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:

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.


My Life (So Far) in Numbers

As of 2017:

  • I have been at the company I helped to start for 18 years
  • I have been married for 12 years
  • I have a 9-year-old child (and 6, and 1)

I’m going for a personal high-score.


Free Airport Shoe Shine Tip

Don’t have time or money for an airport shoe shine? Use my hot tip to polish up those clogs while you’re on the move:



This article by the Nielsen Norman Group encouraging web marketing folk to Stop Shaming Your Users for Micro Conversions uses a great term for those irritating “…or click here if you hate saving money” links: manipulinks. They credit the term to Steve Costello. I love a good new word.


Presentation at Charlottetown UI/UX/Design Meetup

It’s short notice, but if you’re in Charlottetown, I’ll be giving a talk tonight at 7:30pm (March 21, 2017) at the Charlottetown UI/UX/Design Meetup about the history of silverorange and our involvement with the Firefox logo.


Time Claustrophobia

My friend and last-blogger-standing, Peter Rukavina, emailed me this week to ask about a concept he remembered from my blog, but couldn’t find.

He called the concept Time Claustrophobia. I immediately knew what he meant. We must have discussed it in person, because there doesn’t seem to be anything about it here on my blog. Let’s correct that.

Time Claustrophobia is the feeling of anxiety cast by an impending appointment over the free time that precedes it.

For example, when I was younger I sometimes had shift-work that started at 4pm. The entire day, thought free and open until 4pm, felt constrained by the looming commitment near the end of the day.


You Can Hear The Difference Between Hot and Cold Water

I’ve always thought I could hear the difference between hot and could water pouring, but wasn’t sure if I’d be able to prove it in a blind test. Steve Mould confirms that You Can Hear The Difference Between Hot and Cold Water on the great Tom Scott YouTube channel.