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A Quick Status Update

The phonograph, also called gramophone or record player, is a device introduced in 1877 for the recording and reproduction of sound recordings. The recordings played on such a device consist of waveforms that are engraved onto a rotating cylinder or disc. As the recorded surface rotates, a playback stylus traces the waveforms and vibrates to reproduce the recorded sound waves.

The phonograph was invented in 1877 by Thomas Edison. While other inventors had produced devices that could record sounds, Edison’s phonograph was the first to be able to reproduce the recorded sound. His phonograph originally recorded sound onto a tinfoil sheet phonograph cylinder, and could both record and reproduce sounds.


Alexander Graham Bell’s Volta Laboratory made several improvements in the 1880s, including the use of wax-coated cardboard cylinders, and a cutting stylus that moved from side to side in a “zig zag” pattern across the record.

In the 1890s, Emile Berliner initiated the transition from phonograph cylinders to flat discs with a spiral groove running from the periphery to near the center. Other improvements were made throughout the years, including modifications to the turntable and its drive system, the stylus or needle, and the sound and equalization systems.

As the recorded surface rotates, a playback stylus traces the waveforms and vibrates to reproduce the recorded sound waves.

Several inventors devised machines to record sound prior to Thomas Edison’s phonograph, Edison being the first to produce a device that could both record and reproduce sound. The phonograph’s predecessors include Édouard-Léon Scott de Martinville’s phonautograph, and Charles Cros’s paleophone.

Free Notebook Photos

Several months ago, I ran into a Kickstarter page for Baron Fig notebooks. I was immediately struck by the aesthetic and simplicity that the notebook promised. Although I foolishly didn’t back Baron Fig at the time, I was delighted to see they recently started shipping.

Fast forward to today, when I finally received a few of these notebooks in the mail. The build quality and paper are top-notch, and provide a great writing experience. I couldn’t help but take a few photos of these beautiful notebooks.

Feel free to use these photos on any of your projects, commercial, personal or otherwise. They could make great Featured Images for your WordPress posts and pages, which is hopefully powered by an Array theme. If not, well, you should fix that immediately.

Revisiting Dieter Rams 10 Principles of Design

Rams began studies in architecture and interior decoration at Wiesbaden School of Art in 1947. Soon after in 1948, he took a break from studying to gain practical experience and conclude his carpentry apprenticeship. He resumed studies at Wiesbaden School of Art in 1948 and graduated with honours in 1953 after which he began working for Frankfurt based architect Otto Apel. In 1955, he was recruited to Braun as an architect and an interior designer. In addition, in 1961, he became the Chief Design Officer at Braun until 1995.

Rams introduced the idea of sustainable development and of obsolescence being a crime in design in the 1970s. Accordingly he asked himself the question: is my design good design? The answer formed his now celebrated ten principles.

According to Rams, good design:

  • Is innovative – The possibilities for progression are not, by any means, exhausted. Technological development is always offering new opportunities for original designs. But imaginative design always develops in tandem with improving technology, and can never be an end in itself.
  • Makes a product useful – A product is bought to be used. It has to satisfy not only functional, but also psychological and aesthetic criteria. Good design emphasizes the usefulness of a product whilst disregarding anything that could detract from it.
  • Is aesthetic – The aesthetic quality of a product is integral to its usefulness because products are used every day and have an effect on people and their well-being. Only well-executed objects can be beautiful.
  • Makes a product understandable – It clarifies the product’s structure. Better still, it can make the product clearly express its function by making use of the user’s intuition. At best, it is self-explanatory.
  • Is unobtrusive – Products fulfilling a purpose are like tools. They are neither decorative objects nor works of art. Their design should therefore be both neutral and restrained, to leave room for the user’s self-expression.
  • Is honest – It does not make a product appear more innovative, powerful or valuable than it really is. It does not attempt to manipulate the consumer with promises that cannot be kept.
  • Is long-lasting – It avoids being fashionable and therefore never appears antiquated. Unlike fashionable design, it lasts many years – even in today’s throwaway society.
  • Is thorough down to the last detail – Nothing must be arbitrary or left to chance. Care and accuracy in the design process show respect towards the consumer.
  • Is environmentally friendly – Design makes an important contribution to the preservation of the environment. It conserves resources and minimizes physical and visual pollution throughout the lifecycle of the product.
  • Is as little design as possible – Less, but better – because it concentrates on the essential aspects, and the products are not burdened with non-essentials. Back to purity, back to simplicity.

Crafting Quality UX

Philosophy of design is the study of assumptions, foundations, and implications of design. The field is defined by an interest in a set of problems, or an interest in central or foundational concerns in design. In addition to these central problems for design as a whole, many philosophers of design consider these problems as they apply to particular disciplines (e.g. philosophy of art).

The History

The field needs more depth, in a sense graphic design needs to find itself, all while evolving at the same time. It’s debatable how the background of graphic design needs to be shared. There’s the discussion of different designers, and their notable works. Portrayals of how the physical art has changed and been inspired by past all while embracing the future.

