There’s a New Dog Site in Town! It’s Full of Cuteness and Furry Monsters for Smooching!

Theres a New Dog Site in Town! Its Full of Cuteness and Furry Monsters for Smooching! : website project dogs dog smooch blog

Again, it’s been a while, and there are many things I have in mind to write about for Mindfull, but for right now there’s another little project that’s on the go: DogSmooch.com!

If you want to know what dog products to buy, or if you want to know what dogs look like shaking in slow motion, this could be the site for you!

You can also check them out on Facebook!

Here’s the inaugural post, just to let you know what dog lovers the group is comprised of, and what their intentions are!

Theres a New Dog Site in Town! Its Full of Cuteness and Furry Monsters for Smooching! : website project dogs dog smooch blog


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Twitter Has Abandoned RSS, But I Never Will!

Twitter Has Abandoned RSS, But I Never Will! : twitter searches rss labnol.org google scripts google digital inspiration Amit Agarwal Hey, all! First the housekeeping: If I’m being realistic, probably no new podcast episodes or Next Level Thoughts until after the wedding in September.

That aside, what’s with all this disrespect RSS is getting lately? First Google Reader takes a hike, and now the Twitter API has abandoned it! Well I for one love RSS. I think it’s a great and versatile technology, and I think everyone would be mighty upset if it went away and they discovered just how many things rely on it.

This post started here: I wanted to post tweets from both my business’ twitter account, and random relevant accounts around the twitterverse, to my business’s website; and I didn’t want to use crappy, rigid, pre-style apps and plugins to do it. This used to be no problem, as Twitter would actually provide you with RSS links for everything you could possibly think of! No longer!

But here’s where Google gets some points back. Using Twitter’s new API, I was able to generate a Google script that would translate searches and feeds into proper usable RSS feeds! I’ll ramble no longer. The solution I found worked for me right off the hop, but I won’t post it here. I appreciate useful, sneaky, simple, well written teachings like this so much, I wouldn’t think of stealing the man’s traffic. Find out how to get RSS feeds for Twitter user accounts and searches right here!

Twitter Has Abandoned RSS, But I Never Will! : twitter searches rss labnol.org google scripts google digital inspiration Amit Agarwal


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Long Time No Blog… And The New Google Maps!

It’s a busy, busy summer, everyone. Planning a wedding & honeymoon, going to everyone else’s weddings and related events, renos, shirt printing, house shopping, planning a Rocket Science website rejiggering, etc, etc, etc… So it’s been hard to find time to draw or blog.

But I’m still alive, I just got my invite to the new Google maps, and it’s pretty cool. So here’s some stuff on that!

Instead of map/satellite toggle, you can jump from map to ‘earth view’ on the fly. Earth view contains 3d models of every building, which you can pan and rotate at will. I don’t know how they do it, and I defy you to not spend at least minutes scoping out your neighborhood!

The search is also much better now. It remembers where you go, what you like, and it’ll even zoom to a specific landmark as you type them into the search box. And the maps are much more attractive color-wise to boot!

Anyway, that’s it for now. Much more to explore, but looking really good so far! Have a peek at a few screen shots below from my ‘hood. Click to enlarge.

 

Long Time No Blog... And The New Google Maps! : google maps google earth google

Long Time No Blog... And The New Google Maps! : google maps google earth google

 

 

Will post again soon…When I can!

Long Time No Blog... And The New Google Maps! : google maps google earth google


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5 Great Interesting, Educational Things to Watch

My fiancé doesn’t get it, but I love consuming educational/informational things. Shows, videos, documentaries; here are some good examples of these. Gaining information from an interesting, entertaining source is a win to me. I’d love to hear of some more sources if anyone has suggestions!

 

Discovery Science Channel’s “Through the Wormhole” Hosted by Morgan Freeman. Is amazing!

 

Reddit’s “Explain Like I’m Five”

 

Daily Planet (Online or on TV)

Episode Link

 

CBC’s “Quirks & Quarks”

Show Link

 

Neil deGrasse Tyson’s Star Talk

Here’s the Audio Podcast. Also available in video on the Nerdist Youtube Channel:

 

I also like the theory behind How Stuff Works’ podcasts, but I don’t like how much they obscure access to the shows. Why no on-site listening?

 

Got any of your own “edutainment” resources? Let me hear ‘em!

 

5 Great Interesting, Educational Things to Watch : video tv smart shows interesting edutainment educational programming


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How to Place a Custom Marker on Google Maps

For anyone trying to send someone to a specific but undesignated spot on a google map, here’s a simple way to do it. It’d be nice if Google would allow you to draw and type on their maps or something, but oh well; maybe someday.

