Jesus is a superhero. I'm a Christian, a programmer, and an optimist.
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7 Comments and 25 Shares
There was a schism in 2007, when a sect advocating OpenOffice created a fork of Sunday.xlsx and maintained it independently for several months. The efforts to reconcile the conflicting schedules led to the reinvention, within the cells of the spreadsheet, of modern version control.
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2983 days ago
Rochester, NY
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6 public comments
2983 days ago
I wonder how many people will understand the leftpad joke in 10 years.
2983 days ago
I would have expected a schism instead of the reinvention of DVCS.
2983 days ago
Not shown on the right due to scale: “Enterprise software requirements as documented by the customer”
Washington, DC
2983 days ago
I bet Felienne Hermans is loving this
2983 days ago
Where does the algorithm for determining what restaurant to go to on date night lie on this chart?
East Helena, MT
2983 days ago
"I'm happy to go anywhere." "What about xxx" "No, I don't want xxx, but I don't mind where"
2983 days ago
boolean suitableRestaurant(int choiceID, BogoBogoSort dateMindset) {return false;}
2983 days ago
There was a schism in 2007, when a sect advocating OpenOffice created a fork of Sunday.xlsx and maintained it independently for several months. The efforts to reconcile the conflicting schedules led to the reinvention, within the cells of the spreadsheet, of modern version control.
2983 days ago
Attacking complex Excel sheets is a source of most of my income
New York City
2983 days ago
Haha. It's part of my job too...
2983 days ago
part of my job too.
2983 days ago
"Attacking" is easy. The problem is that, most of the time, they must not be deleted for that.
2983 days ago
Where do you find jobs attacking spreadsheets?
2983 days ago
Unfortunately, a good bit of my job consists of using Excel spreadsheets to mitigate the shortcomings of an actual honest-to-Godzilla database. It's a *bad* database.
2981 days ago
I, Satya Nadella, do hereby dub thee, reconbot, Knight of the God-Aweful Excel Sheets, may your courage and devotion become a shining example to the people of the M$ Empire Pro 2016 Ultimate.

The Authenticity Generation

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We have a “Millennial” problem in the church. Statistics and attendance are showing that Millennials are leaving or not connecting to the church at higher rates than ever before. Meanwhile, churches across the country are trying to find the best new tactics for reaching young people.

So what can churches do to reach this Millennial generation? Is it a new program or service? Is it adding some cool moving lights or starting new social media accounts? Maybe it’s just copying what the biggest church in town is doing?

Here’s the issue.

In an effort to reach Millennials, many churches violate the foundation that will make them effective. That foundation is authenticity.

Some call the young generation of 18-34 year olds “Millennials.” I just call them the authenticity generation. From an early age, this generation has been constantly bombarded by messages and marketing from businesses, organizations, politicians and churches.

Here’s the superpower that this generation was born with: they can sniff out whether you’re being authentic or not. They know when you’re just trying to sell something to them, get something from them, or be someone that they aren’t. This superpower is what draws them to certain organizations or people, and what turns them away from others. The current political landscape in 2016 is a testament to this power of authenticity.

So what does this mean for the church?

If we’re going to effectively reach Millennials, we have to move beyond gimmicks and tactics. It means we have to take a hard look at the very heart behind the unique calling God has placed on us as leaders and churches.

Where are churches and leaders are going wrong in reaching Millennials? 

They chase “cool” 

There’s nothing inherently wrong with cool lights, louder music, marketing campaigns or any other methods that churches can use. The problem is that when churches try to add gimmicks and methods in an attempt to attract a younger audience, when those methods don’t fit who they authentically are. You can’t just copy something that’s working in another culture or church and assume that it’s going to work the same way for your unique culture.

Let’s be honest. Your church does not need to be on Snapchat if you’re average attender is 65 years old, and the person running your Snapchat isn’t much younger. Just because you can, can doesn’t always mean you should.

They seek the perception of perfection

Everybody knows that no one is perfect. So why do we spend so much time trying to give the perception that we are? While we may seek the respect and adoration of our audience through giving off this perception of perfection, we actually miss out on real opportunities to connect and relate to them.