Graphic Design as a field is young. There is not enough information about how it came to be. There is subtle information about society accepting messages being put in front of them. There’s not enough information given to design students about where the concept for graphic design comes from, or at least an understanding about the original forms of communications that used more than words, or why typography has such a large impact.


Herman Miller’s Design Philosophy

In the 1948 Herman Miller sales catalog, George Nelson laid out his view of the company’s design philosophy. These five simple statements echoed the education that Gilbert Rohde had provided for the company in the preceding decades.

  1. What you make is important.
  2. Design is an integral part of the business.
  3. The product must be honest.
  4. You decide what you will make.
  5. There is a market for good design.

This simple set of statements has defined a company’s product philosophy for many, many years. It’s no coincidence that Herman Miller has remained a contemporary, sustainable, design-driven business.

Getting Down and Dirty With CSS Selectors

Cascading Style Sheets (CSS) is a style sheet language used for describing the presentation semantics (the look and formatting) of a document written in a markup language. Its most common application is to style web pages written in HTML and XHTML, but the language can also be applied to any kind of XML document, including plain XML, SVG and XUL.

CSS is designed primarily to enable the separation of document content from document presentation.

CSS is designed primarily to enable the separation of document content (written in HTML or a similar markup language) from document presentation, including elements such as the layout, colors, and fonts. This separation can improve content accessibility, provide more flexibility and control in the specification of presentation characteristics, enable multiple pages to share formatting, and reduce complexity and repetition in the structural content (such as by allowing for tableless web design).

.post code {
	background: #90979F;
	color: #fff;
	padding: 40px;

CSS can also allow the same markup page to be presented in different styles for different rendering methods, such as on-screen, in print, by voice (when read out by a speech-based browser or screen reader) and on Braille-based, tactile devices. This separation can improve content accessibility, provide more flexibility and control in the specification of presentation characteristics, enable multiple pages to share formatting, and reduce complexity and repetition in the structural content (such as by allowing for tableless web design).

.post pre {
	background: #F9F9F9;
	font-family: "Courier 10 Pitch", Courier, monospace;
	font-size: 15px;
	line-height: 1.6;
	margin-bottom: 1.6em;

Using Typekit To Step Up Your Web Typography

In traditional typography, a font is a particular size, weight and style of a typeface. Each font was a matched set of metal type, one piece (called a “sort”) for each glyph, and a typeface comprised a range of fonts that shared an overall design.

In modern usage, with the advent of digital typography, font is frequently synonymous with typeface. In particular, the use of “vector” or “outline” fonts means that different sizes of a typeface can be dynamically generated from one design.

Font Characteristics

In addition to the character height, when using the mechanical sense of the term, there are several characteristics which may distinguish fonts, though they would also depend on the script(s) that the typeface supports. In European alphabetic scripts, i.e. Latin, Cyrillic and Greek, the main such properties are the stroke width, called weight, the style or angle and the character width.

Different fonts of the same typeface may be used in the same work for various degrees of readability and emphasis.

The regular or standard font is sometimes labeled roman, both to distinguish it from bold or thin and from italic or oblique. The keyword for the default, regular case is often omitted for variants and never repeated, otherwise it would be Bulmer regular italic, Bulmer bold regular and even Bulmer regular regular. Roman can also refer to the language coverage of a font, acting as a shorthand for “Western European.”

Time Travel and You: A Beginner’s Guide

Time travel is the concept of moving between different points in time in a manner analogous to moving between different points in space. Time travel could hypothetically involve moving backward in time to a moment earlier than the starting point, or forward to the future of that point without the need for the traveler to experience the intervening period (at least not at the normal rate). Any technological device – whether fictional, hypothetical or actual – that would be used to achieve time travel is commonly known as a time machine.

Time Travel Methods

In technical papers, physicists generally avoid the commonplace language of “moving” or “traveling” through time, and instead discuss the possibility of closed timelike curves, which are worldlines that form closed loops in spacetime, allowing objects to return to their own past. There are known to be solutions to the equations of general relativity that describe spacetimes which contain closed timelike curves (such as Gödel spacetime), but the physical plausibility of these solutions is uncertain.

The Speed of Light

If one were able to move information or matter from one point to another faster than light, then according to the theory of relativity, there would be some inertial frame of reference in which the signal or object was moving backward in time. This is a consequence of the relativity of simultaneity in special relativity, which says that in some cases different reference frames will disagree on whether two events at different locations happened “at the same time” or not, and they can also disagree on the order of the two events.

This is a consequence of the relativity of simultaneity in special relativity.


Wormholes are a hypothetical warped spacetime which are also permitted by the Einstein field equations of general relativity, although it would be impossible to travel through a wormhole unless it were what is known as a traversable wormhole.

A proposed time-travel machine using a traversable wormhole would (hypothetically) work in the following way: One end of the wormhole is accelerated to some significant fraction of the speed of light, perhaps with some advanced propulsion system, and then brought back to the point of origin.

Alternatively, another way is to take one entrance of the wormhole and move it to within the gravitational field of an object that has higher gravity than the other entrance, and then return it to a position near the other entrance.