Test Post with JP Markdown and Syntax Highlighting Activated

Okay, here’s some regular prose, which isn’t explanatory at all, and then here comes a block of code:

from stop_words import get_stop_words
from nltk.corpus import stopwords

mod_stop = get_stop_words('en')
nltk_stop = stopwords.words("english")

print("mod_stop is {} words, and nltk_stop is {} words".format(len(mod_stop), len(nltk_stop)))


mod_stop is 174 words, and nltk_stop is 153 words

Dear Searcher: I’m Here

Here’s one of those weird moments: every once in a while the little bar chart in the upper-lefthand corner of WordPress that appears when you’re logged in begs me to click on it and see what those tiny lines represent. The entire chart represents, it claims, the last 48 hours of activity on a given WP site. So, when you see one bar taller than others, you wonder: what happened there?

So I clicked the chart. Since it’s still morning here, today’s stats aren’t terribly interesting yet, so I clicked the table for yesterday, and I saw the usual suspects: the posts that get the most traffic are for installing Python, using the NLTK, using stop words, and setting up iPython. But I also saw a bunch of hits for a post about making illustrations of the Louisiana landscape for _The Makers of Things_. How’d that happen? So, I checked out search traffic and this turned up:

Searches that led to jl.o on the first Sunday of 2015

Searches that led to jl.o on the first Sunday of 2015

*Ay?* Who are these people looking up my name and the proposed name of a book not yet in existence? Whoever you are, I’ll give you a copy of the book if you’re *that* interested. Email me, and I’ll do my best to make it happen.

Me and the Louisiana Digital Humanities Lab

It would seem that someone, or some people, last week was interested in some confluence of me, the Louisiana Digital Humanities Lab, and the grant I helped to write to get it set up:

Screen Shot 2014-09-23 at 9.39.18 PM

I have no idea who it was, or is: no one has written or called. The grant narrative itself is available [here][], because, despite my recent experience of having my research program copied, that’s how I think we should proceed. (The copier is a local scoundrel, otherwise, apparently, devoid of creativity. Nothing can be done for/about him.)

As for the Lab, it is still there. We put it together in a kind of “there’s a few of us interested, and maybe we can build some momentum” moment, but a change of administration later, and a new dean, and a lot of the good will, and the tee tiny bit of support, on which such early efforts depend, dried up. *Sigh.* It takes so much energy to nurture a seed, and so little effort to let a sprout wither. It’s amazing really.

What the Lab needs is a refresh: new versions of both the Mac and Windows operating systems as well as an update of the Adobe Creative Suite. (What’s installed works — heck, I still make all my illustrations with AI 5 — but it would be nice to put latest tools in the hands of students.) We could also use an update of the hardware: grab a 3D printer, maybe some micro controller boards like the Arduino or the powerful Raspberry Pi and a variety of electronic components to get students hacking on things.

Could I write that grant? Yup. But not right now. I got books lining up right now, and the American academy still prefers books to anything else.

[here]: http://johnlaudun.org/20081017-louisiana-digital-humanities-lab/

Academic Blogging

[Rohan Maitzen has both a nice response][rm] to the usual criticism of academic blogs (or blogs written by people who also happen to be academics), which is the misperception by many that they are intended to substitute for more traditional/conventional forms of writing/publishing. It’s not an *either/or* but *both/and*.

I also confess that I have always hated the verb form of blog. I don’t blog; I’m not a blogger. I have kept a collection of notes in reverse chronological order since 2005 ([see for yourself][see]). Mid-decade, that’s what a number of people were doing. As some people cultivated audiences, and thus ad revenue streams, it became blogging and they became bloggers.

At one point, I was on the verge of becoming one of those — I was up to several hundred readers a day — when I realized that was not what I wanted. I went silent for several months, changed what I was doing, lost those readers, and re-situated myself in a more firmly academic context. Now that I’ve done that, and I find myself more firmly in the intellectual/ideational context for which I think there is a better fit for myself as both a person and a creator, I’m ready to re-think the nature of the readership of this blog thing that is almost a decade old.

I think I’m ready to try to engage some kind of general audience on the nature of narrative, cognition, and computation.

[rm]: http://www.openlettersmonthly.com/novelreadings/blogging-accept-no-substitutes/
[see]: http://johnlaudun.org/archives/

Theme Trials

Yup. It’s summer. Time to play with themes. Ever in search of a theme with the smallest, fastest code base that also has much of the look I want as a base for any tweaking: the smallest CSS helps here. Some of the themes I have tried lately have had fairly large style sheets, which makes tweaking them extraordinarily difficult — and I have very particular ideas about how web pages should “respond” to various devices. (Hint: why call them smart phones if they can’t deal with a web page? Rebuttal to responses to this hint: responsive design is essential for complex websites, e.g. Amazon.com of the Washington Post, which have way too many verticals and horizontals. A smart phone should be able to deal with a two-column web page without the page having to make itself into a single column for the phone.)