They try to be something they’re not

Is there a disconnect between what your website says you are and what you actually are? Are you communicating to your guests that you are a young/hip/diverse church, only to have them arrive and find something completely different?

The authenticity generation wants you to be you. If you’re not what you want to be, pray bold prayers and make bold changes to become who God is calling you to be.

They try to make it just a program 

It’s far easier to start a new program for Millennials than it is to make bold changes as a whole church to reach the next generation. Many churches try to outsource their outreach for Millennials through some add-on program or service, and keep everything else the same. To be clear, there’s nothing wrong with targeting a certain demographic with a program or event.   Where I would caution you is that this method can trick you into believing that you’ve solved the problem. The reality is that you may have only delayed the inevitable fact of making some hard decisions and changes that will make you more effective for reaching the next generation and beyond.

If you’re not content with how your church is reaching Millennials, it might be time to figure out why. Then, and only then, can you begin to wrestle with changes you may need to make.

Authentic leaders build authentic churches

Leaders. We’re more drawn to your imperfections and scars than your perceived perfection.

Millennials are searching for something from your church. It’s not excellence. It’s not coolness. It’s not perfection. It’s authenticity.

Embrace the calling we all have in ministry of being a church full of imperfect people, chasing after a perfect God. Authenticity always wins.

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3019 days ago
Rochester, NY
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The Spartacus Moment for Christian-Muslim Relations

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This blog does notwrite reactionary pieces to the trending political comments or ridiculous statements made by politicians–especially as we enter an election year. However, one statement has attracted a particular kind of response by Christians, one that I think is informed by history and online antics, and it’s important to draw it out.


The Call: identify Muslims

Recently several politicians and aspirants made statements that call to identify, track, and separate Muslims from the American populace:

The blowback has been rather blistering. George Takei took both the mayor and Trump to task as a Japanese-American who was in a detention camp during WWII. The mayer in Roanoke swiftly apologized.

And yet one wonders if such a thing could happen: if fear rules the day, if we forget our history, and if politicians play to our base fears of “the other,” could such a thing happen?

And if it does, how can Christians respond? 

I am Spartacus

The Response: I Am Spartacus

In the 1960 movie Spartacus, Kirk Douglas plays the title character who leads other slaves in rebellion against their Roman masters. The rebellion is ultimately defeated, and the end of the movie, the Roman general offers to spare the slaves’ lives if they identify and hand over their leader Spartacus to be crucified. Douglas stands up to identify himself, but the two slaves to his side stand up with him and say “I am Spartacus.” Dozens more stand until the entire mass of former slaves is standing and saying “I am Spartacus.” The Roman general has no choice but to crucify the many, because they refused to give up the one. Watch the scene on Youtube.

In the mid-2000s, this iconic moment also spawned an internet chatroom phenomenon. A person will jump onto a chat channel or message board and say “I am Spartacus” and other internet-meme-savvy people will repeat the line and fill the channel for a time.

Maybe such an action could work today. I’ve seen on social media that the call to identify and separate Muslims has spawned many Christians to pledge that they will identify themselves as Muslims too. Despite their faith, despite the possible stigma of being labeled, they have pledged to be named as a Muslim for any database in the future, and to waste government surveillance time on watching them.

While a theoretical effort, I think it’s a powerful one as faith is not defined by color of skin or ethnicity; therefore, any such efforts to compartmentalize the American public can be subverted by Christians as unbecoming of our country’s values.

Would you say “I am Muslim” when offered a chance to separate Muslims from society?

The Need for Relationship

Better than labeling one’s self on a theoretical future database is to create relationships now that can be sustained no matter what lies ahead.

United Methodist Bishop Roy Sono (retired) remembers that when his family was identified and interred in the Japanese internment camps, another Christian helped folks like him out:

Clergy and congregations can develop personal relationships with those who are vulnerable to hateful acts, and be conspicuous in standing with them. Japanese Americans have never forgotten the Rev. Melvin Wheatley (who later became a United Methodist bishop) and his spouse, Lucile, along with other members of the First United Methodist Church in Fresno, temporarily taking title to homes owned by Japanese Americans and moving into them to protect those homes from arsonists. The Japanese Americans have also never forgotten Wheatley visiting them in camps.

