Manipulating text with BBEdit
But the other thing I use BBEdit for is a bit more esoteric and hard to describe—something I call “text munging”, for lack of a better word.
Text munging takes many forms, but generally it happens when you’ve got a bunch of text in one format and you need to get it into a different format. I’ve used BBEdit to transform the source pages of websites, to format a mailing list properly, and more. Today I used it to generate a podcast feed out of a chunk of HTML.
BBEdit has been my go-to text editor, notepad, and “text munger” since I started using a Mac as my primary computer, I think around 2001-2002.
I depend on it many times daily, and similar to Snell, just last week used BBEdit to migrate blog posts from a broken Movable Type installation by transforming its static HTML files into XML for importing to WordPress.
Related reading: learning regex via BBEdit.
David Bazan’s first album as Pedro the Lion since 2004. It’s very Bazan-y and very good.
The Shady Link Between Sunscreen and Your Health
[…] Yet vitamin D supplementation has failed spectacularly in clinical trials. Five years ago, researchers were already warning that it showed zero benefit, and the evidence has only grown stronger. In November, one of the largest and most rigorous trials of the vitamin ever conducted—in which 25,871 participants received high doses for five years—found no impact on cancer, heart disease, or stroke.
How did we get it so wrong? How could people with low vitamin D levels clearly suffer higher rates of so many diseases and yet not be helped by supplementation?
As it turns out, a rogue band of researchers has had an explanation all along. And if they’re right, it means that once again we have been epically misled.
These rebels argue that what made the people with high vitamin D levels so healthy was not the vitamin itself. That was just a marker. Their vitamin D levels were high because they were getting plenty of exposure to the thing that was really responsible for their good health—that big orange ball shining down from above.
In the Shadow of the CMS
How content-management systems will shape the future of media businesses big and small.
3000 words on content management systems? 😍
A colleague recently sent me this poem, by David Whyte, as a way of encouraging a new perspective. It helped.
When your eyes are tired
the world is tired also.
When your vision has gone,
no part of the world can find you.
Time to go into the dark
where the night has eyes
to recognize its own.
There you can be sure
you are not beyond love.
The dark will be your home
The night will give you a horizon
further than you can see.
You must learn one thing.
The world was made to be free in.
Give up all the other worlds
except the one to which you belong.
Sometimes it takes darkness and the sweet
confinement of your aloneness
anything or anyone
that does not bring you alive
is too small for you.
“Sweet Darkness” by David Whyte by On Being Studios is licensed under a Creative Commons License.
You Should Meditate Every Day
The best way I can describe the effect is to liken it to a software upgrade for my brain — an update designed to guard against the terrible way the online world takes over your time and your mind.
I started meditating for 5-10 minutes per day around October of last year (inspired by a talk from Dan Harris), and while I’ve faltered a little along the way, I do feel better when it’s part of my daily routine. I had been put off by the apparent spirituality of meditation, but Dan’s talk helped me understand that I can enjoy the benefits of practicing mindfulness without the spiritual…baggage.
If you’re looking for mindfulness app recommendations, check out Oak—it’s simple to use and free; a good place to start.
2PM is a weekly email newsletter (and WordPress site)—addressed “to polymaths” (abbreviated to 2PM) interested in digital commerce—by Web Smith. It’s one of the few newsletters that I subscribe to and actually read every week.
Check out the most recent edition as a preview. Recommended!
Some highlights of critters in the backyard, from our first year+ at the “new” house:
Six years ago I made a little utility to right-click a phone number on my computer and dial it using Skype. I’ve used this daily for years, but it broke recently with Skype’s redesign.
I don’t otherwise have a reason to use Skype regularly these days, and ever since Apple introduced the ability to make phone calls from macOS via FaceTime (and your iPhone), I’ve been meaning to explore using that instead anyway.
FaceTime supports the
tel protocol, so adapting my AppleScript to use that was easy.
You can download it here. Double-clicking the file should open Automator and prompt you to install it (or install manually by putting the file in
Now you should be able to right-click any phone number (including international formats) in most applications and “Call with iPhone” using FaceTime (it does make a “real” phone call, not FaceTime or FaceTime Audio). If an application other than FaceTime launches, you probably need to go to
FaceTime > Preferences and set FaceTime as the “Default for calls”.