Spider-Man: Into the Spider-Verse is one of the best movies I’ve seen

We finally watched Spider-Man: Into the Spider-Verse, and it’s comfortably one of the best movies I’ve seen.

The story is compelling, the animation is brilliantly done. It’s just an incredible movie. If you haven’t seen it, and you’re curious, it’s well worth watching.

This movie was the first of two movies we have planned for today. This afternoon, we’re going to watch Aquaman. DC movies tend not to be as good as Marvel movies, so I’m holding thumbs that Aquaman lives up to the hype. Update: I enjoyed Aquaman, but Spider-Man still won the day for me.

Featured image: Spider-Man Miles Morales Minimalist Poster descktop by Abijithka, licensed CC BY SA 4.0 International

Postscript: Not only was the movie really good, but I love the soundtrack. Actually, there are two soundtracks: Daniel Pemberton’s instrumental soundtrack, and the music from (and inspired by) the movie. Of the two, I definitely prefer the instrumental soundtrack, and I suspect it will be on heavy rotation in the coming days:

This one track from the other soundtrack, “What’s Up Danger” really appeals to me too!

Happy 30th birthday to the Web

The Web turned 30 yesterday, so I guess this is a belated birthday post about the invention that made so much of how I live my life, and my various careers, possible.

In 1989 the world’s largest physics laboratory, CERN, was a hive of ideas and information stored on multiple incompatible computers. Sir Tim Berners-Lee envisioned a unifying structure for linking information across different computers, and wrote a proposal in March 1989 called “Information Management: A Proposal“. By 1991 this vision of universal connectivity had become the World Wide Web.

30th Anniversary of the World Wide Web | Web at 30: Celebrating the 30th Anniversary of the Invention of the Web

I love that the comment on Tim Berners-Lee’s original proposal for the Web was “Vague, but exciting” 😂.

The CERN team put together a Spotify playlist including music from when the Web was created. If you were alive back then, this may bring back memories:

It’s also pretty interesting to read what people have to say about this anniversary of the Web. Take a look at this Twitter stream based on the #Web30 hashtag.

Image credit: CERN (I didn’t see a specific license, so hopefully it’s an open license)

Feeling a bit better with this song

I’ve had a rough week or two with more anxiety and depression than usual. Music tends to help my mood, and “Like Gold” by Vance Joy is one of those songs for me:

Actually, I’m really enjoying Vance Joy generally at the moment. Here’a a great playlist to binge with:

Why people with ADHD take medication – it often helps us function

I’ve started watching Jessica’s channel, How to ADHD. Actually, I’ve been binging a little this morning. I’m watching one video at the moment in which she explains what happened when she ran out of her medication, and just couldn’t focus:

Many people with ADHD are embarrassed that they need to take medication to function. I don’t feel that way at all because I remember far too many days when I sat staring out a window, or doing everything other than the work I needed to do to earn a living.

Heck, I think back to my early career, and even my school years, when I probably spent more time looking out a window, and unable to focus on my office/school work, than actually getting my work done.

This is why I take my pill every morning. It helps me participate in my day to day life, and function more effectively.

unsplash-logoFeatured image by Gabriel Tenan

Another reason to have your own website

Brad Frost wrote about the value of having your own website the other day. This quote stands out:

Writing on your own website associates your thoughts and ideas with you as a person. Having a distinct website design helps strengthen that association.

Brad Frost

I had a conversation with someone recently about their site. They decided to give up their site, and their domain because they use social media for everything. I had to pause for a moment when I heard that.

As useful as social media is to so many people, entrusting your online identity, and content wholly to social media is quite a gamble.

Thank you to Manton Reece for pointing out Brad’s post.

Reading more Arthur C Clarke books

I grew a little bored with my current books, so I thought I’d read some classic science fiction. I picked one of Arthur C Clarke’s early books, “Childhood’s End“, and read it pretty quickly.

Despite the slightly dated technology references, the story is really well written, and kept me engaged right to the end. I wrote a short review on Goodreads for the book:

I enjoyed this book. Some of the technology references are a bit dated (the book was written some time ago). That said, they didn’t detract from the story, which was fascinating. The book managed to retain a few plot twists until the end, which was really nice.

I started re-reading Clarke’s 3001. I’m sure I read the previous books in the series (2001, 2010, and 2061), but 3001 always appealed to me the most. One aspect of the story that stands out for me is the identifier citizens of that era use in place of email addresses, handles, or whatever else we use.

It uses a gender indicator, followed by a date, a random 5 digit number, and an institutional or interest-based association. It reminds me of the names that Iain M Banks uses for his characters in The Culture. Here’s an example in Wikipedia:

Some humanoid or drone Culture citizens have long names, often with seven or more words. Some of these words specify the citizen’s origin (place of birth or manufacture), some an occupation, and some may denote specific philosophical or political alignments (chosen later in life by the citizen themselves), or make other similarly personal statements. An example would be Diziet Sma, whose full name is Rasd-Coduresa Diziet Embless Sma da’ Marenhide:

  • Rasd-Coduresa is the planetary system of her birth, and the specific object (planet, orbital, Dyson sphere, etc.). The -sa suffix is roughly equivalent to -er in English. By this convention, Earth humans would all be named SunEarthsa (or Sun-Earther).
  • Diziet is her given name. This is chosen by a parent, usually the mother.
  • Embless is her chosen name. Most Culture citizens choose this when they reach adulthood (according to The Player of Games this is known as “completing one’s name”). As with all conventions in the Culture, it may be broken or ignored: some change their chosen name during their lives, some never take one.
  • Sma is her surname, usually taken from one’s mother.
  • da’ Marenhide is the house or estate she was raised within, the da’ or dam being similar to von in German. (The usual formation is dam; da’ is used in Sma’s name because the house name begins with an M, eliding an awkward phoneme repetition.)

Iain Banks gave his own Culture name as “Sun-Earther Iain El-Bonko Banks of North Queensferry“.[1]

unsplash-logoFeatured image by Ed Robertson

Folding smartphones remind me of the old Nokia Communicator devices

These new range of folding smart phones are really interesting (I really like the idea of a device that opens up to reveal a larger, tablet-size screen). At the same time, I can’t help but think of the Nokia Communicator series devices from over a decade ago. Take the Nokia E90 Communicator, as an example:

I was really excited about these devices back then. The new folding phones seem to be a v2.0, in a sense. I wonder if these will become more commonplace or, like the Nokia Communicators, remain pretty rare due to factors like price, and form factor.

Just on the use case for these new folding phones, Dave Lee has a great take on this that echoes some of my thinking, albeit not from the perspective of a gaming device:

Featured image courtesy of Samsung

Revisit the history of WordPress with this awesome WordPress time machine

One of my colleagues shared this awesome, interactive history of WordPress. I remember the first release version. There was something about it that I really liked, compared to the other options that were available at the time.

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