Monsters Inc. has been one of my favorite Pixar movies. Being that MU is a sequel, I didn't expect to be wowed -- just entertained. (Better to come in with low expectations so that I am not disappointed when a sequel is not as good as the original.) However, I was profoundly moved by this film.

Technically, MU is a prequel. It chronicles how Sully and Mike W. met at university, where they majored in Scaring. They both failed out of the major and became antagonists: Sully was cocky about his scaring abilities -- his father was a famous scarer, and frightening was easy for Sully -- and Mike was more of a scholar, hoping that knowledge would give him an edge.

Unfortunately, Sully could not get by with coasting on his natural talents, and Mike had absolutely no "scare" in him, so they banded together with a fraternity of "losers" in a scare competition, and Mike made a deal with the dean -- who had failed them both out of the Scare major -- that if they won the competition, she would let them back into the major.

Two-thirds of the film is about how Mike trains the "rag-tag groups of misfits" into a top scaring team, and this is all fairly enjoyable, but it is not really until true crisis hits that this movie takes a turn towards intensity and a deep exploration of how a friendship is forged. I won't spoil anything, but I will say that the finale was gripping and emotional, and I left shaken up and convinced that Pixar is the only animation studio that truly knows how to create a story in which character trumps animation and silly jokes.

06/30/13; 05:50:12 PM

Just like a tumblog that loads slow because it has so many gifs, so will your outline. Rather, put the gif in a separate outline, make it public, and include the opml file in a blog post. That's what I did here.

06/29/13; 09:35:29 PM

Emma Watson totally makes this watchable.

06/28/13; 04:43:23 PM

Fargo.io is still somewhat difficult to use on iOS devices. This morning I saw a YouTube video I wanted to add to this blog, and I couldn't even paste text into a new node, so I had to wait until I was at a desktop computer to do so.

Which got me thinking: Since I've already written Drafts Dropbox actions on my I Miss My Mac blog, why can't I find an easy way to add a YouTube embed to my Fargo blog?

Install the Dropbox Action

If you're on your iOS device, tap on this link to import this Dropbox action into your version of Drafts. Here is the template code if you're curious:

Here are the other settings if you want to set up a Dropbox action by yourself:

  • Name: youtube2fargo

  • Path: /Apps/Fargo/

  • File: Timestamp

  • Ext: opml

  • Write: Create

How to Make It Work

In the first line of a draft, enter the video title. In the second line of the draft, enter just the string after the = sign when you copy the URL of the video.

If I want to feature "Add a feed item to Fargo," I see the URL in the address bar: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=2obEqxjKCYQ

  • In the second line of the draft, I just enter 2obEqxjKCYQ

Then I go to actions and tap on "youtube2fargo"

A new OPML file will be added to the /Apps/Fargo folder in Dropbox.

In the Fargo menu, go to File > Open. You will find the new file by the timestamp. Click on it, and the file will open in a new tab. You will see just the headline (the video title).

Go to File > Get Public Link. Copy that link to your clipboard.

Go to the outline that contains your Fargo blog.

Click the + sign to create a new date, unless you've already blogged today. Highlight the date (e.g., "June 28") and then go to File > Import OPML. Paste the clipboard contents into that field and click OK.

Your new headline will be in your outline. You may have to move it (up/down/left/right) to position it so that it is the child node for today's date.

Your headline will already have all of the necessary attributes to make it an outline type; with a creation date; that is added to your RSS feed.

Customizing the Dropbox Action

I have mine set up such that the created attribute is for EDT. I've done testing and Fargo will correctly show the correct time stamp. If you live in a different time zone, you can go into the template for the Dropbox action and change it.

If you want to post the video using a different template (thread, blogpost, whatever), just change type="outline" to type="thread" or whatever.

06/28/13; 10:12:15 AM
06/28/13; 06:31:48 AM

...Like Clockwork is an enjoyable listen.

A bit Bowie-esque.

  • Create a free account on MOG to hear it.
06/27/13; 02:23:40 PM

Fargo is a Dropbox-based outliner built by Small Picture. I've been beta testing it since it started. The team recently enabled anybody to publish on a smallpict.com subdomain. All you literally have to do is the following:

  • Create an outline and go to "Name outline" in the File menu.

  • Hit the + sign.

  • Start typing.

If you hit the icon, you'll get to the page that just published. That's right, you don't have to hit "Publish" or anything, it just happens.

By default, the "content type" that you create is an outline template, but you don't have to worry about the HTML/CSS unless you want to. If you're savvy, you can create your own templates or copy from someone else's public outline. But to have a good-looking blog, you just need a menu (and optionally, some CSS that you can easily import).

This blog currently uses the default "outline" template, which I'm sure the team is still tinkering with.

Creating the Navigation Menu

In my outline, I have a menu "directive" which looks like the following:

  • #menus

    • jeffmenu

    • Jeffrey Kishner

    • About Me

    • Archive

      • June 2013
    • <i class="icon-twitter"></i>

    • <i class="icon-envelope-alt"></i>

    • <i class="icon-rss-sign"></i>

That's how I created the menu you see at the top of this page. You just have to create links by adding attributes using the Edit Attributes menu. Here are the attributes I use to link to my Twitter page:

  • type = link

  • url = http://twitter.com/kishner

You can use any icon that's included in the Font Awesome set. So if you want to link to your LinkedIn profile (), you enter the following into your menu:

  • <i class="icon-linkedin"></i>

I then add the following headline to my outline to "call" the menu:

  • #menuName "jeffmenu"

Easily Import a Blog Theme

I use the following "directive" to use a particular CSS theme from Bootswatch.

  • #bootstrapTheme "readable"

You can substitute "readable" with the names of any of the free themes on that page to change the look of your blog.

