‘Samantha Bee Prepares to Break Up Late-Night TV’s Boys Club’

Dave Itzkoff reporting for The New York Times:

The “Full Frontal” producers used a blind submissions process to hire new writers, meaning that they did not know the names or backgrounds of the people whose material they were reading.

Ms. Miller went a further step by creating an application packet for prospective writers to show them what their submissions should look like — what formatting, margins, abbreviations and lingo to use — so that no one would be penalized for inexperience.

The work that the Full Frontal producers have put into hiring a diverse staff is worthy of praise. From what I gather, it seems this show is one-of-a-kind in that effort.

When the The Daily Show didn’t even consider Samantha, I was shocked. Don’t get me wrong, Trevor Noah has done a pretty great job, but with the tenure and track record Samantha had, the oversight is completely ridiculous.

Fortunately, she’s found a new home where she can do her thing. Come February 8th, I’ll definitely be rooting for this show.

Jeremy Keith on ‘The Force Awakens’

Yep, more Star Wars. Here’s Jeremy Keith:

Those bothered by the echoes between Star Wars and The Force Awakens are going to be really pissed off when they find out about World War One and World War Two. “Britain and America fight Germany again? Really!?” (Probably best not to even mention any of the Gulf wars).

I get the feeling though that the people who are bothered by the plot are perhaps overplaying the similarities and underplaying the differences.

Jeremy’s piece echoes a lot of my feelings on the film, and his speculations at the end are very interesting.

‘What’s new in Star Wars: The Force Awakens’

My friend and ex-boss, Matthew Eppelsheimer, wasn’t happy with all the similarities in The Force Awakens. After viewing number three, he had this to say:

After my third viewing, I started to realize that all of those familiar elements distract from what are in fact many fresh and original ideas that we’ve never seen before in a Star Wars film.

The idea that Episode VII is just a rehashing of the first three Star Wars films falls apart on close inspection.

Matthew goes on to write an awesome list of things we’ve never seen in a Star Wars film. If you were bothered by the parallels, this will open your eyes to all new stuff you missed.

‘Employee Benefits at Basecamp’

Jason Fried on Signal v. Noise:

I’m often asked about the benefits we offer at Basecamp. Potential employees are obviously curious, but most of the questions I get are from fellow business owners and entrepreneurs. Everyone’s looking to know what everyone else is doing — as are we — so I figured I might as well post our current benefit list publicly.

What an excellent show of transparency. In a time where it seems that so many companies are out to exploit their employees, it’s refreshing to see a company giving priority to the health and well-being of their own. This is how you attract and retain talent.

Style Guide for ‘The Bold Report’

I created a style guide for The Bold Report and wanted to quickly tell you about it. It’s not much, but an explanation of the different elements that exist through out this site.

Writing all these explanations turned out to be an excellent exercise. It made me stop and think what was useful, and what elements didn’t need to exist. I hadn’t realized the unspoken patterns that had developed over time.

I like looking at style guides. Dan Eden’s is a good one to look at. He even has a writing style guide. Anyway, if you’re into this sort of thing, I invite you to take a look.

Happy And Content

The title perfectly encapsulates my year. 2015 came and went, and as usual, here’s my annual year in review.

This was by far the best year in a long time. Kelly and I were married on May 9. It was the best day of my life.

With our amazing wedding party. (Photo by Cayan Brock)

We were surrounded by all of our friends and family who smothered us in so much love and happiness. If I could, I would live that day over and over. It sounds so sappy, but I just can’t help it.

Working Full-time Again

ACL took us on a team-building excursion in May, which turned out to be awesome. Our team name was: The Totems.

Having a “regular” day job has its pros and cons. After running my own business for so long, having a more rigid schedule where I work 5 days a week has been difficult to get used to.

But, there’s something to be said about having a regular paycheck, paid vacation, and other benefits. Most importantly, I really wanted to work on a team, and I’m so fortunate to have landed on a team of incredibly smart, talented, and humble people.

Stepping Down From Goodstuff

As you may recall, Goodstuff was a podcast network I started with Adam Clark and Chris Enns in 2014. Running it was so much fun, but with me getting married, I couldn’t make it a priority.1

Soon after, I started a podcast again, which has two really great episodes published. For The Record is the best show I’ve ever done. I have about 6 interviews recorded that I’ll be working on in the next few months. I hope to bring the show back in the spring.

Podcasts have taken on a whole new life for me this year. Sure, they’ve been around for a while, but my goodness! The level of quality has gone up like crazy, and I’ve discovered some amazing shows this year. Maybe I’ll post a list of my favorites at a later date.

Summer Trip to Europe

Kelly and I went to Europe for the first time this summer. It was the first time both as a couple and individually. Europe was wonderful. Visiting places you’ve only ever seen in pictures is quite the experience.

Some of my favorite Europe moments.

We saw the Eiffel Tower at night with all the lights on, walked many unknown streets, took the subway, had espresso and pastries in a French cafe, missed our train, felt frustrated because we couldn’t speak French, ate amazing food, made great new friends, and saw people nude on the beach like it was no big deal. I hope we get the chance to go back.

The last highlight of the year? Star Wars: The Force Awakens. I’ve watched it in theaters four times.2 Each time better than the last.

What’s in Store for 2016

My co-worker Phil told me that his family agrees on a motto for the year. I loved the idea so much, that I’m stealing it. As always, I’ve got some goals for this year, but I also want to share the motto Kelly and I plan to live by.

Motto: Live Healthy.

  1. Build a Piece of Furniture
    I’m keeping this one from last year. I really want to dabble in some carpentry this year. It’ll get me away from my computer, and the chance to spend some quality time with my Dad.

  2. Lose Weight
    Not much I can say here that I haven’t said. Part of living a healthier life.

  3. Travel
    Taking breaks is part of being and staying healthy. I have paid vacation now, why the hell not use it?

It’s going to be a great year.

  1. But! That doesn’t mean that Goodstuff is dead! Chris and Kyle Roderick are still running it. They’re kicking butt! 

  2. I was so excited to see this movie, and it didn’t disappoint. It was so good to see a new Star Wars movie feel like Star Wars again. 

‘How To Be a Moderately Successful Person’

Emer O’Toole:

I hope it will not seem conceited if I say that I am a moderately successful person. I have a job I like. I wrote a book that is doing quite well. I have managed to trick a human I love into believing that it is a good idea to live with me. I’m reasonably happy most of the time, and think anyone who says they never feel like crap is lying.

Things are going grand and, truth be told, being highly successful sounds stressful. So I’m taking it upon myself to share the closely guarded secrets of moderately successful people. Practise these and you too can muddle along just fine.

I’m fine with being moderately successful. Sounds kind of great.

Chris Coyier’s Productivity Advice

Chris Coyier:

“How do they do it all?” people unceasingly want to know. The answer is never satisfying. Nobody actually has any magic tricks. Nobody slows down time. They do work and work gets done, whether it’s marinating alligator heads or building websites. You’ll be surprised how much you will do in a day if you sit and do it.

So true. Just reminds me that when I haven’t been able to do something, it’s because I haven’t made it a priority. That truth can be very empowering.

What Is a Front End Developer?

Laurence Bradford:

At this point, after looking through multiple job descriptions, I am totally confused.

My goodness. There were so many times in this article that I wondered if I was even a front end dev. It seems that every company has their own requirements of what that job should be, and some are just completely insane. Laurence does a great job of breaking it down to the basics, and then covering where the front end developer should be expanding their knowledge.

Like Laurence, the area I need to improve is Javascript.