Automate and extend Firefox with the Chickenfoot add-on

Tony Patton in his article on Chickenfoot speaks about manipulating the DOM of a webpage through which you can give additional features to a web page.

Chickenfoot is a Firefox add-on that allows you to automate user actions within the browser environment. It also lets you extend the browser interface to provide additional features to a Web page.

Before I delve into how this add-on can make your Web development work easier, I thought I’d take a moment to share the answer to the question I bet you’re asking yourself (I know I was): Why is it called Chickenfoot? Here is the answer from the Chickenfoot site:

“Chickenfoot is a game that you can play with dominoes. Since Chickenfoot does much of its work by manipulating the Document Object Model, or DOM, of a web page, Chickenfoot the Firefox extension is like a toy that lets you play with the DOMinoes of the web.”

Access the full article here

Chickenfoot is available as a free download. When you click the downloaded file, Chickenfoot is installed via the Firefox Add-ons dialog box. After installation, it is available as a sidebar selection (View | Sidebar). After you enable the sidebar, Chickenfoot appears on the left side of the browser adjacent to where pages load.

The top portion of the Chickenfoot sidebar contains a JavaScript editor that allows you to enter JavaScript as you would within a Web page. In addition, you can enter commands from the JavaScript superset that is part of Chickenfoot.

You may enter multiple code windows within the JavaScript editor. There are buttons at the top of the JavaScript editor that you can use to open/save scripts, create new scripts, and execute and stop scripts.

For more information about Chickenfoot scripts, check out the Chickenfoot Script Repository.

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World’s most amazing temples

Tiger’s Nest Monastery, perched precariously on the edge of a 3,000-feet-high cliff in Paro Valley, is one of the holiest places in Bhutan.

Wat Rong Khun in Chiang Mai, Thailand is unlike any Buddhist temples in the world.

Temple of Heaven is a Taoist temple in Beijing, the capital of China. The temple was constructed in 14th century by Emperor Yongle of the Ming Dynasty

The largest temple in history and the inspiration to countless novels and action movies of Hollywood: Ankor Wat.

In the 19th century, Dutch occupiers of Indonesia found a massive ancient ruin deep in the jungles of Java. What they discovered was the complex of Borobudur, a gigantic structure built with nearly 2 million cubic feet (55,000 m³) of stones. The temple has nearly 2,700 relief panels and 504 Buddha statues

No one knows exactly when the Shwedagon Paya [wiki] (or Pagoda) in Myanmar was built – legend has it that it is 2,500 years old though archaeologists estimate that it was built between the 6th and 10th century.

Prambanan is a Hindu temple in Central Java, Indonesia. The temple was built in 850 CE, and is composed of 8 main shrines and 250 surrounding smaller ones.

Law & Behold

People around the world have come up with all kinds of strange laws in their efforts to maintain law and order. The following is the list some of the strangest laws in effect around the world

  1. In Thailand, it is illegal to leave your house if you are not wearing underwear – how do they actually find that??
  2. In Switzerland, it is illegal to flush the toilet after 10pm if you live in an apartment – what??
  3. It’s also illegal for a chicken to lay an egg on Friday or Saturday in Israel – and it does then??
  4. Picking your nose on Saturday is forbidden in Israel – what???
  5. In Denmark, attempt to escape from prison is not illegal, however, if one is caught he is required to serve out the remainder of the term – they are really nice people!
  6. In Liverpool, it is illegal for a woman to be topless in public except as a clerk in a tropical fish store, or in a bank if handling foreign currency
  7. In Ireland, it is illegal for a student to walk through Trinity College without a sword – they actually go to college to war?
  8. In Texas, ‘when two trains meet each other at a railroad crossing, each shall come to a full stop, and neither shall proceed until the other has gone’ – and when do they proceed actually?
  9. No man may purchase alcohol without written consent from his wife in Pennsylvania
  10. In Pennsylvania, ‘any motorist driving along a country road at night must stop every mile and send up a rocket signal, wait 10 minutes for the road to be cleared of livestock, and continue’ – I am not going to that country with my bike! never
  11. In Paulding, Ohio, a policeman can legally bite a dog to quiet him – eek
  12. In Oxford, Ohio, it’s illegal for a woman to strip off her clothing while standing in front of a man’s picture – no comments!!
  13. A man cannot go outside wearing un-matching jacket and pants in Carmel, New York – what?
  14. In Cresskill, New Jersey, cats must wear three bells to warn birds of their whereabouts
  15. It’s illegal for a husband to make love to his wife if his breath smells like garlic, onions, or sardines in Alexandria, Minnesota. The wife can, by law, force her husband to brush his teeth
  16. In Michigan, a woman’s hair legally belongs to her husband. Consequently, she’s not allowed to cut her own hair without her husband’s permission – of course.. I mean this should be implemented all over the world.
  17. All dogs are required to have their hind legs tied during the month of April in Massachusetts – and why is that so?
  18. Carrying an ice cream cone in our pocket is prohibited in Kentucky – poor boy
  19. In Natoma, Kansas, it’s against the law to practice knife-throwing at men wearing striped suits – hey, give me a break
  20. In Zion, Illinois, it’s illegal for anyone to give lighted cigars to dogs, cats, and other domesticated animals kept as pets
  21. In Chicago, eating in a place that is on fire is forbidden – and who does that? I mean, its fire all over and you are eating… my last supper
  22. In Kenilworth, Illinois, rosters must be at least three hundred feet away from any residence if they wish to crow- now rules are for the animals also… poor guys
  23. It is illegal for a cab in the city of London to carry rabid dogs or corpses
  24. It is illegal to die in the Houses of Parliament in the UK – if somebody dies… hang him till death..?
  25. In France, it is forbidden to call a pig Napoleon
  26. Under the UK’s Tax Avoidance Schemes Regulations 2006, it is illegal not to tell the taxman anything you don’t want him to know, though you don’t have to tell him anything you don’t mind him knowing – I don’t have any problem you knowing everything… So I don’t tell you anything!!
  27. In Ohio, it is against state law to get a fish drunk – fish… drunk… how… why???
  28. Royal Navy ships that enter the port of London must provide a barrel of rum to the Constable of the Tower of London – that guy must be lucky
  29. In the UK, a pregnant woman can legally relieve herself anywhere she wants- even if she so requests, in a policeman’s helmet – eek…
  30. In Miami, Florida, it is illegal to skateboard inside a police station – crazy… is it legal to play golf?
  31. In San Salvador, drunk drivers can be punished by death before a firing squad
  32. In the UK, a man who feels compelled to urinate in public can do so only if he aims for his rear wheel and keeps his right hand on his vehicle
  33. In Florida, unmarried women who parachute on Sundays can be jailed
  34. In Kentucky, it is illegal to carry a concealed weapon more than six feet long
  35. In Chester, Welshmen are banned from entering the city before sunrise and from staying after sunset
  36. In the city of York, it is legal to murder a Scotsman within the ancient city walls, but only if he is carrying a bow and arrow
  37. In Boulder, Colorado, it is illegal to kill a bird within the city limits and also to ‘own’ a pet – the town’s citizens, legally speaking are merely ‘pet minders’
  38. In Vermont, women must get written permission from their husbands to wear false teeth
  39. In London, it is illegal to flag down a taxi if you have the plague
  40. The head of any dead whale found on the British coast is legally the property of the king; the tail, on the other hand, belongs to the queen – in case she needs the bones for her corset

