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July 2013

Food and Buildings: Kulapat Yantrasast

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Kulapat Yantrasast things cooking and architecture have things in common, including attention to ingredients.

Yesterday evening I attended a lecture by Kulapat Yantrasast, cofounder and executive director of the wHY architecture and design studio. For the most part, he was talking through recent projects, but he spent some time at the beginning of the talk discussing his background and his interest in food. He's originally from Thailand, which he noted is sandwiched (sort of like sitting in the middle seat in coach) between India and China. If you sit in the middle, he said, you learn to get along, with the result in Thailand's case that the food is about mixing ingredients, mixing influences.

Akrasia, Tomato

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Sometimes you have to embrace the tomato to get things done.

I ran across the term "akrasia" at a site I like called Beeminder.com. You can read more about akrasia in a nice essay over Beeminder, but for me the takeaway about akrasia is that if you set yourself on a certain course--developing a hundred lines of code a day, say--you aren't allowed to change your ground rules the moment it doesn't suit you to do the work anymore.

Things that Get Done Get Done in Chunks

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Grumpy guy with stuff to do.

When you think about the things you hope to accomplish, you've got to give yourself a little breathing room. I like to think in terms of three years--1095 days, at least when it's not a leap year--because it seems like a bit of a play on "1001 Nights," a play on the notion that you earn your survival one day at a time, by the simple act of producing a manageable output each and every day. You break things down into small chunks and over time they add up.

Fixing an RSS Glitch

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I found a glitch in the link for getting to the RSS feed -- here's the screencast of the fix:

rssblockfix from Robert Richardson on Vimeo.

Migrating a Drupal Site

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Honestly, migrating a Drupal installation from one site to another isn't really for the feint of heart. Still, unless you're starting absolutely from scratch, you're likely to encounter situations where you need to stage the new version of your site on a separate domain for a while, then copy it over the top of the existing site.

The Nomadic View of Place

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While the pasturing is good, you stay in one place.

A key value of travel is, in essence, shopping around for better spaces and patterns in which to live. When you live somewhere for many years, there's a value in that, to be sure. There's a groundedness. But you internalize and forget the shapes of the spaces through which you move on a daily basis. I don't notice the shape of the street where I live, the trees that frame it, the setback of the houses from the sidewalk.

The Business Ipad

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First things first: there are a few things that you just really can't coax an iPad into doing. If you, for example, need to make screencasts, you're in trouble. If you need to do complex video editing, that's difficult partly because the apps aren't sophisticated enough and partly because editing video is one of the few tasks most of us do on computers that really benefits from lots of processing power.

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