This is silly and I loved it: someone took the clip from Aladdin when he and Jasmine sing A Whole New World while riding the magic carpet and dubbed realistic audio over it. I laughed embarrassingly hard at this. (via @JossFong)
Box breathing is a technique for keeping track of and controlling breath: four seconds inhaling,
four holding, four exhaling, four holding. I read about the trick
a year or two ago, and rely on it to get back to normal when I notice I’m holding
my breath. I hold my breath when I’m nervous.
You can do it by counting to four, but it’s nice to have an external guide so
that you can just concentrate on breathing. There are guides already, like iPhone
apps and websites. I wanted something else.
I wanted something that didn’t receive notifications or show me content,
a specific object for this task.1 So I built
this device from scratch.
The electronics came in one $50 order from Adafruit.
The microcontroller is overkill: a 32u4 Basic Proto Feather would have run more
I spent much more time working through
newbie mistakes and setting up software than I did writing code. There’s little
I wanted the object to be excellent. Tactile. Soft but stark. With access
to my dad’s workshop and his advice, and with a
craft box donated by my mom, I built an enclosure from wood and plexiglass.
These images, too, were taken in his studio.
Many thanks for help on this project.
The enclosure is finished with many coats of a Minwax wipe-on polyurethane.
The plexiglass top is lightly sanded to eliminate any shine.
It’s essential that the hardware stays in place, so we constructed wood shims
for the sides and near the toggle switch.
The top is drilled out for the SPDT
toggle switch, and the bottom has a Micro-B USB port for charging and programming.
That’s one of my favorite features of the Adafruit Feather devices - a built-in
battery charging circuit.
Someday I’d like to build a simpler version, possibly with
an analog circuit.
It’s a good object, and building it was lovely. This is a box breathing box.
And for reasons I’ve never been able to understand, Android
handset makers seem willing to copy everything and anything from
Apple they can get away with (and even things they can’t get away
with), but [almost] none have copied the iPhone’s mute
switch, despite the fact that it’s a brilliant idea.
I didn’t mean to imply that the iPhone was the first device or first phone to include a mute switch, but I can see how “it’s a brilliant idea” could be taken that way. I’ve changed that to “despite the fact that it’s extremely useful”.
What I think Apple deserves credit for is defining which hardware buttons were necessary for the modern smartphone: home, power, volume up/down, and mute. Every other button moved to software, inside apps on the touchscreen. It was considered somewhat radical that the iPhone omitted the Send/End (green/red) hardware buttons that were present on just about every cell phone ever made prior to the iPhone. If Apple, the most hardware-button-averse company in the industry, has always included a mute switch, why don’t Android handset makers?
The usual Gruber selective memory. Google moved away from even the home button years ago, well before Apple did with the iPhone X.
And is the mute switch really essential? More phones are sold without a mute button than with. Sure I started by missing the mute button, but I've kept my android phones on permanently vibrate mode for incoming calls for years now.
The thing here is that the iPhone's volume buttons, by default, only change the media volume, as Android users would call it, and you have to dig through the settings to change the ring volume. You can make the volume buttons control the ringer volume as well, but then you can only control the media volume when media is playing. I think the Android 6+ solution is perfect, meaning, the notification panel for volume can be expanded to control alarm, ringer and media volumes at once. I always thought Android OEMs never had a hardware mute button because of patents.
@lasombra it's been a lot easier since a handful of versions ago; when you volume up/down it controls a single volume but there's a little toggle to expand to see all three volumes. Not that this is a super awesome UI or super intuitive, but once you get the hang of it, it's pretty easy to access. (Also, the volume controls media if media is playing, otherwise it controls the ringer. So it's somewhat context aware which can be confusing.)
There can't be an Apple patent on the mute switch though, since as Gruber points out prior art goes back to 1985. (And yes I have fond memories of the Treo 650 and its mute switch.)
But then volume down past zero to vibrate has always maintained state for me over the years on Android too. I wonder if mute is most useful when you really don't trust the OS and the apps that can control volume to leave the device silent when you want it to stay silent.
I can't remember the last time I accidentally had my phone make noises when I didn't want it to. (Android's Do Not Disturb settings, with automatic silent based on rules like time probably help that.)
