Watch this if you’re still on the fence about the new WordPress Editor (aka Gutenberg)

If you’re still unsure about the new WordPress Editor (aka Gutenberg), it’s worth watching Matt Mullenweg’s State of the Word keynote at the recent WordCamp US 2018 event in Nashville.

You can find links to parts of the talk, along with slides, and commentary in Matt’s post, here:

I’ve been using the new Editor almost exclusively lately, not because I work for Automattic, but because it’s actually a pretty enjoyable way to write posts.

I still prefer to write longer posts in my text editor, and then add the posts into the editor afterwards (I’ve always been a little twitchy about my only version of long posts being in an online editor, just in case something goes pear shaped and I lose it all).

The new Editor isn’t perfect, but it’s pretty good! It does work a little differently in some respects, but that isn’t a bad thing (necessarily). Also, it’s improving (I can add galleries that work the way they’re supposed to! Yay!) all the time.

My Saturday afternoon hike up Givat HaTitora in photos

My blood glucose has been really high lately, so I’ve made an effort to get as much exercise as I can. That’s mostly been going for longer walks, and getting my heart rate up.

I decided to go for a hike up Givat HaTitoria this afternoon as an alternative to parking off in front of the TV for the afternoon.

The hill is an archaelogical site, and recently renovated tourist area that’s also pretty popular with Modiin’s residents. There’s a path around the top of the hill, with spectacular views of the city, and the area around it.

I walked past one of the city’s new water features, that was pretty spectacular in the late afternoon light. I had some fun messing around with shutter speed, and perspectives.

It was a nice way to spend a beautiful Saturday afternoon.

Chanukah 2018 memories

Chanukah (aka Hanukkah) is my favourite festival on the Jewish calendar.

Hanukkah (/ˈhɑːnəkə/HAH-nə-kə; Hebrew: חֲנֻכָּה‬ ḥanuká, Tiberian: ḥanuká, usually spelled חֲנוּכָּה‎, pronounced [χanuˈka] in Modern Hebrew, [ˈχanukə] or [ˈχanikə] in Yiddish; a transliteration also romanized as Chanukah or Ḥanukah) is a Jewish festival commemorating the rededication of the Second Temple in Jerusalem at the time of the Maccabean Revolt against the Seleucid Empire. It is also known as the Festival of Lights (Hebrew: חַג הַאוּרִים‬, ḥag ha’urim).

Wikipedia
A neighbouring building has this wonderful box at their entrance.

There are a few reasons for this. One is that I just love the candles, and seeing my neighbours add candles each night, and these growing pools of light in Israeli winter evenings. I also love that stores and businesses also light candles, and display them in their windows. It’s like a thread of candlelight that links us all.

Another reason is that Chanukah usually takes place in December, which is around my birthday, which is always my favourite time of the year.

Yet another reason why I enjoy Chanukah is that we live in the city of the Maccabees who we remember in this festival, Modi’in. We also arrived in Israel on the first night of this festival, so that makes it even more special to us.

Each year, I take photos of our candles, and show our progression from the first candle, to the 8th. This year, I decided not to go with my standard view of our menorah with each day’s addition.

Our son also helped us light the candles this year.

Our son was really into capturing each night’s candles with his phone. I noticed he was experimenting with ISO, and shutter speed on manual settings. Definitely some photographer Dad pride there! 📸

Of course it’s not just about the candles. This time of year is also a time for amazing donuts called sufganiot, and fried foods such as latkes. I especially enjoy my wife’s potato and sweet potato latkes!

The Aquaman soundtrack was released today, and I’m enjoying it

The Aquaman soundtrack by Rupert Gregson-Williams was released today, and I just found it on Spotify:

I’ve literally listened to two tracks so far, and it doesn’t seem like it includes the music we heard in the trailer is in the soundtrack. Just the same, just based on “What Could Be Greater Than a King?“, I think this will be on heavy rotation for me.

The key to a super week

My wife gave me this little guy over the weekend for my birthday:

Superman figurine
Super guy

I’d like to get a Green Lantern one next, possibly Flash too … I think my wife has started something here …

The sound of wind on Mars

NASA InSight on Mars

NASA’s InSight probe has heard the sound of wind on Mars. Just think about that for a moment: the sound of wind on Mars!

Listen to Martian wind blow across NASA’s InSight lander. The spacecraft’s seismometer and air pressure sensor picked up vibrations from 10-15 mph (16-24 kph) winds as they blew across Mars’ Elysium Planitia on Dec. 1, 2018.

I played this for our kids this morning. Our son seemed to be impressed, although our daughter’s response was something along the lines of: “Meh, it sounds like wind … 🙄”. Kids!

If you’re curious about the InSight mission, the Oatmeal has a terrific explainer of the InSight mission that may work well for kids too:

The Oatmeal explainer of the NASA InSight mission

You can also find loads of images, and other information about the mission on NASA’s InSight homepage. NASA makes so much content available about their missions, they’re one of the reasons the Internet is so amazing!

Another great resource is the mission’s Twitter profile:

Birthday balloons on Twitter 🎈

Some platforms present a little something special on your birthday. Twitter has balloons that float up over your screen when you visit your profile page on your birthday. I get a kick out of seeing this every year! 😁

Feedback that inspires me to be a better blogger

Photo by Adam Jang on Unsplash

I enjoy blogging because I enjoy sharing things that interest me. My blog has a pretty modest following, and I like receiving feedback on posts that resonate with readers.

This evening, I opened Twitter for some reason, and noticed this wonderful tweet from Jamie Rubin, a writer, blogger, and stimulus for my Field Notes obsession:

What makes Jamie’s feedback so much more meaningful is that I’ve followed his blog for a little while now, and I have great respect for his writing just based on his blog. Feedback like this inspires me to be a better blogger, so I can do justice to such kind words.

Jamie’s latest blog post, “Inside My Notebooks“, will give you a terrific sense of what he writes about (if you haven’t read it posts already):

unsplash-logoFeatured image by Adam Jang