A Guide To WordPress With A Screen-Reader: An Interesting Idea

Here’s something neat that I can get behind.

Amanda Rush has started what could be a super useful project. It will be a behemoth, but what a useful behemoth! She is trying to build a comprehensive guide to WordPress with a screen-reader. What’s more, she is going to try to keep it current. You go, girl!

Man, wouldn’t it be nice, if you’re trying to solve a complicated problem, to not have to decode the instructions that are written up with visual descriptions and screenshots. Sometimes, you can get by because they have added enough description that you can find the links and buttons to which they refer, but there’s nothing more infuriating than getting super helpful instructions, only to bump into a sentence like “You will get to a screen that looks like this. {screenshot goes here}.” Or “Now, drag the icon to…” Baaaaa!

But because it’s a time-consuming, ever-evolving affair, she is trying to get enough money to keep it going. So go to the page linked above and have a look at what she has already done. If you think this could be helpful, send her some dough to help keep it going.

He Sees You When You’re Sleeping, He Knows When You’re Awake, But He Didn’t See That Light Pole, So His Leg Now Has A Break

If Santa has a harder time than usual getting down your chimney this Christmas, this might be why.

Gerard Krokus, an experienced skydiver, was helping Santa deliver the Elf named Kristoff to a nine-year-old girl while flying in toys to the Beach Bums Operation Santa Charity Volleyball Tournament on Saturday. 
In the video you can see Krokus with a parachute above him coming in to deliver the toys, before his speed picks up and he crashes into a tree and a light pole near the sand volleyball courts.

the pole gave him a broken leg for Christmas, but it apparently didn’t stop him from taking a few pictures before heading to the hospital to get it fixed.

There is a GoFundMe to help pay his medical bills, since I guess the North Pole hasn’t gotten around to figuring out the whole universal healthcare thing just yet.

I Remember The Time My Service Dog Chased A Cat, Let The Memory Never Live Again!

When I think of all the concerts, plays and things I have gone to with Trix and Tans over the years, I am very thankful that neither of them has ever taken it into their heads to chase down one of the characters, like happened in this story.

A dog ran amok at Andrew Lloyd Webber’s “Cats” this week.
Spies at the Neil Simon Theatre tell us an audience member’s service dog “got away from its owner and ran after [the character] Bombalurina, performed by actress Mackenzie Warren, during the opening number.”
Luckily, a fast-moving usher “intervened and returned the wayward canine to its mortified owner.”

Mortified would be an apt description. I think I would want the floor to open up and swallow me!

I think the closest we came to causing mayhem was when I took Tansy to her first show. I don’t think she was used to such a huge crowd, and tried to leap on a passer-by. That was embarrassing enough, and thankfully has never happened again.

I could be in for trouble. This Saturday night, we’re going to see Handel’s Messiah because a couple of our friends are singing in it. I hope Tans doesn’t get it in her head that she should go visit them!

A Couple of Weird Songs To Haunt Your Nightmares

Somebody posted this list of the 30 weirdest songs of all time to the Dr. Demento Facebook group. Some of the songs on there seemed kind of lame, but there were definitely a few gems on there that I’d never heard of before, and were way out there.

One of them sounded so freaky that I decided to go see if I could find it, and boy did I find a lot of versions. It was called “The Twa Sisters.” Here’s just one version of it. It’s not the best quality I’ve ever heard, but it’s not the worst.

What kind of messed up shit is that. It’s not bad enough that one sister drowned the other because they both liked the same guy, but then some other dude just happened upon the drowned sister and made a musical instrument out of her body! Eeewww! And this wasn’t even the worst part of the song. It was like it was totally normal to pull bodies out of the river and make harps and guitars and whatever you wanted out of them, and show them off to a whole bunch of people. The song had to get extra creepy when the freaky musical instrument started to sing the story of her death. *shiver*. Yup, that’s definitely a weird song, and apparently everybody loved covering it and putting their own spin on it, but I’ve never heard of it before.

In describing the song to Steve, another song drifted into my head and won’t leave, and if the “Twa Sisters” song belongs on there, then this gem needs a place too.

What crazy evil is that? Dude meets girl, dude just straight up asks “how can I get to your bed?” Girl says “you can’t come in the door, but you should sneak into my bedroom via this creel thing at the chimney.” dude says “Ok.” Mom says “Hey dad, there’s a dude in our daughter’s room!” dad goes to look. Girl hides dude under the covers and says “hey dad, can’t you see I’m praying here?” Dad goes back to mom and says “You’re crazy, there’s no dude down there.” Mom isn’t convinced so gets up to see, but somehow kicks the toilet and falls into the thing that helped dude get in. She asks for help, but her husband says “Nope, can’t be bothered, you and your daughter are too much trouble.” She falls down to her daughter’s room, where the dude kills her. And the moral? Mind your own business, old lady! Really?

