WordPress: view your blog as a PC/tablet/phone user

WordPress added a very neat feature to the Customizer sometime in the spring — simply go to Appearance>Customize and you can view your beloved blog as a PC, tablet and smartphone user. No need to switch in between several devices every time you make a minuscule design change. Or perhaps you don’t own one or two of those like a certain someone…

Responsive design — meaning crafting your internet home for optimal viewing across as many devices as possible — is important! Continue reading

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Astronomy in Gokukoku no Brynhildr

When I pored over the Neregate spring season chart and decided to at least try watching Gokukoku no Brynhildr, I was expecting a lot more astronomy than what we could have seen so far. Nevertheless, there is still enough night sky material for me to write up a short post.

1/ Ptolemy’s Constellations

Somewhere near the middle of the first episode, there is a close-up of the list of 48 constellations listed in Ptolemy’s Amalgest. What caught my eye right away was the singular in the title, the first tip off. Yes, the original Japanese TV releases had the list in English, using layman’s terms often derived from what the constellations represent and in some cases baffling names, like the Colt (for the Foal/Pony) or the Winged Horse (for Pegasus). A moment of confusion for those who are generally more accustomed to the Latin names.

(As always click the thumbnails for a better view and mouse over for captions.)

brynhildrlist Continue reading

Two new things in WordPress 2014

Blogging at WordPress.com is almost painfully trivial. You sign up and you’re ready – a straightforward CMS (available in 50+ languages) with spam protection, 3GB of server space, statistics overview, mobile access, social plugins, 130+ themes to choose from, safe and reliable hosting, and impeccable support. For free.

The team behind this project is working hard to make it even easier. (And they’re always hiring, if you want to help them out.) What are the newest improvements that I noticed?

Continue reading

The departing Google Reader and its alternatives

On Wednesday Google announced they will be discontinuing Google Reader, their RSS feed aggregator, on July 1st, 2013 after eight years of service. Even though the usage has declined according to the company, the ripples spurred by this stone are the size of a tsunami. Every news site ran the article, every tech site looked at the reasons behind the termination, every productivity blog compared and contrasted its alternatives and all those posts were followed by hundreds of comments.

Why? What are the official reasons given? It seems to be the diminishing user base and the fact that the organization wants to concentrate on fewer products. (You can read the full announcement on the official Google Reader blog.) As always there are several different reason making rounds among the Reader’s dejected users, the most prominent of which is the fact that it probably wasn’t bringing enough, if any, money into Google.

Will Google offer a replacement service? I don’t have the answer to this question. However I do recall that when adding a new feed to Google Reader I was often asked whether I would like it to be added to my favorite RSS aggregator or the Google+ homepage. That leads me to believe that users may be asked to migrate there. I am most definitely not the only one to think so and just like so many of the like-minded I don’t want to.

Reflecting on the tsunami (and an another reason I’ll list shortly) you can see there are a lot of people who use the service daily, whether it is for their work, studies or entertainment. Google Reader offers a statistics page (located under Trends in the left hand column), screenshots of which have flooded the comment sections – among other information you can find the number of items you have read in the past 30 days there. The numbers were nearing 3000 items in the shots I’ve seen, which means close to 100 read posts/day. If you follow me on twitter (@dorrykun) you might already know that I read about 55 news items per day using Google Reader. Continue reading

Mendel x Mendeleev x Mengele

Today I’ll venture outside the otaku territory I’ve been writing about until now to bring you some science. In the past couple of months it has come to my attention that I have those three men I’ve placed in the title field quite mixed up. Just like with Touhou fandom, I’ve decided to look them up and write a post about them while I’m at it. If you’re familiar with all three of them, then it would probably be a waste of time for you to read this, but if you are not I hereby cordially invite you to join me in my enlightenment. Continue reading