leflings.dk home of Niels Flemming S. Madsen

33 amazing photographies taken from the ISS →

Astronaut Andre Kuipers took these while doing research on the International Space Station. Earth continues to humble me when put into perspective. Simply stunning.

Star Wars concept artwork by Ralph McQuarrie →

I have always thought, without knowing it, that the mastermind behind Star Wars’ concept art was George Lucas. Only recently have I learned that this isn’t the situation at all, actually far from it. Sadly I learned about this because the actual artist behind it, Ralph McQuarrie, has died.

I was overwhelmed by how many of the scenes I remember from the movies are more or less completely based on the works of Ralph McQuarrie

National Geographic Photo Contest 2011 →

Beatiful.

Metropolis – A New York City Timelapse →

New York City has been my home for seven years and as a filmmaker and photographer I can’t help but be in awe of the vibrancy and beauty of this place . I wanted to create a work that captures and conveys my love for it. This video is something that I have been working to create for two and a half years. As a freelancer, I shot this film in the little windows of time between work, looking for my next job, and getting engaged and married. I’ve shown some of these shots to friends along the way, but this single, unified piece has always been the focus of my filming and I’m very happy to present it now.

Breathtaking timelapses, great soundtrack and New York City’s skyline. This is simply amazing.

The Electoral College →

The blog kept by C. G. P. Grey is actually more a collection of videos than anything else. The one linked here explains “the electoral college” which has a rather worrying influence on presidential elections in the USA. As with all of his videos, it’s presented with speed, precision and focus while you are being entertained by his animations and illustrations. If the particular subject of the video linked doesn’t interest you, I’d encourage you to check out the other videos on his blog. I’m sure you will find at least one that’s of interest to you.

Neil deGrasse Tyson – My Favourite Universe →

My Favourite Universe is a series of 12 lectures on the universe by astrophysicist and educator Neil deGrasse Tyson on topics ranging from Being Round to Black Holes. I’m impressed by how accessible Tyson manages to make these topics, while keeping you entertained and interested.

It’s alive

No kidding. It’s really alive. It may have been abandoned and forgotten in the corner, but it’s been here all along, waiting for me to turn my attention to it again. Well honey, I’m back! Let’s see what will happen this time around. I feel like having a personal outlet again. A lot has happened in my life since this blog was last used.

First of all I’ve moved to Copenhagen, the capital of Denmark. I’m really excited to be living here.

Secondly I’ve started my new education at DTU, the Technical University of Denmark. I’m studying to become a Bachelor of Engineering in IT. That’s not really descriptive of what the education involves. Mostly, it’s software development with a few dozes of embedding programming. As it is a engineering degree, there is also a good portion of mathematical courses. While this wasn’t my first priority education (actually, it wasn’t really one at all), I’m really enjoying it. I will probably write something about it in a later post.

Thirdly, and not really of same importance but still a game changer, I’m now an over-joyous owner of a 13-inch Macbook Air. It’s definitely the best computer I’ve ever owned. And with it also follows the impressively good Mac OS X and the ecosystem it cultivates. Needless to say I’m extremely happy with this.

Vimium – keyboard based browsing in Chrome →

These last 2 days I’ve been using the Vimium extension for Chrome, which in short is keyboard based browsing in the Chrome browser. The easiest way to introduce it beyond that, would be to watch the 2 minute instructional vidoe on their page.

I’ve never used Vi(m) for programming or hacking of any sort, but even so I feel comfortable using the extension after only 2 days of use. It does a surprisingly good job of removing alot of the need for a mouse, I’d say upwards of 90% for “normal” browsing of webpages, blogs etc. The interface for clicking links is really neat and it’s very quick to get the hang of. I’ve remapped two keys, k and j, to scroll half a page up and down, instead of just scrolling a short amount (the default value is 60px, but this is editable in the options, so you can work around it either way).

Obviously it’s not suited for everything you do in a browser and it isn’t flawless, but all in all I find it very useful. Options allow for “blacklisting” of pages for which you want Vimium disabled, like Gmail where you’re better of using the existing shortcuts provided by Gmail.

Trunk.ly – bookmarking service →

After Yahoo’s announcement to discontinue del.icio.us there’s been a spur of new bookmarking services and new, increased activity from existing services. I’ve been unsure what to settle with and have tried a number of services like Diigo, Zootool and Pearltrees. I was only looking for a simple bookmarking tool with little-to-no friction. Zootool was too visual and extensive for my liking. Pearltrees was too bloated (and entirely too flash dependent).

