Monthly Archives: December 2006

Time to summarize this year

The 3 best things of this year 2006:

(Re)Discovering the bike: The perfect vehicle for the city. The ecological concepts: do you know it consumes only 0.1 litres per 100km (in petrol car consumption equivalence), and its fuel is biodegradable? The feeling of a free spirit riding a bike.

My trip to Zürich: It fueled me with an incredible strong energy, ambition of superation, and a new path of concepts to follow. I wish to be a kyu in a land of dans (instead of the current opposite). So, now my obligation is to be smarter, more intelligent, and to keep my skills on the cutting-edge.

The (re)awakening of the music: Starting again to lay my fingers on the keys. The pleasure of playing alone and with people. And hearing lots of different songs (thanks to last.fm).

Unluckily, this year has had some bad things also… like the 3 worst things:
… but, hold on, we don’t really need to remember these, do we? Naaah 😉

I can just start smelling 2007 coming…
Happy New Year to everybody!!

Zen and peace, join design and code

NOTICE: Find more in my tech blog: liopic.me.

the Zen of CSS designI’ve just finished reading the best technical book I’ve held on my hands this year: “The Zen of CSS design“. Using the famous “CSS Zen Garden” website, it speaks about design, CSS, and standards on Internet. It’s not a CSS reference book (but it cleverly shows the common css pitfalls), and it’s not a design book (but it comments a lot of design tips and stuff to consider). So, being nothing at all, is plenty of wisdom, making a correct use of the “Zen” meaning in its tittle 😉

Every chapter illustrates a concept, like design, layout, typography, etc. It shows some real examples from the website, in the way to help you to understand the different uses of every subtle element. For example, in the design chapter it comments things about:
– colours (use and psychological meanings), contrasts, unity
– shapes, lines and curves, patterns (and textures)
– space, margins, shades
– how to help the eye leading
A lot of interesting stuff to save in your hard disk brain!!

If you feel a bit sank among web design, developing, programming, and such things, it could be like a roadmap for you. Of course it’s not perfect, and for example I disagree the quality of one of the last chapters. But there are lots of interesting comments, and the final chapter (recovering all the solutions for the common CSS pitfalls) is a really nice jewel. The best book bought by my company (thanks to my suggestion to my manager).

Creativity tracks

NOTICE: Find more in my tech blog: liopic.me.

Some days ago I was thinking about a better way to value my vocabulary. Months ago I programmed a small word counter, but it was too simple and boring. I wanted to create something more interesting, more visual, like to show when and where I have written the most creative words.

How to measure creativity? Roughly speaking, you could say the most creative words are the least appearing words in a text. With this idea in mind, I started to program a “thermogram” image, with the timeline of the week as the X-axis and the position in the text as the Y-axis. Every word I’ve written was going to be a point in the image, and its colour intensity was the inverse of its appearances. The final result is here:
Creativity tracks

Honestly, I was waiting for a surprising visual result (like the kind of things that you can see in Information Aesthetics’ blog). I’ve tried different intensity curves, but it doesn’t change a lot. However, this result is somehow interesting. As you can see, I usually write on Monday, Tuesday and Wenesday at night, and at the midday on Sunday. The most creative point seems to be at the center of a post written on Wenesday night. Moreover, I shoud keep writing to fill more pixels 😉

If you’d like to put this in your blog (only wordpress blogs), here is the PHP file which generates the thermogram.