Create a Chronological Blog Home Page

By default, your home page will be an outline of everything in your named outline. An index, essentially. If you want a home page with your most recent posts in descending chronological order, include the following two headlines:

  • #type "bloghome"

  • #bloghomeItemCount "10"

The number in the second item determines how many posts you want on the home page.

Unfortunately, there's no "page 2" and so on. I'm working around that limitation by linking to the month in the navigation.

Need Direction?

If you want to see everything involved in building this blog, just view this opml file: https://dl.dropbox.com/s/8lpmfklfk5w559i/jeffrey.opml. Or if you are already a Fargo user, open the "jeffrey" outline by name.

06/27/13; 09:02:38 AM

A part of me thinks that if Right America didn't react so strongly to her political assertions that the Chicks weren't barred from terrestrial radio, they might still be together.

06/26/13; 03:54:10 PM

Long before Google Reader announced they were shutting down, I chose Fever, a self-hosted solution. You pay once for a license, install it on your own LAMP server, and upload your OPML file or just add feeds as you need to. The developer, Shaun Inman, pushes updates as needed, although Fever is not really his priority now, as he's working on game development.

The stand-out feature of Fever is that it algorithmically combs your feeds for "hot" stories, presumably by looking at hyperlinks that are included in many feed items over the same period of time. This allows me to quickly see what's hot among the blogs that I visit. In addition to being able to click on the story that many blogs link to, I can also peruse all the posts that write about the story.

Fever works in the browser, and although it is optimized for the iPhone, there are also two iOS apps that use the Fever API to improve the reading experience as well as allow you to download posts for reading when you're, say, on the subway: Ashes and Sunstroke. I'm not going to provide a review here of both apps. I'm partial to Sunstroke, but I haven't been following recent updates to the Ashes app.

Although I am intrigued by Dave Winer's River of News, I do value the ability to download feeds to my iOS device - having a browser-only reader doesn't suffice for me. (Recently, instead of using a Fever app for the subway, I've just been combing Twitter during breakfast, saving lots of links to Instapaper, and reading the articles in the Instapaper app on the subway. Sometimes I just feel that syncing all my Fever "kindling" posts to my iPad takes too long, or the app "times out.")

I also have FOMO ("fear of missing out") with regards to certain feeds. Like, I want to read everything from certain blogs, and if the authors of these blogs don't post frequently, I may miss their posts in a big River of News. (Of course, I could just visit the blog.) But at least with Fever, I can have a group of favorite blogs, and Fever doesn't "mark all as read" unless I want it to.

06/26/13; 09:28:00 AM

this is a blogpost using the amelia theme from bootswatch

i copied the blogpost template from xangelo and just put in a different stylesheet

06/25/13; 04:38:57 PM

GlennF on sexual assault in the PUA community

06/22/13; 02:03:01 PM

Interesting podcast interview with found of Pinboard.in, a one-person operation. Makes me want to learn software development.

06/20/13; 07:00:00 AM

David Simon responds to Pinboard founder re: NSA collection of phone call metadata.

Basically, privacy of phone metadata is not protected by 4th Amendment -- this recent scoop is not new news.

(I censored the title because I just feel really uncomfortable with the word.)

If Mr. Maciej wants to address not merely the programs that intrude in ways that he finds unnerving or untenable, but instead focus on process and system, then I can be enlisted. If this is about oversight and accountability and reshaping the shadow government of the FISA court, I’m in. If it’s about establishing clear, definitive laws for how the inevitable waves of new technology are to be employed, and having a real discussion about what law enforcement goals and security concerns justify what level of intrusion, I’m committed. And if it’s about all of us kicking in, and admitting that, at points, citizenship requires shared risk and shared sacrifice — if it promises a compact between all of us, and rules that equate for the country as a whole –then I understand and agree with the fight.

But drawing the line here, with this datapile and this program — given all the legal precedent and credible law enforcement logic that we have accepted elsewhere — feels hollow to the premise of any American collective or society, and to any ideal of a common future, a shared future that we might claim for ourselves. Fight where you wanna, but if it’s here, over this? You might as well light that now-legal joint and walk away. Mr. Mooney had your number a long time ago.

06/19/13; 09:32:04 AM

    • 25px

    • false

Follow the directions in the worknotes to publish an outline.

To publish a quiz so that the answers are hidden (like here), copy the following, paste it into your named outline, and change anything but the rules. Make sure to give the headline the type=outline attribute.

  • Quiz

    • <rules>

    • <rule level="1" to="infinity">

    • <expanded>false</expanded>

    • </rule>

    • </rules>

    • question 1

    • answer 1

    • question 2

    • answer 2

06/18/13; 10:02:04 AM

    • 25px

I am using the outline named "jeffrey" to publish to this blog on www.jeffreykishner.com.

I don't want visitors to land on jeffrey.smallpict.com, so I set up a redirect to this blog.

In my jeffrey outline, I created a headline called "index" and added the following attributes:

  • type=redirect

  • url=http://www.jeffreykishner.com

06/19/13; 10:18:47 AM

Imagine if there were an alternate dystopian reality where law enforcement was 100% effective, such that any potential law offenders knew they would be immediately identified, apprehended, and jailed. If perfect law enforcement had been a reality in Minnesota, Colorado, and Washington since their founding in the 1850s, it seems quite unlikely that these recent changes would have ever come to pass. How could people have decided that marijuana should be legal, if nobody had ever used it? How could states decide that same sex marriage should be permitted, if nobody had ever seen or participated in a same sex relationship?

06/15/13; 11:46:33 AM

Last built: Tue, Mar 31, 2015 at 2:05 PM

By Jeffrey Kishner, Tuesday, March 31, 2015 at 2:04 PM.