LoriB.me

Rambling On…

Through My Eyes, sung by Thanh Bui — 08/30/2009

Through My Eyes, sung by Thanh Bui

Through My Eyes, sung by Thanh Bui is an attempt to help people get a handle on what it’s like to live with an autism spectrum disorder.

Ordinarily, a song this sweet would make me gag. I admit that in order to listen to it all the way through, my brain started translating it into a thrashier version of itself (in classic rock power ballad style). Personal musical tastes aside, I really liked this song and Thanh Bui’s beautiful voice brought me out of the thrash from time to time.

Thanks to Sharon for the link 🙂

Music by Fiona Johnson. Words by Valerie Foley. Inspiration from the lives of those close to us who live with an ASD.

It will be available for download on iTunes soon. 

All proceeds to Autism Spectrum Australia (Aspect)

Professional Frontend Engineering Video — 06/26/2009

Professional Frontend Engineering Video

This video, Nate Koechley: “Professional Frontend Engineering” from Yahoo! Video, is a great presentation about the current state of frontend web development (HTML, CSS, JavaScript). I was completely captivated for the full hour and a half that the presentation lasted.

Nate started out with a history of website development starting with a 1994 version of the Yahoo! website and continuing until the present. He also spoke about the evolution of technologies and trends over the years. It was interesting to hear about how table based design became popular and why it was necessary at the time.

Next up was an overview of current beliefs and principles of front end engineering, which covered progressive enhancement, unobtrusive javascript, and the importance of making the website available to the largest possible audience.

The next section, Knowledge Areas and Best Practices, covered rendering modes, doctypes, and using each technology appropriately, i.e. html for semantic markup, css for presentation, and unobtrusive javascript for behavior. One thing I found interesting was that he considered it more important to keep the css code for each area in the same place by using hacks for IE6 and IE7, even though it would prevent the css from validating. I usually use conditional comments and separate stylesheets for different versions or combinations of versions of IE and can definitely see the benefit of Nate’s approach, as well as how it could be a big timesaver.

The presentation wrapped up with the ‘Why It All Matters’ segment which brought everything together and included a call to action for developers to stay vigilant, keep up with modern technologies and the bugs that arise from them, and to continue making the internet a better experience for everyone.

If Clients Treated Others Like They Do Freelancers — 05/28/2009
Project Spectrum — 04/26/2009

Project Spectrum

Project Spectrum was created to give people with autism the opportunity to express their creativity and develop a life skill using Google SketchUp 3D modeling software.

This video shows 3D models created by 4 children on the autism spectrum. Three of the models are of the child’s dream house. All are very interesting! Some of the children made paper sketches before trying SketchUp. Narration explains the children’s experience with the software compared to their experience with the paper sketches.

I wish there was something like this around when I was a kid! I wonder if it could be used to create 3D mind maps. I have found it helpful on occasion to use mind mapping software to translate the multi-planed thoughts in my head into the pictures and shapes of a mind map, and then have the software convert them to an outline of words that can be used in a way that I imagine is how “regular” people just use them automatically. Adding a 3rd dimension to a mind map would definitely make it more intuitive to use, as thoughts could be placed where they belong, rather than using lines that are too long to show a distance that would better be described by showing the thought’s proximity in space to the other thoughts.

Of course this kind of software will not benefit everyone on the autistic spectrum, but it is nice to know that a special effort is being made to give these children a new way to express themselves, especially one that is visual and 3 dimensional, AND teaches them a marketable skill in a growing industry.

For more information, go to http://sketchup.google.com/spectrum.html.

Kutiman – Thru-you – 01 – Mother of All Funk Chords — 03/14/2009

Kutiman – Thru-you – 01 – Mother of All Funk Chords

Thru-you is a video series created by Israeli recording artist, Kutiman (aka Ophir Kutiel) by doing an extensive YouTube search for clips of people playing music and mixing them into a single jam. In Thru-you – 08 – About, he explains the process.

Thru-you – 01 – Mother of all Funk Chords:

I checked out a bunch of his other videos and they are really amazing. Kutiman plays a multitude of musical instruments, including keyboards, drums, guitar, percussion, and bass. His music has been described as “urban psychedelic funk” and sometimes showcases his friends and favorite musicians from the scene in Tel Aviv.

Thanks to Ed for the tip!

Fidelity: “Don’t Divorce Us” — 03/05/2009

Fidelity: “Don’t Divorce Us”

18,000 couples are facing potential forcible divorce due to the legal briefs filed by Ken Starr and the Prop 8 Legal Defense Fund on December 19, 2008 defending the constitutionality of Prop 8 and seeking to nullify the 18,000 same-sex marriages conducted between May and November of 2008.

Courage Campaign asked people to respond by sending personal pictures with a very simple message:

“Don’t Divorce Us”

Over 350,000 people have signed this letter telling the state Supreme Court to invalidate Prop 8, reject Ken Starr’s case, and let loving, committed couples marry.

We, the undersigned, share President Barack Obama’s view that for too long, issues of LGBT rights have been exploited by those seeking to divide us. It’s time to move beyond polarization and live up to our founding promise of equality by treating all our citizens with dignity and respect.

Yet, on December 19, 2008, Ken Starr and the Prop 8 Legal Defense Fund filed legal briefs defending the constitutionality of Prop 8 and seeking to nullify the marriages of 18,000 devoted same-sex couples solemnized before Prop 8 passed.

The Supreme Court will hear oral arguments in this case on March 5, with a decision expected within 90 days.

We, the undersigned, ask that the Court enforce the equality promised to each of us by our constitution and invalidate Prop 8. So doing will protect all loving, committed couples in California — including the 18,000 who said “I do” last year — and prevent the initiative process from being a tool for stripping vulnerable minorities of precious constitutional rights.

As Americans who believe in the rule of law and fundamental civil rights, we know that Ken Starr and the Prop 8 Legal Defense Fund’s shameful attempt to nullify equal protection and all these bonded unions will be condemned in the eyes of history. We know that, ultimately, love will prevail, no matter how hard they try to fight it.

Sincerely,
371,155 people have signed this letter*.

Please add your name now!

* Updated: 7:55 p.m. PT, Wednesday, March 4

A Special Needs Girl with a Special Need to Kick Some Ass — 02/07/2009

A Special Needs Girl with a Special Need to Kick Some Ass

Chocolate, from Magnet Releasing, is a martial arts film from Thailand coming to theaters on Feb. 6th, 2009, and DVD Feb. 10th.

Directed by Prachya Pinkaew, this sweet, action-packed martial-arts drama features the debut of young female fighter Jeeja Yanin Vismitananda as Zen, an autistic savant who learns to kick heads by watching Bruce Lee and Tony Jaa movies.

Zen’s father, a Japanese gangster, has been driven out of the country by a rival Thai gang, so her mother has been forced to raise her alone. When her mother becomes sick, Zen goes on a candy-fueled rampage to collect debts from the corrupt gangsters that owe money to her mom.

Thanks to Rina for the link 😀

Meet The New Boss — 01/26/2009

Meet The New Boss

In President Obama’s first weekly address, he focuses on the American Recovery and Reinvestment Plan.

This video is just one part of the brand new, beautifully designed and implemented whitehouse.gov website. If you have not visited the site yet, I recommend checking it out. Aside from being an inspirational website from a web developer’s point of view, it contains a great deal of interesting information.

There is educational information about how the different branches of government work, pages explaining what items on the adminstration agenda are about, current news and updates, and lots of historical information about the white house and the former presidents and first ladies who have lived in it.

Uncle Jay Explains 2008 — 01/02/2009
Chinese Food on Christmas — 12/27/2008