The Mix Tape, Vol. 29
Welcome! This week: email text blobs, help with choosing books, a review of “The Library Book” by Susan Orlean, the easy way to write with rhythm, and Peleton’s ad fail.
But first thing’s first.
Happy birthday to this lovely lady, who keeps things on the Light Side in our family.
Eradicate email text blobs
You can write more effective emails just by formatting them for easier digestion.
Dear team, Last week we had a problem with the logs in the production environment. I am talking about the Redmine issue #453. We noticed a huge increase in the log messages blabla leading to delayed responses because blah blah blah. At some point the server run out of disk and everything fell apart blah blah blah. Administrators backed up the logs and removed them from the server to blah blah blah. We started investigating what is going on immediately and after two days we managed to reproduce the error in the staging environment as well. The problem was the usage of an external library that had a bug which blah blah blah. We removed the library and the bug was no longer reproducable in the staging environment. The buggy library was blah blah blah. We released the fix yesterday and everything seems to be back to normal. We also added some scripts that will notify us immediately if such conditions start to emerge. Thank you for your time, Lazarus
Dear team, Background Last week we had a problem with the logs in the production environment. We noticed a huge increase in the log messages blabla. Consequences The increase led to delayed responses because blah blah blah. At some point the server run out of disk and everything fell apart blah blah blah. Cause of the problem We started investigating what is going on immediately and after two days we managed to reproduce the error in the staging environment as well. The problem was the usage of an external library that had a bug which blah blah blah. The buggy library was blah blah blah. Actions taken 1. Administrators backed up the logs and removed them from the server to blah blah blah. 2. We removed the library and the bug was no longer reproducible in the staging environment. 3. We released the fix yesterday, June 26th, 2019. 4. We also added some scripts that will notify us on time if such conditions start to emerge. Current statusThe server is up and running, everything seems to be back to normal. More info Related Redmine issue #453External library - Official bug report Thank you for your time, Lazarus
So much better.
Text blobs murder the desired outcome of your email. Lots of other helpful tips in this article.
Help with holiday book suggestions
Not sure what to read next—or what book to get someone for Christmas?
NPR’s online book concierge lets you mix and match book categories by year (going back to 2013), providing tons of recommendations and reviews.
The Hillsborough County Public Library Cooperative will send you personalized book gift recommendations if you fill out a short questionnaire about your gift recipient—a very cool service and idea.
Review and summary: “The Library Book,” by Susan Orlean
Disclaimer: I don’t really know how to summarize “The Library Book.”
Ostensibly, this book is about the devastating fire at the Los Angeles Central Library in 1986. But the book covers so much more.
Written by Susan Orlean, “The Library Book” is like a fire, winding around corners, heading down unexpected paths, and lighting up nooks and crannies we didn’t know existed.
And like an all-consuming fire, the book achieves its goals:
Sharing the history and cultural importance of libraries.
Explaining how libraries operate, serve communities, and innovate services.
Illustrating how libraries both reflect and help shape the communities they serve.
Instead of summarizing the book, I’ll share some interesting ideas from it, and hopefully you’ll want to read it yourself to fill in the rest (and you should).
How to write with rhythm: A visual reminder
The Peloton Mistake
This new Peleton commercial had Twitter all fired up:
Some people were upset, claiming sexism, because a husband bought his wife an exercise bike in the commercial, or claiming privilege, because the bikes are expensive.
While I disagree with those opinions, there is something oddly unsettling about the commercial. Copywriter Amy Hoy nails it in a Twitter thread:
Speaking of Peleton …
There’s a pretty hilarious Twitter thread out there from last January making fun of Peleton product shots:
Thanks for reading!
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