Upworthy shmupworthy: a bookmarklet for sharing the original videos.


Today I heard three different friends complaining about Upworthy’s click-bait headlines obscuring original video content, so I made a quick little bookmarklet for sharing the original video links with the original headlines. I made this in 15 minutes after midnight and only tested it on Firefox– let me know if it works for you 🙂

Drag this link to your bookmarks toolbar: Shmupworthy.

Then go to an Upworthy page (like maybe this poem by local thoughtful dude Jeremy Loveday) and click your new bookmark. It should present you a page for sharing the original video on Facebook.

Code minimaps!


After admiring the code overview sidebar in Jess‘s preferred text editor during two meetings of Source Code Book Club, it occurred to me that there might be a plugin to do the same thing for me in Eclipse. There is! One name for this thing is a minimap, and the Eclipse Minimap View is just what I wanted: a view of a text file in tiny font that you can use to scan and navigate.

At Source Code Book Club we hang out and read open source code together, and Jess’s minimap view has been a great way to figure things out. It makes it easy to spot long functions, big blocks of variable assignments, giant comments, and other places to look for answers to questions like, “What is the point of this file?” or, “Is this where x gets handled?”

In the interview that gave me the idea for a code club, Dave Thomas recommends manually shrinking code down to 2px when reading it for the first time. He mentions scanning for potentially useful sections, like we have been doing at code club, but also looking at the code style and structure. How long are the functions? How long are the lines? Are there comments?

It’s that second part that made me want a minimap plugin for everyday, as another way to keep an eye on my own code style while I’m working. While I was searching for plugins, I came across many comments that assumed a minimap was a replacement for a code outline (a navigation tree of the classes, methods, etc) or a crutch for navigating too-long files. I think a minimap has a different use: making too-long lines, too-deep nesting, or too-long functions more obvious.

Queer Halloween movies

For Halloween I collected some (mostly) old horror movies with queer characters, filmmakers, or themes. I tried to dig past all the sexploitation movies about lesbian vampires to find things I actually want to watch. I hunted hard, but this list is all white people 🙁

The Old Dark House (1932)

Old Dark House

A parody of haunted house movies, from 1932! Directed by James Whale, who has to be Hollywood’s first out gay director. There are multiple gay and lesbian characters, and Queerhorror.com lists it as a possible inspiration for Rocky Horror Picture Show.
Continue reading Queer Halloween movies

Corporate open schools, hiring processes, ponderings.

How Etsy Grew their Number of Female Engineers by Almost 500% in One Year.

Mark Hedlund, Etsy’s VP of Engineering, launched "Etsy Hacker Grants" to provide needs-based scholarships to talented women engineers enrolling in Hacker School (a three-month hands-on course designed to teach people how to become better engineers). A number of studies, like one from CMU, have shown that people perform better in math and sciences if fifty percent of the participants are women, so gender distribution was a key metric in future Hacker School classes.

Etsy ran this program in the Summer and Fall of 2012 and watched the number of applications skyrocket each time. And in the summer of 2012, women ended up making up over half of the Hacker School class! For Etsy, the process was objectively worth the investment. If you figure that there’s normally a $20,000 placement fee, Etsy was able to hire eight candidates. You do the math.

Between this and the world of Udacity and MOOCs, I wonder how many tech companies will end up running their own schools as a way of hiring engineers. If funding classes is cheaper and more effective than traditional candidate searches, I wonder if other industries could use this too. It doesn’t sound like this Etsy Hacker School needed to automate grading to work, either, which gets brought up as the limiting factor for what subjects can be offered by online mega-courses.

How great would it be if profitable companies found it worthwhile to subsidize anti-oppression crash courses or indigenous community skill shares as a way of hiring staff? Not a rhetorical question! Would it be great?