An almost advent moment of serendipity

An almost advent moment of serendipity

Found in one of those moments of serendipity that makes you smile. Thanks to an almost 5 year old email from Ciarán Ó’Gaora Reading I’m reminded of John Fanning‘s advice to read less business tomes and more fiction and poetry. Advent Patrick Kavanagh We have tested and tasted too much, lover- Through a chink too wide there comes in no wonder. But here in the Advent-darkened room Where the dry black bread and the sugarless tea Of penance will charm back the luxury Of a child’s soul, we’ll return to Doom The knowledge we stole but could not use. And the newness that was in every stale thing When we looked at it as children: the spirit-shocking Wonder in a black slanting Ulster hill Or the prophetic astonishment in the tedious talking Of an old fool will awake for us and bring You and me to the yard gate to watch the whins And the bog-holes, cart-tracks, old stables where Time begins. O after Christmas we’ll have no need to go searching For the difference that sets an old phrase burning- We’ll hear it in the whispered argument of a churning Or in the streets where the village boys are lurching. And we’ll hear it among decent men too Who barrow dung in gardens under trees, Wherever life pours ordinary plenty. Won’t we be rich, my love and I, and God we shall not ask for reason’s payment, The why of heart-breaking strangeness in dreeping hedges Nor analyse God’s breath in common statement. We have thrown into the dust-bin the clay-minted wages Of pleasure, knowledge and the conscious hour- And Christ...
Quote of the day

Quote of the day

In praise of better questions “The uncreative mind can spot wrong answers, but it takes a very creative mind to spot wrong questions.” Anthony Jay   Image Caroline on...
Looking up with a sense of wonder and curiosity

Looking up with a sense of wonder and curiosity

I grew up with a sense of wonder and curiousity. Carl Sagan, Issac Asimov and Nicholas Casey helped imbued me with a love of science. The third person was an amazing Science and Physics teacher. Oscar Wilde said “We are all in the gutter but some of us are looking at the stars” And Sean O’Casey wrote Boyle: An’, as it blowed an’ blowed, I ofen looked up at the sky an’ assed meself the question — what is the stars, what is the stars? … Joxer: Ah, that’s the question, that’s the question — what is the stars? Boyle: An’ then, I’d have another look, an’ I’d ass meself — what is the moon? Joxer: Ah, that’s the question — what is the moon, what is the moon? Over a decade ago a group of scientists asked similar questions and following their curiosity did something to find out the answers. Today a tiny probe sent 500 million kilometers finished a 10 year journey and in a monumental step for our species landed on a comet. It is a truly wonderful day for science and for wonder. Today instead of looking down the human race looked up. As a species we need to choose wonder, choose science and hope, choose courage and...
Design for desktop is the new dad dancing

Design for desktop is the new dad dancing

Design for desktop is the new dad dancing. It’s embarrassing and often frustrating for your audience. Back 12 years ago not designing for poor bandwidth was the error of the day. It was the worst form of  dad dancing. Developers who were used to building client server systems were running applications on internal LANs and then wondering why customers were crying over the speed of deployed websites. Latency issues and dreadful bandwidth were typical problems. Throw in usability issues and there were plenty of disasters. These days not focusing on mobile first is the same sin. Its all very well to worry about how well the screen will look on the shiny 4K desktop screen but its much more likely that the customer will look at it first on the device closest to hand – their phone. That link on Twitter, Facebook or LinkedIn that they follow to you. Thats probably on their phone. Even if you’re not building an app your site needs to be mobile first. Especially if you’re not build an app, and even if you are building an app. Google measures load time of websites in fractions of a second.  Your customer is judging your site on their phone in a similar...
How to raise €6,000 for charity in three weeks

How to raise €6,000 for charity in three weeks

A couple of months ago a friend, John Holland emailed me about the Focus Ireland “Shine a Light” campaign. Sleep out for Focus Ireland, raise some money.  In a fit of enthusiasm I signed up. Only later did I realise that the target for the campaign €5,000. My initial reaction was a stronger version “oh bugger”. Eventual total was €6,076 (€25 offline).  Here’s a summary of how I raised the money and a few interesting things I learned along the way. Step 1: Astroturf your own charity page.  Arriving at a page that is blank is interesting. What do I donate? What will other people donate. Working on some idea on signalling theory so the first few donations on the page were from me. Step 2: email a bunch of friends. So the next step was a general email to a few dozen people which brought in another few hundred euro.  Also a very kind friend did a little astroturfing of her own and put in a few smaller amounts suggesting some of the people coming to the page might be scared off by the €50 donations. Step 3: Small bit of blind panic wondering how we’re going to get to €1,000 much less €5,000 Step 4: Go for broke. So with a few thousand twitter followers and 1,500 people I actually know on LinkedIn I decided to do a little bit of email and social media marketing. Step 5: Create a link to the page in Bit.ly to see how many people will click through to the page Step 6: Download the email address of 1,500 people on LinkedIn and...