Simply right-click on the spot you’re interested in, select “What’s Here”, and you’ll get a nice green arrow along with location coordinates. You can now click the link button and send this map to someone. Not perfect, not robust, but it took me  a while to figure it out, so hopefully this will save someone out there some time!

How to Place a Custom Marker on Google Maps : specific location map link google maps custom marker custom map coordinates

 

 

How to Place a Custom Marker on Google Maps : specific location map link google maps custom marker custom map coordinates

How to Place a Custom Marker on Google Maps : specific location map link google maps custom marker custom map coordinates


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Meditation: Silly to Some, but Backed by Real Science

Yes, I know; I make light of some forms of self-help, but God dammit do I like it when a topic is given the scientific treatment!

After hitting a link I found in my google reader on the topic of our “primal posture” (also an informative watch, even if a little open-ended) I found myself hopscotched over to another TED talk about meditation. The twist in this one that caught my attention was that it was a talk given by a neuroscientist! Sara Lazar was her name. I’ll post the video below, but for those who like to cut to the chase, she’s found that meditation does in fact alter the physical structure of your brain.

This really does make me want to make time in my life to do some daily meditating. As someone with a constantly racing mind, I think I’d be one to notice some actual benefits.

To put the icing on the cake, here’s another good talk given by Andy Puddicombe who actually went out and became a Monk. Here he speaks simply about why it only makes sense to take care of your most important instrument, and how simple it can be to do so.

I don’t really go for a lot of mysticism, but when things have actually been studied, or they seem logical to me, I say it’s worth a shot. My next logical thought was “where would I begin?”. Well, Sara Lazar herself recommends the Center for Mindfulness’ Stress Reduction Program. But in the spirit of Puddicombe’s talk, I don’t think it pays to start with a high barrier to entry.

Personally, I’m going to start here and see where it takes me. Have any of you added meditation or similar practices to your lives? Has it helped? What is your regimen like?  I’d love any and all input!

Meditation: Silly to Some, but Backed by Real Science : stress reduction scientific research relax racing thoughts mindfulness mindfull meditation busy mind


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Oh No! Google Reader is Going Away?

Oh No! Google Reader is Going Away? : rss feed rss retiring news reader google reader google

I Just learned this morning that Google is retiring it’s aptly named RSS feed reader, Google Reader. I had no idea this was coming!

I know most people don’t use news readers these days (although they should, and I’m sure WOULD, if rss was a more promoted and more streamlined technology), but for some of us they’re very convenient and make a lot of sense! To me it only makes sense, in an era of information overload, to have one place to aggregate all the info you like to keep track of.

I know there are other readers out there, but to be honest, I like having my reader within the same Google environment I spend so much time in. And I don’t really see what Google gains by retiring the product. I know they probably don’t have a ton of interest or user numbers, but Google Reader’s gotta be one of—if not THE—most used reader sites/apps out there, doesn’t it? Couldn’t they just obscure it a little and keep it running?

Anyway, I think it sucks and I hope they change their minds. But I know they won’t. Booo! Get behind RSS and your very capable product, Google!

Oh No! Google Reader is Going Away? : rss feed rss retiring news reader google reader google


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Next Level Thoughts Delayed Due to Renovations

Next Level Thoughts Delayed Due to Renovations  : renovations renovation creep next level thoughts hiatus delay Just an FYI for anyone following Next Level Thoughts: there will probably not be a new one until around March 25th because the fiancé and I have decided to do battle with the kitchen! Will post sooner if possible, but my equipment is currently under sheets, and can’t even be accessed remotely as my MacBook Air running Windows 7 seems to have fallen in love with putting itself to sleep despite proper power saving options to the contrary! Oh who to blame!

As a preview, I plan to sketch a device or technique that has something to do with preventing renovation creep. If you’ve ever done a home renovation of any kind, I’m sure you know what that is without me even having to explain it!

Anyway, will be back ASAP!

Next Level Thoughts Delayed Due to Renovations  : renovations renovation creep next level thoughts hiatus delay


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To the Semi-Religious: An Uncharted Island is Better than a Boat Made of Cheesecloth

If the cool thing about your church is that it doesn’t buy into the bigoted and hateful parts of its holy book, doesn’t that say something about the book’s worth?

If you’re cherry picking from the foundation of your belief system or interpreting it in a way that suits your lifestyle, couldn’t you just do away with all the convoluted dogma altogether and go do positive things with like minded people instead of filling your head with ancient stories of mysticism?

