Friday Four

Friday, November 11, 2011

1. I frequently wear a flat cap. The often sunny and often windy weather in Boston makes them very practical, and I like them, anyway. My wife spotted a baby-sized flat cap in the store recently, and bought it for our daughter. Needless to say, the baby and I get lots of friendly smiles and laughs when I have both of us wearing them, and especially when I'm carrying her in the Baby Bjorn.

2. This new country selector bar for web forms is a clever solution to a minor, but very common annoyance for American customers.

3. It's not the amount of time, but its quality that makes someone into a virtuoso, as a study of violin players has shown:

We can start by disproving the assumption that the elite players dedicate more hours to music. The time diaries revealed that both groups spent, on average, the same number of hours on music per week (around 50).

The difference was in how they spent this time. The elite players were spending almost three times more hours than the average players on deliberate practice -- the uncomfortable, methodical work of stretching your ability. [emphasis in original removed]
The elite players were also more relaxed, apparently because they clearly separated practice time from other parts of their life, allowing them to focus on those other things.

4. Okay, my mind is apparently fascinated by usability today... Farhad Manjoo makes a stand for the humble scroll bar, and some good points along the way, in discussing something that too many people take for granted.

-- CAV

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