While we're at it, can we get TV & Movie script writers to stop using "phone accidentally left off silent" as a plot device? That's getting pretty tiresome.
Look at that fullness, that thickness, that beautiful roundness! That, my friend, is the beard of a man with a dietician, a dermatologist, and a barber on retainer.
It is the beard of a dad and a daddy both.
It is a beard fully realized. It is a Philly beard.
Here I need to explain. I was born in Detroit, but lived for many years in Philadelphia. The men of Philadelphia, and particularly the black men of Philadelphia, are known for their lustrous beards. Some of it is the influence of Islam; some of it may just be needing to be outdoors in cold weather. But it’s a source of civic pride and power.
This was the first video I ever saw on the Philly beard, made by the now-defunct Phillybeard.com in 2009:
The local PBS station made its own version, emphasizing some of the qualities needed for a proper Philly beard:
But overseas the moustacheless, bushy beard is not so identifiably hip-hop and has caused considerable controversy, with security officials in Europe and the Middle East mistaking the Philly for a jihadi beard. In February 2014, for instance, Lebanese police arrested Hussein Sharaffedine (aka Double A the Preacherman), 32, a Shia rapper and frontman for a local funk band. Internal Security Forces mistook him for a Salafi militant and handcuffed and detained him for 24 hours. In Europe hip-hop heads such as French rapper Medine — a Black Powerite who wears a fierce beard that he calls “the Afro beneath my jaw” — complain of police harassment. French fashion magazines joke now crudely about “hipsterrorisme.” European journalists are descending on Philadelphia to trace the roots of what they call la barbe sunnah and Salafi hipsterism.
But just as not everyone who rocks a Sunnah is Sunni, it’s a mistake to conflate the moustacheless Sunnah with the Philly beard as such. For instance, check out Questlove and Black Thought, two classic examples of the Philly beard, avec une moustache:
These, I think, are the key criteria for a Philly beard:
A full beard, trimmed only at the edges of the cheek and the neck;
A trimmed moustache. The lips should be visible;
That roundness. A Sunni muslim might grow out their beard long, so it gets that verticality. The Philly beard is round — as Medine says, it is an “afro beneath the jaw”;
It has to be well-cared for. A Philly beard is not unshaven; a Philly beard is deliberate.
Even though LeBron James does not live in Philadelphia, nor has ever lived in Philadelphia, nor had anything to do with Philadelphia other than beating the Sixers and occasionally saying nice things about our rookie Ben Simmons, if I had to point to an example of a Philly beard, after the guys from The Roots? I would point to LeBron James.
This of course, leads to the obvious question: is LeBron, who has never before worn a beard quite like this, announcing without announcing, hiding in plain sight, via the medium of his face, his preferred free-agency destination in 2018?
The answer, for any fan of the Philadelphia 76ers, is clearly yes.
Naysayers, like my brother, would say the beard’s meaning is ambiguous. Perhaps it signals his intention to join James Harden with the Houston Rockets. But James Harden’s beard is not a Philly beard. Harden has to wear that thick moustache on top to hide his baby face. Harden’s beard is not round, but rectangular. It’s an impressive beard. But it is not the beard LeBron James is wearing. LeBron’s is a Philly beard.
Look: suppose you had to choose between playing in Los Angeles with Lonzo Ball (no beard, no hope of one), Brandon Ingram (sick, scraggly beard), Kyle Kuzma (my guy is from Flint, represent, but still), and maybe Paul George (who plays your position already) — OR you could play with Ben Simmons, Joel Embiid, Robert Covington, Markelle Fultz, Dario Saric, and MAYBE JJ Redick, for an equally storied franchise, but one that hasn’t won a title since 1983, AND you can stay in the Eastern conference and stick it to Dan Gilbert and Kyrie Irving forever — why would you not sign with the Sixers? Play in a city that would love you, love your children, is just a few hours away from home in Akron, and would love the hell out of that beard?
I think the choice is obvious. LeBron will be a Sixer in 2018. He’ll teach Simmons how to shoot, Embiid how to become indestructible, and be Magic Johnson and Dr. J rolled into one. I’ll make this promise now, with the web as my witness: I will move back to Philadelphia if this happens. And I will love every second of these young talents filling in around LeBron’s dad-game.