I’m really asking! I do not get the logic, or perhaps willful lack thereof.

Also, here’s a meme thingee to pad the post a little.

 

To the Semi Religious: An Uncharted Island is Better than a Boat Made of Cheesecloth : religion nonsense morality holy book god doubt church bible

To the Semi Religious: An Uncharted Island is Better than a Boat Made of Cheesecloth : religion nonsense morality holy book god doubt church bible


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NLT #7: Status Bars, Be Accurate!

Installing software, importing files, opening applications; they all take a certain amount of time. To allow you to gauge just how long you’ll be waiting for things to happen, operating systems and applications offer you the status bar.

But what’s with all the false hope they’re giving us?! There’s always some extra little process at the end that has you sitting at 100% for at least a count of 10%. OR, in the world of windows, just when you think you’re done waiting, that glowing green status goo proceeds to extend past the finish line and into the X area you thought was just a cancel button!

Give it to us straight, software! No sugar coating. Account for everything and strive for accuracy. We can take it!

Now – onto my billion dollar idea!

 

NLT #7: Status Bars, Be Accurate! : windows status bars software nlt next level thought microsoft loading installation false hope

NLT #7: Status Bars, Be Accurate! : windows status bars software nlt next level thought microsoft loading installation false hope


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NLT #6: All Self-Help Blog Posts Ever, Jotted on a Single Napkin

Don’t get me wrong; I’m subscribed to a number of self-help and posititvity blogs. Sometimes they contain some very helpful and interesting perspectives on life. But I can’t believe how often they all regurgitate the same pieces of advice repackaged and re-purposed  into new articles with new titles. You can’t blame them really; there’s only so much to being relaxed. But if the number of repetitions across the internet over the years equated to severity of advice importance, I’d be frightened!

This realization triggered two reactions in me. 1) There must be a Next Level Thought in this. 2) I need to start life advice blog… Maybe later.

The napkin jot below is a boiled-down digest of all advice blogs. You know, for people who want to be all zen but are always on the go. This thing’s a real time saver! See below for even more!

 

NLT #6: All Self Help Blog Posts Ever, Jotted on a Single Napkin : zen self help repetition regurgitation positivity meditation habits drawing digest comic breathe advice blogs

 

-Breathe. Breathe deep, breathe slow, breathe more than the next guy. Much more.
-Email is the devil’s spawn. Never check email. In fact, throw your computer out the window.
-Don’t own things. If you can’t eat it or breathe it, get rid of it! An empty house is a happy house.
-You’re not content enough! Chase more contentment at all costs! Goals and ambition aren’t for you!

-Always smile. If you’re frowning, something’s wrong. Never admit things aren’t great.
-Appreciate absolutely everything. That parking ticket? Just an opportunity to contribute to your city.
-Let go of control & go with the flow. If somebody makes your life difficult, thank them, and maybe advise them to breathe more.
-Always say ‘Yes’; Even if it’s not a yes/no question; even when there is no question. There is no “no”.
-Make a habit of forming habits. If you’re not in the midst of forming a habit, breathe, then find a habit to form.
-Start small. Even with unlimited resources, starting even medium is for suckers. Being huge right out of the gate will lead to depression.
-Meditation can be done anywhere, by anyone, in any way. When coupled with breathing, there’s no way to maintain stress. I dare you to try.
-Give back. You can never gain without giving. Every millionaire got his/her start by emptying their bank accounts and all the possessions they were being held down by.

 

NLT #6: All Self Help Blog Posts Ever, Jotted on a Single Napkin : zen self help repetition regurgitation positivity meditation habits drawing digest comic breathe advice blogs


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Next Level Thoughts #5: Absent Minded Movie Watching

You’re all too familiar with this if you have a mind like mine. It never shuts up, and it always has some thought it feels is more important than the one it should be on.

During a movie, I always find myself trying to figure out character names long after they’ve been introduced. Sometimes I make it through a whole movie without knowing the main character’s name.

It doesn’t feel great, but if you’re like this, don’t fret. It’s not all bad! In addition to your brain taking the opportunity to do some house cleaning, there are also the benefits shown below. Hey, it’s SOMEthing! And hopefully all those extra thoughts floating around up there actually benefit you in some way!

…Probably not though, so don’t get your hopes up TOO high!

Next Level Thoughts #5: Absent Minded Movie Watching : scatterbrained movies movie watching brain behavior being present absent mindedness

Next Level Thoughts #5: Absent Minded Movie Watching : scatterbrained movies movie watching brain behavior being present absent mindedness


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