Monday, November 29, 2010

The real meaning of "not safe for work"

Note: if you click on his example link, don't say you haven't been warned.

Personally, I’m a freelance writer, so I work out of my home office. That means that everything on the internet is safe for work, or more precisely, nothing is. Without the peer pressure of nearby co-workers and boss-types, the internet is a constant, beguiling temptation, like one of the Sirens of Greek myth if you could embed Flash in her.

I’d appreciate someone inventing the “NSFF” tag for me, so I would know that I’m about to click on something that’s going to grab me and not let me go until I’ve sacrificed a couple of deadlines to its insatiable hunger for attention.

Nudity would not, as a rule, get this tag. Nudity is so commonly available on the web that it’s not that distracting. I appreciate it, but take it for granted, like paper clips. If nudity is unsafe for work in the sense that standing on the top shelf of a ladder is unsafe, then TV Tropes is unsafe for work in the sense that running with scissors, near a pool, into the path of an oncoming train is unsafe.

-Lore Sjöberg (who also wisely said,
I'm inclined to like wombat because "wombat" is a great name. It's got a "wom," and a "bat," and an "omba.")

Saturday, November 27, 2010

"However," replied the universe, "The fact has not created in me a sense of obligation."

“Here is another thing to remember every time you sit down at the keyboard: a little sign that says, ‘Nobody has to read this crap’. You are not writing to impress the scientist you have just interviewed, nor the professor who got you through your degree, nor the editor who foolishly turned you down, nor the rather dishy person you just met at a party and told you were a writer. Or even your mother. You are writing to impress someone hanging from a strap in the Tube between Parson’s Green and Putney, who, given a chance, will stop reading in a fifth of a second. So the first sentence you write will be the most importance sentence in your life, and so will the second, and the third. This is because, although you may feel compelled to write, nobody has ever felt obliged to read.”

-Tim Radford via Ed Yong.

(Also thanks Stephen Crane and vozamer.)

Monday, November 22, 2010

Happy Thanksgiving

No pugs were harmed in the making of this picture. Don't believe the look on her face.

Thursday, November 11, 2010

Where do your ideas come from

Yeah, it's like a disease, really.

Creativity is like an itch. When you scratch it, it feels good, and then it itches more. You fulfill the aesthetic urge and it pushes you to create more.

But if you don't have the itch to begin with, it's hard to know where to scratch. There's no way to "get ideas." It can't be forced. They just happen. You're eating breakfast one day and you have an idea, and either you forget about it, or you work on it and execute it. The more of your ideas you execute, the more ideas occur to you.

-Drew ("Toothpaste for Dinner")