Did You Hear That?! – 3

Have you had an urge to share something with the world but it’s too big for a Facebook update or a tweet and too small or insignificant for a blog post of its own? I do! And this – the Did You Hear That?! series – is my answer to that urge; collect all those tid-bits and put them in a post. Ingenious, no? :P *Pats Self*

Greetings! :)

11. WordPress & China

This month, I resumed posting here on MAdo frequently, because I find myself between jobs again (which statistically is the most productive time for me as a blogger :P). That last happened about two years ago. At that time, WordPress had just released a fascinating section on the stats dashboard:Views by Country. As I was reviewing this section after around two years, I found it quite unbelievable that MAdo does not have a single view from the world’s most populous country, both in the physical world and on the internet: China

Top Views by Country for all days ending 25 November 2014 (Summarized, Since 25 February 2012)
Top Views by Country for all days ending 25 November 2014 (Summarized, Since 25 February 2012)

From google search results, I learnt that WordPress was blocked in China. I was surprised, although I was aware of the country’s strict internet monitoring policy; I wasn’t aware of the extent of this control. Other notable websites that are banned include Gmail, Facebook, Twitter and YouTube, which I find rather amusing on a personal level because my bookmarks bar looks exactly like this:

My Bookmarks Bar

I also found out that this particular Wikipedia page is one of several blocked in China. I do not have the slightest inkling why! Any theories? Further reading: Wikipedia list of keywords China finds undesirable and Wikipedia pages blocked in China.

12. Commuting & Life Satisfaction

Recently, I came across a February 2014 study linking life satisfaction and commute time. You can read a detailed report here and a tl;dr version with a crappy headline here.

The study analysed personal wellbeing using four measures: life-satisfaction, to what extent the respondent felt the things they did in life were worthwhile, whether the commuters were happy and whether they were anxious.

My daily commute time, both ways, in 2011, 2012, 2013-14 were about 15, 03, and 30 minutes respectively. The key findings of the study almost indicate that no one is happy. :P All subjects were UK residents, so unless the transport infrastructure is identical, the results may not be directly applicable to your country.

When reading this, my train of thought (hehe) had me thinking about one of the parameters, to what extent the respondent felt the things they did in life were worthwhile, and being between jobs. Despite the assurance of immediate employment and despite the break being voluntary and something I felt I deserved, somewhere in my head, being worthwhile is somehow connected to having a full-time job and by extension a regular source of income. But, without sounding too philosophical, are we designed psychologically to feel that way? Is what I do who I am? Hmmm. May be when I am wise enough with more life experiences, I can write a post on that :)

13. HelloSign

One of the options I am exploring now is freelancing, and working in a freelance-friendly field, I received contracts from two firms within a week of my first email. Apart from zero commute, something I find appealing and optimistic about widespread application even beyond freelancing and into a regular office is a zero-paper approach. When I received my first contract, I had to return a signed copy. My search to avoid printing and the subsequent scanning led me to HelloSign. Their website actually quotes this (and I do not disagree to a large, large extent):

HelloSign is the single greatest invention in the history of the internet ~ Seth Leighton Executive Director, envoys.com

HelloSign allows you to sign documents electronically with so much ease that it now for me so much easier (a click) to sign using HelloSign than by actually using my hand! It integrates with your email (at least Gmail), so you can sign documents without the need to exit your inbox. Their basic, charge-free service allows three signatures a month, which is reasonable for most regular people.

The second contract soon arrived; it was much more detailed and required around 24 instances of signatures (!). This firm was a commercial user of HelloSign, so I could read and sign the contract without leaving my inbox. Pretty cool, na. You get to keep a copy of the contract too, of course.

So next time you need to download-print-scan-upload, may be you can just use HelloSign :)

14. HPANA is back!

Did you hear that?! Did you hear that?! Did you hear that?! xD

Hehe, that was the Harry Potter fan boy in me. If you know what HPANA is, high five, yay! If not, ah never mind, its too late :P HPANA is to some Harry Potter fans what _______ is to _________ (I really tried a lot to connect to some of the contemporary popular cultural and literary trends and come up with something to fill in the blanks. Argh. Please feel free to fill them up, haha).

15. 2015 Calendar

If you were one of the three people reading my blog back in 2011, one of which was me (:P), you would know that I made a 2012 calendar featuring my friends. I wanted to create something similar for 2013 and 2014, but I did not have the creative space and time. I feel happy and nice to announce that I have now begun work on the 2015 version. I have emailed my closest friends for permission to use their images. I plan to print it as table calendar, those Much Ado About Nothing Logotrinagular kinds. The featured image (top) is the cover. Here’s a sneak peak at the current draft version of one of the months. The left and right panels will be the front and back for January. Yay for being between jobs :P

Jan

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