• I’d been using Fever for RSS reading since Google Reader closed down but it’s no longer in development and I’ve finally changed to just not syncing my feeds at all. I use Reeder on iOS/Mac and when I (rarely) add or remove a feed I just make a note in Reminders to make the change on my other devices. I sort the feeds with newest-first and just remember more or less where I left off last time.

  • Clown Jokes

    In Alan Moore and Dave Gibbons’s Watchmen, Rorschach tells a joke:

    Heard joke once: Man goes to doctor. Says he’s depressed. Says life seem harsh and cruel.

    Says he feels all alone in a threatening world where what lies ahead is vague and uncertain.

    Doctor says “treatment is simple. Great clown Pagliacci is in town tonight. Go and see him. That should pick you up.”

    Man bursts into tears. Says “but, doctor…”

    “…I am Pagliacci.”

    Bad psychiatric advice, but a darkly funny joke.

    On Stack Exchange, user GGMG asks, “Was this an actual joke outside of Watchmen?” I invite you to read the answers there, which also includes a copy of the page from the comic, but the short answer is, “yes.” The joke was told of comedian Joseph Grimaldi, and is similar to a poem by Juan de Die Peza from 100 years before Watchmen, and in the opera Pagliacci.

    All this, really, as preface for this masterful twist on the joke by @spacetwinks:

    Finally, here’s Norm MacDonald telling a yarn to Conan O’Brien.

    The way Conan just bows his head in wonder and embarrassment at having fallen for such a shaggy dog story is just splendid.

  • Here’s a beautiful shot of Mars reflecting on the water in Rhode Island. Photo by advil on Instagram.

  • Every time I look at this list I find something that makes me chuckle. It helps that it was clearly written by someone my age who grew up on all the same 80s & 90s stuff. I Will Not Play the New Smash Bros Unless it Includes All 642 of These Characters

  • Weblog Design: Pagination

    Ages ago I ran this weblog using the MovableType software. In lots of ways it was my favorite version of the site. It had good templates that you could customize and I had them working exactly how I wanted. I’ve thought a lot about weblog design over the past 15+ years and figured I might as well write a little bit about it. First up, pagination.

    It’s common for a weblog’s front page to feature 20 or so of the most recent posts with a link at the bottom that says something like “←Older Posts.” I feel strongly that the wording should specifically refer to the fact that the link is pointing back in time to older stuff, and not say something like “Read more.” Right now the template I’m using has a right-facing arrow, which I think is wrong. I’ll see if I can customize that. Think of a weblog like a book. You turn back the pages to older stuff, so the arrow should point left. On a page in the “middle,” you click left for older, right for newer. (Jason Kottke seems to disagree. He does it the opposite way and if there were ever a seasoned veteran of weblog design, it’s him.)

    When my site was on Movable Type, here’s how I had the pages laid out:

    First, obviously was the front page. It displayed 20 or 30 posts or so. The number of posts your front page displays should provide a satisfying chunk of stuff to read for a first-time visitor. In the microblog era, if you post dozens of short items a day, it might be appropriate to display 100 or more on the front page. Whatever you choose, your RSS feed should contain the same number of items so that it always mirrors the front page.

    I didn’t have a “Page 2.” Instead, the “older posts” link pointed to the monthly archive page for whenever the next post had been. If the front page currently has posts from today back through May, “Page 2” would link to the May archive, scrolled down (anchored) to the next-oldest post. At the bottom of that page would be a link to April, and so on.

    Part of this was because of Movable Type’s static nature. Pages weren’t built on the fly. If page 2 had posts 21-40, page 3, 41-60, and so on, whenever you made a new post, every one of those would have to be rebuilt to shift down one post, which is cumbersome. Once a month is over, you’ll typically never need to rebuild its page. But also, “Page 2” is a fairly valueless place. It’s constantly changing. No one is ever going to link to it. If, however, a particular site had a really good series of articles one month, “Posts from April ‘18” might be something you’d bookmark (though ideally that author would have tagged that series and you could link to that tag’s archive page).

    All of this to say, I think most sites are doing pagination wrong. I was proud of my clever little approach but I never really saw anyone else do it.

    Lastly, I do not like sites that do infinite scrolling. Clicking a link to load a second page isn’t very hard. Scrolling around a very long page on a mobile device can be maddening.

  • I’ve been rewatching The Next Generation and Deep Space Nine here are there. As progressive and utopian as the Star Trek franchise is, I also can’t help noticing how it falls into the trap of characterizing all aliens as one homogeneous culture. Tolkein did this and there’s a good bit of literature describing how assorted fantasy races map to assorted real life ethnic groups. It’s rampant throughout fantasy and sci-fi, really. It stood out the other night watching a Ferengi storyline. The show very much depicts them all as these greedy, contemptible people. Over time they build out Quark more and Nog’s storyline is one of trying to push against what his people tell him he’s supposed to be, but the framework is still there. That is: “members of alien race x are all like this and it’s valid to stereotype them that way, occasional outlier aside.” I haven’t seen Discovery so I don’t know if this has been remedied at all.

  • 18 Siri commands for HomePod AirPlay 2 users

    I have a HomePod in the living room and a small TV with an Apple TV in the adjacent kitchen. I tried multi-room audio but found that the TV’s audio processor has some lag, so the music winds up slightly out of sync.

  • The Good Place Podcast is a nice companion to the wonderful show. My wife and I binged the first five episodes on a car trip recently; and there are some good nuggets in there about the show and its philosophy toward television and, well, philosophy.

    Prompted in equal parts by good word of mouth from friends, mentions of it on that podcast, references to Holt and Peralta being templates for Ultra Magnus and Rodimus in Lost Light, and the universal praise it got when it was dropped by Fox, I’ve finally started watching Brooklyn Nine-Nine. It’s one of those shows that I was aware is really good but had just not gotten around to yet. I’m only a few in but I’m looking forward to catching up over the summer.

  • Mickey Mouse’s pet fish in “Gasp!” is named “Gubbles” and there’s something about that name I simply adore.

    Gubbles also appears in “Flushed!

  • I’ve moved this site over to micro.blog. The RSS feed hasn’t redirected so please update your reader manually: http://david.ely.fm/feed.xml (or JSON if you’re fancy).

  • I’m somewhat surprised there’s no emoji representing manga.

  • I just made a code change that simplified a ton of stuff, rebuilt, and all the changes worked on the first try. Guess I’ll go out for a burger and a Transformers comic early, then.

  • The way the saxophone mirrors the vocals for “run baby baby run” in the opening track of The English Beat’s new record is a nice little touch. 🎵

  • Oh, and The Prisoner is now streaming on Amazon Prime.

  • Holy quack. This week’s DuckTales did The Prisoner. 📺

  • I was in an IHOP over the weekend, but it was morning so I didn’t get a burger (though the waiter did plug their milkshakes even at 9 am — and I was tempted). Anyway, here’s a review of their new burger menu from The Takeout.

  • Most of his pieces are good, but this week’s column by Film Crit Hulk, The Haunting Doubts of Mr. Rogers and Paddington Bear, is particularly well worth your time and reflection. <3

  • Audrey Hepburn and Grace Kelly backstage at the 28th Annual Academy Awards on March 21, 1956. Photo by Alan Grant. More info here. (via Reddit)

  • Warby Parker doesn’t just have glasses frames with family names, it shelves them together.

  • I think it’s important to keep apprised of the news but it’s also just exhausting being angry and sad all the time. I think I might check out of the Supreme Court stuff, headlines aside, just for my sanity.

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