Such an action was only possible by a previous relationship.

My hope is that Christians can form more relationships with Muslims in their community, so that they can support and stand with one another no matter what violence may be in the future. And if the future is filled with hope and tolerance, then there’s a more solid basis for it.


The article "The Spartacus Moment for Christian-Muslim Relations" was originally posted on

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3120 days ago
I am Spartacus
Rochester, NY
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There Was Room at the Inn

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Vacancy from Flickr via Wylio
© 2010 Lauren Mitchell, Flickr | CC-BY | via Wylio

I want to begin by saying I don’t want any trouble. I’m just a simple businessman with a family to feed and a record to set straight. 

It has come to my attention that ever since Caesar’s pesky census drew thousands to the city of Bethlehem, rumors have been circulating around the region that my inn is overcrowded and inhospitable. This is simply not the case. As our loyal customers know, ours is the largest and friendliest inn in Bethlehem—always buzzing but never without a vacancy—and we offer reasonable rates, a variety of room options, and a delicious continental breakfast of bread and honey every morning.  Our inn has a long and proud history of welcoming all sorts of people through its doors…except, of course, those people.

So here’s what actually happened: A couple of those people showed up looking for a room for the night during the big census rush. Yes, I turned them away, but not because we didn’t have enough room or food (we did!) but because I wasn’t about to let a couple of Nazarenes—no matter how needy or pitiful—drain our resources or compromise our security. 

See, it’s a well-known fact that people from Nazareth are mostly thieves, rapists, moochers, and terrorists. We have an expression around here to sum it up: “Can anything good come out of Nazareth?” I’m sure some of them are good people and all, but mostly we get their worst. 

Sure, the woman appeared to be exhausted and in labor and her husband looked desperate and scared, but that could have just been a show. Just think of all the weapons she could hide beneath her clothes! Imagine how much her husband planned to eat! You can never be too careful with these people. 

Frankly, I thought it was pretty generous of me to offer them the barn. 

Had I known the birth of the child would become something of a legend, with those hooligan shepherds running all around town spreading tall tales about angels and a Messiah and peace on earth, I would have sent them to the next town so another discerning innkeeper would reject them. Instead, the “no room at the inn” myth has gained considerable traction in recent years, and as a result, I’ve watched wealthy travellers lumber right past our doors without even inquiring after vacancy. (I’ve heard they’ve been stopping instead at the next inn over, which is unfortunate given the bed bug situation…or so I hear.) 

Word on the street is that the famous family is now among the hordes of refugees fleeing Herod’s genocide. Apparently, they’ve gone to Egypt because those bleeding-heart Egyptians will take anyone. Good riddance, I say. We certainly don’t want them here. 

But I digress. My point is this:  Yeah, it seems kind of heartless to send a woman in labor out into a cold night with nowhere to go. But I made a tough call in the name of security.  Among our guests that night were several good religious families, some Pharisees and Sadducees, a troupe of Roman soldiers, and a lovely teenage boy named Barabbas. It was my duty to protect them from dangerous people. 

So please help me spread the word that there was in fact room at the inn and that we’d love to welcome more guests through our doors, so long as they aren’t Nazarenes, Samaritans or other riffraff. 

Oh, and if you would like to leave us a positive review at Trip Advisor, that would be great. 


On Wednesday,a young Syrian family fleeing violence in their native country was forced to change their resettlement plans when the governor of Indiana Indian declared they would not be welcome in his state sate because of their ethnicity.  The married couple, who has a five-year-old son, had been working with U.S. officials and nonprofit organizations for three years to obtain refugee status and move to America.  They were diverted to Connecticut, where they received a personal welcome from that state’s governor. 

“Jesus said: 'For I was hungry and you gave me nothing to eat, I was thirsty and you gave me nothing to drink, I was a stranger and you did not invite me in, I needed clothes and you did not clothe me, I was sick and in prison and you did not look after me…Truly I tell you, whatever you did not do for one of the least of these, you did not do for me.’” 

