This is a personal blog, please observe Think Hour for ad hoc quasi-diary writings and Big Ideas for my ratified longform items. I will see you there.


2020-10-20


Cool Head Main Thing // Hawaii

Hawaiian island

I was listening to a popular podcast series about presidents of US recently and I entered into the gleeful vocal-fry filled masturbatory Barack Obama episode with gritted teeth and exited with knowledge of an interesting purported Hawaiian pseudo-idiom. Apparently they use this phrase “cool head, main thing”. The more I think about it the more cringe it becomes but at first I thought it was an interesting lexical oddity, a weird way of saying that it’s most important to keep one’s emotions in check, to stay level headed.

Barack

I can’t really find much usage of it around the web, but some searching will reveal a song titled after the phrase and some Obama related postings that lead me to believe this phrase is often mentioned as a story building key for Barack. This guy references it as part of his own personal history, growing up on the Hawaiian island “Kauai”. Whatever man.

Maggie Green’s Outdated Website // martet

Maggie

I don’t know who this singer is, and I don’t know how I found this site, but I have a habit of bookmarking interesting look sites based solely on odd or antiquated designs. I think it is motivated by an archaeological mindset, as if immediately questioning “why the hell is this thing still online?”. It’s replete with a MySpace URL, a flash player embed and a YaHoo favicon, unbelievable. Credit is given to “martet” for the website design. Some elements of the design appear to be rendered using table elements and .gif images, rather than generated via modern methods which seems unusual to me… although I am extremely novice when it comes to web design.

Hacking the mainframe

Some of the images used for site layout are grabbed from a “nav2009” directory, so maybe this site was made in 2009 at the earliest. The design credit bestowed “martet” links to “martetmedia.com” which doesn’t work right now, but via Wayback machine seems to have been host to a designers webiste offering “web.print.video.sound” at least inclusive of the 2007-2008 epoch. The listed e-mail refers to one “Jacob Gilmore” alongside a Columbus OH phone number, and a history in some form of web design checks out with the about page of this far more lavish looking Jacob Gilmore of the 2020 era.

Wayback

Got to wonder if this big mover of a man who “started [his] career as the brand manager for a commercial developer of multiple multi-million dollar publicly funded real-estate projects” was directly involved. I don’t really care to be honest, I’m done looking at this. It’s good sometimes to look back ten years I guess, and at least entertaining.

Simple Desktops // Simple Desktops

figure 8

Once again I don’t know how this ended up with all the other ragpickings but here it is. I imagine some creative code tangent or this guy called Greg had my paths cross with it. Looks pretty nice doesn’t it. Yeah, I think I’ll take some of these. Apparently anyone can submit, so it isn’t some vector for promotion of a sole artist, but a community effort complete with applications for different devices. Very nice.

landscape

The (site-based at least) browsing functionality appears to be non-existent, so we have to trawl through a chronology(?) of approved works rather than search by colour or something more complex. Most of these seem to be vector graphics based, and obviously that is fitting with the philosophy of minimal distractions that roused this endeavour. I’m seeing a lot of music related ones, waveforms, vinyl, guitar pedals and other gear. I’m seeing halftones, gradients, wireframes, illusory depth, sci-fi references and many other things. Well, despite how gay most of it is I’ve gone ahead and collected some quite nice ones.

china cube

The flat shading Myst-esque style of the landscape one is very nice, although usually I’d prefer a background tended fully toward a high or low value rather than a distracting daylight colour scheme. I am extremely disappointed that the otherwise very cool looking “Figure8” is jam packed with blemishes, all it takes is some curves - was this done by hand? The blue dot blending “gradient” wallpaper by the man named Kegel is pretty nice. The sneakily mandarin filename-d perspective cube is cool too.

Core.js Killer // Denis Pushkarev

Core.js is a big library of common JS bits and pieces that is downloaded by millions of people every month, I came across this when looking at dependencies on some node packages at the NPM website. I don’t know enough about JS to immediately glean much but it seems like many people and (thereby) applications or even other packages use this as a base of common/standard features that can be used wholesale or selected from in a modular fashion, saving everyone time - the basic principle of packaging/bundling.

Denis on his bike

Anyway, as I was installing stuff I noticed in my console that someone was asking for a job, and it was the guy who manages this thing. After googling his name I saw him named in an article pondering what will happen to the libraries he manages, namely Core.js, given that he recently killed someone by driving his motorbike into them. Pretty hilarious/tragic. It’s definitely something worth pondering, by minds more attuned to the JS world than me.

Core-js is “a modular standard library for JavaScript,” meaning it provides a load of functions to perform common, useful operations. Often used for “polyfills” – implementing modern browser features in older, less capable browsers – it gets downloaded more than 26 million times every week via the npm registry, and is widely used by major companies including Apple. Now its future is uncertain.

You can see on his GitHub page linked about that he hasn’t had any activity this year so far. Given that the library is free and freely maintained, it might seem likely that someone would volunteer to take over or fork the project into a fresh one, but that would entail entrusting them with privileges over something people rely on, and I can’t imagine getting to grips with the library would be any small feat with its biggest contributor in prison… there’s a lot more discussion around the net, some especially funny things on the issues page of the github repository itself.