Links and Bits for April 19th

A collection of my actions and interactions from around the Net over the last week.

delicious (feed #10)
delicious (feed #10)
delicious (feed #10)
delicious (feed #10)
delicious (feed #10)
googlereader (feed #3)
delicious (feed #10)
delicious (feed #10)
Shared 0to255.

"a simple tool that helps web designers find variations of any color. "

delicious (feed #10)

Great Podcasts

It’s been a couple of years since I wrote about my favorite podcasts, but a recent discussion with Jonathan has nudged me to document my current recommendations.

My Top Five Six

(in no order…)

Radiolab

Radiolab focuses on a single “Big IDea” per episode, using the medium of sound to the fullest extent possible. It is indescribable, so I will simply say that if you subscribe to nothing else on this list, you must experience Radiolab.

The International Spy Museum’s Spycast

How can you beat a show hosted by a man with over three decades of experience in espionage made up of interviews with “ex-spies, intelligence experts, and espionage scholars.” It is a truly fascinating glimpse into the shadows.

This American Life

Most people reading this have likely been listening to This American Life for a while, but just in case you haven’t experienced what is quite possibly one of the best shows to ever ride the radio waves, I list it here.

The History of Rome

Being the history geek that I am, I love this series, which traces “the history of the Roman Empire, beginning with Aeneas’s arrival in Italy and ending (someday) with the exile of Romulus Augustulus, last Emperor of the Western Roman Empire.”

In Our Time

This BBC podcast covers an amazing array of topics under the banner of discussing “the history of ideas”. Isaac Newton, the samurai, genetics and the philosophy behind Communism are a small sampling of the topics you can hear each week.

The Moth

The Moth is a series of storytelling events held in several cities around the US, from which they take some of the funniest and most poignant to place on the podcast.

More Awesome Podcasts

You should get these too. They may not be in my top five, but the fact that I listen to them still speaks highly of their value – I’m pretty brutal about cutting out shows that aren’t amazing.

The Engines of Our Ingenuity

John Lienhard’s stories and perspective on the history of our technology and its impact on culture are inviting and informative. It’s a nice short podcast, every episode of which teaches me something.

NPR: Sports with Frank Deford

While I like to watch some sports (football and boxing for the most part), Frank Deford can hook me no matter which sport or aspect of the business of sports he decides to talk about. He is an amazing story-teller who truly cares about the subject and the people who play.

On the Media

Yet another NPR show that fills my iPod. If you care in the least about how the media works nd its impact on those of us who consume it, you need to listen to the show. On the Media ‘explores how the media “sausage” is made, casts an incisive eye on fluctuations in the marketplace of ideas, and examines threats to the freedom of information and expression in America and abroad. For one hour a week, the show tries to lift the veil from the process of “making media,” especially news media, because it’s through that lens that we literally see the world and the world sees us.’

The ATX Web Show

While this is a bit of a niche, Dave Rupert and friends put together a great show highlighting the Web design and development community here in town. It’s a great way to keep up with the future.

60 Second Psych & 60 Second Science

Exactly as their names imply, each of these podcasts come in bite-sized chunks, ready to make you smarter and help you understand how things truly work in the world at large and the world in our brain.

12 Byzantine Rulers

Lars Brownworth’s love of the subject is clear from the first minute and will quickly attract anyone interested in history. As noted on the site, Mr. Brownworth’s “passion for Byzantine history has taken him on travels from the furthest reaches of the Byzantine Empire right into Constantinople, (present day Istanbul) the very heart of Byzantium. He has traveled and studied Byzantine history extensively and produced this lecture series giving us an overview of Byzantine history as seen through 12 of its greatest rulers.”

Norman Centuries

Another great history podcast from Lars Brownworth, starts with the humble beginnings of the Normans traces the path of the Normans over the two centuries that they “launched a series of extraordinary conquests, transforming Anglo-Saxon England into Great Britain, setting up a powerful Crusader state in Antioch, and turning Palermo into the dazzling cultural and economic capital of the western Mediterranean”.

What am I Missing

What are your favorite podcasts?

