A year or so ago, Google dropped a bomb on all website designers, publishers and online content authors: Your websites had better not only be SSL-secure, but also “mobile-friendly” — and while the first edict is easy to solve with money, the second command costs you a lot of time and money and energy — especially if you’ve been publishing live content on the web for a long time.

Three days ago, after publishing our latest Boles Book — American Sign Language Level 5: A Field Guide for Advanced Communication Techniques for People with Other Disabilities — I unwittingly ran afoul of Facebook’s advertising rules.  I had “too much text” in my book cover image and so Facebook censored my $40.00USD boosted post promotion of my book midstream, effectively blocking my book cover image on their social network because my design aesthetic didn’t meet their advertising rules.

Pau is a small provincial city, it has long been a haven for the British wanting to escape Blighty for the good of their health. There are many spas in the area and the climate is reputed to be good for your health. The older architecture is a mix of “alpine’ grand villa and a good dose of British garden. There is a cathedral and a university and the small provincial airport is now opening up to fulfill Pau’s emerging status as the gateway to the Pyrenees.

The airport’s development and the expansion of the scientific departments at the University have led to the development of a science park on the outskirts of the city.  I have, on past visits, caught tantalizing glimpses of some of the buildings and was determined to explore further before we left Pau for good.

After one particularly frustrating afternoon, I declared a time out and went exploring and headed straight for the science park.

Today, I’m sad to report that my beloved Herman Miller Aeon Chair finally gave up its seat — and its mesh back and its crippled casters and it decaying rubber arms — and I had to trash it after eight, magnificent, years of dutiful sitting service.

I was on the hunt for a new office chair.  The replacement had to be hardy and tough and a good value.  I spend 12 hours a day in and out of my office chair, so I needed to make certain the task of sitting would not interfere with my joy of writing.

When I happened upon a Staples chair exclusive with a mouthful of a name — the Tempur-Pedic TP8000 Ergonomic Mesh Mid-Back Task Chair — and I knew I’d found my new office chair at a great value.

If you had access to a 3D printer and could create only one thing out of plastic, from scratch, what would you make?  An implantable human ear replacement?  A filter for pumping clean water in thirsty third-world nations?  What about forming something fun and whimsical like, say, an acoustic guitar?  Or, would you take the tunnel of least resistance, and the road of the lowest common human morality, and choose to print a plastic gun for killing people?

I appreciate good design and aesthetic challenges to the common core.  One new trend I’ve noticed in credit card design from some of the bigger, more daring, banks is to eschew using raised account numbers on their credit cards.  My new Chase Sapphire Preferred card is quite beautifully designed in shape and substance, but it is a little less daring than the same card that was issued only a year ago.