Two Days of Data Visualization: OpenVisConf 2013

This was one of the best conferences I’ve been to in a while. Two days of insightful talks by people who do data visualization from across the field and disciplines. The speakers included interactive designers from news media, data scientists, visualization engineers and web developers. Each shared expertise and experience from his/her unique perspective. I loved the diversity in the speakers. Two themes prevail in the conference: mobile is the next big thing (surprise, surprise), and D3.js (get on it).

SASS and LESS Mixins: CSS3 Buttons

SASS and LESS Mixins: CSS3 Buttons

There are many reasons to use css pre-processors languages like SASS and LESS. My top reasons would be for mixins and color functions. Mixins are extremely useful when you need to create faux-functions that can be reused and provide customization. Color functions are used to generate new color values based on parameters you provide. e.g. lighten by 10%. One of my most frequent needs for mixins is to create designs in CSS3, such as buttons. Because this requires a slew of attributes, including browser specific ones. This post shows examples of both SASS and LESS mixins to create CSS3 buttons.

OpenStates PHP Plugin

This PHP plugin is to fetch, parse and display data from Sunglight’s OpenStates API. I decided to create it after digging into the API for a project on anti-Common Core bills. So that I could quickly spin up more state legislature data projects in the future. This plugin is a work in progress. Currently (beta 1.1) only supports the API’s bill search and bill lookup methods.

Making Gravlax

Making Gravlax

Generally, Gravlax is made by covering a piece of filet salmon with equal parts of sugar and salt, fresh dill. Then freezing it over some hours to cure it. Of all the recipes that I’ve seen, the main difference really is in how long and when to freeze the fish.

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