Santa Claus

I had to share this.

I’ve just had what is perhaps one of the greatest conversations in my life. It was with my five year old son; on the subject of the existance of Santa Claus. My ex-girlfriend told my son that Santa Claus is real. And to overcome my previous denial of the claim she spiced it up with some stories based on her “personal experience.” I will not attempt to spice up or attempt to alter the conversation with my son in any way.

Son: Santa Claus is real.
Me: No. He is pretend.
Son: No. I went to sleep and when I woke up there was candy in my baby socks.
Me: I’m pretty sure that was put there by your mother or your grandparents.
Son: Mom said she heard Santa come in at night. I was asleep, grandma and grandpa was asleep, everyone was asleep, so they couldn’t put the candy in there.
Me: Well “everyone” wasn’t asleep. Your mom was awake. What’s more likely? Your mom or your grandparents put the candy in the sock or a magical being did it?
Son: Santa Claus. You can hear stuff when you’re asleep.

I laugh.

Me: True; you can hear things when you’re asleep; but to know you heard something you must be awake. Your mom knows she heard Santa Claus – so she was awake.
Son: Santa is real. He is not pretend.
Me: He is pretend. Like your doggy and blanky. But that doesn’t mean you can’t have fun with Santa. Like you do with blanky and doggy.

At this point I’m thinking I need to grab my phone and Youtube this. But I didn’t want to break the flow.

Son: Santa is real and he’s one hundred and fifty.
Me: One hundred and fifty.
Son: Yes. One hundred and fifty years old.

This is where I got him. We had been talking about human life span earlier in the night. I had told him that the oldest a person has lived was one hundred and twenty five years old.

Me: You said Santa is a hundred and fifty years old? Real people don’t live to be a hundred and fifty years old. If Santa is a hundred and fifty years old he can’t be real. If he is a hundred and fifty he’s pretend.

He smiles. He knows he’s messed up and I am a proud father because I am watching my son reason his way through this conversation.

Son: No. “I” think he’s a hundred and fifty years old.
Me: Yes! If you believe he’s a hundred and fifty then he’s pretend because real people don’t live to be a hundred and fifty.

He laughs. Pause.

Son: “I” think he’s a hundred and fifty years old.

The next step is the obvious step; Google.

Me: You know there is a real person that Santa Claus is based on.

He looks at me puzzled.

Son: No.
Me: Yes. Saint Nicholas.
Son: A real person became a pretend person?
Me: Yes. He was a real person but he died a long time ago.
Son: How come?
Me: He got old and died.
Son: Why?
Me: People get old and they die.
Son: When you die can I make you pretend?
Me: Yes. You can tell your kids and grandkids about me.

I laugh. We Google. And find that Santa stopped counting his birthdays after five hundred and fifty.

Me: See, he must be pretend, no person can live to be five hundred and fifty.

Pause.

Son: He’s pretend.

It was an awsome conversation. I think he accepted losing the argument – but I’m pretty sure he still believes in Santa Claus. It’s too good a story to let go.

Why are Puppies Sexist?

A new study shows; yes I know – people believe anything if you start of with “A new study shows.” But this one is not so far fetched. So I’ll buy it. A new study shows that young male dogs are sexist. That’s how I read it anyway. What the researchers said was more like:

“Young male dogs playing with female pups will often let the females win, even if the males have a physical advantage.”

In Puppy Play, It’s Ladies First

Meteor Node.js Development

I’ve been playing around with Meteor for about two weeks now.  I enjoy the framework a lot.  Although it has the great feature of allowing you to deploying to their server, which is great for initial testing and understanding the framework, I needed to get code running on my own server.

I followed the directions for Running on Your Own Infrastructure; but I got stuck here:

PORT=3000 MONGO_URL=mongodb://localhost:27017/myapp node bundle/main.js.

This is where all the errors began to pop up.

After doing the following I got the bundled code to run on my server:

  1. meteor bundle app.tgz
  2. tar -zxvf app.tgz
  3. cd /bundle
  4. npm install fibers //make sure you’re running node.0.6 or higher
  5. set env variable for mongodb:
    export MONGO_URL=’mongodb://user:password@host:port/databasename’
  6. PORT:8080 node main.js //because 80(the default) was not free
    default port number can be edited in “server/server.js” -> “var port”

If you see this error:

events.js:48
throw arguments[1]; // Unhandled 'error' event

It may mean the port you’ve selected is busy. To free up the port, try the following:

Type in the command line:

kill -9 `lsof -n -P -i :8080` //where '8080' is the port you want to kill

 

How to Get Spotify on Kindle Fire

  1. Make sure you have already enabled the ability to install applications outside of the Amazon AppStore, also called “sideloading.” You can adjust this setting by going to:
    Settings > More > Device > Allow Installation of Applications (From Unknown Sources): On
  2. Open a Web browser on your Kindle Fire and go to http://m.spotify.com/int/?group=android.
  3. Chances are Spotify won’t detect the Fire as a supported device. If it doesn’t, you’ll see this screen; just tap the manually select your device link if you do:

CONTINUE  … http://bit.ly/uInyjC

I Can’t figure out how to pause a song yet though.

