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Filed in:Book Reviews

Infidel

October 19th, 2009  · Rachel

Rachel reviews "Infidel", by Ayaan Hirsi Ali. Ayaan was raised in a traditional Muslim home in Africa, she experienced an intellectual awakening in Europe and now critical of Islam, living under armed guard. In 2005, Time magazine named her one of the 100 most influential people in the world.

(Non-Fiction)Review of "Infidel"
An Autobiography by Ayaan Hirsi Ali

When I finished the last page of Infidel, by Ayaan Hirsi Ali, I closed the cover and commented on what a powerful book it was. Others have described the Hirsi Ali's autobiography as remarkable, amazing, or a a brave, inspiring and beautifully written memoir. All such acclamations are warranted as Hirsi Ali uses clear and descriptive language to tell the story of how she became one of Time magazines 2005 one-hundred “most influential people in the world today.”

Born in 1969, Hirsi Ali was born a traditional Muslim girl. She was raised in Somalia, Saudi Arabia and Kenya, where her family held steadfast to the doctrines of the Quran. Like the 6000 young girls that undergo female genital excision everyday, Hirsi Ali was forced to submit to excision in order keep her pure, as well as other cultural practices requiring her to take a secondary and subservient role in life, simply because she was female.

Click the link below to continue reading my review of "Infidel".

More on "Infidel", by Ayaan Hirsi Ali

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Updated: 24-Oct-2009
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Filed in:CSS
Web Dev·The Web

Better @font-face Syntax

September 4th, 2009  · stk

I recently published an article about cross-browser font embedding, using the @font-face CSS selector. It turns out that the code I put forth causes a 404 look-up in Internet Explorer. A reader has suggested some superior code, which I put to the test

Paul Irish Sets My Morning Schedule

Funny how a single comment can change the direction of my day!

Paul proposes two concepts - new to me - in his recent article, "Bulletproof Font Face Implementation":

  • Internet Explorer tries and fails to download the TTF file (with 2-selector syntax) even though the 2nd @font-face selector includes a "format" declaration.
  • He proposes a single @font-face selector, which satisfies all browsers (obviating the need for two selectors), searches the local computer for the font first and eliminates the Internet Explorer "file not found" problem.

Okay ... this is techie, geeky cool and - for sure - not everyone is going to want to read about this, so here is where you should get off the geek train (if you haven't already).

If you're all aboard, heading for geekdom and want to be cool, then read on brave web-font enthusiasts ...

I'm a Geek, I want More

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Updated: 23-Aug-2010
Web View Count: 83148 viewsLast Web Update: 23-Aug-2010
Filed in:CSS
Web Dev·The Web

Improving a Lightbox Effect

August 31st, 2009  · stk

There's a spiffy-looking CSS Technique that's been getting a lot of play in the web-design and web-development social circles lately. Unfortunately, it's not a CSS technique and even as a JavaScript technique, it's crap! Did you spot it?

"Innovative CSS Technique" Making Rounds is NOT a CSS Technique

Even as a JavaScript Technique, it's Crap

This article, authored by Emanuele Feronato, has been getting some attention within the web-design and development social network recently. I've seen it Tweeted, FaceBook'd, Blogged, Digg'd and included in various "Totally Amazing CSS Techniques" lists.

On his website, Emanuele bills himself as an "Italian Geek & Programmer". Unfortunately, his article demonstrates he knows very little about web-standards, W3C validation, pure-CSS, graceful degradation, cross-browser compatibility, accessibility or white-hat SEO. He says his LightBox-like effect is "100% CSS-based" and that it's made "only with CSS - no JavaScript needed".

No JavaScript needed? What a pile of hooey!

The article is the most popular article on his blog, sporting over 252 comments and it's currently being shot across the design social circuit like it was the newest communications satellite. While some of the commentary points out the shortcomings, most (who don't know better) are lapping up this code - using it on commercial sites and passing it on.

At first blush, the technique seems very cool, but it's not code we would use and you shouldn't either. In a nutshell, out-of-the box it's crap. (Are you a web-developer, designer or programmer? Can you spot the problems?")

To learn more about why this code is crap (and to get an improved version) ... carry on ...

Turning Crapola into Shinola

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Updated: 13-Feb-2011
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Filed in:Kayaking
Adventures

Six Days of Sea Kayaking

August 23rd, 2009  · stk

We just got back from our first-ever sea kayaking adventure, spending 6 days exploring the Canadian southern Gulf Islands. We had a great time and are slowly getting our journal online. We thought we'd post what we have, as family and friends might like to read about the adventure, as it unfolded. Cheers! (Busily working away at spell-checking and such)

First-Ever Kayaking Trip: Canadian Southern Gulf Islands

Descriptive and entertaining entry about how lucky we are to have such a wonderfully diverse, rich and popular sea kayaking destination right in our own backyard. Till such time as I cobble all that together, just pop on in and read about our recent 6-day kayaking trip.

Though we're no strangers to camping, backpacking, cycle-touring and other outdoor adventure ... this was our first time traveling by sea kayak. We can laugh now at some of our mistakes, preconceptions and landlubbing ways, but make no mistake - we had a great time and we're hooked! There will be many more sea kayaking adventures in our future (and Alex's too, though she missed this one, away with her maternal grandparents and having her own summer adventure at Watch Lake).

Note: The text is a bit raw, at this point, as I've only run it through the spell-checker - still need to go through and finalize it. (Three cheers to Rachel for all her hard work writing the journal!! Yippee! Yippee! Yippee!)

What's Completed:

  • Intro Text | Pictures
  • Day 0 Text | Pictures
  • Day 1 Text | Pictures
  • Day 2 Text | Pictures
  • Day 3 Text | Pictures
  • Day 4 Text | Pictures
  • Day 5 Text | Pictures
  • Day 6 Text | Pictures
  • Slide Show
  • Resources & Planning

 

Kayaker at sunset in the Canadian Southern Gulf Islands

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Crazy Canadian Contests

July 13th, 2009  · stk

Rachel recently won $5 in a Subway Scrabble promotional contest. Like all Canadians, she had to correctly answer a mathematical skill question in order to receive her prize. Find out why a "skill test" is a uniquely Canadian thing.

Returning from the floating cabin last month, we stopped at a Subway sandwich shop in Port Alberni for lunch. (Alex cried, because she wanted a McDonald's "Happy Meal" - it's all about the toy). Parental units decided fresh ingredients were more important than supporting China's export trade. As a result, we all had a healthier lunch.

Rachel also won a "$5-off Subway Card", after tearing off a "Subway scrabble" game-piece from her drink cup. Yesterday I redeemed the instant prize online (contest ends today, July 13th). I entered the alpha-numeric code printed on the game piece. On the next screen, I was required to pass the uniquely-Canadian ritual of answering a "skill test" question, in order to claim the $5 Subway Card prize. As per usual, it was a math question: What is 6 x 14 ÷ 6 + 48 - 14?

I've lived in a lot of places, but only Canada has a "math test", when you win a prize! When I first arrived, I thought, "Wow, Canada really places an emphasis on basic math skills!" It wasn't till later that I realized that the purpose of the "skill test" is to circumvent Canadian anti-gambling laws.

To learn more about the odd Canadian contest "skill test" requirement, you must first derive the Wave Equation, from Snell's Law of Refraction ... (ack ... I mean, click the following link) ...

Great Canadian "Skill Test"

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