Sunspots: The Feng Shui edition 37signals 28 Mar 2006

10 comments Latest by Owen Andrew

Kua calculator for feng shui
"The Kua Calculator will give you detailed information about which directions are best for you and help create more success, wealth, health, and love in your life."
Cylinder Preservation and Digitization Project
A collection of more than 6,000 cylinders, the first commercially produced sound recordings, are available for download (includes century-old opera arias, comic monologues, marching bands, gospel quartets, tin pan alley tunes, and more).
Graphic design is never enough (or why a design blog needs to talk about things other than design)
"And if I can't get excited about whatever that something else is, I really have trouble doing good work as a designer. To me, the conclusion is inescapable: the more things you're interested in, the better your work will be."
Photo DIY projects at Photojojo
New site that finds "the most kick-ass photo tips, DIY projects, and gear."
Don Norman: "The invention of writing is probably the most important tool for human advancement"
Writing and notational systems make it possible "for each new generation to build upon the work of the previous, to transmit knowledge from person to person, across cultures and time."
Wolf and Lamb music
An open source mp3 label with a site that includes "an extensive backend, tracking and administration section as well as a dynamic zip and m3u file generator. The entire site code is available free for other organizations looking to launch a similiar service." According to Wikipedia, open source record labels "attempt to release music under so-called 'copyleft', a license that enables musicians to develop music collaboratively and equitably and then release it into the public domain."
The Test-First Stoplight
Test-first programming: Start with a small test, write just enough code to implement it, and then continue with the next test until the code is done.
"50 Greatest Album Covers" slideshow
VH1 offers up its 50 Greatest Album Covers.
Peterme doesn't like us picking on information architects
"What I don't understand is why 37Signals singled out 'information architect' as the bugaboo job title...All of which confirms my belief in the shallowness of 37Signals' views and rhetoric." Our reply: "We think IA is a designer's job. In our eyes that's part of design. Just like coding HTML is a designer's job. We don't advocate separate HTML/CSS people either."
Book: "Fashionable Nonsense: Postmodern Intellectuals' Abuse of Science"
The authors contend that abuse of science is rampant in postmodernist circles. One submitted a prank article, high in jargon and low in logic, to a cultural studies journal, which accepted it immediately.
Merlin Mann presentation at PARC (MP3)
Merlin talks about GTD.
Using Excel to create Backpack-ready tables
"I wrote a short Excel macro that converts an Excel table-range to a backpack-style table and copies it to the clipboard."
New Scientist Space: 13 things that do not make sense
One of them is the Wow signal...On 15 August 1977, a signal 37 seconds long came from outer space. There's still no definitive explanation for what caused it.
David Enos and Paul Stepahin's video for "The Subway Home" by the Young Shields
Neat minimalist animation. Similarly, check out the pop-up animation in The Sad Little Stars present Don't Fuck With Love.
"When Fundamentalists Meet: 37Signals vs. McGovern"
"We learn by taking strong positions and setting them up against each other. We can create a dialectic, where opposing positions are put forth again and again in response to each other until we reach synthesis or exhaustion."
Brightfeet Lighted Slippers
Nightlights for your feet.

10 comments so far (Jump to latest)

Dave Simon 28 Mar 06

The 50 Greatest Album Covers (like most lists on VH1) seems arbitrary at best. Some are merely pictures of the band, what’s great about that?

And out of all 50, not a single Beatles album? No White Album? No Sgt. Peppers?

Shouldn’t comment because it’s so trivial, but couldn’t help myself!

dale tan 28 Mar 06

the Wow signal, is that how you guys came up with 37signals?

ML 28 Mar 06

Dale, not really. As this article explains: “37signals has a cool name. Fried explains that one of his colleagues was watching a Nova documentary about the Search for Extraterrestrial Intelligence (SETI). The documentary explained that the SETI project has analyzed millions and millions of radio signals from space, and, of these, found a total of 37 which can’t be explained using known astronomy, and which might be extraterrestrial in origin. Fried said he and his colleagues decided that 37signals would be a good name for the company, but that the name has no meaning beyond the reference to the Nova episode.”

meh 28 Mar 06

regarding “fashionable nonsense”: the original article that spawned the so-called sokal affair ( ) is hilarious and worth reading about. any engineering/science freshman could tell you that it was bullshit.

Amit Gupta 28 Mar 06

Hey thanks for the link to Photojojo! I don’t know how you found us, we’re barely out of the gate! But much appreciated just the same!

Steve 28 Mar 06

Photojojo ticks me off. First of all, they have lots of that annoying “gee aren’t we fun and clever!!” language, and the About Us says how many photo tips they have, and yet..there is exactly ONE post on the site. How about backfilling it with all those tips you have?

The landing page says, “You just found the best photo newsletter ever written.” That’s rather impressive, considering not a single line has been written yet (a post to another site doesn’t count, sorry).

I hate sites like this. They find a cutesy web 2.0 name, make a cutesy web 2.0 website, and have next to zero content.

Don’t get me wrong, I like the concept, but it seems that a site targeted for people who want serious tips and information on photography wouldn’t want a cutesy gingham-designed site and tone that’s better suited to Martha Stewart wannabe’s.

Amit Gupta 28 Mar 06

Hey Steve,

Sorry to have ticked you off so!

We have a lot of content in the queue, and we’ll be publishing it twice a week, starting this week.

We wanted to have more of it on the site today, but we weren’t going to promote Photojojo until a few weeks in—the SVN post caught us a bit off guard!

Not much we can do now except go ahead with plan: find great photo projects, DIY ideas, and gear and publish them. If you decide to check back, I hope you find it interesting!

Be well,

Nick Caldwell 28 Mar 06

I am always amused by Sokal fans who knock themselves out over his “cleverness” at committing intellectual fraud. If I, for instance, wrote and submitted a paper to a non-peer-reviewed science journal detailing the historical evidence that Kip Marlowe actually wrote all of Shakespeare’s plays, I doubt an engineering freshman would be able to prove that I was full of crap.

Mark Ostroth 29 Mar 06

Don’t glaze over Don Norman’s point about writing. This is right out of a 1960 essay by Loren Eisley, titled The Long Loneliness:

“Man without writing cannot long retain his history in his head. His intelligence permits him to grasp some kind of succession of generations; but without writing, the tale of the past rapidly degenerates into fumbling myth and fable. Man’s greatest epic, his four long battles with the advancing ice of the great continental glaciers, has vanished from human memory without a trace.”

“Writing, and later printing, is the product of our adaptable many-purposed hands. It is thus, through writing, with no increase in genetic, inborn capacity since the last ice advance, that modern man carries in his mind the intellectual triumphs of all his predecessors who were able to inscribe their thoughts for posterity.”

Owen Andrew 26 Jun 06


I found your site in Google while searching for sites about spirituality, feng shui, and easter philosophy.

I have a client that offers feng shui jewelry and that has published a book about regarding feng shui and fashion.

We are interested in text advertising on your website. Basically, we would like to know if you would be willing to place a text link from one page of your site, to her website.

If so, what would be the fee for this? How would you like to be paid?

Please let me know if you’re interested or if you have any questions.

Thank you,
Owen Andrew
[email protected]
(714) 350 9575