Recording a Google Hangout for a Podcast with SoundFlower, LineIn, and GarageBand

google hangoutI decided to use Google Plus’ Hangout for the National Dialectics podcast I’m starting up this week. I have some out of state and out of country friends I wanted to take part in the podcast, so I decided to use Google Hangout.  I’ve used it before and had a good experience. Hangout would also allows for people to “call into” the show or just watch a live recording.

That being said, I had to figure out how to get the Hangout recorded. I found a great tutorial here. It explains how to record a Skype call using GarageBand, LineIn, and SoundFlower. I replaced Skype with Google Hangout and all worked out well. Below are the directions for using Google Plus Hangout, GarageBand, LineIn, and SoundFlower to record a podcast.

From Digital Media Cookbook – modified for Hangout.

What You’ll Neeed

  1. Start by going into the System Preferences (Apple Menu>SystemPreferences…) Click on the Sound icon. On the Sound Input tab, select the input you are recording with. On the Sound Output tab select “Soundflower (2ch)

    audio preferences

    audio preferences

  2. Log into your Google Plus account and click on the “Start a hangout” button (lower right hand side of the page).  Click “Settings” in the hangout window. Change the “Speakers” dropdown to “Soundflower (2ch). Save.

    google hangout

    google hangout

  3. Open up the Garageband program and choose the Preferences (GarageBand>Preferences). Click the Audio/MIDI icon. Choose the audio output that you wish to hear the GarageBand output from. The Input should be set to SoundFlower (2ch)

    garageband

    garageband

  4. Finally open up the LineIn program. In the Input from field select the microphone you are using. In the Ouput to field select “Soundflower (2ch)” and then make sure to click the Pass Thru button.

    lineIn

    lineIn

  5. You are now ready to record in GarageBand. Start a new Podcast project.
  6. A Podcast Track, a Male Voice track, A Female Voice track and a Jingles track. You will record from your microphone and the Google Hangout chat on the Male Voice track. Be sure to turn on the (audio) Monitor in the Track Info area of GarageBand.

    garageband-screen

    garageband-screen

  7. If you have all of the above settings correctly set, you should see the audio level indicators move when you speak into the microphone AND when people on Hangout are talking. If that is the case then you just need to click the record button in GarageBand, and then begin your “show”.

Thanks to Digital Media Cookbook for the tutorial.

Enjoy.

Facebook Credits

Effective July 1, 2011 The Facebook Platform will require social game developers to process all payments through Facebook Credits, as announced in January. To prepare for your players and business, FB recommends migrating to Facebook Credits.

See:

 

Less Css Escape progid:DXImageTransform

This will allow you to add “.less” parameters to progid:DXImageTransform:

filter:e(“progid:DXImageTransform.Microsoft.gradient(startColorStr=’”)@from e(“‘,EndColorStr=’”)@to e(“‘,GradientType=0)”);

For horizontal gradient:
filter:e(“progid:DXImageTransform.Microsoft.gradient(startColorStr=’”)@from e(“‘,EndColorStr=’”)@to e(“‘,GradientType=1)”);

 

WordPress Lifestyle Theme – Options Not Working

While helping a friend with his WordPress site, I ran into an issue with Studiopress’ Lifestyle theme – I couldn’t update the “theme options”. I did find the fix after almost an hour of searching the Google.

In the “Tools” folder in the “Theme’s” folder change:

PHP Code:
$settings = ‘theme_mods_’.get_current_theme(); // do not change!

to

$settings = ‘theme_mods_lifestyle_40′; // do not change!

Creating a Test User for Facebook

 

 

To create a test user for fb, just follow these steps:

Get your App Id from  your  fb developer page.

Get your application App Secret from your fb developer page.

Get access_token you’ll be using to create test user:

https://graph.facebook.com/oauth/access_token?

client_id=APP_ID
&client_secret=APP_SECRET
&grant_type=client_credentials

Create a test user: (a new user is created every time this url is refreshed)

https://graph.facebook.com/APP_ID/accounts/test-users?

installed=true
&permissions=read_stream
&method=post
&access_token=ACCESS_TOKEN

The response should look like this:
{
"id": "APP_ID",
"access_token": "ACCESS_TOKEN",
"login_url": "https://www.facebook.com/platform/test_account_login.php?user_id=UID&n=ibmD5XG3C4B9tmb",
"email": "vezbwir_zharambesteinwitzskybergmxn\u0041tfbnw.net",
"password": "561622244"
}

Use url to login, do not use login form. Test user will be deleted after logout, you’ll need to create a new user after logout.

More information >>

Finding Facebook

Facebook is always moving their UI elements around, whack-a-mole 2.0.  On this weeks episode of finding Facebook, “apps.”

To manage your Facebook applications, go to:

Click Accounts -> Privacy Settings

At the bottom of the settings page, click:

“Edit your settings” – under “Apps and Websites”