About this site's lack of design: Yes, it's supposed to look this way — I'm helping create a new sandbox theme for WordPress (see it on GitHub).

Dan Rubin's SuperfluousBanter

Design, random musings, and the Web. Since 1977

Archive for 2006


The Influence of Art in Design

Thursday, September 28th, 2006

SXSW 2007 logo

I’ll make this simple for you: If there’s only one SXSW panel concept you vote for this year, make it The Influence of Art in Design, a terrific idea from Anton Peck that I just had to help push through. Moderated by me, and featuring some very talented digital artists, illustrators, and photographers (including Bryan, Anton, and a few others that we won’t name-drop just yet), this is one panel you won’t want to miss.

Which brings me to the reason I’m writing about it in the first place: You must vote for the panel (search for the title or my name), and get all your friends to vote for it too, for it to ever see the bright lights of Austin.

Help us bring this panel to life — we promise it won’t disappoint.



Design is making fun of things lining up, and fonts

Wednesday, September 13th, 2006

Design is making fun of things lining up, and fonts

Thanks to Jon, Shaun and Scott, I was forced (believe me, I had no choice in the matter) to sarcastically tweak their desktop images. It wasn’t a job I enjoyed, I promise you, but this is the kind of dirty work someone has to do, and today that responsibility fell to me (and that’s the fault of Jina, for telling me about your posts to begin with).




Quite Distracting

Wednesday, August 30th, 2006

It’s something everyone is guilty of when under pressure: Finding things to distract you from the (likely) more important task at hand. I remember my parents doing “busy work” when I was growing up, especially when there were stressful things waiting to be dealt with.

It occurred to me that I’m guilty of the same method of procrastination, however mundane the substituted task may be. Seemingly out of nowhere, when a deadline looms, the dishes need to be washed, bathroom cleaned, laundry done, shelves reorganized, garbage taken out, and a multitude of projects on my less-important to-do lists all seem to jump to the front of my mind.

I brought this up to a good friend the other day, and we compared notes–it was her opinion that we often let some of these tasks accrue over time, for the sole purpose of having things to distract us when we feel the need to procrastinate. I think I might agree with her, subconsiously of course, but it makes me curious: what do you do to distract yourself when the pressure builds? Or are you the type who doesn’t let themselves get off-track?

Come now, be honest: drop your distractions in the comments, if you don’t have anything more pressing to do first…



Preparing for the Storm

Tuesday, August 29th, 2006

Update: Thankfully, Ernesto turned out to be a non-issue, and provided nothing more than some wind and rain (the wind is still blowing today, but nothing too severe down here).

As Hurricane Ernesto continues to bear down on the coasts of Florida, I’m working on getting as much work and writing done before the power goes out as I can. The storm isn’t major on the scale at the moment, and isn’t likely to strengthen before making landfall tonight, but the winds will still be strong enough to do some damage (and projectiles abound in South Florida).

Rather than post updates about the storm, I’ll just point you to Dan Benjamin’s WeatherDan, where he’s keeping watch on Ernesto, and any other storms that come our way this season. Oh yeah, and I threw together the logo for him as well.

Thanks to all of you who have sent well-wishes so far, I’m sure we’ll all be safe, but it never hurts to keep us in your thoughts (that includes Scrivs: he’s in Florida too…)

See you on the other side… of the storm, that is.



Dvorak’s Cry For Help

Monday, August 7th, 2006

Writing has a way of cutting you off from the outside world. At least, that’s what I’ve experienced these last few weeks as I’ve been digging into my latest project for Apress, so I can understand (at least to a degree) how it is possible for such a prolific author as John C. Dvorak to not have heard of the many available resources for learning Cascading Style Sheets, thus resulting in his recent frustration with CSS.

Now, as I myself have only become aware of Dear John’s consternation (due, of course, to my head being stuck inside a Word document — let’s not even talk about me not hearing about the whole Castro power switch, living in South Florida and all…), I felt that it is my duty as a responsible member of the CSS community to help out in some way, albeit a few days behind everyone else.

So, John: Seeing as it is purely a matter of education (or lack thereof), after consulting with Simon, Jeff, and Ian, it has been decided to provide to you, free of charge, copies of our most recent books: Beginning CSS Web Development (Simon’s new book, and which I had the pleasure of Technical Editing) and Pro CSS Techniques (by the “3 CSS Musketeers” Jeff, Ian and myself). When read in order (starting with the “beginners” book is a safe bet) these will give you all the knowledge you need to overcome your deep-seated fear and loathing of CSS.

We’ll send them to you as soon as the ink is dry, and all for the cost of sending an note to any one of us with your mailing address. We’re waiting for you, John.