In Pursuit of Accessibility

I’m presently on my way to Logan, UT to attend WebAIM’s accessibility training. I’m not a web developer or designer, and I have lots of issues to fix on my own website. But I do help make websites for my career, so I’m excited to get an in-depth look at how to make the web better for folks of all abilities.

I’ve performed audits using automated tools and consulting some WCAG documentation, but my hope is this training will help me to develop a holistic practice of producing accessible sites, from sales and requirements through delivery.

fourteen actors acting

actor jesse eisenbergThe New York Times has an incredible feature on their website right now called Fourteen Actors Acting, wherein the aforementioned thespians act out classic screen types in gorgeously filmed black and white videos. No sound but the harrowing music by Owen Pallett. All shorts were directed by photographer Sølve Sundsbø.

Be sure to see the accompanying still photos from Sundsbø.
There's also a nice (though brief) behind-the-scenes about the whole project.

out of time

Fantastic short film shot on Super 8 using - apparently - a single cartridge. Seems a little long for that to be true, but it doesn't change how good this is:

[vimeo 15601149 w=640 h=480]

out of time - a straight 8 film by duncan wellaway from straight eight on Vimeo.

Berkeley Girl

Check out the video for Harper Simon's Berkeley Girl, shot entirely on an assortment of Super 8 film stocks. There's a little extra significance to my posting this, but I'll get to that later this evening.


The King's Speech

Boy, howdy, does this movie look good...and part of its concept, at least as provided by the trailer, reminds me of the play, The Madness of King George III.


edgehill civic association

So I don't expect it to be heavily updated, but there's now a website for the Edgehill Civic Association. I put together this little Wordpress blog so the neighborhood organization could be a bit less reliant on paper flyers, and, if we're lucky, act as a source of information about our little corner of Richmond.

37 posters

millennium falcon poster Jerod Gibson created a whole series of posters for a number of movies (and one TV show, so far). Each poster contains the silhouette of an iconic image from that film with a host of quotes contained therein. From the faux distressed backgrounds (which are tastefully muted colors) to the choice of typeface for the quotes, these are real gems.

There are only 12 posters available now, but I look forward to what he might add in the future.
(via Quipsologies)

so you wanna be a chef

The restaurant kitchen may indeed be the last, glorious meritocracy—where anybody with the skills and the heart is welcomed.

Michael Ruhlman was able to post a complete chapter from Anthony Bourdain's book, Medium Raw, on his website. It's a fine read and certainly makes the book sound enticing.


I laughed so hard at this I almost wet my pants:

(via jnonfiction)

preview two tracks from sufjan stevens' upcoming album

As of today it seems you can listen to/download two tracks for free from the upcoming Sufjan Stevens album, The Age of Adz.

Check it:

Dan Winters Photography

Dear goodness, please take a good hour or five to gawk at the photographic art of Dan Winters (Flash, yeah, but it's worth it).
(via Jason Crowgey)

I'm hungry. Let's get a taco.

Holy shnikes, there's apparently some chance that Harvey Keitel could replace Steve Carell on The Office.

Don't know how realistic this is, but it'd be hilarious to see the new boss go kinda nuts on Dwight with a stapler.

Blind Pilot

One of my favorite reasons or listening to Pandora is the discovery of new music. Tonight on my way home from class I discovered Blind Pilot, a band with some tasty acoustic-driven pop rock. Check out their video for "Go On, Say It" below:

[vimeo 5580872 w=640 h=360]

Blind Pilot "Go On, Say It" from Team G on Vimeo.

(The song I heard on Pandora, for the record, was "One Red Thread")

Ben Folds + Nick Hornby + Pomplamoose = Ear Joy

I feel like this has been posted all over the Internet today, but this video (as of this writing) still has fewer than 4000 views. Let your ears be glad as you see all the people mentioned in the title of this post get down to musical business in the best way.

(via too many people to list, but it bears posting everywhere)

simon's cat

Please do yourself a favor and watch a few of these short films about Simon's Cat. It'll make your day filled with jolliness.


smash hit

Awesome piano playing. Heart-stopping piano destruction.

(via yewknee)

reinventing the gin and tonic

Grant Achatz working with Craig Schoettler on a re-imagined classic:


mast brothers chocolate

Handcraft. Chocolate. Beards. There's not really a lot left to say about why I love this 8-minute video (via Devour):

The Mast Brothers from The Scout on Vimeo.

Scott Pilgrim vs. The Animation

Here's a totally sweet animated short created by Adult Swim that covers a portion of the Scott Pilgrim series not included in the movie. It's great prep on opening night!

black and white and Rome all over

As much as I love to cook, the main reason I've been such a huge fan of Anthony Bourdain is his writing. I've never eaten food prepared by the guy, but I've consumed his words on many occasions, and they're almost always fantastic. I'm also a huge fan of his show No Reservations on the Travel Channel. Here my love for food and travel mixes with my love of good film making as his crew has continued to push the boundaries of documentary television production.

