Things I've actually tried that actually work - Things I've actually tried that actually work

Yoast to WordPress Users: Add Value

WordPress plugin author, blogger, and SEO authority Joost de Valk, better known by his nom de blog, “Yoast,” gives away dozens of tips for optimizing WordPress sites in the above video, taken at a 2011 conference in London.

With a no-nonsense style, de Valk offers opinions on plugin best practices, suggests several plugins worth using, and gives coding suggestions that could improve your site. He left me with 2 major takeaways: Get your site speedy or get left in the dust, and give your visitors value or get eaten by the Google Panda. Joost de Valk’s blog is here.

An end to Facebook annoyances

Facebook Logo 300x300 An end to Facebook annoyancesRemember when the Facebook timeline was a single column, and photos didn’t appear in a “lightbox”? You probably have your own set of Facebook annoyances. Now you can fix all your Facebook annoyances for free with Social Fixer. [] Lifehacker has an article that goes into detail about how Social Fixer works. [] Added bonus: you can set Social Fixer to show which Facebook “friends” unfriended you, so you can cross them off your Christmas list.

A Mighty Wind

I may not know what I like, but I do know art, and here’s some serious art from 19th century Japan that combines earthiness with serious political commentary:

japanese scroll frame600 300x138 A Mighty Wind

If you can’t tell what’s happening here, perhaps this frame from the same scroll will make it more obvious:

he gassen 600 300x175 A Mighty Wind

Mid-19th century Japan was just beginning to open up to foreigners, and this scroll is actually a commentary on the failure of the political structure to resist foreign encroachment. Titled He-Gassen (“The Fart Battle”), it shows that neither people, nor politicans, have changed much in the ensuing decades.

More here, here, and here.

Facebook Profiles Can Predict Job Performance

Facebook Logo 150x150 Facebook Profiles Can Predict Job PerformanceHere’s another reason for recruiters to be nosing through your Facebook page: Academic studies from Northern Illinois University, the University of Evansville, and Auburn University suggest that your Facebook profile can predict on-the-job performance.

Researchers say they found a strong correlation between job performance and Facebook profiles that had previously been scored for traits like conscientiousness, agreeability, and intellectual curiosity.

If the academic studies are correct, Facebook could become a job-screening tool, actually taking away the ability to create a fake personality for interviews that doesn’t match a candidates typical behavior. 

More details at Gawker and The Wall Street Journal.

Comma, Comma, Comma, Comma, Comma, Chameleon

Damn, That’s a Tiny Chameleon. Gawker provided details on Brookesia micra, comma chameleon 298x300 Comma, Comma, Comma, Comma, Comma, Chameleonperhaps the smallest chameleons in existence. How small, you ask? Small enough to fit on a fingertip, or a match head.

The little buggers live on a small, isolated island near Madagascar. Adults grow to only about an inch in length, making them among the smallest known vertebrates.

This photo shows a juvenile. The scientists among you can learn more at online science journal Plos One.

The Greeks Must Have Had a Word For IT

This video is amazing for several reasons: An eclipse-predicting computer made out of Legos. It’s based on the Antikythera mechanism, a 2,000-year-old Greek invention that was found in an ancient shipwreck in 1901. When modern-day X-ray tomography revealed the device’s innards, scientists and engineers were able to figure out what it was.

Apparently the ancient Greek’s sophisticated knowledge of gears and computing had been lost to civilization for 2 milennia!

Nature Magazine has more details about the original Antikythera mechanism.