What’s important counts

In the extraordinary documentary, The Vietnam War by Ken Burns & Lynn Novick, an ‘Army Advisor’ named James Willbanks says:

“If you can’t count what’s important, you make what you can count important.”

This is true in more than war.


Talking picture in picture

Tech Youtube-guy extraordinaire, MKBDH, pulls off a subtle but clever way to show how video playback works on the new iPhone X screen (relevant portion is around 5:50).


They don’t make ’em like they used to (two years ago)

I know I may be suffering from Early Onset Grumpiness, because I agree with this rant about how laptops aren’t as good as they were in the good old days (two years ago).


Firefox is (still) great

Perhaps due to my history with Mozilla and Firefox, I’ve been a happy Firefox user since version 0.6 (14 years ago!?). In recent years, the Chrome browser from Google has become the most commonly used browser, especially among web developers.

I’m delighted to see that Mozilla has made great strides in improving Firefox and is winning people over again. The latest version of Firefox, released today, is worth a try. There are also some great nerdy details on how Firefox has improved.

Even if Firefox doesn’t regain the market-share it once had, these efforts push the other browser vendors to improve and generally improve the Web as a platform.

Thanks and congrats to all of the designers, engineers, and other humans who continue to improve Firefox. The update icon looks slick too.


Selling the Flu Shot

Every time I see a news story about the flu shot (which is available for free on Prince Edward Island this year), there’s always a stock photo close-up of a needle jabbing into an arm.

If you want to encourage people to get the flu shot, don’t use a photo of the one thing people don’t like about the flu shot.

I was able to get the flu shot for free without an appointment (or any wait time) at Shoppers Drug Mart.


The Zen Microwave

Here’s a free invention idea for you (in that I have a stupid idea and will not do anything with it): The Zen Microwave.

The Zen Microwave only has one control: an on/off switch. Once you’ve started it, you have to remember to turn it off or your left-overs will turn into exploding spaghetti-charcoal.

If you want to heat up your lunch, it can go one of two ways:

  1. Put your lunch in the microwave and turn it on (remember, there’s no timer)
  2. Stand there for two minutes, focused and present
  3. Turn the microwave off and enjoy your hot lunch


  1. Put your lunch in the microwave and turn it on
  2. Wander around the kitchen, get a glass of water, check in on your online click-farm business on your phone, thumb through the Home Hampers & Hobbits flyer
  3. Smell burning and notice that your lunch has been super-heated for 10 minutes

Is it dangerous? Yes – but how else are you ever going to learn?


Things to Consume Your Time & Attention

A few things I’ve been enjoying recently:

The Vietnam WarThe Vietnam War by Ken Burns & Lynn Novick

The Vietnam War is a ten-part, 18-hour documentary from PBS. It’s available to stream for free on the PBS website/app, but only if you live in the US. For those of us fortunate enough not to live in the Greatest Country on Earth™, there are some hoops to jump through to watch it.

The easiest set of hoops I’ve found is to use the free built-in VPN in the Opera web browser. You can easily select the US as your VPN zone and enjoy the web as our freedom-loving friends see it.

The documentary is exhaustive and is propelled by remarkable interviews with participants from Both Sides™ of the war. It will leave you wondering how it could have ever been allowed to happen, and terrified that it will happen again.

How F*cked Up Is Your Management?How F*cked Up Is Your Management by Jonathan & Melissa Nightingale

Jonathan & Melissa Nightingale have gathered some of their best writing from their excellent blog, The Co-Pour. They discuss and share what they’ve learned about the mechanics and humanity of working with people in a business. It’s short, easy to read, has a profane title, and a fine domain name: hfuiym.com.

Hidden America with Jonah Ray

Hidden America with Jonah RayI came to know Johan Ray though his co-hosting of the Nerdist podcast. He plays the host of a fake travel show, Hidden America with Jonah Ray, which is generally a spoof of low-budget cable travel shows, but occasionally drifts into absurd horror.

Watching it from outside the US is frustrating. It’s a great show – but it’s barely worth jumping through the hoops required. Like The Vietnam War doc, you’ll need the Opera VPN to watch from outside of the US, then you need to create an account on the VRV site, and even then the show is peppered with ads that randomly interrupt playback. As I said, barely worth it – but still worth it.

If you’re not sure you want to jump through all of those hoops, the first episode (Boston) is on YouTube as is a short trailer.


Meet is Murder

I’d like to write a business-oriented self-help book, just so I could have a chapter titled “Meet is Murder.”

Now all I need is the contents for that chapter, and all of the other chapters. Keep an eye out for it on the best-seller lists in 8 to 10 years.


Recommended podcast: Stay Tuned with Preet

Recommended podcast: Stay Tuned with Preet. The podcast is hosted by former U.S. Attorney Preet Bharara. I’d start with episode 1: That Time President Trump Fired Me.


Ta-Nehisi Coates on The Ezra Klein Show

This interview with Ta-Nehisi Coates on The Ezra Klein Show actually made me stop washing the dishes and just stand there in the kitchen.