I’m ending my Safari Books Online Account

First off, I love O’Reilly Media, I have friends who work there, they have given me free books for events, and I have produced multiple Ignite events in Boston (which is an O’Reilly Media supported event series).

I have had a Safari Books Online account for many years. I got the account because I found that I spent a lot of money on books about computers, tech, and community and the online book service was a lot cheaper than continuing to grow a physical library. Also, the physical library would go out of date yearly and need updates as new languages and tech came out.

A couple of months back I got a message about how Safari was changing. They were going to make a better user interface and raise the cost of using the new interface. The good news was that the old subscription I was on was still able to continue, but only if I used a special url for the old subscription url.

Well, this started to irk me and I am done with this. I don’t want to pay more and I don’t want to be treated as part of a group that is deemed “special”.

At the end of the day, the new price for the new user interface doesn’t suit me. I guess I will have to go back to buying books when I need them, or just looking online for free resources. UGH


Top Chef Boston (Season 12) Participants


I love Top Chef. I am so happy that season 12 is in Boston and I hope that it highlights some of the best from the area.

That said, as someone who makes maps I am always interested in what states and locations are being represented. Yes, someday I hope to visit the places that these chef contestants come from, but more importantly I am interested about where food is happening.

Based on this map it would seem that food is happening on the coasts and a little in the middle. I am having a hard time displaying the number of points in any given location, but there are multiples in NYC and CA. I will be working with the CartoDB people to figure out how to better represent this on the map.

Also, I will be adding spoiler information to the map when I can… so I will keep the map updated on who is making it and who has packed up their knives. This 2.0 map will have to wait a week or so for me to get time to work on it.

Finally, I am thrilled that the new Top Chef intro has all the contestants in singles again, I love calling out who is still on the show and who has left as the intro rolls. And… if Top Chef would be interested I would be happy to work with them on making more maps in the future.. ;)



Food Day Weekend in Somerville is on!
Mark your calendars - with a thick marker.
by guest blogger Erica Satin-Hernandez

Somerville Food Day Weekend is just around the corner (partayyyy!)  In honor of Food Day, a national, annual day inspiring work towards food security and food justice, the Somerville Mobile Farmer’s Market is hosting two Somerville-style Food Day Parties! 

Come on out on:

-Thursday, October 23rd from 4 to 7 at the Clarenden Hill Development  (268 Powderhouse Boulevard)

-Saturday, October 25th from 1 to 4 at Mystic Ave Development at 530 Mystic Ave.

Learn about urban vegetable growing and composting; sign up to share urban gardening space; help map out our city’s food resources, swap recipes, win a raffle (with prizes!), and of course buy fresh organic produce (see pictures above) at wholesale prices!  All are welcome, there will be music and fun and all your full-price purchases help sustain our EBT discount program which brings fresh, local produce to low income residents.

Tweet us at @ShapeUpSam and #SomervilleFoodDay14 to let us know how you’ll celebrate Food Day.

 Erica Satin-Hernandez is the recently-hired Coordinator of the Shape Up Somerville program. She manages the mobile markets and tries her hardest to keep this city eating and living well.

The detectives get a lead that opens the case up for them. They bring Jay in for questioning and he tells them the story of January 13th. But then, a few weeks later, his story changes.

This series is very interesting, but I can’t help but feel guilty about my interest in a show about a real murder. I have seen segments about families who have lived through a murder and feel victimized all over again when they see murder being used as entertainment. The sentiment that has stuck with me in the pieces about families of murder victims is how the families try to explain how murder has become somehow ok. For example try playing a game of who dunnit, but instead of looking for the murderer, try looking for the rapist. In other words, the idea of being a murderer in a game is socially ok, but being a rapist is never socially ok.

That said, this series of reporting about what happened in this murder is interesting because it’s constantly asking question and trying to find answers. I feel that this is a little different than a scripted TV show like “Law & Order”. The focus in “Serial” is on facts and why there are so many missing facts and how does one go about finding facts. And to that end, it’s very interesting.

I would also like a serialization of how specific laws get passed or how specific companies become monopolies. I like the investigative narrative and wonder if this would be possible without a murder as the focus.