Jessey Meng and Toilet Gate

You just can’t make this stuff up. The Mainland Chinese forums are ablaze with indignation that someone would make a joke at their shoddy toilet facilities. From Reuters:

Enraged Chinese Internet surfers have called for a public apology from a Taiwanese model after she poked fun at the mainland’s public toilets and their users on a Taiwan chat-show, local media reported Thursday.
“Many mainland toilets don’t have doors and even when they do, most people don’t even shut the door!” Meng said.
She regaled the host with a story about a toilet in a Chinese city where she had seen “hundreds of pale bottoms all lined up in a row.”

Old news is sometimes good news. Found via my referrer logs.


R.I.P. The Broadsheet

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“In an age where information is gulped down and digested more rapidly via multimedia channels, the traditional printed publication must evolve to avoid extinction. So, what next? We will see more and more A4, and possibly A5 titles akin to the Hamburger Morgenpost as this trend is taken up on an international stage. Indeed the trend for Lilliputian publications is already prevalent in the women’s magazine sector where the likes of Glamour and Cosmopolitan have all produced ‘handbag’ sized glossies. …”
Culture of Mobility – design – trends R.I.P. the broadsheet


What is a Splog?

A splog, the illegitimate lovechild of spam and blogs, is a website made to look like a blog by streaming fake posts. Instead of musings about politics and technology, splogs are filled with computer-generated gibberish meant to entice search engines to link to them and get people to click on the ads. Utne.


No Good News

I had an insane idea Sunday. Why not start a site dedicated to reporting only good news. A web site with content similar to what you find in those “Chicken Soup for the Soul” books but injected with a bit more humor. Their are seemingly endless web logs and general news sites dedicated to nothing but sarcasm and negativity. Surely there must be some demand, an audience, people who want some balance in the stories they read. I was sure there was.
So I designed it.
But as I was working on it I was also “sourcing sources” for content. It was hard. Very hard. I didn’t intend for this to be a full time research project and it shouldn’t be. It’s probably pretty telling about the current state of our media and society when someone has to actually work hard at finding something positive and enlightening to read. Is the world that dark a place or is just not profitable to write something that is positive or enlightening?
Here are a couple sites that have managed to find something positive to say: Good News Network and Good News Blog


Where Art Thou?

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I haven’t written much here in the past few months as I struggle to maintain a difficult schedule of client work, projects, family life, and writing for other weblogs.
Since I am writing elsewhere I am trying a little experiment with an extra column to the right, on the homepage only, to track all my entries on those weblogs that I publish on my own. So far I don’t dig it much but I will give it some time to see if it’s worthwhile or not.
I have another project in the works which will likely influence greatly what I write here. For years I have wanted to publish a magazine in Chinese on topics related to the many facets of developing good user experiences online. Time has past and others have jumped into the fray with some excellent efforts but certainly there is room for another. Hopefully I will be able to announce that here soon and can get back to sharing all the great things I find online related to the topics here on this weblog.
In addition to this weblog I also publish the following:

  • Minzoo – Modern gear for babies and their dads
  • Pop Wuping – Modern stuff for a mobile lifestyle
  • Shao Kelake – Off-the-cuff commentary and destinations of interest
  • 35togo – snapshots of life in Taiwan and other parts of Asia

You can find some of my work here:

  • Quiet Please – I make interactive products, installations, and weird sound art
  • My Portfolio – design, research, photography, writing, and yes weblogs

Moveable Type Parent Category Display

I want to share this in the hopes that someone else who searches for an answer to the question I had earlier today might save some time. It’s very simple but the answer isn’t easy to find in the all too sparse Moveable Type documentation.
I wanted MT to return the name of the parent category when in a sub-category. So if we were in the “red” it would return the parent value “color”.
Here is what worked for me in a category template:

<MTTopLevelParent&gt<MTCategoryLabel&gt</MTTopLevelParent&gt

It took trial and error which is fun but always a time waster.