Friday, August 26th, 2022

A strolling park, email scheduling and European menus

Black and white photograph of people standing in a queue waiting to buy doughnuts and coffee

Hello. Hope you’re keeping well and busy.

The week has been manic. I’ve finally broken the back of Hiragana, and seem to have accidentally started learning Japanese Sign Language. At the same time, a couple of lifestyle changes are going to take a bit more time out of my day, and a planned source of revenue was just cut off. I think I’m still ahead though.

Thanks to a bit of feedback, I made a few subtle changes to the website. The funky headers with their background colors and alternating tilts have resumed a more sensible level setting. A few more tweaks are on the way and sadly Taro, the blinking octopus, will be leaving us.

Also, a big thanks to whomever shared my post on accessible table design. Your efforts prompted quite a surge in traffic for a few days, so thank you again.

Whatever you get up to in the days ahead, I hope you enjoy it.


From my blog

Ritsuin Koen

Photograph of a lake seen from a high angle, with a traditional Japanese bridge in the background and ornate gardens to the fore

Imagine you’re a 17th Century aristocrat in feudal Japan and you fancy a walk. How are you going to go for a stroll to clear your head without mixing with the masses, or getting kidnapped?

The answer is build your own “Strolling Garden”, such as Ritsurin Koen on the island of Shikoku.

Email and work-life balance

Graphic of a person asleep on a bed that looks like a mobile phone with white lines coming out of the right side

Work-life balance is in the forefront of people’s minds. Pressure to reply to that email ping at 11pm just before bed is adding to our stress and making us unhealthy.

My timezone is out of sync with many, so I’ve had to adapt when and how I email people. This is how using scheduling changed the way a client and I improved our communication for the better.

JQuery and WordPress

Graphic showing the WordPress logo rolling from left to right

Last week I shared a link about how the UK Government stripped JQuery off its sites. I’ve updated my post on removing unwanted rubbish from WordPress headers to include how to get rid of it (with a suitable health warning).

from the web

It wouldn’t be right just to share my own work. Here’s a few things that caught my eye this past week.

RIP Twitter Card Validator

If you’ve been struggling to get your Twitter Card to validate using the “Twitter Card Validator” web page, don’t panic: you are not alone. Twitter retired it and forgot to tell every(any?)one. Cards are now validated in real time in the Tweet composer.

Making money from FOIA

The Freedom of Information Act was supposed to be a liberating piece of legislation in the US. What it did was create a cottage industry of firms making FOIA requests to sell the data, and administrators to prepare it.

Enter the Poseys, a family from California, whose determination to get and sell military data led to court cases, international subterfuge and prison time.

Farewell, Tsuneko Sasamoto

She was a pioneering female photographer in male dominated pre-War Japan, the first to turn a camera on the country as experienced by its women. After the war her reputation grew, and even after passing her centenary, Tsuneko Sasamoto was still taking photos. Sadly she has now passed away.

While the obituaries have been forthright and factual, I found this piece by the US’s National Gallery of Art a more personal reflection.

Another “the great…” to add to the list

Feeling exhausted? Overwhelmed? Fearful for the future? Turns out a lot of people are, particularly for the post-Boomer generations. Welcome to “The Great Exhaustion“.

Beautiful European Menus

Taschen produce beautiful collections of images that inform and inspire in equal measure. Several of their titles made the trip to Japan, and I think I may be adding a new one to the collection. Covering two centuries of design, the latest offering looks at the art of the European Menu. It’s Nice That has a few samples to salivate over.

And finally…

If you’ve ever looked at the strange lines painted on the road right before they dig it up and thought, “That’s boring”, take a look at this from Tokyo, Japan. I think they’ve elevated road works to a new art form.

My name is Ross Hori

I'm a freelance writer, designer and photographer. By day I create articles, features and reports. At night I take photos and write fiction. Find out more.