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Boy Howdy!

This picture completely cracks me up every time I look at it:

So guess what?  It’s caption contest time!  Give us your best caption(s) in the comments, and see if you have what it takes to boost the inherent hilarity.  Knock us out!

(Photo credit: Drew Angerer/The New York Times.)

Turning Web Video On Its Head

Here’s some fun.  (For a sufficiently nerdy definition of “fun”.)

  1. Launch Safari 4 or Chrome 4.

  2. Drag Videotate to the bookmarks bar.

  3. Go opt into the YouTube HTML5 beta.

  4. Find your favorite YouTube video.  Or maybe your least favorite.  Here’s one of my favorites: Walk Don’t Run.  Here’s another that’s not necessarily a favorite, but it seems like a fairly appropriate choice.

    Note: not all videos are available via HTML5, even when you’re opted in.  If you get a Flash video, the bookmarklet won’t work.

  5. Once the video has started playing, activate the “Videotate” bookmarklet.

  6. Enjoy.

Thanks to Simon WIllison for tweeting the JS I modified, and Jeremy Keith for helping me realize it would be easy to do during the HTML5 portion of A Day Apart.

Related Idea: A New Cognition Term

cornpensation, noun.  The act of making mental adjustment for keming that doesn’t actually exist.

Example: “Wait, you wanted me to buy cheerleader pom poms?  Oh.  I totally cornpensated that one.  …Awkward.”

The Really Perfect Ringtone

When I saw a couple of people link to “the perfect iPhone ringtone” last week, I had that sinking feeling that comes from being beaten to the punch.  I knew I should have stayed up an extra hour that one night and just gotten it done!

But wait, hold it, never mind, cancel the panic parade: it was not, in fact, the perfect ringtone.  Crisis averted!  Still, the sinking feeling lingered, reminding me of what could have been, so last night I sat down and got it done.  Now I bring to you the absolutely most perfect ringtone ever.

Feel free to preview it using that link, if you really feel that’s necessary, but frankly you should just charge ahead and download the .m4r AAC for instant ringtoniness.  If for some reason you’d rather have the audio source and do your own ringtone conversions, you can get the same file as a .m4a AAC or a comfy old .mp3.  And for all you completists, there’s a .zip archive of all three formats.

Go.  Ring.  Enjoy.

Full Disclosure

WARNING: This person omits alt text from images (Happy April Fool's Day from The Web Standards Project.)

Cake Fake

As dinner came to a close, Carolyn asked if she could have yogurt for dessert.

“Sure, sweetie,” I said.  “What flavor do you want?”

“Banana.”

“Okay, sure.  Go ahead and get a cup from the refrigerator.”

“Banana cake!”  She started giggling.

“Wait, I thought you wanted banana yogurt.  We don’t have any cake.”

“I know,” she said as she walked into the kitchen, “but I want some banana cake.”  Judging from her tone, this was the most painfully obvious fact in the world.

“Um, okay.”

She came back to the table, yogurt cup in hand, and started wrenching back the foil top.  With the way clear, she picked up her London cabbie spoon—a gift we brought back from one of our rare trips away from her—and splunked it in.

“This is banana cake,” she said gleefully.

“Wow, you got banana cake?  Cool.  It’s pretty handy that it comes in a yogurt cup like that!”

She leaned toward me and said, conspiratorially, “I’m just pretending it’s banana cake, but it’s really banana yogurt.”

“Ah, got it.”

“Banana cake!” she chortled once more.

I looked across the table at Kat and said, grimly:  “The cake is a lie.”

Deer Trap

As we drove from preschool to dance class, a gentle snowfall blurred the more distant houses and cars like a thin fog.  Jack Johnson was quietly serenading us when up ahead, without warning, two white-tailed deer appeared from a treeline on the right and darted into the street, their hooves skidding slightly on the slick pavement.

“Oh, look, sweetie!  Do you see the deer?”

“Deer!? Where?” I could hear her leaning out of her booster seat to peer through the front windshield.  Within moments, the does made it off the pavement and bounded across the half-shoveled sidewalk to vanish into the subdivision.  Brake lights winked off and cars sped up to reclaim the precious, precious seconds lost to this sudden intrusion of nature into late-afternoon suburban routines.

“Did you see them?”

“Yeah”, she said distantly, still craning to look.  “Where did they go, Daddy?”

“They ran between those two houses”, I said, gesturing toward the driver’s side window as we passed the spot.

“Do they live there in those houses?”

“No, sweetie, deer live in the woods.”

“Then what are they doing in between the houses?”

“They’re probably looking for food in people’s yards.”

Silence fell for a moment.  I spared a half-glance toward the back seat and caught a glimpse of her in my peripheral vision, a half-formed vision of intense concentration.  In my head, I quickly ran through everything I knew about deer from my years of rural living, preparing for the expected questions about what deer eat and when they sleep and where their houses were.

“Daddy?”

“Yes?”

“Why did the deer cross the road?”

What A Bargain!

Dear Microsoft,

I was reading yesterday morning that you bought 1.6 percent of Facebook for $240 million.  Congratulations!  I hope it’s not too forward of me, but now that you’ve had a chance to recover from the exuberant celebrations that I’m sure accompanied this latest coup, I’d like to humbly point out that you have the opportunity to make an even more amazing investment.

I hereby offer to sell you 80 percent of meyerweb.com for a mere $24 million.  Think about it: that’s five hundred times better than your Facebook deal, plus you’d be getting a clear majority stake in one of the world’s leading web sites primarily focused on a three-letter web design acronym written by a tallish redhead living in a lakeshore city in the American Midwest.  I know: wow!

After we seal the deal, I’ll just keep doing what I’ve always been doing to make this site as successful as it’s become, and you can just ride the wave feeling amazed that you scored such an amazing bargain.  Sound good?  Awesome.  Call me.  We’ll talk.

October 2014
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