holden Caulfield’s Goddam War – The background story on Catcher in the Rye: how J.D. Salinger kept the writings on his body while storming the beaches of Normandy. Truly inspiring, how an artists works changes by the changes of the artist itself.
  • Amen! (D’Angelo is Back) – The story of where D’Angelo has been for the last 11 years, and how he’s coming back. Quoting Angie Stone: “It’s not a little bit of God in him. It’s a lot of God in him. Sometimes when you have that much power, Satan works tenfold to break you.”
  • The Book that Changed my Life – I’ve been going through Aaron Schwartz’ blog since his passing, some articles are incredible. Here he writes about ‘Understanding Power’ by Noam Chomsky, how the book sheds a whole new perspective on the world and how it crushed him.
  • Why we took Cocain out of Soda – How Coca Cola used to be an “Intellectual Beverage” but was soon to become a problem by “The negroes of the South”.
  • The Indiepocalypse – We all know the music industry is broken, the Indiepocalypse is upon us. But how did that happen and is it possible for upcoming bands to become successful without signing to a big label?

Enjoy!

How to get your current viewport width in em?

The answer turned out to be a bit tedious so I tried fixing that. Say hello to Viewportmarklet:

Example of the Viewportmarklet

How does it work?

The tool is build around the assumption that you need an actual letter m on your canvas in the base font size. The width of that letter m is what the browser will use as 1 em.

When working on a frontend project I found myself struggling with the sites current viewport width in em and in pixels. To save myself and others from demotivation problems I build a small tool that helps you to wrap your head around em usage.

Check out the repository on Github.

Help me improve it

I know the code is not great but for now it’s helping me a great deal. If you see any improvements or have any feedback, fork away or let me know in the comments!

Organizing your Music Discovery

I like music a lot. I enjoy listening to it, let it grow on me, let it define me for that moment. Maybe I build up a connection to a certain song because of my mood, or because of the memories I’ve attached to it over time.

Discovering music has changed a lot the last years. There are great online services helping you find amazing gems from all over the globe. But I realized one thing: this whole thing around timing and newness of music is slowly fading away. It’s not important anymore if you discover this band right after they released their new EP, or if you heard that song on the radio the first day it aired.

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Somebodies: the endless mutations of Gotye

Last week my friend Peter Bihr tweeted about this Gotye mashup that was being played at the Wired 2012 conference. Yes- we’ve all about died of how many times this track has been played on the radio, tv, well everywhere and ALL THE TIME, but I must admit my interest was raised when I found out Wally De Backer (aka Gotye) was giving this mashup “back to the internet”. You’ll find a writeup of this talk here.

“I’m fascinated that people would spend all day covering themselves in body paint to create this humour, (…) I realised this song wasn’t really mine anymore, but belonged to the internet.”

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zZz – Running with the Beast

Browsing my Spotify playlists I stumbled upon this great album again zZz – Running with the Beast. I saw them once years ago as a support act and was really impressed by the energy and performance these guys were putting up.

A bit later they released their album Running with the Beast, for which Roel Wouters aka Xelor has made this awesome video. I agree, it’s pushing quite some moral boundaries but I think that’s mostly because of the switching of contexts, both creative and biological. There is an animal welfare statement on Roel’s website to make sure you won’t loose any sleep. If you want to know more, check out todayandtomorrow for more posters and the ‘making of’ video.

Continue reading “zZz – Running with the Beast”