That’s my argument, and I’m sticking with it.

That's a lot of themes.

That’s a lot of themes.

iOS Device Screen Resolutions

The screen resolutions for Apple’s various iOS devices are:

* new iPads and iPad Minis: 2048 x 1536
* old iPads and iPad Minis: 1024 x 768
* iPhone 5s and new iPod Touches: 1136 x 640
* iPhone 4s and old iPod Touches: 960 x 640

If I want a minimum size for their to be a sidebar, 1000 pixels looks like a good minimum.

2012 Annual Report for LogBook

[WordPress][] powers this blog. At some point in 2012, WordPress made its jetpack, which has been one of its secret sauces at [WordPress.com][], available to WordPress users. I just received notification that my [annual report for 2012][] was ready. (All the details are at the link: plus some cool HTML + CSS layouts.) Here are the highlights:

* This blog got about 10,000 views in 2012.
* In 2012, there were 329 new posts, growing the total archive of this blog to 699 posts. The busiest day of the year was December 3rd with 142 views. The most popular post that day was Word-wrap (filling) in Emacs. (This report only shows data since the blog was connected to Jetpack.)
* The all-time top posts for the blog were:

1. Word-wrap (filling) in Emacs (March 2008)
2. MacJournal versus Day One (February 2012)
3. Getting NLTK Up and Running on Mac OS X (January 2012)
4. German Expulsions after the Second World War (June 2012)
5. Moving Billings to DropBox (March 2011)

* The top referring sites in 2012 were:

1. facebook.com
2. twitter.com
3. Google Reader
4. english.louisiana.edu
5. digitalhumanitiesnow.org

* The blog was read in 112 countries. The majority of IPs were in the United States, with the United Kingdom and Canada very close for second and third place.

The Jetpack is a great feature in WordPress. It offers crazy beautiful things like this:

Map of readership for this website for February 13 as of 8:00AM. Welkom, Nederlandse lezers!

Map of readership for this website for February 13 as of 8:00AM. Welkom, Nederlandse lezers!

[WordPress]: http://wordpress.org/
[WordPress.com]: http://wordpress.com/
[annual report for 2012]: http://jetpack.me/annual-report/33779968/2012/

Been wanting to play with how blockquotes are presented. [Some great css tricks here](http://net.tutsplus.com/tutorials/html-css-techniques/css-refreshers-borders/).

CSS for @font-face

Nice Web Type has the CSS for @font-face. Whenever I play with this, I always forget it, and so I’m simply pasting what I need to remember here:

@font-face {
font-family: “Your typeface”;
src: url(“type/filename.eot”);
src: local(“☺”),
url(“type/filename.woff”) format(“woff”),
url(“type/filename.otf”) format(“opentype”),
url(“type/filename.svg#filename”) format(“svg”);
@font-face {
font-family: “Your italic typeface”;
src: url(“type/filename-ital.eot”);
src: local(“☺”),
url(“type/filename-ital.woff”) format(“woff”),
url(“type/filename-ital.otf”) format(“opentype”),
url(“type/filename-ital.svg#filename-ital”) format(“svg”);
h2 { font-family: “Your typeface”, Georgia, serif; }
h2 em { font-family: “Your italic typeface”, Georgia, serif; }
em { font-style: italic; }

New Year But … er, a New Look

Yeah, yeah, happy arbitrary new year. What was wrong with having the new year begin on the first day of spring anyway? It makes a lot more sense than having it only a week after we celebrated the winter solstice by shoving presents under an evergreen tree (that, sigh, will soon be brown because we cut it down). Curmudgeonly impulses aside, I just wanted to note that the site is going to look a little different for a few days. It was time to update the PHP scripts that make the site go and it seemed best to use the latest offering from the WordPress folks themselves and then slowly hack the CSS back to something more of what the Logbook has looked like for the past year.

It’s not going completely back. I think the right sidebar is going to stick around, and so is my new friend L’hydre. I came across him on a crest having some connection to the town of Laudun, France, and I decided I kinda like the little guy. Hydras are apparently fairly rare in heraldry, and they represent the defeat of a significant enemy. For me, I like how friendly he looks. He’s an animal that would like to be able to fly (wings), clearly can make his way through the water (webbed feet), and has thoughts that go in too many directions (heads). Yup, I’m keeping him.

**UPDATE**: Okay, a new look. It was inevitable I suppose. I was looking for something that a more responsive design, in the sense that it would work well across a number of devices. I decided to give [Codium Extend][] a try. I’m fairly happy with it, except the “responsive” part of it makes for some pretty dense, and lengthy CSS. And I can’t quite get the gap between the posts and the sidebar to open up a bit more. That space feels too tight to me.

[Codium Extend]: http://wordpress.org/extend/themes/codium-extend