Flood and Ark by Stephen Baxter

I seem to have read a lot of apocalyptic literature recently. After finishing The Year of the Flood by Margaret Atwood (highly recommended), I continued on the same theme with Stephen Baxter’s sci-fi novels Flood and Ark.

Being a big fan of Arthur C. Clarke, I became acquainted with Baxter’s writing though his collaboration with Clarke in Light of Other Days and the Time Odyssey trilogy. This was the first time I’ve read any of his own work though.

Flood describes mankind’s struggle to survive in an imaginary near future, where the oceans of the world start rising at an exponential pace. When available land starts to run out, things get interesting as people and nations develop different coping strategies. Or in some cases, don’t. A good read, although obviously at times just a bit depressing.

As you probably guessed, Ark is the sequel to Flood. A story about a desperate effort to send the remnants of humankind into space, it’s not as coherent as Flood. If you can look past the US manage to scrape together a mission to Jupiter and invent a warp drive in the middle of a civil war in a world with vastly depleted resources, it’s a fun and mostly believable read. Then again, necessity is the mother of all inventions, so why not.
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New Job!

On Monday I became the third employee of H1, a small, family owned web agency based in Helsinki, Finland. Aki and his wife Jaana are both very experienced web professionals, and I’m proud to be working with them. Looking forward to an interesting time!

On Pragmatic Responsive Design

Responsive design shouldn’t be just about checking screen width and removing stuff on mobile devices, even though this is what it often amounts to. I also admit to doing this myself. Designing with a mobile first approach is sensible, but we run into problems with the typical wireframes/photoshop/html pixel-perfect workflow.

Stephanie Rieger made this excellent presentation on pragmatic responsive design with lots of good points.

You should check out her other presentations too.

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Simplify permalinks for better SEO

The latest WordPress 3.3 includes a fix that removes the performance problems related to using just /%postname%/ as your permalink structure without any prefixing dates/numbers. According to Joost de Valk, using dates in URL’s can result in poor click-through-rate, so I thought I’d go ahead and make the switch.

Check out the instructions on Joost’s blog. He also has a nifty tool for generating the necessary .htaccess redirects.