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3128 days ago
Rochester, NY
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Achieve More, Every Day: Todoist’s New Logo & Brand

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Achieve more, every day.

The Todoist community is a hard one to define.

You get things done on 6 continents, in 190 countries and in 20 different languages.

You are students and teachers, grandmothers and CEOs, designers and financial analysts, and everything in between.

You use Todoist to manage international nonprofits and small businesses, to keep track of shopping lists and strategic plans, to write dissertations and novels, to organize road trips and weddings, to remember to send birthday presents and to motivate yourself to go for a run.

You’re collectively most productive at ten o’clock in the morning and on Mondays. (You generally like to take Saturdays pretty easy.) Together, you’ve racked up an impressive one and a half billion Karma points.

Most importantly, you strive to achieve more, every day.

A new Todoist

Last year, we took a look at our growing user base and realized that our previous “TD” logo just didn’t fit with such an incredibly diverse and inspiring Todoist community. It was time to create a new visual identity to reflect your creativity, passion, and get-it-done attitude.

And so, we set out to bring our entire brand –  logo, typeface, color scheme, websites and blog –  in line with our mission: To build a tool that can help anyone achieve more every day.

After nearly a year of design and development, we’re thrilled to introduce you to the new Todoist.

YouTube / DoistApps – via Iframely

The plan, the action, the result.

Todoist logo revolution

The most identifiable part of any brand is its logo. With that in mind, we embarked on creating  a new “face” of Todoist that would show the world what our product, team, and users are truly all about. At the same time, we wanted to find a strong symbol that would unify the Todoist identity across all our platforms and be easily recognizable from any home screen.

We went through countless iterations, but, in the end, we always came back to the classic checkmark.

todoist logo design

People may think that a checkmark is mundane, but we see it as a symbol of the hard work that bridges our goals, dreams, and ambitions to reality.  The three checkmarks in the logo represent the plan, the action, and the result. From the start, Todoist has been a community of people who make things happen. We’re proud to reflect that in our new identity.

To maintain a connection with our brand’s 8-year history, we decided to keep the traditional Todoist red. We brightened up the previous hue to make the logo sharp and fresh on-screen.

todoist homescreen logo

Alongside Todoist’s new logo, we changed the Todoist brand typeface from the popular Open Sans to the clean, yet recognizable Graphik font. The new typeface gives our webpages a distinct look and feel while preserving Todoist’s characteristic distraction-free design.

Finally, we updated every single element of our website and blog — from color scheme and typeface to content and imagery — to fit our new brand identity. Our refreshed web pages reflect our focus not just on product features, but on actually empowering our users to get more out of each and every day.

Todoist new homepage

Completely new web, plug-in, and desktop apps.

Nowhere is our new look and feel more prominent than in Todoist’s web, plug-in, and desktop apps. When you log in at, from Gmail, or from your desktop, you’ll find a brighter, cleaner design with more spacious list rows, 10 customizable color themes for the top navigation bar, new icons, and a focus on responsive design as you change the window size.

(Of course, if you’ve become attached to the original all-white Todoist interface, you can always revert to our Neutral theme.)

todoist web app themes

In addition to a complete re-design, this update adds powerful capabilities. With the new Todoist for Web, Mac, Windows, Gmail, and more you’ll be able to:

Add tasks faster than ever with the intelligent Quick Add. Just type all of your task details like task name, priority level, labels, and due dates into the same task name field. The natural language Quick Add will automatically recognize, highlight, and categorize each piece of information for you.

todoist quick add

Add advanced recurring due dates to your tasks. Add complex tasks like “go for a run every other day starting today and ending december 15th” to your to-do lists. The intelligent date parser that powers Quick Add is available in 14 languages and recognizes 300+ natural language rules in each, making your recurring due date options virtually limitless.

Attach comments as you create a new task with Quick Comment. Just click on the speech bubble icon while adding a new to-do to your list.  You’ll be able to add all of the relevant details to your new task right from the start.

todoist quick find

Locate the information you need right away with Quick Find. Using Quick Find in the navigation bar, you can now type any search query and immediately view the results in the drop-down menu including tasks, projects, labels, and filters.