I’ll admit that making a list of the 30 weirdest songs of *all time* feels like a pretty difficult task, and I wouldn’t want to have it, but I’m sure there are way weirder songs than “MmmBop” or “Summer Girls”. Broaden your musical horizons a little!

An Interesting Video On Foley Recording, A.K.A. How They Get All Those Sounds Into The Movies

Have you ever watched a movie or a TV show and wondered where all of the sounds came from? Believe it or not (it may be hard to believe if you know me), even though I was always fascinated by recording, I never really did. I always just assumed that they either filmed in whatever conditions they needed or dubbed in stock sound effects. I did, however, spend a lot of childhood time trying to recreate sounds with objects (fire from crinkling paper or plastic or somebody falling down a flight of stairs with an old lunchbox, for instance) and recording them. So imagine my surprise when I got a little older and learned about the art of Foley recording. My silly little pastime had a name, people got paid for it and it was arguably one of the most important parts of the entire process. How about that?

Unfortunately I’ve never gotten the chance to meet a Foley artist (the couple times I’ve been in a studio with a Foley room nobody was there), so I’ve never been able to ask all of the how do you guys do that questions I know I’d have if the opportunity ever presented itself. But until it does, at least I’ll have this video to fill in some of the blanks.

Some Cool Facts To Nerd Up To

Not sure what exactly compelled Gill to write this, but the TV show she mentions is absolutely a real one.

It’s getting cold outside, but here in Nerd Power Central it’s toasty warm. Here I am to serve up some freshly baked facts and help you increase your nerd power. So go grab a hot drink, sit on down and chill, because it’s about to be a nerd party in here.

Around It Goes

Did you know that when the planet Uranus goes around the moon it tilts on its side? It would take approximately eight hours to travel from close to the sun to Uranus.

Since When Was That ok?

We head from the super cool, to the I can’t believe they aired that. In September 1990 a British production company, attempting to capitalize on 1950’s sitcoms like I Love Lucy brought out Heil Honey I’m Home. Don’t worry friends the tasteless train’s on it’s way to Bad Idea Junction. The supposed sitcom featured a modern day Hitler living with his whatever Ava was next to a Jewish couple called the Bronstines. Thankfully, although eight episodes were produced only one aired.

You Know What To Do

If you have any cool facts to share about anything send them, and help us build more Nerd Power.

There Is A WiFi Hair Brush Because The World Is Kind Of Garbage

It’s not the stupidest unnecessarily smart gadget I’ve ever seen (I think that honour goes to these socks), but the Hair Coach is way up there.

Yes, it is a hair brush. A hair brush with sensors in it. A hair brush that has it’s own app. A hair brush that communicates through Bluetooth. And WiFi. And it can give you personalized advice from experts. And somebody please kill me.

Experience the world’s first smart hairbrush that empowers you to track and improve hair health over time. This product results from a collaboration between Kérastase and L’Oréal, who bring worldwide hair expertise, and Nokia, which brings state of the art sensors and app connectivity to everyday products. The resulting innovation is a brush that syncs seamlessly to your smartphone to provide valuable insights that can help revolutionize the home beauty routine.

Hair health analysis
Follow hair elasticity and learn how to avoid dry hair
Measure cuticle damage to help ensure moisture retention
Optimize sebum distribution and avoid tangles
Force & rhythm
Get insight into how to avoid damaging hair
Gesture analysis
Understand and improve brushing habits
Stroke count
Detailed information on how use impacts hair quality

All you have to do is brush your hair — Hair Coach does the rest
Designed for optimal care and ease of use
With a sleek, lightweight handle and a high density of professional-grade boar & nylon bristles, Hair Coach provides an ideal brushing experience while taking the best possible care of your hair.
Seamless synchronization with the app
The brush detects when it is being used and begins data collection automatically. As soon as you complete your brushing session, all data will be sent automatically to your phone via Bluetooth® Low Energy or Wi-Fi.
A complete hair diagnosis without leaving home
Get an instant assessment of your hair health daily
Create a personalized care routine and get curated tips from Kérastase
Follow your hair health progress over time

It was set to begin shipping in the Fall of 2017, but as I sit here in December that timeline is still listed on the website, so I can only assume it hasn’t. Not that any of you really care when it ships, because you’re all too smart to buy one. Right? Right?