There are much more, some weirder than others. It is really amusing that these kinds of rules exist.

Lively by Google

You can now socialize in 3D places on the Web! Lively by Google has interactive 3D places on Web pages where visitors can see each other’s avatars and chat. Customize your avatar and decorate rooms to add another dimension to social networking! Take expression to the next dimension with Lively. This exciting experience lets you interact and express yourself with avatars, within rooms you create.

You’ll be able to:

  • Chat with your friends or meet new contacts online.
  • Create and decorate your own room – and invite your friends over.
  • Personalize your surroundings with an ever-growing catalog of avatars, outfits, furniture, and rooms to build up.

Your avatar represents you. Pick a character that suits your personality or mood and customize it to make it unique. Dress your avatar to express your style. Use your avatar’s animations to add some body language to chats! Customize the avatar and stream personal photos and video.

Users can create and share their own places: Anybody can create and publish their own room. Pick a room shell that provides a good foundation and decorate it any way that you can imagine. Invite people to visit your room, they can decorate it too! Add your room to your site. Invite your friends to chat and help decorate

The best part is, if you already use Web History or any Google service that requires a sign-in, then you already have a Google Account, and can sign in now to begin using Lively by Google.

10 ways to empower your communication

1. What you know.
Education is all about learning the basics, but to be an effective speaker is to practice what you’ve learned. My stint as guest at every Toastmasters’ meeting I go to taught me that we all have our limitations, but that doesn’t mean we can’t learn to keep up and share what we know.

2. Listening.
It’s just as important as asking questions. Sometimes listening to the sound of our own voice can teach us to be a little bit confident with ourselves and to say the things we believe in with conviction.

3. Humility
We all make mistakes, and sometimes we tend to slur our words, stutter, and probably mispronounce certain words even though we know what it means, but rarely use it only to impress listeners. So in a group, don’t be afraid to ask if you’re saying the right word properly and if they’re unsure about it then make a joke out of it. I promise you it’ll make everyone laugh and you can get away with it as well.

4. Eye Contact
There’s a lot to say when it comes to directing your attention to your audience with an eye-catching gaze. It’s important that you keep your focus when talking to a large group in a meeting or a gathering, even though he or she may be gorgeous.

5. Kidding around
A little bit of humor can do wonders to lift the tension, or worse boredom when making your speech. That way, you’ll get the attention of the majority of the crowd and they’ll feel that you’re just as approachable, and as human to those who listen.

6. Be like the rest of them
Interaction is all about mingling with other people. You’ll get a lot of ideas, as well as knowing what people make them as they are.

7. Me, Myself, and I
Admit it, there are times you sing to yourself in the shower. I know I do! Listening to the sound of your own voice while you practice your speech in front of a mirror can help correct the stress areas of your pitch. And while you’re at it you can spruce up as well.

8. With a smile
A smile says it all much like eye contact. There’s no point on grimacing or frowning in a meeting or a gathering, unless it’s a wake. You can better express what you’re saying when you smile.

9. A Role Model
There must be at least one or two people in your life you have listened to when they’re at a public gathering or maybe at church. Sure they read their lines, but taking a mental note of how they emphasize what they say can help you once you take center stage.

10. Preparation
Make the best out of preparation rather than just scribbling notes and often in a hurried panic. Some people like to write things down on index cards, while other resort to being a little more silly as they look at their notes written on the palm of their hand (not for clammy hands, please). Just be comfortable with what you know since you enjoy your work.

And that about wraps it up. These suggestions are rather amateurish in edgewise, but I’ve learned to empower myself when it comes to public or private speaking and it never hurts to be with people to listen how they make conversations and meetings far more enjoyable as well as educational.