Last month, the World Wide Web Consortium (W3C) declared HTML5 is officially "feature complete." I decided it was finally time to make the switch from HTML4.01. While reading about all the new tags, I was excited about some tags and confused about the usefulness of others (like repurposing the previously deprecated
<u> for "misspelt words"). I quickly dove in to compatibility charts and performed some of my own testing. One of my greater disappointments was the lack of browser support for the
I set out to find a work around that would enable proper functioning of
summary, that is, to enable it's open/close interactivity. What I found was an effective solution in jquery-details by Mathias Bynens. Unfortunately, this solution depends on another library: jQuery. jQuery is an excellent library which I use in some of my projects, but not all. Since some of my projects do not use jQuery, it seemed unnecessary to include a library as comprehensive as jQuery for the benefit of one simple work-around. So I wrote my own.
To counter the tone of my recent postings about hardship, I would like to rant and ramble lightheartedly to ridiculously about how we express time.
This past weekend the USA ended it's annual observance of Daylight Saving Time, apparently one week after most of the observant northern hemisphere. Many rumors run rampant in our intellectual garden about why we ever started this time of shifting daylight. The one that I hear the most is about farmers, as though they were somehow so disconnected from nature (like us city folk spreading the rumor) that they needed a clock to tell them when there was enough light to work the fields. Wikipedia, on the other hand, credits Daylight Saving Time to George Vernon Hudson, who apparently just wanted more daylight after his shift job to collect insects. The further explanation of its implementation in the United Statesis a bit more practical:more...
I am going through some troubling situations right now. There are two situations involving a friend of a friend who is a contractor who has done work on my house. In both situations I am being taken advantage of. A very troubling aspect of these is that I am being taken advantage of, that is, it is still happening; in both. I was not planning to write about these, but a friend of mine advised they might serve as a warning to others. I will try to include some lessons learned, besides the jade. The details, though, will add fervency to the lessons.more...
Early in her pregnancy, Amy was given a standard glucose tolerance test which she failed by one point. Amy's blood sugar has always been a little off, at least since she started taking Loestrin oral birth control early in our marriage. Nonetheless, she failed the test, and the book says that made her gestational diabetic; by one point. In our litigious American society, many doctors are extra careful not to get sued; so they play by the book. The book says it, they act on it. We learned this. (Which book is that? Not literally one book, but a collection of standards and policies.) We learned a few other things, let's get the ranting out of the way:
The doctors could not agree on Amy's due date. It didn't matter anyway, I thought, since they usually guess early (70% of babies are born after their 'due date'). Eventually they settled on the earliest date in the pool, May 3; a mere thirty eight week term. Apparently, doctors count ten months like: "a month is about four weeks, so, ten times four weeks; forty weeks." According to my reading (googling), midwives (who have been doing this a lot longer) count ten months as ten lunar months, which comes to forty-two weeks. This difference might explain why 70% of babies are born 'early'.more...
It took twelve weeks to get this out of me. It took twelve weeks for me to be able to describe the five weeks prior. What follows is what I witnessed at the end of a great woman's life. Some of this is lessons learned; some of it sweet, some of it bitter.
In 1981, shortly after giving life to my wife, Carol Cowand Davis fought breast cancer, and won. High levels of cobalt-60 radiation therapy were used in thirty treatments. Like an army of mercenaries these treatments fought hard for Carol's victory over Non-Hodgkin's Lymphoma, but at a price.
In 2009, breast cancer called a rematch. Doctors suspect the door was left open by the type and intensity of the radiation used in 1981. Carol fought hard again; with the help of chemotherapy and a less intense form of radiation therapy. Surgery was required and took its collateral damage, but in the end, Carol won. She had beaten cancer twice.
Complaining of an aching shoulder, Carol went to her doctor again in 2011. Knowing her history with cancer he ordered the appropriate scans and discovered that cancer, it turns out, is a very sore loser. Cancer of the bone is treatable, but not (yet) curable. This struck us all with a realism of finality that were were able to deny with the "curable" breast cancers.more...
In late January we noticed the water flow from our refrigerator's in-door water dispenser was slower than usual, and some our of floor boards were curling/warping/buckling. I crawled under the house to check the feed line and found quite a puddle. After shutting the valve to stop the leak, I soaked every towel I had and dragged the water out.
I called a plumber and a crawlspace company. The plumber fixed the line and forgot to leave me an invoice. The crawlspace guy said "call your insurance company."
I called State Farm and waited for the adjuster, who, after inspecting the crawlspace recommended the claim approved. I learned an important lesson here: The insurance company won't approve claims for problems persisting more than a few days. Logically this makes sense; if the home-owner neglects the problem, the damage will get worse, and more expensive. Practically, this is a problem; many leaks can go unnoticed for months. Fortunately the adjuster determined this damage was recent.more...
I always thought there was something wrong about Pi (3.14159...). It seemed clumsy to use. I was distracted from figuring out why by the apparent simplicity of the constant. The circumference of a circle divided by its diameter just seemed so elegant. How could a constant so elegant be so cumbersome to use? Why would it always drag around its crutch of a 2? Whose brain-child was 'radians', a system for measuring angles that summed to 2π?
These things confused mathmatics for me as a student, and now I know why. Pi is wrong. The better, correct, circle constant is Tau, τ, which is equal to the ever-present 2π. Thanks to Michael Hartl for putting his finger on what is wrong with the way we teach maths with pi, pi. Thanks again, for pointing us to tau, and simpler, more intuitive ways to think about circles, angles, and all the (now) fun things we had to do in school trigonometry and above.more...
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