I love snowboarding, but I don’t like how the cost or perception of cost limits who has the opportunity to do it. I’m a volunteer board member at Snowdays Foundation because I love to be able to share snowboarding with those who might not otherwise get the chance to do it.

Here are my tips on how to get up to Mount Hood and have a good time without breaking the bank.

Go By Bus!

The Mount Hood Express Arrives At Timberline — Photo from: https://www.oregonbusiness.com/article/item/18099-mountain-bus

Take the Mt. Hood Express! If you catch TriMet out to Gresham Transit Center, you can catch the bus from there. There’s a connector bus to Sandy, but…


Raise Effect, Hack Oregon, and my journey to purposeful data visualization

Why purposeful data visualization?

Because I’ve witnessed the impact of purposeful data visualization first hand. Working with a team at Hack Oregon, as a group of volunteers with limited experience in data visualization, we built Raise Effect — a web app that analyzed how changing the minimum wage would impact families in Oregon. We used a study that was done by the University of Washington, synthesized and presented their results in a series of interactive data visualizations. …


Because this took me way too long, I’m documenting it for the rest of the internet.

Caveats: If you have file names with odd characters (spaces, etc…), you need to reference this StackOverflow answer. Also, no guarantees on dos2unix, but it seems to be widely used.

Basic steps:

  1. Generate a list of all of the files that changed in the commits that you have made using git diff --name-only
  2. Run the command line utility dos2unix on that list of files (if you’re on Mac OS X you can install it with Homebrew or another tool of your choice)
  3. Add and commit the…

“classic” 2003 graphic design, modified by me

Pitchfork was my introduction to music on the internet — I remember delving deep into reading Pitchfork in 2003, when I was still in high school and first had access to internet faster than dial-up. I’d download the interesting music I read about from eMusic, an early online music subscription service. Pitchfork was pretty influential in shaping my early music tastes.

Pitchfork released multiple “Best Albums of the 1990s” lists, an original in 1999, and another just four years later in 2003.

The following visualizations show how Pitchfork’s music tastes changed from the publishing of their original list in 1999…


The narrative of 2017 is that we are in dark times, hope is hard to find, and negativity reigns. That’s one narrative, but that’s not my narrative for the year of 2017. To create my own narrative — I began to answer this question:

How do you create a way of being in the world that allows new things (ideas, information, people, places) into your life without letting everything in?

Lots of companies would like to dictate what you consume, because your eyeballs have monetary value to them. Don’t let them. Here’s some ways that I fought back:

  • no phone…

I’ve been watching some excellent webinars from the Center For Artistic Activism over the last few days and something really struck a chord.

In order to spark thought, art and activism needs to strike the right balance between surprise and familiarity. If something is too surprising — it may be dismissed as nonsense. If something is too familiar, it can be categorized without thought.

If something is too surprising — it may be dismissed as nonsense. If something is too familiar, it can be categorized without thought.

In the clip above, Steve Lambert gives the example of seeing a…


Elevations of volcanoes visible from Portland


A Difficult Path

The straightforward design of this time-series bar chart obscures some serious issues. The graphic shows a time-series bar chart of “Annual number of investigational drugs to treat Alzheimer’s that proved unsuccessful” from 1998–2014. It also purports to show the total unsuccessful drugs from 2008 and 2014 and the number approved over the same period. It is part of a story from the Wall Street Journal published April 22nd, 2017, outlining Novartis’s new approach to testing Alzheimer’s drugs.

The first thing that catches my eye is that the summary of total unsuccessful and approved drugs does not summarize the same time…


  1. Be ruthless about turning off your notifications
  2. Automatically filter and archive marketing emails so you never see them
  3. Remove the news from view

Theodor Adorno believed that the ideal use of leisure time is not to relax and take your mind off things — it should be our prime opportunity to expand and develop ourselves, reach after our better nature, and acquire tools to help us change society. He also believed that modern capitalism conspired to keep us from using our leisure time in this way.

Technology has multiplied the number of ways in which capitalism can infringe upon our…


“No one will bring back the years; no one will restore you to yourself. Life will follow the path it began to take, and will neither reverse nor check its course. It will cause no commotion to remind you of its swiftness, but glide on quietly. It will not lengthen itself for a king’s command or a people’s favor. As it started out on its first day, so it will run on, nowhere pausing or turning aside. What will be the outcome? You have been preoccupied while life hastens on. Meanwhile death will arrive, and you have no choice in making yourself available for that.” — Seneca

Jaron Heard

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