Links and Bits for April 12th

A collection of my actions and interactions from around the Net over the last week.

googlereader (feed #3)
delicious (feed #10)
delicious (feed #10)
delicious (feed #10)
delicious (feed #10)
delicious (feed #10)
delicious (feed #10)
delicious (feed #10)
delicious (feed #10)
delicious (feed #10)
delicious (feed #10)
delicious (feed #10)

Change the Thesis Doctype and Add Meta Tags

I love using Thesis because it lets me focus on content, while providing all of the design and development hooks I need to tweak the theme as I see fit. I’ve dug in a good bit, and while I’m far from an expert, I’m confident that anything and everything I want to do is available to me.

One thing I discovered early is that the default doctype is XHTML Strict, which is great in many respects, but can add some complexity given enough design changes and external data sources.

In 1.6 I was able to add some custom code to change the doctype to XHTML Transitional, simplifying some issues I was having with IE 8. Those same reasons necessitated that I include a new meta tag as well. Thesis 1.7 changed the implementation methods, so I’m documenting the new, right way to modify the doctype and add items to the page head in the hope that others might find it useful.

Credit: I learned about of this from girlie, who was kind enough to point me in the right direction on the Thesis forums.

Modify the Thesis Doctype

Simply add this to custom_functions.php in your Thesis directory:

/* !Custom Doctype */
function custom_doctype() {
    return '< !DOCTYPE html PUBLIC "-//W3C//DTD XHTML 1.0 Transitional//EN" "http://www.w3.org/TR/xhtml1/DTD/xhtml1-transitional.dtd">';
}
add_filter('thesis_doctype','custom_doctype'); 

Adding Meta Tags or Conditional Comments

This hadn’t occurred to me as I’m used to placing these directly in the code, but once girlie pointed me in the right direction I found it is a simpler solution.

  1. Go to the WordPress Dashboard
  2. Click Thesis in the sidebar – this should open the Site Options page. If it doesn’t, click the Site Options link
  3. Click the plus icon for the Additional Scripts box under Document Head
  4. Paste your tags, conditional comments and or anything else you’d like included in the <head>
  5. Click the save button and verify that it worked on your site

Thinking About Thesis?

How smart is your Theme?  How good is your support? Check out ThesisTheme for WordPress. If you’re thinking about purchasing Thesis, and I highly recommend you do, I’d appreciate it if you follow this link when you want to learn more or are ready to buy the theme.

Fair Use and Creativity

The value society places on creativity means that fair use needs to be expanded and inadvertent infringement should be minimally penalised. None of this should get in the way of the enforcement of copyright, which remains a vital tool in the encouragement of learning. But tools are not ends in themselves.

Copyright and wrong in The Economist

Links and Bits for April 5th

A collection of my actions and interactions from around the Net over the last week.

delicious (feed #10)

"Binge Britain 1904: The rogues gallery that shows war on booze is nothing new"

delicious (feed #10)
delicious (feed #10)
Shared ipadio.

"ipadio allows you to broadcast from any phone to the Internet live. Phone blog, collect audio data, record and update the world, or simply let your mates know what youre doing – ipadio is integrated with Social Media & Blogging platforms."

delicious (feed #10)
Shared pluginquery.

"a clean search interface and activity graphs to help you find jQuery plugins that suit your requirements and are reliable enough to become part of your codebase. "

delicious (feed #10)
Shared Permute.

"the perfect A/V conversion tool for those of us that are not A/V experts. With its drag and drop ease of use and simple, custom settings behind the curtain, it’s the answer to all the "other" confusing and complicated alternatives."

delicious (feed #10)
Shared ScreenFlow.

"capture the contents of your entire desktop at the same time as your video camera, microphone and computers audio. Sophisticated editing tools allow you to create incredible screencasts in no time.The finished result is a QuickTime or Windows Media movie, ready for publishing to your website or blog"

delicious (feed #10)

"The all-in-one screen recorder for Mac. Record what you see on your screen. Edit it into a stunning movie. Share it in the most universal formats. All from a single application."

delicious (feed #10)
Shared iPhoney.

"gives you a pixel-accurate web browsing environment—powered by Safari—that you can use when developing web sites for iPhone. Its the perfect 320 by 480-pixel canvas for your iPhone development."

delicious (feed #10)

"This chart lists and compares the different default style sheets used to render HTML in the four major versions of Internet Explorer; IE6, IE7, IE8, and IE9 Platform Preview."