Category: Pass the Olives: A personal blog

Pass the Olives includes memoirish entries and a few other things. If you don’t like olives, you probably won’t want to read these.

These are more personal, biographical entries with a few other things mixed in. Posts I felt like writing and had no place else to put. I’m in the process of moving these to Pass the Olives.

The best music video ever made: Viewing Grand Rapids

Roger Ebert ranked this of “Views of Grand Rapids” the best music video ever made. After Newsweek pronounced the city one of the top ten dying the cities in the nation, residents sang and danced back. This world-record setting 9+ minute lip dub features every willing resident of Grand Rapids and they sing, dance, and move in formation to Bye, Bye, Miss American Pie. In the background is Grand Rapids—probably […]

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Pattern in Islamic Art

Grand Mosqée de Paris, 1926

Pattern in Islamic Art is an online archive of over 5,000 beautiful Islamic patterns. Images sortable by museum, monument, region, town, materials used (ceramic tiles, plasterwork, wood, etc.), or by architectural feature (decorative panel, doors & doorways, lattice-work, etc.) Excellent images and documentation. Images are also available in prints. The image above is from Pattern in Islamic Art: Grand Mosquée de Paris This mosque was founded in 1926 and built […]

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Piping Frosting Lace and Other Patterns

A glass with piping on the side like the top of a cake.

Piping frosting in lace patterns is one of the ways to create an elegant cake. It also takes much more practice than cutting out fondant flowers. From and Craftsy: Everything You Need to Know About Piping Techniques Since piping is most often done on vertical surfaces, practicing on a glass or jar gives the best learning experience. I’m not about to try this but it’s nice to know how if I […]

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Learn WordPress

Learning WordPress has just become easier. WordPress has launched a new site, Learn WordPress, directed at WordPress.com users, those whose site is hosted by WordPress. WordPress.com sites are free and have limited but often adequate features. You then pay WordPress people to fix and refine your site if it needs it, or to add more features. I host sites on my server independently of the WordPress.com site, using the same software but with […]

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Perfect Profile Pictures

Not Just for Dating Anymore With the growth of social media for networking, the profile picture has become a major decision for anyone who participates. Which picture will people click on in LInkedIn? Who will follow me in Twitter? Am I turning people off with my stern look on Facebook? Is my smiley smile too smiley? What do I do with my eyes? What should I wear. On OKCupid, “the […]

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Majestic: Analyzing Links

Majestic describes themselves as “The planet’s largest Link Index database.” What they know is a lot more than I know, for sure. What they can tell you for only one of their services is how many links there are to your site and how many of them are “good links.” Good links come from sites with real content. Bad link come from link mills that only link to a lot of […]

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Search Engine Optimization, SEO Tools

What is SEO, Search Engine Optimization? “Search engine optimization” is a fancy way to describe methods that help search engines find your site. This site, SharonVillines.com, is the place where I put things I don’t want to forget—and probably will unless I write them down. I’m not concerned about the world’s ability to find this site, but more concerned about my ability to find the stuff I store on it. […]

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Perfect Popcorn

Tiny But Mighty Owners Gene and Lynne Mealhow

For too long had I been popping the perfect popcorn in a hot air popper. Fluffy clouds. No fat! No cholesterol! No taste. Until I re-discovered the real stuff. After years and years of this, a friend brought real popcorn to a movie screening: Popped in a pan over a fire with oil. And buttered. Now the hot air popper is reserved for Christmas when we make strings of popcorn […]

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Brand Colors

Brand Colors Screen Shot BrandColors.net

A lovely online source of brand colors complete with color numbers—no guessing. Includes colors from Adobe, Airbnb, Amazon, AOL, Basecamp, Behance, Better Business Bureau (they have colors?), Bing, bitly, Boeing, Digg, Dribbble, Drupal, Ebay,  Firefox (a big palette), Freshbooks (very fresh), Google, HootSuite, Kickstarter, Klout, Microsoft, and many more. Memorable address BrandColors.net. Has a search function to find one quickly. Click on the colors to see the color number. You […]

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New York Times Chronicle

Chronicle Logo

Counting Names and Phrases in the Times The New York Times Chronicle is  a new resource for “visualizing language usage in New York Times news coverage throughout its history,” which began in 1851. Enter a word or phrase and it will appear as a colored line on a graph showing the percentage of articles it appeared in from 1851 to the present. You can search several words or phrases sequentially and each one will appear in […]

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Comics

Invisible Scarlet O'Neil from a 1940 comic Strip

ComicBook+ is an archive of public domain Golden and Silver Age Comics — books and newspapers. 24,184 books as of today. Categorized by type and date. It also has a forum for comics lovers and collectors. All can be downloaded without cost (donations welcome). And you can subscribe of $7.00 a year. Uses PayPal, which is very convenient. No entering credit card or passing a vision test to read a scrunched up […]

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Free Icons

A collection of free icons created by “Aegean K” from SketchActive. 360 outline and 360 matching solid vector and bitmap formats. Transparent individual files in 60px & 120px for Coding. JPG files for overview and detail revealing. Sketch files for Editing, fully scalable and adjustable. You can use these icons in tab bar, navigation bar and table row for both iOS and Android apps. Also in web design, branding, stickers, presentations and prints. Anywhere you […]

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The Art of Hand Lettering

Handlettered word "Bravo" by Neil Secretario

The Art of Hand Lettering is a fabulous archive of hand lettering for logos, signs, murals, stationery, etc. A new site so the examples are only from 2013-2014. A wide range of styles in black and white and full color, all beautiful and mesmerizing. This “Bravo” example is by Neil Secretario and was done  using a Pentel Pigment Ink Brush Pen, which I am ready to run out and buy. Neil is […]

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Esther Honig: A Beautiful Woman?

