Twitter threads make no sense to me

Twitter threads make no sense to me. I also find then to be pretty frustrating.

I’ve read some really interesting, and engaging Twitter threads (you probably have too). Every time I read one, I ask myself two questions:

  • Why is this person going out of their way to share this story/their thoughts on a format that breaks the flow with every tweet?
  • Why doesn’t this person value their ideas/content/thoughts enough to give them/it a dedicated home on the Web that others can return to?

Sure, Twitter is great for firing off missives on the go. It’s both a real benefit, and the reason why Twitter’s becoming the seedy part of the Web.

It’s also a space that you don’t control, don’t own, and have no guarantee will still respect you in the morning. Taking the time to formulate your thoughts, and share them one tweet at a time, over multiple tweets, reflects a degree of dedication, and a determination to share them with the world.

Why, then, would you do the digital equivalent of carving your thoughts into beach sand, only to see it washed out when the tide comes in?

There are so many opportunities to share your ideas in a more resilient format, such as a blog, or even a collection of static HTML pages on a server somewhere. You can even tweet the link, if you want to get it out to your Twitter followers.

The cost of setting up, and maintaining a blog, are almost negligible. Do that instead. Your future readers will thank you.

Oh, and on a related note …

I occasionally come across tweets that attach images of typed documents. Please don’t do that. See above.

unsplash-logoFeatured image by drmakete lab

Pride and self-congratulation before the Idiot Tax (we’ll laugh about this later)

Last week, while my family was in Eilat for a long weekend vacation, I made my way to a shopping complex just outside my city.

I was there to do some research for our daughter’s birthday party (check!), look for running shoes (nope!), and one or two other errands.

While I was there, I thought I’d pick up a spare SIM card, just in case (… one of our kids lost their phones).

I thought this was admirably forward thinking on my part, especially given that this was the only place I could buy this SIM card nearby (in some respects, we’re pretty backwards here in Israel), and it usually involves a nauseating 30-40 minute bus ride to get there. 🤢

As it turned out, when my family returned home, my wife informed me that they had left my daughter’s phone in Eilat.

Not to worry, I thought, we could replace her cheap Nokia feature phone (an 8 year old really doesn’t need a smartphone), and it just so happens I have a spare SIM card! 😁

I’m sure you can imagine how proud I was that I had the foresight to buy that spare SIM card!! 😊

My wife and I went off to the mall so I could get a snappy haircut. While we were there, we bought our daughter a cool, new Nokia 3310 phone.

When we returned home, I went online, and activated the new SIM card. I placed it into our daughter’s new phone, and congratulated myself once again.

Not long afterwards, our son emerged from his bedroom with his phone, and casually asked me why his SIM card had stopped working.

It didn’t take me long to realise what I had done. 😱 Pride gave way to shame, and dismay. I had switched our son’s number over to the new SIM, not our daughter’s.

Oh, and once a SIM is deactivated, you can’t reactivate it.

And I was fresh out of SIM cards! 💩

I took a quick look at my calendar, and realised that the only time I had to journey back to that store for a replacement SIM card was, well, today.

So, I tucked my pride, and sense of wonder at how well prepared I was just a few days ago, and started the journey back to the store.

I bought two SIM cards, just in case.

Thankfully I managed to activate the SIM card for the correct number, second time around. All it cost me was my Idiot Tax for not taking a couple extra seconds to check which phone number I was activating the first SIM card for, as I was basking in the warmth of my self-congratulation.

Voyager 2 enters interstellar space and all I can think about are Klingons

Voyager 1 space craft

Last week we learned that Voyager 2 had followed in its sibling’s metaphorical footsteps, and entered interstellar space. According to Ars Technica:

On Monday, NASA announced that one of its longest-running experiments has started a new phase. Five years after Voyager 1 reached interstellar space, its sibling, Voyager 2, has joined it there. While the Oort Cloud of icy bodies extends well beyond the probes’ current locations, they’ve gone past the point where the charged particles of the solar wind dominate space. Instead, their current environment is dominated by cosmic rays ejected by other stars.

Ars Technica

When I read this news, I immediately thought about a scene in Star Trek V: The Final Frontier*, in which a Klingon Bird of Prey de-cloaks, and destroys one of the Voyager probes:

*Thanks to Ken Gagne for reminding me which movie this was!

If you’re not familiar with the Voyager probes, definitely take a look at NASA’s mini-site with information, and multimedia about these two historic probes, and trailblazers.

These infographics, alone, are awesome!

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 …