My aunt Nancy just forwarded some scans of newspaper stories featuring my paternal grandfather Ed. This account comes from a humor column called “Somewhere Over There” from Stars and Stripes, January 20th, 1945:
Today’s roundup story on “Our Dumb Friends” ranges from a pig in a poke, or something, to a pigeon in Cpl. Schiller’s paws.
The pig shared Pvt. Joe Spencer’s medium tank during an artillery barrage. When Joe, or Washington, D.C., and the Third Tank Bn. of the Tenth Armored Div., scrambled inside for shelter, he found the porker already there, rooting around and having a helluva time. The crew still hasn’t been able to figure out how the pig got inside.
It was a bull that made things uncomfortable for Capt. Edward West Jr., of Haddonfield, N.J. The Fifth Inf. Div. captain was trying to spot enemy machine-gun fire when a bull spotted him. Capt. West won the 100-yard dash back to the tank. The bull finished a close second, but out of the money.
Ah, the absurdity of war. Pretty neat to think of him as a spry young man, as I was too young to remember him before he died — cancer did what the Nazis, and an angry bull, couldn’t.
What happens when a group of techies plan a camping trip? That shit gets wikified. Yes, I’m maybe a little too excited about heading to our regular rental cabin near Lake Tahoe. But this is CampCamp 3.0, and we’re starting to get really good at it.
Besides this clear and easy to understand table to make travel arrangements and announce dietary restrictions so the menus and shopping can be planned, there’s a page where people can sign up to lead activities (I’m gonna try to make a movie) and we have a growing book including lyrics and chord changes for campfire singalongs we print to bring along.
These people rule.
A while ago, I thought to myself, “Man, it’s a pain in the ass catching up on all my Twitter friends if I haven’t checked in in a while.” Twitter lists stuff in reverse-chronological order, and there’s often some back-and-forth, so I’m constantly jumping into conversations mid-stream and having to page back to see what people are responding to. So I posted a lazyweb request for something that would re-order the tweets chronologically and send me an email each day. No takers.
My friend Schlomo Rabinowitz, who has far more restraint than I do, has been keeping himself offline weekends. So I thought I’d do both of us a favor so that we can have peace of mind that we won’t miss a thing, not even updates about our friends’ brunch plans, hangovers and adorable child or pet mishaps.
While really this is a job for a PHP script and form interface which I’m sure could be made as elegant and easy to use as Twitter, I resorted to one of my favorite RSS tools, Yahoo Pipes, and a new one I found for dealing with feeds called xFruits. Here we go:
- First thing you need to do is figure out what the feed for your friend updates is. Login to Twitter via your browser and then select View > Page Source. Near the top, you’ll see a line like this:
link rel=”alternate” type=”application/rss+xml” title=”Jackson West and friends (RSS)” href=”/statuses/friends_timeline/3615.rss“
You want the stuff in bold, and you want to add
before it. So it will look like
— this is the RSS feed for all your Twitter friend updates.
- Now, go drop by my pipe called “Tweeter’s Digest” and enter this URL at the prompt. When you click ‘Run Pipe’ it will show you a list of recent updates from your friends in chronological order — from last to first. At the top of this list will be a button called ‘Subscribe.’ Click it, and then right-click (or control-click on macs) the option ‘Get as RSS’ and choose ‘Copy Link Location.’
- The final step is to go xFruits.com and then click ‘Sign In’ to create an account. From the list of choices, click on ‘RSS to Mail.’ Give it a title, tag it as you see fit, but most importantly, paste the URL you copied from Yahoo Pipes into the ‘feed’ field. Finally, change the setting for ‘Last update’ to ‘Every day.’
- xFruits will immediately send you an email with the last twenty or so tweets. Because Yahoo Pipes can be a little slow, it may not be exactly up to date. But the important thing is that you’ll get a 24 hour slice of Twitter updates in the order your friends posted them, so you can quickly scan as you scroll down through the email.
As I pointed out, not the most elegant solution, but fairly simple, and introduces you to two two great tools for mashing up and reformatting RSS feeds as you see fit. If somebody has some experience with using PHP to manage RSS feeds (or has already done something similar to this), by all means, please email me so we can figure out an easier solution!
Gridskipper has done gone and changed up their format, and even though they recently did a post on bars for locals in North Beach and didn’t include Specs, I’m happy to report that my friend Melissa Gira will be contributing and I’m sure making no such mistakes.
There’s nothing I love more than online media about San Francisco, but tips on coke bars in LA and Gay Mardi Gras in Sydney aren’t so useful to me, and they don’t seem to be offering city-specific RSS feeds. Since I’m a nerd, I just whipped one up for all my similarly parochial peeps in The City using Yahoo Pipes. Enjoy!