Monthly Archives: August 2012

A Minimalist’s Guide to the Mobile Web from BDConf, April 2012

Jenifer Hanen – A Minimalist’s Guide to the Mobile Web – BDConf, April 2012 from Breaking Development on Vimeo.

Thurs 08.30.12 – The nice folks at Breaking Development have published the video with slides from my presentation at BDConf April 2012 in Orlando.
If you say to yourself “I must know more about designing and developing for the mobile web and beyond the desktop”, then get yourself on down to the Breaking Development Dallas coming up in a few weeks – September 24-26, 2012!

Five Things I Suck At

Sometime last week, after pondering and talking about a topic on Twitter, Dhruv Bhutani asked me if there was anything I wasn’t good at. While I have a fatal case of over-curiosity and a big reading problem* and thus appear to be the walking talking encyclopedia, there are many things that am only ok to down right bad at. Here are a few that come to mind immediately:
1) Small Ball Sports…. such as tennis, badminton, table tennis, handball, and golf: Basically any hand-eye coordination sport that involves a small ball**. For reasons unknown to me, I am decent at baseball/softball, volleyball, football/soccer, and basketball. And after much practice, I can draw, so I am not a total wash out at hand-eye coordination.
2) Learning dance moves and/or participating in any synchronized dance. More times than I can count from age five to thirty-five I have enthusiastically taken a dance class only to end up in tears about 15-25 minutes into the class as my eyes & ears can see / hear the instructions on how to make the body movements in question, but I can’t for the life of me get my limbs to do said activity. Tears in public, tears while surrounded by graceful dancing swans who get it right the very first time around.
3) Timing. Be it in dance or piano, I am usually two steps/beats ahead or two behind. This is an analogy for my whole life and got me kicked out of ballet & tap class at age five just before the class performance at the Costa Mesa Fish Fry, as well as causing me problems in middle school piano recitals and swing dancing during the late 90s/early 00s craze. Good thing I did not seriously practice bass guitar, as any band I was in would have had a drummer ready to kill me.
4) Illustrator. I took my first Adobe Illustrator class in 1990, again in 1991, another in 2000, more valiant attempts at the pen and path tools through the whole of the 2000s, basically I suck at Illustrator or Inkscape. I do just fine in drawing with Flash, Fireworks or Photoshop, but I want to throw my computer out at the window with Illustrator. I only use Inkscape under extreme duress now and then only for badly done mobile app SVG icons.
5) Writing for deadline***. If I am writing for myself for no particular reason at all, like this blog post, I can type out an amazing amount of words in no time at all. If I am writing for a deadline, be it school, masters thesis, business, clients, or a magazine; even if my reputation and friendships are on the line; for whatever reason, I get horrible writer’s block and have been known to stand on toilets bleaching ceilings rather than write the 85 – 20,000 words needed. This is a problem.
Mind you, just because I think I suck and after much trying still can’t do the above activities, it doesn’t mean that I have stopped trying. I am overly persistent. Well, I don’t play tennis or golf, as I have been known to bean people in the head with said ball…
– – – – – – * Notes – – – – – –

* My ideal house would be mostly full bookcases with a few paintings on the walls.
** On my Mom’s side of the family, they are almost all serious athletes, be it pro or am. My Mom is 69 and is a keen surfer & skier. I have several cousins who are/were the best in their sports, a stepfather who was/is sports obsessed, and a grandfather who won the 1987 sailing world championships. To be bad at sports and bookish in my family made for a moderately miserable childhood. I fought back with goth attire and punk rock.
*** Express apologies to long-suffering CS who has been waiting for a one paragraph synopsis out of me since… oh… May.

Unleash the Phones: The Dead Mobile Platforms Special


Yesterday, I had the privilege to guest once again on the Unleash the Phones weekly video-cast. This time myself and two other guests – Michael Faro Tusino and Everything N9 the masked mystery man, as well Clinton Jeff & Alvin Wong of Unleash the Phones spoke/conversed/debated about supposedly dead mobile platforms. We mostly spoke on Web OS, Meego, and Maemo 6/Harmattan and how the communities of the said platforms are keeping their hearts beating.

ADOX : Succulent Flowers and The Trees

Scanned photo from the ADOX Golf vintage film camera
Photo of the bird bath, succulent flowers, and trees taken by Ms. Jen with an ADOX Golf 63 vintage film camera on the deck of Dan’s cabin in Idyllwild, CA, on Sunday August 5, 2012 using Fujifilm Velvia 100 film.

California beats Saudi Arabia… in hottest temperature for rain.

Today’s Dr. Jeff Masters’ Wunderblog is entitled “Hottest rain on record? Rain falls at 115°F in Needles, California” and it appears that California has beaten Saudi Arabia’s June 2012 record for the hottest temperature in which rain was observed to fall and hit the ground.
Dr. Masters’ reports:

“A searing heat wave rare even for the Desert Southwest sent temperatures soaring to record levels on Monday, with Needles, California tying its record high for the date of 118°F (47.8°C). The temperature might have gone higher in Needles, but a thunderstorm rolled in at 3:20 pm, and by 3:56 pm PDT, rain began falling at a temperature of 115°F (46.1°C). Most of the rain evaporated, since the humidity was only 11%, and only a trace of precipitation was recorded in the rain gauge. Nevertheless, Monday’s rain at 115° in Needles sets a new world record for the hottest rain in world history. I don’t think many people were outside to experience to experience the feeling of rain falling at 115°, but if they were, it must have been an uncomfortable, sauna-like experience!”

Most Finns would tell you that 115°F / 46.1°C is barely getting the sauna heated.
And Dr. Masters’ continues in the 2nd paragraph on Saudi Arabia’s previous world record for highest temperature for rain:

“According to weather records researcher Maximiliano Herrera, the previous record for hottest rain, which I blogged about in June, was a rain shower at 109°F (43°C) observed in Mecca, Saudi Arabia on June 5, 2012 and in Marrakech, Morocco on July 10, 2010. The 11% humidity that accompanied Monday’s rain shower at 115° in Needles was the lowest humidity rain has ever occurred at anywhere on Earth in recorded history, according to Mr. Herrera.”

Since I appear to be following in my mother and grandfather’s steps into weather geekery, I have to say that my weather pattern and factoid curiosity for such questions as what is the highest temperature it can rain at or the lowest temperature that it can snow at is satisfied on a regular basis between NOAA, NASA, and Dr. Masters’ weather blog. Thanks!