How five Queen songs went mainstream in totally different ways

Originally published on the MusicBrainz blog.


Making graphs is easy. Making intuitive, easy-to-understand graphs? It’s harder than most people think. At the Rochester Institute of Technology, the ISTE-260 (Designing the User Experience) course teaches the language of design to IT students. For an introductory exercise in the class, students are tasked to visualize any set of data they desire. Students David Kim, Jathan Anandham, Justin W. Flory, and Scott Tinker used the MusicBrainz database to look at how five different Queen songs went mainstream in different ways.

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Wikipedia is a privilege

Originally written as an essay response for ENGL-450 Free and Open Source Culture at the Rochester Institute of Technology.


Growing up with easy access to the Internet grants the privilege of experiencing effortless knowledge and high availability of information. Wikipedia is an example of 21st century cooperation and collaboration. For many, it represents a beacon of free information and self-education. Some might credit it for charting wider participation in the movement towards free content and open resources.

Yet Wikipedia remains a tool of power and privilege, absent for many as societal myths perpetuate in the lives of children. As children are exposed to the Internet at earlier ages, their comprehension and correlation to the real world is in the context of living in a digitized society. In simpler words, everything they ever know always has technology, tablets, smart-phones, and smart devices present. There is no split experience of going from have-nots to haves.

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How to fix missing Python for Ansible in Fedora Vagrant

Recently, I started to use Vagrant to test Ansible playbooks on Fedora machines. I’m using the Fedora 28 cloud base image. However, when I tried to provision my Vagrant box, I was warned the Python binary is missing.

$ vagrant provision
==> default: Running provisioner: ansible...
    default: Running ansible-playbook...

PLAY [all] *********************************************************************

TASK [Gathering Facts] *********************************************************
fatal: [default]: FAILED! => {"changed": false, "module_stderr": "Shared connection to 192.168.121.3 closed.\r\n", "module_stdout": "\r\n/bin/sh: /usr/bin/python: No such file or directory\r\n", "msg": "MODULE FAILURE", "rc": 127}
	to retry, use: --limit @playbook.retry
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What does it mean to be an American?

I can’t help but feel this period in history is significant, if only for what is yet to come of this global political climate. Each day I read the news, a mix of positive and negative connotations blurs through my subconscious: paragraphs of words about people far away, words about events that happened when I was asleep. Heavy paragraphs and words that seem void of emotion, but carry all the weight of a freight train. These articles, paragraphs, and collection of words are the paint of perspective, and as much as they are overwhelming, they are also equally so liberating.

Across this spectrum of bold headlines and addicting scrolling, I began to wonder about identity. What determines how we choose to identify where we originate from? What makes us decide to disassociate from our birthplace? What parts of our culture make us proud and content and what parts are like fresh wounds withheld from time and space needed to heal? I started to wonder about my own identity and what it means to me to be defined as an American.

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Keep your open source project organized with GitHub project boards

This article was originally published on Opensource.com.


Managing an open source project is challenging work. The challenge grows as a project grows. Eventually, a project may need to meet different requirements and span across multiple repositories. These problems aren’t technical, but are important to solve to scale a technical project. Business process management methodologies such as agile and kanban bring a method to the madness. Developers and managers can make realistic decisions for estimating deadlines and team bandwidth with organized development focus.

At the UNICEF Office of Innovation, we use GitHub projects boards to organize development on the MagicBox project. MagicBox is a full-stack application to serve and visualize data for decision-making in humanitarian crises and emergencies. The project spans multiple GitHub repositories and works with multiple developers. With GitHub project boards, we organized our work across multiple repositories to better understand development focus and team bandwidth.

Here’s three tips from the UNICEF Office of Innovation on how to organize your open source GitHub projects with the built-in project boards on GitHub.

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What is Ehlers-Danlos Syndrome?

May is Ehlers-Danlos Syndrome Awareness Month. Ehlers-Danlos Syndrome, abbreviated to EDS, is a genetic disorder that affects 1 out of 5,000 people across the world. It’s also considered an “invisible illness” since it isn’t clear from the outside whether someone is living with EDS.

This article explains what Ehlers-Danlos Syndrome is, its symptoms, how to support someone living with EDS, and simple actions anyone can take to help.

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Stepping out of Fedora: May to August 2018

Similar to last year, I am putting forward a note of planned absence from the Fedora Project community from May to August 2018.

Transparency is important to me. I wanted to make this announcement ahead of time to set clear expectations for the upcoming months. I am returning to Chicago, IL to work another internship at Jump Trading, LLC. From June to August, I am working at their Chicago office. I am excited to return and learn more from an amazing team of people.

I am not blocked by company policy from contributing to open source, so I won’t disappear completely. However, while I am still able to contribute to Fedora, I do not expect to keep up the level of activity that I contribute at now during my internship.

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Six months later: 3 things I learned from deleting Facebook

Six months ago, I deleted my Facebook and Instagram accounts. Beyond data privacy concerns, social media became a virtual band-aid applied to moments of weakness and sadness for me. I became more aware of the effects of social media on my mood and general outlook on the world, as I explained in my decision to delete my accounts. Six months passed since I deleted my accounts. Along the way, I learned a few lessons on creating a healthy diet of media and pop culture consumption in a world of constant connectivity and endless media reservoirs.

This article explains some of the changes I made in my life to how I use social media and my smart phone since deleting my accounts. Hopefully you will find these tips useful too.

The picture is dramatic, but when you spend more time thinking about how you use your phone, you realize more how the world uses our phones and the Internet, like Facebook and social media. Photo from SparkXL.

The picture is dramatic, but when you spend more time thinking about how you use your phone, you realize more how the world uses our phones and the Internet. Photo from SparkXL.

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Tergiversate: Abysma by Geotic

This article is part of my Tervigersate column on my blog, where I review albums by musicians spanning multiple genres. Articles introduce an album and give my interpretation of their meaning.


The next album to spotlight in Tergiversate is Abysma by Los Angeles-based Geotic, a.k.a. Will Wiesenfeld. Abysma is the ninth studio album released by Geotic. It debuted on March 31, 2017. The album could be described as a cross between an electronica and indie pop. For Wiesenfeld’s first début on a record label with his side project Geotic, he makes a bold and eccentric presence with Abysma.

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How I accidentally wrote a Wikipedia page on a layover in Dublin

One of the most unusual but wonderful experiences happened to me on a return trip from Europe to the United States.

A series of heavy noreasters hit the US east coast over the last couple weeks. This coincided with my travel dates back to Rochester, NY. While we didn’t have flooding, we had a lot of snow. A lot of snow means canceled flights.

As I made my way through border control in Dublin, Ireland on March 7, I discovered my connection to New York City would likely be canceled. A meander from baggage claim to the check-in desk confirmed this. Fortunately, Aer Lingus had no issue putting me up in a hotel overnight with dinner and breakfast to catch the next flight to New York the next day.

While waiting in airport queues, a friend happened to retweet a local event happening in Dublin the next day.

The event was a local Wikimedia meet-up to celebrate International Women’s Day. Participants would create and edit Wikipedia pages for influential women in the history of the Royal College of Surgeons in Ireland. After digging deeper, I found out the event was 30 minutes away from my hotel from 09:30 to 12:30. My flight was at 16:10.

I put in my RSVP.

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