Hopefully The Crazy Talk Is Just Talk

In a move that surprised me if no one else, the International Olympic Committee stood up and actually made a reasonably good but difficult sporting decision yesterday, banning Russia from participating in the 2018 Winter Olympics. The ruling came after an investigation into allegations of a sophisticated doping scheme backed by the country’s government and also included various suspensions, lifetime bans and a $15 million fine.

Another surprise? Russia seems to be taking the whole thing rather well.

“They are so scared of us,” wrote Irina Rodnina, the former Olympic skating champion who is now a pro-Kremlin MP, on Twitter. Vladimir Zhirinovsky, leader of a pro-Kremlin ultra-nationalist party, called the decision “political and sporting racism”.
Konstantin Kosachev, chair of the foreign affairs committee in the upper house of Russia’s parliament, said the decision was “part of the general western policy of holding Russia back” – a theme that was developed by other officials.
“They are always trying to put us down in everything – our way of life, our culture, our history and now our sport,” wrote Maria Zakharova, spokeswoman for the Russian foreign ministry, in a Facebook post.
Zakharova lumped in the Olympics ban with “world war, the collapse of the Soviet Union and sanctions” as ills the west had supposedly imposed on Russia.
Sergei Alekseyev, the head of the Association of Sports Lawyers, told the Parliamentskaya Gazeta newspaper: “Basically, Russians have been discriminated against based on their nationality, which is no more and no less than genocide.”

Yup, everyone’s totally fine with it.

One person who is legitimately totally fine with it at least on the surface is Vladimir Putin, who says that he won’t stand in the way of any Russian athletes who want to compete as neutrals, something the ban allows for as long as certain conditions are met. I’m not sure how in a case like this you go about sorting out truly clean athletes from dirty ones, but for the moment I’m more interested in Putin.

We know what he said, but we also know that with him, as with many politicians, there is a tendency for their words to differ from reality, sometimes profoundly and with dire consequences. It only makes sense that he, the most prominent Russian on the world stage, would put on the reasonable face and leave the crazy talk for underlings to engage in. A lot of things in the diplomatic arena are probably easier that way. but what may not be so easy is sorting out the true position of the State on what these athletes do. the Russian government hasn’t exactly been shy about harshly dealing with folks who go against it, so I hope anyone who is serious about competing knows what they may be getting into in light of all of the apparent anger. I also hope I’m over-reacting by even thinking about writing that sentence. It would be nice to believe that sports aren’t important enough to ruin or lose lives over, but to believe that we also have to believe that authoritarian governments only care selectively about being undermined on a grand scale, and I’m not sure anyone believes that.

There’s A Body Scanner? What A Bummer

This, essentially, is your standard, garden variety get yourself arrested so that you can smuggle things to a buddy on the inside via your inside story, and I wouldn’t even be posting it were it not for some of the items in question. Marijuana? Fine. Tobacco? Ok. A couple of knives? Woe woe woe hang on a second!

But Piper hadn’t anticipated the body scanner, standard procedure for new inmates. He refused to be scanned.
Suspecting Piper had contraband in his body, staff took him to a segregation cell with no running water so nothing could be flushed.
At the same time, Piper demanded to be put in a cell with his sister’s boyfriend. Guards declined. “It’s not a hotel room,” Nolan said.

Later, a guard saw Piper holding something and confronted him. He dropped a three-inch ceramic knife.
That’s when he confessed that he intentionally got arrested so he could bring contraband to his sister’s boyfriend. He said his sister told him her boyfriend would electronically transfer $2,000. He now agreed to be scanned.
“The body scan revealed Mr. Piper still had contraband in his body,” Nolan said. “He was placed in a cell and directed to produce the contents.”
He produced the contraband, including packets of pot that weighed a total of 71 grams.

I realize that it’s sort of a no-win situation an that the kind of person who agrees to potentially stab additional holes in his ass for 2 grand probably isn’t the clearest thinker, but when presented with the choice of the body scanner or the certain doom of your operation because you’re being weird about the body scanner, wouldn’t it make more sense to take your chances with the body scanner? No automated security procedure is absolutely perfect, so it’s possible that it might fail to detect the payload. If it does, you’re golden. Or maybe you’re brown. Whichever colour you prefer, you’ve got it made once you figure out how to get your cargo from you to your customer. And even if the scanner does nab you, at least you gave it your best try and can be proud that you were cool under pressure. immense, gut busting pressure.