Readability – Make Reading Content on the Web Better, Easier

March 30, 2010

The web is a great place for gathering information and doing research. I find though, that reading big chunks of content on screen leads quickly to eye fatigue. So often I’ll copy and paste the text of say, a New York Times article into a Word document and then print it out to read away from my computer. This isn’t a very ‘green’ way of consuming prose.

Now there’s another option: Readability from arc90 Labs. You just drag the icon from their web page on to the top of your web browser and it installs a bookmarklet. Then when you come across an article or post you want to read, just click on the Readability bookmark and it places your text on a white background with several configurable options.

You can change the style of presentation (newspaper, novel, eBook and more); the size of the text (extra small, small, medium, large, extra large) and the margins (extra narrow, narrow, medium, wide and extra wide).

Once you start using it you wonder how you ever did without it. And I think you’ll find that, like me, you’re printing out less and reading more — comfortably — online, on screen.

Neil Patel, a Technorati Top 100 Blooger: What I Learned Through 4 Site Redesigns

March 23, 2010

Neil Patel, founder of two Internet companies, Crazy Egg and KISSMetrics writes about what he’s learned through 4 redesigns of his site Quicksprout.

He’s intelligent and articulate and what he says has broad application for anyone presenting themselves or their business online. Read the Top Ten things he’s learned here.

Rainbow Roses: Are they Real or are they Photoshopped?

March 19, 2010

I know that the above image looks like a classic Photoshop-manipulated picture but according to Reuters these are actual roses created by Dutch grower Peter van de Werken by injecting natural dyes into their stems. For more photos and video go here.

21 Hi-Res Smoke Brushes for Photoshop

March 15, 2010

If only there was a site that specialized in offering high quality, high resolution brushes for Photoshop that were totally free. . .If only it was just a click away. . . that would be so cool. If there was such a great resource like that, I’d probably link to it right here.

Best Practices Workflow for PDFs from Ghent PDF Workgroup

March 9, 2010

If you use PDFs like I know you do, you need the information on this web site. From their home page:

The Ghent PDF Workgroup (GWG) is an international assembly of industry associations, vendors and experts; whose goal is to establish and share process specifications for best practices in graphic arts workflows. We are pleased to offer here, at no cost; specifications, setup files, test suites, white papers, and other educational information that support the efforts of the international graphic arts community.

What Makes Up Happy? — The Atlantic

March 3, 2010

Is there a formula—some mix of love, work, and psychological adaptation—for a good life? For 72 years, researchers at Harvard have been examining this question, following 268 men who entered college in the late 1930s through war, career, marriage and divorce, parenthood and grandparenthood, and old age. Here, for the first time, a journalist gains access to the archive of one of the most comprehensive longitudinal studies in history. Its contents, as much literature as science, offer profound insight into the human condition—and into the brilliant, complex mind of the study’s longtime director, George Vaillant.

I found this account of the Harvard study fascinating, though I believe there’s no universal answer to the question posed, as you may find suggested here. For example, the answer for me includes a liberal application of Labrador which may not work for you. Still, this piece is well worth reading.