A Sad Small Story

Yesterday evening after finishing dinner, I stood up and looked out my dining room window. Along the edge of our property there was a man kneeling and digging with hand tools near a large tree. I was curious1. Why was this man digging? He continued for several minutes and was digging along the roots in a narrow shallow approach. Then after a few minutes he stopped, and stood up and walked away. Did he see me? I was staring out my window awkwardly because, well, I’m naturally awkward. He walked along the path surrounding nearby houses behind a bush. But he did not emerge on the other side of the bush. At this moment I pondered: Did he see me, and is he hiding? Was he up to no good? Why is he just digging near a tree?

He came back from behind the bush approaching the hole he had dug. Between the two hand tools lay a stiff squirrel. Instantly my thoughts shuffled and reorganized. The man laid the squirrel in the resting spot. He then gently covered the grave with soil for a few minutes, stood up, stepped over it to compress the loose soil. Then he knelt again scrounging for something. He found two small sticks and fashioned cross. He stood once more, said something, crossed his heart, and walked away.

In those final moments, I became emotional over that squirrel. Was it the same squirrel that frequented our deck? That man took the time to give that small creature some dignity and respect to the natural world.

RIP Squirrel.

  1. I’m very protective of the trees near our house and property because the area used be very wooded before we moved in and they cut down a bunch of older trees. I like trees.

Facebook Buys Giphy

If you would have told me in 2005 that GIFs would be huge, I would have laughed at you. Absolutely absurd. GIFs were the bane of personal websites in the late 90s and early 2000s. But as media has evolved, bandwidth increased, and now we all have mini-computers in our pockets, GIFs have been an indispensable resource in expressing our feelings, referencing pop culture, and generally speaking it’s lightweight portable video now.

Now Facebook is involved which in turn means privacy is at risk. I didn’t think about it at first, but Giphy is the defacto source for GIFs and integration to their Google database of GIFs. Now we all have trackers in any app we use.

Of course Giphy is going to retain its own brand. If they renamed it to “Facebook Tracking Pixels”, usage might drop off. Think about all the messaging apps that don’t offer Facebook integration for security/privacy reasons (not to mention not wanting to have their apps crash on launch when Facebook pushes a buggy update), where Giphy images appear. You know, like Apple’s Messages. Well, now Facebook has tracking pixels in them.

John Gruber

Cool. Cool cool cool.