Weekend links

The narrow streets of the city centre in Hsinchu. My favourite part of the city.

The narrow streets of the city centre in Hsinchu. My favourite part of the city.

New online series investigates the science of creativity

The Skeptic’s Guide To Low-Fidelity Prototyping

How to Generate Good Ideas: Methods to Try, Questions to Ask and Apps to Use

It’s all but impossible to earn a living as a working artist, new report shows

Published for the First Time: a 1959 Essay by Isaac Asimov on Creativity

We All Have Ideas. Here’s How To Become An Inventor

How & why I moved to Sketch

Khoi Vinh on Yosemite’s Look and Feel. Apple’s efforts of late seem half baked, unfinished.

“Malice has motivated people to turn in foreigners on labor law violations, an official said, adding that tips on lawbreakers result in rewards” Keep your nose clean and don’t make enemies or you might find yourself on a plane to “home“.

Japan Didn’t Cave

Why Haters hate: Kierkegaard explains the psychology of bullying and online trolling in 1847

Link Love: What I’m reading

Nice latté but underwhelming compared to Hsinchu's excellent Ink Café.

Nice latté but underwhelming compared to Hsinchu’s excellent Ink Café.

After 3 months of fairly intense training I finished my first two races while I was vacationing home in Canada. It wasn’t a pain-free experience but my goals were to finish, not stop, and not be too concerned with pace, at least not at this stage. With my age, and as a beginner runner, I always had in the back of my mind that if I gave too much, especially with the heat we experience in Taiwan, I might suffer a heart attack. At the end of each training session and each race I always had more to give; the training went so well that I thought that I finally found my competitive sport. That is, until just the day before I had to board the longest flight I had been on in years, that stiffness in my back turned into full blown pain, like I was being stabbed, I couldn’t sit or walk, I had killed my back. What a pleasant series of flights it was going to be. Without painkillers I would never have made it through the flight experience, nor the ridiculous long walks they force you to endure in modern airports. Thus far lack of proper stretching appears to be the culprit.

A Dynamic Routine. Stretch safely—before you run.
Warm Up While You Lace Up. Get those muscles ready to go while you prepare for a run.
The 5 Top Stretches to Minimize Back Pain.
Banish Back Pain. How to Bounce Back from Back Injuries.
Stretching for Back Pain Relief
Best Post-Race Standing Stretches. Jump-start recovery with five simple moves.
Low Back. Wharton’s Simple Solution No. 4.

Running 5 Minutes a Day Has Long-Lasting Benefits.

How the Paleolithic Diet Got Trendy.

The Gangster’s Guide to Upward Mobility

23 defining traits of a good teacher.

Why You Won’t Learn Like a Child. “Have you ever hung out with a crazy friend who will go up to any stranger and say anything, seemingly without inhibitions? It’s awkward but also awe-inspiring, because it opens your eyes to how much your own inhibitions prevent you from doing and experiencing.”

John Oliver goes off on native advertising. Always excellent.

MUJI app that helps you relax/sleep. It’s not great but better than many.

Possibly the best place to buy pancakes anywhere.

Delicious Days

I’ve been spending far more time cooking these past months than I have ever in the past. Cooking and spending time in the kitchen is something we should all endeavor to do more of – it’s a great place to get together and share in what is often forgotten to be a fundamental activity among families. We all spend far too much time racing around between jobs and bringing home unhealthy “fast food”. My point is not about cooking but about a great site I found about cooking (very ungraceful segue I know).
When searching for a snack idea I came across the site Delicious Days. While I can attest that the recipes are wonderful, what really makes this site stand out is the beautiful photography. Ever article is supported by appropriate shots of food and process making you almost want to eat the screen. The design of the site supports the photography well too. There are problems but I won’t nit pick – it’s too good for that. Go check it out for yourself – Delicious Days.

Real Simple Website

I have for a long time been a fan of Real Simple, not so much for the content, but simply for the overall design of the magazine. The colors, typography, photographs, and their generous use of “white” really agree with my design sensibilities. It’s a very comfortable and warm publication.
I revisited their web site recently and while it certainly loses some of the design sensibility that attracted me to their print publication they embrace the medium well by providing content – lots of content. In fact I think they have put all of their print publication online. This is nothing ground breaking but they strike a nice balance – they aren’t a like all those other lifestyle portals who look for a million different ways to “monetize eyeballs” and thankfully they aren’t a weblog (or yet another web 2.0 app.).
So I would buy the print version simply for the experience of reading the content while I will visit web site again to be able to find the content.
It’s worth your time to visit – Real Simple.

The NetPlace

I found a great site that has been linking to an article I wrote. Unfortunately the article has been moved and all they would get is a 404.
“The NetPlace is dedicated to the goal of using the Internet for increased business and personal success.
Our first project has been to gather together a directory of links and webmaster resources. Much of this directory comes from the UMN Web Design References site and our personal bookmarks gathered over the years.”
Very thorough sets of links for IA, Navigation, Evaluation and Testing, and Usability articles. A valuable and impressive resource.
Visit: The NetPlace – Tools, services, articles, discussion and news for webmasters.


is a wonderful e-learning site and a fine example of great writing, information/instructional design, and a perfect use for shockwave.

ExploreLearning offers a catalog of modular, interactive simulations in math and science for teachers and students in grades 6-12. We call these simulations Gizmos. Gizmos are fun, easy to use, and flexible enough to support many different teaching styles and contexts. Our Gizmos are designed as supplemental curriculum materials that support state and national curriculum standards; in addition, Gizmos help teachers bring research-proven instructional strategies to their classrooms.

Found via a thread @ 37signals.


, the place where words you’ve made up can become part of an actual online dictionary!” I love making up language as I go along. A particular fun habit in this part of the world where few people speak English as there native language. One new word I picked up is Doris or the plural Dorae (?) which I found at British in Hong Kong guy’s weblog. It’s a word who uses to describe all the girls he meets. I guess so he doesn’t have to remember their names. Rude I suppose. The Pseudodictionary is a wonderful site “started by paul because he has his own mini-slang language.” Much like me but on a scale all his own. Some favourites: a-delic, b, Ba, big-gig, D’ohmance, daddy-look, daygogear, and kad-food.

Men’s Fashion

The Morning News has a three part series on mens fashion for perhaps the fashion challenged
like myself (I still after all these years shop at the Gap).

An excerpt:
“When they get back from the cleaners, call that special someone, make drinks, lay a fire.
Escort your lover to the closet and ? slowly! ? take down each shirt, unbuttoning every cuff
(you can use your teeth), then throw them up so the air is a cloud of stripes,
an ecstasy of cotton.”

And words of wisdom that I hope all follow:
Oh yeah, another thing: Don?t roll up the jacket sleeves Miami-Vice style.
We say this now, but then again, considering the fickle nature of fashion, don?t hold us to it.

Men?s Fashion: Part 1, Suits

Men?s Fashion: Part 2, Dress Shirts

Men?s Fashion: Part 3, Pants