New Theme: Intergalactic

Mel Choyce:

A new theme I designed, Intergalactic, is now available for use on! Had an awesome time working with Caroline to get this one up and running. :D

Originally posted on News:

We have a brand new free theme for your blogging pleasure today!


Intergalactic Theme

Designed by Automattic’s very own Mel Choyce, Intergalactic is a stunning specimen for your personal blog. Bold featured images act as the backdrop to your text, giving you a high-contrast, readable theme that’s perfect for making your content pop. The one-column layout provides a distraction-free environment for reading, while the slide-out menu keeps your navigation and secondary content readily accessible.

In Mel’s own words…

Intergalactic was inspired by long-form storytelling sites like Exposure and Medium. I wanted to design a theme that focused heavily on showcasing your stories, images, and videos, and could flex its content to many different use-cases. I also wanted everything to be big — as big as the Beastie Boys (who inspired the name). It was great working with Caroline to bring Intergalactic to life.

Learn more about the free

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Measure Twice, Cut Once

Originally posted on The Daily Post:

Note: A theme sets the look and feel of your site. Although all themes in our Theme Showcase fundamentally work the same way, themes can have significant differences regarding specific layouts, options, and functionality.

One of the first things that most people do with a new site or when freshening up an existing one is spend loads of time looking at themes. Once they choose a theme, it’s not uncommon for folks to spend considerable time and effort customizing it, all without planning for content. If you’re in that group, I hope you’ll reconsider your approach.

You see, content should come first.

This is a good thing for everyone to remember, not just first-time bloggers. A site with ho-hum content — or worse, no content — will keep people from coming back, assuming that they find your site in the first place.

Content should drive the theme, not vice versa. What good is a…

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Automattic Acquires BruteProtect

Originally posted on Jetpack for WordPress:

I’m excited to announce that Automattic has acquired BruteProtect, a plugin and service that protects your sites from malicious logins, saves server resources so your site runs faster, and keeps all your sites on the latest and greatest versions of WordPress core, plugins, and themes.

The plugin and service are currently available, but over the coming months we’re going to build their functionality into Jetpack and retire BruteProtect as a standalone thing.

BruteProtect also has a premium service that starts at $5 a month per site — effective immediately, that will be free for every BruteProtect user and Jetpack-enabled site. If you’re already a BruteProtect subscriber we’ll be in touch soon to send you a surprise thank you for your early support. You can download and get started with Jetpack here.

The BruteProtect team is based in Portland, Maine and they’re long-time contributors to the WordPress community. We’re excited…

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Something funny happened

Mel Choyce:

Automattic just launched a new selfies app!

Originally posted on Gravatar Blog:

On the way to building a Gravatar app, we noticed that taking pictures of ourselves to update our Gravatars was something we only wanted to do every month or so, but then we started taking selfies and sharing them with each other and that became a daily and very fun habit. So our Gravatar app morphed into a Selfies app, and it’s now ready for the world to play with! You can read more about the app here. We hope you become one of the first brave souls to try it out, and let us know what you think.

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 Final Fantasy VI explores human pain through its shattered geography

“Sabishii” is how Hironobu Sakaguchi described the type of game he wanted to make when creating Final Fantasy. It’s a Japanese word that means “lonely.” Right out of the gate, Square’s role-playing series nailed that feeling, the games’ inherent austerity enhanced by painter Yoshitaka Amano’s ghostly art and Nobuo Uematsu’s delicate soundtrack. No Final Fantasy game has been so committed to loneliness as Final Fantasy VI, though, which is strange considering it has the largest cast of colorful world-saving heroes. Stranger still, they fail to save much of anything, and the world ends, at least for a while. But the World Of Ruin isn’t a place for nihilistic moping or stoic melodrama, though there are dollops of both here and there. Final Fantasy VI uses its gutted world to explore how people overcome failure and loss to build hope in new lives.

Great write-up about what made Final Fantasy VI so heart-wrenchingly great.

Mama’s Boy

Mel Choyce:

Had a great mother’s day brunch with my mom here!

Originally posted on lunchingwithlori:

Being a Northern and traveling a lot to the South, I have always enjoyed Southern Cuisine, especially shrimp and grits. When my son found a restaurant we could all meet at in South Norwalk that had a southern flare, we decided to meet there for brunch.  I had looked up their menu online and saw that there were delectable delights such as shrimp, grits and country fried bacon. Now how could country fried bacon me anything but mouth-watering?

They have a great drink selection, one worthy of being southern. You should try one of their green tomato Bloody Mary’s.  I had their mimosa special of the day.

We started with appetizers, fresh berries, deviled eggs, and OMG fried chicken skins and fried okra. Talk about pleasing the palette! The deviled eggs were filled with a yummy filling and they even put the filling on the bottom of the plate to…

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This framing of the ‘I was a bullied kid’ derail fundamentally frames nerdy children as necessarily being boys. Not too surprising given how men are usually understood as the default person and their experiences universal and generalizable to everyone else.

The lack of empathy and sensitivity displayed by guy nerds who may have been bullied as young geeky boys, is all the more striking when you consider the fact that marginalized people (generally, but especially the likewise nerdy ones) don’t often display the same lack of empathy or willingness to understand.

via so when we talk about bullying – satifice.

As a geeky girl who was bullied as a child, this article was particularly meaningful.