How Not to Behave in Traffic: The Stupid Taxi Driver Edition

  1. Don’t pull behind a smaller, more vulnerable vehicle1 and ride their bumper.
  2. Don’t get so close to the vehicle that you can’t see the brake light (or hand signal) that the person ahead of you has used to indicate that she is about to accelerate now that the light has turned green.
  3. Definitely don’t lean on your horn, because you could startle the vulnerable driver and cause a life-threatening collision.
  4. Don’t speed past the vehicle at 30-40km/h with less than 3 feet of passing room.
  5. Don’t beg said driver for mercy when she catches up to you at the traffic light, asks you to roll down your window, and says “I HOPE YOU LIKE GETTING REPORTED, YOU ASSHOLE.”

Shout out to the big burly cyclist who pulled up between me and the cabbie and asked me if I was OK, and who didn’t pull off until I told him I was.

  1. This means if you are in a car, don’t do this to motorcyclists, bicyclists, people in wheelchairs, pedestrians. Basically, don’t be a dick

Mind Grapes: Stuff I’ve Consumed This Week

Learning Regular Expressions the Practical Way – Hugo Giraudel’s tutorial will take about 15 minutes to read through, but will probably take much longer to master. It’s worth the effort.

Keeping the Faith – Layshia Clarendon of the WNBA’s Indiana Fever shares what it means to her to be an LGBT person of faith:

Only when it comes to LGBT activism is there a moral stigma. When we’re talking about the gay community, that’s when people want to start talking about right and wrong. This isn’t about sexuality or God. This is about social justice.

Lessons from a Code of Conduct – The Design and Content Conference was one of the best conferences I’ve attended for a number of reasons, not the least of which was their decision to open the conference by making it clear what their expectations were for everyone — attendees and speakers alike. Steve notes that even when you talk the talk, it’s easy to slip up and not walk the walk:

My foot-in-mouth moment pained me, but I learned something: when we’re winging it, it’s easy for slip-ups to slip out. And that’s why our code of conduct mattered. Sure, I still made a mistake—but because I’d invested in writing our COC, discussed it with the team, and built a plan for enforcing it, it was a million times easier for me to recognize my wrong and course-correct.

S.S. Librarianship Episode Sixty-Five: “…really amazing things can happen.” – Alli and Sam had me on as a guest for the S.S. Librarianship podcast. I talked about Korean Dramas, my path to librarianship, and what it means to be a Sparklepony. It was a fantastic experience, and they were clever, witty, gracious hosts. The title of today’s blog post is borrowed from S.S. Librarianship.

This tweet makes me laugh so hard.

Using Regular Expressions to Muffle Tweets in Twitterrific (iOS)

From the “using a hammer to hit a screw” department, I spent some time today working on a regular expression to mute any mentions of D*n*ld Tr*mp in Twitterrific, the (fantastic) Twitter client for iOS.
Regular Expressions1 can be difficult to write. I found them intimidating, and I’ve been mucking about with programming for years now. There are numerous regexp tutorials available on the web, but Google’s Examples of Regular Expressions was the only one I’ve used that made sense to me.

Without any further ado, here’s the pattern:

And now it’s time for a breakdown:

Character Description
() Groups all the words together
\W Matches any character that isn’t a letter, digit, or underscore and prevents the expression from matching anything that comes before or after the phrase you want to match
\⎮ Indicates “or”, so the pattern matches any of the words in the list2
^ Matches at the start of a string or a line
\s Matches a space character
$ Matches the end of a line

You’ll want to test your pattern to see if it matches the desired characters while ignoring others. RegExr is a web-based tool that helps you learn and test regular expressions. The next step is adding the pattern to Twitterrific. Bring up the sidebar in the app and select Muffles.

This image shows the interface for adding muffled or muted phrases to Twitterrific, a Twitter client for iOS.

Select “Tap here to begin” on the next screen, and then add your pattern by writing it out like this:

Name of pattern :: pattern characters

On my phone, that looks something like this:

This image shows the interface for adding muffled or muted phrases to Twitterrific, a Twitter client for iOS.

Click the Done button and voilà, no more mentions of that garbage human (or any other annoying content) in your timeline!

Sure, I could have achieved the same end by entering this person’s exact name to my muffles3, but if I’d done that, I wouldn’t have learned anything, and I would still be intimidated by regular expressions. Now I’m…less intimidated, which counts as a win in my book.

  1. Also called RegExp. 
  2. Did you know you can’t escape the pipe character in tables in Markdown? You have to use Unicode or ASCII. I KNOW. 
  3. Muffles is Twitterrific’s term for muted words and phrases. 

Help Me, Code Club (Ruby Help Needed)

I wrote a ruby script that generates a five-day forecast for your location based on the city name or postal code entered. I’m pretty proud of the work I did, and I’d like to take it further, but I don’t quite know how.

I’d like to turn this into a LaunchBar Action (or Alfred Workflow) that will pull this information into LaunchBar/Alfred and serve related GIFs that illustrate the forecast for that day. There are actions and workflows that do this already, but the additional bits of code that pull everything together are far above my skill level.

An image of a LaunchBar action that shows the weather forecast.

a screenshot of a LaunchBar action that shows the extended forecast for Vancouver, Canada

Here is where I hope other ruby developers1 can help me. I need someone to sit with me and walk me through the LaunchBar/Alfred actions over Skype and help me understand what’s going on. I figure two to three 30 minute sessions should be a good enough start, but I’m flexible and would appreciate any help you’re able to give. I’ll even throw a gift your way in appreciation.

If you’re able to help, leave a comment below or reach out on Twitter.

  1. or JavaScript. I’m not picky. 

Mac Power Users Podcast: John Gruber

This Mac Power Users episode is about 45 minutes too long, but Gruber has a unique perspective on the way computing has evolved since the early 90s.

I became a Mac user when the line for the x86 computers in the university computer center was too long, and I had a paper due. I taught myself HTML on a Mac using TextEdit, and it’s still my platform of choice almost 20 years later.