Esther Honig sent her photo to photographers in 25 countries and asked them to make her beautiful. The amazing photos are on her website. They span the full range of what is considered beautiful internationally and individually. For those who don’t know Photoshop it will be a lesson on how little you can believe a photograph once it’s met a computer. I am not a Photoshop expert or even advanced user, […]

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Internet Service in Cohousing

A major conundrum for cohousing and one that warrants a chapter in the next book on building a cohousing community is internet service. To provide it collectively or each to their own? If collectively how to charge, or whether to include in condo fees? Which technology? Who maintains it? When Takoma Village began planning in 1998-1999, we had several internet-knowledgeable people who insisted that we install wiring for internet connections. […]

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Spritz: Reading Revolution?

Spritz ad showing a small screen with their tagline "Reading Reimagined."

Spritz is a method of reading based on new research. The finding is that experienced readers focus on a key point in a word and spend most of their time looking back and forth from one word to another. The Spritz method, patented technology, is based on the finding that we supposedly read a word by finding the key point in the middle of a word. Spritz shows one word […]

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Converted Bus: A Home for $9,000 in 15 Weeks

interior View of Converted Bus by Architectural Student.

Wonderful idea for converting old buses into a tiny house. My son used to watch out the window on regular trips down the Thruway in New York State to see a large parking lot for school buses, some in service and some not. He would have loved this before he acquired a wife and two children. I often dream of living in a tiny house but then I measure the […]

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Making Public Transportation Better

I used to commute four hours a day round trip, from New Paltz, NY to Manhattan. My community was the commuters who boarded the same bus every morning at 6:50 and again at 5:50, or sometimes 4:50. When I gave up the car and moved to the city, I had more hours in each day but I also had more energy and more money. The hidden costs of commuting are […]

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Public Domain Books

Cover of Sparrow and Cock Robin, a public domain eBook

Not exactly a website resource but public domain books are something to consider if your site has anything to do with literature or book selling, or you just like to read: Public Domain Books—25 sources. An amazing array of sites described in an article at Ebook Friendly. Many are archives that include photographs and other materials—good resources for copyright free illustrations.

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Why a Newsletter Blog?

The letters Blog with a globe replacing the O

Newsletters on your website are a better choice than printed or even emailed newsletters. The “issues” or  entries stay posted on your website easily accessible for as long as you like. A newsletter on a website can be indexed by search engines to be found by people who never heard of you.  Notice of new issues can be sent automatically. Printed and eMail Newsletter Downsides Printed newsletters are normally planned for […]

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Pixels, Ems, and Rems

Website design measurements are not inches or even centimeters. They are pixels, ems, and rems. Rems are new. When I opened the Twenty-Twelve CSS (styling) sheet, I was thrown by the new rem measurement. The first thing I did was delete all of them and used pixels or ems. That messed things up pretty well, until I came to terms with rems. Pixels Computer monitors have resolutions in pixels. A screen […]

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WordCount

Another fabulous gem from the UK. WordCount is a ranking of the 86,800 most used words in the English language by frequency of use. Presented in the same format as a timeline—a beautiful timeline. Very minimalist and elegant. Perfectly simple. The design itself is worth the effort. You can also use it to analyze the vocabulary on your site—are the words you are using common, if understanding is your goal, or rare […]

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Death Over Dinner

Death Over Dinner Logo

Death Over Dinner is another let’s have dinner and talk about death movement like the Death Cafe. The introduction by the  founder, Michael Hebb, begins: On a beautiful June morning in 2012 I boarded a train traveling from Portland to Seattle, and quickly made my way to the dining car. Within a few minutes I found myself in a lively conversation with two strangers, both doctors, and both very concerned about […]

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Image Size for Websites

When designing a website, I look again at the latest recommendations for image size for websites, at the best pixels per inch (PPI). This article from PhotoshopEssentials.com (dated only 2013) says, “there’s simply no such thing as a standard web or screen resolution, if your images are destined for the web, you don’t need to worry about image resolution at all!” Photoshop Essentials 72 ppi Web Image Myth The old […]

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Typography: Modular Scale

Typecast Logo

Modular Scale sponsored by Typecast is a handy tool for converting type sizes from pixels to ems and beyond. Enter the size of your text in pixels and translate it using one of almost a dozen perfect ratios and the pixels will be translated into ems, ems@16 and %of 13. If you are using rems, this makes it a lot easier. If you don’t understand any of this, you probably […]

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Infographics from Visual.ly

The graphic design company Visual.ly specializes in  “visual content,” information conveyed using a combination of images and language—infographics, videos, interactives, presentations. They pull together storytellers, number crunchers, designers, and animators. Their Infographics start at $999 and are worth every penny. They are delightful and elegant and effective—the magic word. Their front page is a continuous scroll of their work, which is amazing: Visual.ly. I classified this as fabulously beautiful, partly […]

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