With the love of his writing and No Reservations in mind, Mr. Bourdain's post today about the upcoming Rome episode is outstanding. The episode could end up being a flop, but reading about it was entertainment on its own. The care for detail, nerdy film references, the willingness to take risks even while riding high in critical acclaim, all rendered expertly in words that were a joy to read.

But I have a feeling the episode won't be a flop. I'm quite looking forward to it.

(color) pencil pusher

Check out these nifty Pantone colored pencils. Perhaps you can use a favorite Pantone coffee mug as a pencil cup?
(via Curated)

sound prism

If I had an iPad, I'd get Sound Prism as soon as it clears the App Store:

(via Jason Fried)

The Swell Season plays "Two-Headed Boy"

Be patient with the commercial at the beginning of this video; the song is absolutely worth it. As one of the later entries for The A.V. Club's Undercover series, The Swell Season covers Neutral Milk's "Two-Headed Boy." Absolutely delightful.

A New Age of Entrepreneurial Fundraising

Small businesses and entrepreneurs hold a special place in my heart. I believe small businesses contribute greatly to our economy in mostly localized ways. Entrepreneurs are those daring individuals who turn their ideas into businesses, often innovating along the way. There's a great deal of overlap between the two groups, of course.

My idealistic goal for my business education is to find a way to help small tech businesses and entrepreneurs succeed - to achieve and maintain profitability without sacrificing their ideas or what drew them into running a small business in the first place. This means I'm wary of the popular venture funding model where often cannibalistic firms trade large sums of money for sizable equity stakes and influence; where ROI and an exit strategy are more important than nurturing the idea that attracted the financing.

So I've always been encouraged and impressed by 37signals, a firm that achieved stable profitability, growth on its own terms, and complete ownership of its operation. The company has since accepted funding from Jeff Bezos of, but not before already establishing itself as a healthy player in the marketplace. 37signals believes in the path it took to success, so they have an entire series of posts on their blog about other firms that built themselves up without venture funding. "Bootstrapped, Profitable, & Proud" shines a light on other firms that have over $1 million in revenue, accepted no venture capital, and are profitable.

Not everybody with an idea has the money to start working on their great idea right now, however, so some source of funding is still required. You only need a computer to start your own software development business (and most Americans have computers now). But not everyone has the equipment lying around to start hand-making high quality photographic prints, for example. That's where Kickstarter comes in. Kickstarter allows users to create fundraising projects. You set a financial goal to be paid out in an all-or-nothing basis. If you hit or exceed your target, you keep what you raise. If you miss it, even if it's by a dollar, none of the contributors pays. This method has been used to fund albums, films, and even hosting for Whiskerino. Fundraisers seek money in different tiers and typically offer some reward in exchange for pledges.

With that in mind, I absolutely enjoyed reading Craig Mod's essay on using Kickstarter to feed his entrepreneurial appetite (via Daring Fireball). Craig emphasizes the use of Kickstarter as seed money for a direction rather than a single project. That is, contributors often believe in the work of a fundraiser, not necessarily limited to one project. So why not use the fundraising power of Kickstarter to get your business off the ground? This is already happening, of course. Kickstarter has projects open for starting a food cart, a community biotech lab, and a college media website. Sure you can raise money to prepare for a photo gallery exhibition, but why not try raising money to launch a photography business?

Kickstarter has only been around for a bit more than a year, so I'll be interested to observe the limits and heretofore unimagined uses of its fundraising capabilities. Here's hoping Craig's Kickstarter tips find a broad audience and his essay/results encourage many would-be entrepreneurs to take the next step in making their ideas into realities.

Facebook, I CAN quit you.

Last night I quit Facebook. Again. It's not because they've changed their layout. It's not because they added some new feature. It's not because I'm afraid Facebook is selling my data to corporations or some other paranoid plot. It's not even really about privacy. There are privacy controls and I understand them, and I use them.

It's the implementation, however, that pushed me over the edge. I just got seriously tired of having to flip switches and opt out of everything. When something that's ostensibly entertainment turns into work it loses any shred of fun it had left. I've long tolerated Facebook for the sake of my family connections who use it all the time, but I've never warmed up to its near uselessness (for my purposes) since I re-joined a little over a year ago. Now that privacy maintenance has become too onerous I've decided to ditch it again. If everything was opt-in instead of opt-out I'd probably linger around a bit longer. But I don't like the idea that I have to learn about, search for, and maintain every new setting because they're turned on by default.

Have I left for good this time? I hope so. I didn't really get anything new out of it when I returned except for additional annoyance, more wasted time, and a feeling that I had to be more careful about what I said because of who was following me. Good riddance.