Posts Tagged ‘solutions to problems I had’

Attire Emoji

Posted in Ridiculum on April 12th, 2016 by Nathan – 1 Comment
Attire Emoji

Clearly I'm not a great attire emoji designer…

Weddings, Birthdays, Special Events: I'm at a point in my life where I'm increasingly receiving invitations that have the same basic format: who/what/when/where/attire. That last one being the newcomer, and a confusing newcomer at that. "Cocktail attire," "semi-formal," "business casual," and many other descriptions all serve the same purpose: to very loosely and confusingly tell me something that my latest idea, attire emoji, could have told me better.

What, for example, is meant by "cocktail attire"? Wikipedia ignores this concept altogether and redirects directly to the article on "Semi-formal." The only picture on that page, however, is decidedly formal: a Canadian historian in black tie. Indeed, the same article lists black tie as a suggestion, though that is also listed on the page for formal. Most other sources (sorry, Wiki, I usually turn to you first) provide a wide range of options for cocktail attire: slacks with a jacket, suit with no tie, and suit with tie are all considered options, though this is a fairly wide spectrum.

Or take, for example, "business casual," which in some parts of America means jeans with an untucked button-up are acceptable but in other parts implies French cuffs and slacks. And in both of these examples, I'm only touching on men's fashion; where women are concerned, these labels are even more cryptic.

My solution is simple: when you create an invitation, do away with the complex gibberish phrases that normally adorn the bottom right, and replace them with attire emojis. If men are expected to wear a suit and tie and women would be comfortable in a little black dress, you can try to get that across through age-old code-words like "evening informal" (as apparently that's what that means), or you can instead provide a set of two emoji that accomplish the same task.

I should clarify here that I don't intend to suggest a specific set of emoji; any custom images will do as long as they serve the emoji purpose of conveying information in a single simple character. These pictographs or hieroglyphics (which is really all emoji are) can get across a lot more information, perhaps a thousand times as much, as the old adage suggests, as the words we use today.

Filtering Google Reader

Posted in Tech on September 29th, 2011 by Nathan – Be the first to comment

I follow a lot of blogs and various other things in Google Reader. Sixty-eight subscriptions, to be exact. I am quite meticulous about these subscriptions, unidirectionally. That is, if a feed or blog begins annoying me, I will cut it off immediately. However, if the subscription simply stops posting, I usually fail to remove it. Such is life.

But I digress. The issue at hand came about because one blog I follow used to have one author, who is great and the reason I follow the blog in the first place, but recently added a second, who is, for lack of a better word, crap. At first, I would just ignore the bad author’s posts to get to the good author’s posts, but yesterday I decided this was annoying and no longer satisfactory.

What I needed was a way for Google Reader to show me only those posts written by the good author and not those by the bad author. I needed Google Reader filtering.

Well a quick search and I found a number of possibilities: feed generators, GreaseMonkey scripts, Firefox plugins, etc. One possibility, however, was simpler than the others, and if it worked, would be the best option. Since it did work, I reproduce it here.

Note that this only works if the offending blog is WordPress. But since some ridiculous percentage of blogs are WordPress blogs, that shouldn’t be an issue.

So what you do is you go to the blog, find the thing you want to filter by (category, author, tag, etc) and go to that specific page. Add /feed to the URL and subscribe to that through Google Reader. Pow! It’s that easy.