Enter Trunk.ly. It’s simple, straightforward and offers just what I need. Using this extension for Chrome my process for adding a bookmark looks like this: 1) Press Trunk.ly icon 2) Enter optional tags and description 3) Save. Done. That’s it.

gdipp – Seriously, if you’re on Windows: Get this! →

Here’s why:

Comparison between Windows ClearType font rendering and gdipp

The one of the left is this page rendered in Chrome on Windows with gdipp installed and the one on the right is this page rendered in Chrome on Windows with its’ standard rendering.

Official Hello World

Hello World

I thought it proper to officially welcome you to my new blog. As of writing, the blog is less than 24 hours old.

The blog has been born out of my re-emerging interest for design and development of webpages. Along with my long running passion for computers and the internet in general, it will serve as a personal outlet for things that I find interesting, have an opinion about or dare to lecture about. I have no expectation of generating a large reader base and I will be writing for my own pleasure.

I’ve long hesitated starting a blog, not sure what it will contain or where it will lead. In line with my usual approach to challenges, I’ve finally decided to plunge in at the deep end and just do it. This means there’s no guarantees for any specific focus, frequency or quality. This also means that you have a unique opportunity to follow, as I will try my best to ensure quality content at a somewhat high frequency and with a hopefully diverse, but interesting, focus. Some of my hopes among many with this blog is to improve my writing and to get more involved in communities I’ve long been following.

As stated the blog currently has no specific focus and is unlikely to ever get one, as I don’t want to confine myself to certain areas. I do however, have a general idea about what type of content I will be posting. You can expect to find links, opinions and articles about stuff I find interesting, helpful, important, funny or just plain awesome.

Ricky Gervais at the Golden Globe →

This is pure brilliant. Ricky Gervais shocked everyone as host of this years Golden Globe Awards. As a side note: if you haven’t seen the British version of The Office – do it!

Fixing the RSS Feed

As described by Justin Blanton, the default RSS feed generated by WordPress isn’t suited for sharing links.

I wanted to implement this change myself, trying first to solve it with my own modifications, but after a couple of hours with unsuccesful attempts, due mostly to not understanding basic RSS, I decided to cave in and solve it with a plugin. For this purpose, the DF-style Linked List plugin solved the problem without any hassle. Its’ configuration server just the right amount of options to suit my needs.

Subsequently I changed the default feed to use Feedburner for its obvious qualities.

Undercity – urban exploring with Steve Duncan →

I’m a big fan of urban exploring. This video with Steve Duncan (filmed by Andrew Wonder) takes us on a tour in underground NYC. The places you see and the people you meet doing this kind of thing is just unmatched.

Dropquest 2011

Last night I took part in the first edition of Dropquest, a scavenger hunt hosted by Dropbox. It consisted of several steps, each one providing interesting, funny, quirky and difficult puzzles to solve in order to get to the next step. The organizers offered some neat prizes for the fastest ones, mostly consisting of extra space for your dropbox.

I managed to finish 1110th in 2 hours, 19 minutes and 14 seconds. Falling just short of the top 50, and therefore no grand prizes for me, I was lucky enough to accumulate 1 GB of extra, free space for my dropbox. Yay, go me! The hunt in itself was awesome, and I hope to see more of this kind of stuff in the future. Seeing it from someone other than Dropbox would be neat.

Detroit in ruins →

Amazing collection of photos from an abandoned Detroit.

“Designing URLs for Humans” by Ian Hines →

Ian wrote about, and implemented, what he calls human-friendly URLs.

Pre­vi­ously I had used the /year/month/slug pat­tern typ­i­cal of many Word­Press blogs, i.e. http://​ian​hin​.es/​2​0​1​0​/​1​2​/​d​e​s​i​g​n​i​n​g​-​u​r​l​s​-​f​o​r​-​h​u​m​ans. This is the same pat­tern used by the likes of Shawn Blanc, Ben Brooks, and, John Gru­ber (although Gru­ber uses Mov­able Type, not Word­Press).

But, if you think about it, these URLs really beg the ques­tions: why do I care what year and month the entry was pub­lished in? Does it really mat­ter? The answer is no, it doesn’t. At least not to me.

I copied this idea of his, as frankly, I too find it a bit redundant the way WP normally creates permalinks.