The personal website of Chris Coyier

Archive for January, 2006

This appears to be some kind of blog post.

Tuesday, January 31st, 2006

My literary pet peeve lately has been the use of “some kind of”. Here is an example from the X-Files:

“What is that?”
“It appears to be some kind of storage facility.”

The reason its annoying is because it pompously suggests that the speaker is very knowledgeable when it comes to storage facilities. So knowledgeable in fact, that they know lots of different kinds of them, but in this case, is unable to determine which kind it is.

How about “It looks like a storage facility.” It might not have that X-Files flair, but at least you won’t sound like something you aren’t.

Here are some other examples:

  1. “I think we’re in some kind of cave.”
  2. “Is this some kind of ban?”
  3. “It must be some kind of joke.”

There are a few acceptable uses of “some kind of”. For example, when you clearly are acquainted with the subject, and yet its identity still eludes you, as in this exchange:

“What’s for hot lunch today?”
“I don’t know, some kind of meat.”

adventures – alice – anxiously – asleep

Monday, January 30th, 2006

I love me some cool T-Shirts. Maybe if you are lucky and real good little blog readers I’ll post a list of some very cool places to get T-Shirts online. But for now, here is a new company that will analyze a blog for you, create a word-cloud (like, and put it on a T-Shirt for you. It’s a great idea, but the end product leaves something to be desired. If I wanted to look like walking refrigerator magnet poetry….I’d….get some refrigerator magnet poetry things and glue them on a T-shirt.

Here are some other cool T-Shirts:

  1. Threadless has a lot of nice user-submitted designs. Like this rainbow puking clown.
  2. The Onion
  3. Stuff on my Cat
  4. Similar to the word-cloud thing, here is a letter-cloud shirt (size based on frequency used in English language)

I wish I was a catfish

Friday, January 27th, 2006

One of my favorite bands was in town last night: Foghorn String Band. They are originally from Portland, Oregon which is cool because I have several friends living out there now, so I can plan a visit around a show. Closing up was the Wilders, who another one of those ruckus-raising power country bands. The fiddle player looked like Bride of Chucky only, you know, not as small. The show concluded with the obligatory “group jam” which was amazing. They even marched off stage and played an extra long old-time fiddle tune in a tight group right smack in the middle of the crowd.

Even if you were unable to hear the music, you could distinguish old-time music (and old folk and bluegrass for that matter) by reading through the lyrics. The themes are often the same: Drinking, Cheating, Stealing, Killing, Preaching, Old Churches, The Appalachian Mountains, Country Food, Farm Animals, Beautiful Women, Lyin’, the list goes on. With this resurgence of old-time music, I think these new bands should touch upon some new themes to bring the music up to date (and beyond).

Here are some ideas:

  1. Robots
  2. Time Travel
  3. Mass Transit
  4. Digital Rights Management
  5. Nuclear Power
  6. Unrest in the Middleeast
  7. High-Definition Television
  8. The impending Apocolypse

We’re here today to talk about printing costs

Thursday, January 26th, 2006

One hour of my workday yesterday was spent NOT in a meeting. I thought I was going crazy. I even went to the exact same meeting twice in a row. When you are trapped in a boring meeting, you can always space out, but it’s nicer to get a good daydream going.

Here is some quality daydream material:

  1. How you can convert that useless change into some foldin’ money
  2. Who you would punch if you were famous.
  3. What the hell was Charlie’s problem stealing Claire’s baby like that.
  4. Some new stuff to throw on the Netflix Queue.
  5. How you can possibly keep a book open with just one hand.
  6. If anyone out there shares your same crazy fetish.
  7. What other non-functional yarn-art you could churn out.

Digital Pet, Yo-Yo, MP3 Player, & Secret Lover

Wednesday, January 25th, 2006

What do an outdated toy, an outdated fad, and an crappy MP3 player have in common? They are all the same thing, at least in this case. I wish I was at the meeting where this thing was thought up. I bet this is how it went down:

Struggling Low-Level Japanese Businessman: “Sir, the kids these days love their MP3 players, but they just can’t play with them in the way they could with, say, other kids or a pet.
Hyper-rich Japanese Fatcat: “Yesyes, I see. Remember that stupid digital pet phenomenon that we made billions on? Throw one of those in there too.”
SLLJB: “Good idea sir, but still, all they can do with the device is sit there and look at the screen. Maybe we could incorporate some kind of physical activity as well.”
HRJF: “Physical activity?! That will never go over well in the States. Unless… It’s more of a novelty instead of real activity.”
SLLJB: “Hmmm, what’s the stupidest, nerdiest, most outdated, and least fun toy ever?”
HRJF/SLLJB (in unison): “Yo-yo.”
HRJF: “Good work. I’m giving you new sleep tube with one extra square foot.”

Here are some other ideas for tech/toy combinations:

  1. Headphones / Ear Hair Trimmer / Magneto Helmet
  2. Mouse / Pet Rock / Paperweight
  3. Cellphone / Pocket Pussy / Squirt Gun

Irrefutable Proof (Lion Jesus wins)

Tuesday, January 24th, 2006

Corey over at Life and Sins of a Human has expanded my thinking on the Lion Jesus vrs. Regular Jesus issue.

Here are the big differences:

  1. Lion Jesus has a mane; Regular Jesus has a beard (which isn’t near as hard to grow on your face).
  2. Lion Jesus eats gazelle; Regular Jesus ate himself at the last supper.
  3. Lion Jesus has 4 legs; Regular Jesus only has two.
  4. Lion Jesus has retracable claws; Regular Jesus only has finger nails.
  5. Lion Jesus starred in a way better movie than Regular Jesus.

For pissing in the wind!

Tuesday, January 24th, 2006

It’s always something isn’t it?

Here are some things it could be:

  1. Have a stank snatch. (via Black Glenn)
  2. Haven’t gotten W2 from shitty unorganized pizza company you worked for in Jan. ’05
  3. House doesn’t smell enough like fresh laundry. (via Lifehacker)
  4. Just bought RAZR V3c, and found out V3x is coming and is way cooler.
  5. Wife stole seven grand from your secret storage locker and gave it to her mom, who is now blackmailing you for three more.
  6. Stargate SG-1 just won’t die.
  7. The worst day ever formula ([W + (D-d)] x TQ) ÷ (M x NA) has calculated today to be the worst day ever.

It seems I have inadvertently eaten some mermaid flesh.

Monday, January 23rd, 2006

You see, I have inadvertently eaten some mermaid flesh. Five hundred years ago I was wandering around one day when an old man offered me some mermaid flesh to eat so I accepted it and ate the mermaid flesh. I did not know it was mermaid flesh at the time. When you eat mermaid flesh you either become immortal or you turn into a monster. With mermaid flesh, it’s really one thing or the other. It only happens once too, if you eat mermaid flesh and turn into a monster, you can’t eat more mermaid flesh and then become immortal, since you’ve already eaten mermaid flesh. Mermaid flesh is super rare anyway, so it’s not like eating more mermaid flesh will be hard to avoid. I’m sure you’ve guessed that when I ate mermaid flesh, I became immortal. I’ve had a lot of time recently to keep wandering around trying to sort out this whole mermaid flesh issue. The best advice I can give you is to give it some serious thought before you eat strange seafood from an old man, since it might be mermaid flesh. (mermaidfleshmermaidfleshmermaidflesh.) I saw this anime this weekend that was just like this. It was kind of awesome.

Here are some things you could replace mermaid flesh with to make a whole different series:

  1. Cyclops toe
  2. Vulcan ear
  3. Unicorn penis
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