Manage your tasks on mobile. The new Todoist web app is optimized for screens of any size. You can now visit from your smartphone or tablet and access the beautiful and easy-to-use task management app you’ve come to enjoy on the web.

Going forward.

This rebranding has been over a year in the making and involved team members across all of our multidisciplinary teams. We’re proud to have a brand that reflects what we value most.

Ultimately, Todoist brand isn’t about a new logo or a beautiful interface or even a new set of features. It’s about the awesome things, big and small, that our users accomplish every day with Todoist. We’re deeply humbled that you’ve chosen us to help you achieve your important goals, and we can’t wait to see what you’ll be achieving in the years to come.

Team Todoist

The post Achieve More, Every Day: Todoist’s New Logo & Brand appeared first on Todoist Blog.

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3193 days ago
Todoist was already awesome, but it got awesomer today
Rochester, NY
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Writing-first Design

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A quick way to measure a designer’s maturity is to watch what they do at the beginning of a project. Inexperienced designers are often smitten by the allure of new tools and quick results, so they’ll jump in to Photoshop or Sketch and start messing with layouts and style explorations. Seasoned designers know this can be distracting, so they might start by doing research or drawing in a paper sketchbook instead.

Sketching is great, but before I start sketching, I start writing. Writing first has lots of advantages, regardless of the project you’re working on. Here are a few examples.

Example 1: You’re making a simple website, and your client doesn’t have any copy yet.

Great! Here’s an opportunity to write it. Skip the lorem ipsum and start telling your client’s story. What’s special about this client? What problems are they trying to solve by having this website? How can you explain those ideas to people who visit the site? And why should the site’s visitors care?

Answering these questions requires you to gain understanding. You can’t write anything without knowing your subject. You’ll be forced to learn a lot about the client’s business, their history, and their audience. Having this information will clarify your vision for the overall project.

Example 2: You’re making a website, and the client gave you copy to start with.

Great! Don’t design anything yet. Put on your editor’s hat and think critically. Is the text arranged correctly? Does it have the right tone of voice? Is it too long or too short? Is it suitable for the web? Can you chop it up into separate pages and keep it coherent? What’s still missing?

Chances are, this handed-over writing might be lousy. Be honest and propose copy changes before you get much deeper into the design. Don’t be afraid to do a rewrite — treat writing as part of the design, not just an element on the page.

Example 3: You’re making an app or interface elements.

In that case, you’re likely designing affordances — communicating actions the user can take. These might take the form of explanatory copy, prompts, buttons, labels, error messages, etc.

Great! Hop into a text editor. Write out as many variations as you can. It’s easy to mock basic UI in text, like this:

Are you sure you want to delete that file?
[ Yes, I’m sure ] [ Never mind ]
Deleting this file will remove it permanently. Are you sure?
[ Yes, delete it ] [ No, cancel ]

And don’t be afraid to have a little fun with it:

That file will disappear completely and never be found. Carry on?
[ Indeed, ashes to ashes and so forth ] [ No, I can’t let go ]

Example 4: You’re making a graphics-heavy poster that has almost no writing at all.

Great! Write down what you think you’re trying to accomplish. Spend 5 or 10 minutes on it. The notes are entirely to help you clear your head and figure out what to do.

Putting writing first improves your chances of success in the final product. It’s good practice, and it makes the rest of your job easier.

Now, what does the overall creative process look like? I’ve found it works well like this:

  • Spend time writing until you’re happy with the first draft.
  • Sketch visual ideas on paper.
  • Open your software tool of choice and explore aesthetics: colors, type, imagery, and style.
  • Put it all together and try different layouts and arrangements.
  • Continue editing once you see everything in context.

Obviously that exact order is not always right for every project. There’s no right way to do things! But following this general process helps guarantee you’re putting horses before carts and staying on the right road.

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3489 days ago
Whatever your approach, writing thoughts about a problem before implementing the solution will usually result in a better solution.
Rochester, NY
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