A virtual hoard of the shiny things I find on the internet.


I suspect that much of this essay will make very little sense unless you believe as I do that we are beset by wicked problems exacerbated by networks of sublime scale that have been built on top of millenia of injustice chaotically interacting with good works and hope.

Banana Chocolate Chip Muffins: King Arthur Flour

Because we always have bananas in the house lately (Charlie is a banana monster) and because mini muffins seem like good things to have on hand for toddler snacks, and because despite having a full-time job I still have this ridiculous fantasy about being the mom who bakes this kind of stuff for her kid…

I’ve had a ton of experience using phones to navigate, communicate and photograph in the park. It’s tens of thousands of people packed into the same square mile, all using devices to do the exact same thing you are. The network is crushed, it’s bright and hot and you’re juggling kids and strollers and other vacationers. It’s an ideal real-world test for smartphone batteries, screens, usability and cameras. There are a ton of reviews out there that have done meticulous work with benchmark apps, rulers and rectal thermometers to get you spec-based evaluations of the new iPhones. This is not one of them. I took a trip and used the junk out of them. I had some interesting realizations, I took some good pictures and I wasted some time in long lines playing Spider-Man. If this sounds like what you do on trips then you could find something useful here.

Using The iPhone 6 And 6 Plus On A Real Disneyland Trip

Posting this not so much as an endorsement of iPhones in general (though I continue to love mine and always have) but because THIS is the kind of review I want to read- I suppose it’s nice to have side-by-sides of how long device batteries last for hours of video playback or whatever, but what I care about is this:

Will the device support my life? Can it take good photos of my kid in less than optimal conditions? Is it going to crap out on me when we’ve been out having fun all day? Can I see the screen when we’re out in the sun?

A review centered around how well the devices supported tourism with a small child in tow is, as the kids say, RELEVANT TO MY INTERESTS.

More reviews like this, please.


iOS 8 offers you a new Emergency Contact option for the lock screen in the Health app.

Open the Health App and click Medical ID. You can fill out if you have any medical conditions or allergies & reactions that medical personnel need to know about, as well as your Organ Donor status, weight & height info, and most importantly: an emergency contact that they can call.

It works from the lock screen. Once you setup your ID card, from the passcode lock screen, they can tap emergency, then medical ID, and then you can put your emergency contact info there.

One of the confusing parts that I found was that to select a contact, you have to actually tap their number not just their contact card.

If you have an iPhone running iOS 8, you should do this.

In an eye-opening revelation, opponents didn’t even bother to offer an alternative to extend elementary democratic rights to more than 600,000 District residents. The message to the District was: We’ll collect your taxes and let your kids die in our wars, but your lack of representation in Congress is your tough luck.

“These guys would go out of business if they just sold coffee,” says Bo Menkiti, the leading developer in Woodridge, who owns five properties along that stretch of Rhode Island Avenue plus more in adjacent Brookland. “The community wants a coffee shop. A coffee shop is not viable here now. But this is.”

Menkiti has been pushing a concept for Woodridge he calls transitional retail: “business models that do not require massive amounts of walk-in traffic, but promote walk-in traffic.” Zeke’s is its poster child. The idea is that retail corridors like Rhode Island won’t turn vacant spaces into thriving restaurants overnight—there aren’t enough people or disposable dollars on the surrounding blocks, and investors won’t take a chance on the neighborhood without a change in perception. But if attractive and desirable businesses start cropping up, even if they’re not making their money from the storefront operations, others may follow suit. Eventually, as Woodridge becomes more of a destination, or at least a viable option, cafes may be able to stand on their own—and, Menkiti hopes, the properties he owns will gain value.

The Unusual Retail Tactic That Could Transform Rhode Island Avenue NE - Housing Complex

This article is about the main commercial corridor that borders my neighborhood. It includes a paragraph about the diner we go to every weekend (where all the photos of Charlie with PAMCAKES AND EGGS are taken).

I’m glad the reinvestment in RIA is proceeding slowly- DC doesn’t need another strip full of small plates places with $14 cocktails. But our neighborhood could totally use some more neighborhood-serving businesses: coffee shops, ice cream places, dry cleaning/clothing alterations, that sort of thing.

This is Peter Dinklage wearing a cravat.

Your argument is invalid.

This is Peter Dinklage wearing a cravat.

Your argument is invalid.

[aggressively does job within earshot]

Between 2001 and 2010, some 31,000 servicepersons were involuntarily discharged for personality disorders. It is likely that in many cases these were sham diagnoses meant to rid the ranks of MST victims. “If they want you to be schizophrenic,” says Trent Smith, an MST survivor currently fighting his discharge from the Air Force, “you’re schizophrenic.” These diagnoses also spare the government the costs of aftercare: The VA considers a personality disorder to be a pre-existing condition, so it won’t cover the expense of treatment for PTSD caused by a sexual assault.

PSA: Before you install iOS 8 tomorrow…

…plug your device(s) in to your COMPUTER and take an encrypted backup to iTunes. Yes, even if your stuff is already backed up to iCloud (Which it should be, except for your naked selfies).

Unlike the backup to iCloud, the encrypted, local backup will retain all your stored passwords and stuff.