Hey, so if you’re working with Drupal 7, particularly doing module development, you might find yourself find-and-replacing on the same kind of boilerplate code to set up a new module every time.

Well, I got sick of it, so I made a quick little generator for boilerplate code for Drupal 7 module development.  You can run it from the command line, and it’ll get you down to the interesting stuff in no time.

As an added bonus, I’ve included another command line script you can use to generate form arrays that are compatible with the Drupal 7 Form API.

Give it a looksee over at Github.

If you make anything interesting with it, let me know!

Wisconsin Delight

Five things I think are currently awesome.

Microsoft Surface Pro 4.  It is the most generally useful computer I’ve ever owned.  Particularly if you are interested in making graphical works. For years and years I’ve dreamed of having a computer that I can draw on, and the Surface Pro is that machine.  I’ve been having tons of fun making stuff with the Surface Pro and Corel Painter.  Sure, you can get a Wacom Cintiq, but that’s like two grand.  The Surface Pro 4 I got was under a thousand.

Doctor Strange.  This was the Marvel movie that was expressly made for me.  Everything about it was great.  To the degree I hated the Thor movies, I love Doctor Strange.  Not to mention it has one of the two best Pink Floyd references in the Marvel Comic Universe.  Which brings us to ….

Legion.  The new Marvel show on FX has just a fantastically surreal quality to it that really separates it from most other shows on television right now. And it has another Pink Floyd reference.  The main character’s girlfriend’s name is Syd Barrett.  Speaking of television shows, if you haven’t already, you should check out …

The Expanse.  Finally, a little science in the science fiction.

Wisconsin Delight.  You know how in that story The Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe, the frozen queen tempts the little kid with Turkish Delight?  Turns out Turkish Delight actually kind of sucks in the real world.  But also, after a jaunt through Wisconsin, I came home loaded up with cheeses, sausages and sex olives, and so internally, I have started to think of the foodstuffs commonly referred to as charcuterie, instead as Wisconsin Delight.  And it’s freaking deliciousness.  I could live on a diet of Wisconsin Delight.

Back in 1984, in Rogers Park, Chicago, there existed (and still exists today) a Jewish preschool on Touhy Avenue, the street where I currently live.

It happened that a woman was picking her four-year-old daughter from school, and as they were walking through the hall, a janitor tried to tickle the little girl, and the girl told him to leave her alone.

So the mom asks the girl about it later, and the girl alleged that the janitor had previously tickled her private parts.   The allegations were reported to the police, who then interviewed something like 80 kids at the school.  Some of the kids apparently reported that there were satanic rituals going on at the school.  Some kids claimed they had seen the teachers there kill a baby, cook it in a kettle, and then eat it.

Ultimately, there was an investigation, the janitor was charged with molestation and the school closed down for a while.  Eventually, the janitor was acquitted, and two-hundred-something charges against the school and various teachers were dropped, because of either lack of evidence or a bumbled investigation, depending on who you ask.

In case you were wondering because of the superficial similarities, A Nightmare on Elm Street was also released in 1984.

I discovered this today because we published an article about a couple in Texas who just had their 20-year-old convictions tossed in a similar satanic ritual abuse situation.

And that led me to an article one of my co-workers wrote back in 1987 about the Rogers Park case.

Here’s the most authoritative version I’ve been able to find in my brief research.  It appears from this that the judge in the case felt like there was a real possibility that sexual abuse had occurred, but because it had become this satanic cult witch hunt, the investigation had been compromised, and thus there was reasonable doubt, requiring the acquittal.

Interesting story, eh?

 In the January 9th New York Times Fashion & Style section, there was a charming article by Mandy Len Catron called “To Fall in Love With Anyone, Do This“.  In it, she talks about some research published back in 1997, in which professor of psychology Arthur Aron and his co-authors describe a method for inducing interpersonal closeness between strangers.

Catron writes:

I explained the study to my university acquaintance. A heterosexual man and woman enter the lab through separate doors. They sit face to face and answer a series of increasingly personal questions. Then they stare silently into each other’s eyes for four minutes. The most tantalizing detail: Six months later, two participants were married. They invited the entire lab to the ceremony.

“Let’s try it,” he said.

She and her partner googled up the questions and went through the procedure, which they apparently enjoyed a great deal:

You’re probably wondering if he and I fell in love. Well, we did. Although it’s hard to credit the study entirely (it may have happened anyway), the study did give us a way into a relationship that feels deliberate. We spent weeks in the intimate space we created that night, waiting to see what it could become.

Adorable, right?  Anyways, it struck me that other folks might want to try the experiment themselves, and it’d be helpful if the whole thing was all together in one place, accessible from a smartphone so that it would be easy to try with a date, for instance.

So I had a few extra hours over the last few evenings, and I threw together a little mobile-friendly, touch-friendly web app version of the experiment.

I took the 36 questions from the original study directly, along with a slightly modified version of the instructions, and I included a little timer that will count down four minutes for the eye contact exercise.  The whole thing is just HTML and Javascript, and weighs in at a little over 260 lines of code, all told.

You can try it yourself here:

http://www.ianmonroe.com/instantcloseness/

I’ve posted the code on Github, so feel free to fork it and make improvements if you feel so inclined.

“Many geeks can tell you stories of how they and a few like-minded companions formed a small community that achieved something great, only to have it taken over by popular loudmouths who considered that greatness theirs by right of social station and kicked the geeks out by enforcing weirdo-hostile social norms. (Consider how many hackerspaces retain their original founders.) Having a community they built wrested away from them at the first signs of success is by now a signaling characteristic of weirdohood. We wouldn’t keep mentioning it if it didn’t keep happening.

I’m not claiming that’s entirely rational, because fear isn’t rational, but it sure does explain the response to being told that our culture is broken and must be adapted to accommodate the very people who rallied it into being by shunning us from theirs.”

Click here for the full article

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Fascinating!

The lake’s water – turned from clear blue to a deep red by iron churned up from its bottom – became a symbol of the event’s violence.

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gemini 4 lyfe, sucka.

Another year has come and gone.

Let’s see, what did I manage to accomplish over the course of my 38th year?

  • I learned some magic tricks.
  • I bought a new car.
  • I learned how to pick locks.
  • I built a pretty respectable horror movie collection.
  • I dabbled with digital painting.
  • I survived the worst winter EVER.
  • I made about 25 gallons of beer.
  • I had a vacation in Orlando.
  • I read a bunch of books.
  • I added a few new oddities to the collection.
  • I saw quite a few great concerts, including Squarepusher, Skinny Puppy, and Negativland.
  • I stepped up my cooking repertoire a couple of notches.

All things considered, not too shabby.  Here’s looking forward to 39.

 

Images of Sufi hell. Fascinating collection of some newly-translated fragments of a 19th c. manuscript, regarding the fate of sinners after their deaths.

Click here for the full article

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