December 2019 Favorites

11 min read

No battle plan ever survives contact with the enemy.

Helmuth Karl Bernhard Graf von Moltke, Donnybrook: The Battle of Bull Run, 1861 (2005) by David Detzer, p. 233


TV Shows

  • Vikings 6 P – Unfortunately this is the last season of this fantastic TV show.
  • Mr. Robot 4 P – One of my favorite TV shows of all times ended, but it ended big time and with a very satisfying end. I think it’s worth rewatching the whole TV show a second time.
  • BoJack Horseman 6 N
  • The Marvelous Mrs. Maisel 3 P
  • Modern Family 9 N
  • The Killing 1 2 P – I could finally start watching this fantastic crime TV show. I remember it was one of the reasons I got a Netflix account (but the show disappeared from Netflix shortly after I joined the service).
  • SpongeBob SquarePants 2 P – Don’t judge me! This show is one of the best cartoons ever produced. It’s also for kids, but mostly for grown-ups. I finally started watching it from the first season and plan to watch it to the current one.
  • The Expanse 4 P – One of the best Sci-Fi TV show of all times. I love books, I love the TV show.
  • Lost in Space 2 N – I really liked this season, it was much better than the first season.
  • The Witcher 1 N – A really good fantasy TV show, even though I don’t know any of the Witcher books and only played the game with a friend for 30 minutes.


  • The Irishman N – The new film by Martin Scorsese is about the life of the contract killer Frank Sheeran. It’s a really good movie with high-class actors, but also very long.
  • Your Name. N – This fantastic Japanese animation film was a recommendation of Like Stories of Old.




  • Case Study: 2019 refresh – Lynn Fisher shows how she created her new website. Make sure to also have a look at her previous years’ website archive and resize the browser! The bigger the monitor, the more funnier …
  • Salary and Occupation – Cool infographic showing the salary of 800 different occupations in the United States.
  • James S.A. Corey on the End of ‘The Expanse’ and a New Life for the TV Show – Interview on Goodreads with Daniel Abraham and Ty Franck, also known under their combined pseudonym James S.A. Corey, about their fantastic book series The Expanse.
  • Group Chat: The Best Way to Totally Stress Out Your Team – A fantastic article by Basecamp about the problems with Group Chat.
  • The Story of Us – A really, really long series of articles by Tim Urban from Wait But Why. He researched three years through dozens of books, hundreds of datasets, and had thousands of conversation for these articles. It’s a deep dive into history, political theory, and neuroscience. All articles are illustrated intensively with his famous stick-figures. The final chapter is not released yet, but it’s already a good 6 hour long read. Really worth it!


  • Limnia – Beautiful website for a fine jewelry shop.
  • Lynn Fisher – The 2019 edition of her website needs a very big monitor to see all jokes when resizing the browser.
  • Sushi MizukamiKeiji Ashizawa Design highlights the influence of nature in this Tokyo sushi restaurant.
  • Patricia Rovzar Gallery – Really nice Typography and Layout.
  • The Urban Village Project – A fantastic research project on sustainable living developed by SPACE10, supported by IKEA. I would love to live in one two of these units.
  • byAksel – The fantastic website of Aksel Jermstad a Visual Storyteller.
  • Nomadic Tribe – The best page of the year. I still don’t know why it’s there, but it’s awesome.
  • Near Miss Memorials – A website to raise the awareness to cross rail crossings with care.
  • The Frontier Within – Nice particle effects on this visualization of the human body.
  • To Taste – A really nice recipe site.

Stuff & Things

  • Apple iPhone 11 – I replaced my old iPhone 8 with this new model thanks to my generous employer’s device replacement policy. The new phone is so unbelievably fast and I especially enjoy the Face ID. The Touch ID fingerprint was partly very annoying when doing Sports (with gloves), with wet or dirty fingers.
  • Who Can Use – Cool tool allowing to check any color combination for contrast and visibility for vision types.
  • Animated CSS Background Generator – A nice tool with three different demos, which allows creating animated CSS backgrounds.
  • Leguano Husky – I bought my second pair of barefoot-shoes. It got too cold for the other pair, that’s why I bought the new winter shoe. They are really warm and comfortable.
  • AirPods Pro – I bought the AirPods Pro because I needed some small headphones with Active Noise Cancellation.
  • Print Friendly & PDF – A nice browser extension that allows preparing a website for PDF export (by removing parts like ads).
  • Complete Blender Creator: Learn 3D Modelling for Beginners – I started this training on Udemy to learn to work with Blender. Even though I have now a career on the web, I still love 3D modeling and animation.
  • Understanding TypeScript - 2020 Edition – As TypeScript will take over in 2020 I started this video training on Udemy.
  • Modern React with Redux – This video training I bought in 2017 got a complete makeover and I started watching the new material.
  • Testing JavaScript – This course on Testing with JavaScript I completed earlier this year got a complete makeover and I started watching the new material.
  • VSCodeThemes – A really nice website to have a preview into color themes for Visual Studio Code.
  • Spotify: 2019 Wrapped – Spotify created a nice personal summary of the decade.
  • npx npkill – A very useful npm script to quickly delete node_modules and free up disk space.


Jean-Louis Gassée, who used to run Apple France, describes this situation as the choice between two tokens. When you deal with people who have trouble, you can either choose to take the token that says ‘It’s no big deal’ or the token that says ‘It’s the end of the world’. Whichever token you pick, they’ll take the other.

Jason Fried & David Heinemeier Hansson, It Doesn't Have to Be Crazy at Work

Someone has made a joke about the baldness of my head, the weakness of my eyes, the thinness of my legs, the shortness of my stature; what insult is there in telling me that which everyone sees?

Lucius Annaeus Seneca, On The Firmness of the Wise Man, XVI (translated by Aubrey Stewart, 1900)

Life is a copiously branching bush, continually pruned by the grim reaper of extinction, not a ladder of predictable progress.

Stephen Jay Gould, Wonderful Life: The Burgess Shale and the Nature of History, p.35, W. W. Norton & Company