Useful Links: TED Talks, Embed video sections, XAMPP, JQuery2.0

Spydergrrl earns a hat tip and a +1 for sharing Finding Our Tribe: 75 TED Talks Featuring Geek Girls. Her post will lead you to the TED Talks blog, where you can find the list of More than 75 TED Talks showing women in science and tech.

How to embed just a portion of a You Tube video? from Digital Inspiration tells you how to specify a start and stop point for embedded video.

What is XAMPP? is the explanation you’ve been looking for.

A new version of JQuery (JQuery 2.0) is now available that supports only IE10. Older versions of JQuery still support older versions of IE.

Useful Links: Growth Markets, columns, Grandmas

Here’s terrific short video called Find Your Next Growth Market with Nilofer Merchant. Sorry, I can’t find any code to embed it here, but it’s worth a listen and very short.

How to Use CSS3 Columns is a quick and easy tutorial.

Grandma Got STEM is a new blog where people can send in information about the older women in their lives who have been working for decades in STEM fields. Invisible no more!

How To Have A Video Background For Your Website

Do you want to put a video background on your website to achieve the same impressive design results showcased by sites such as Razorfish and Random Dance? It’s really not difficult to do, so long as you have a cursory knowledge of how to edit HTML files and upload Javascript files.


One way to add a video background to your website is to use the video embed HTML5 feature along with a bit of CSS3 to help your video maintain its position. Though this is an option, it’s not an ideal solution because it doesn’t allow you the control you need to make your videos interactive (if desired) or to determine what device your website is being loaded on. The latter is critical, because many devices won’t run background videos.

The best method is to employ Javascript to load your background video. Javascript can determine what device is being used, and then load an image when background videos cannot be played.

There are many different scripts out there for loading videos, and each can be customized to serve your own purposes. However, there are two scripts I recommend, depending on your video source.

Big Video

Developed by John Polacek at Draftfcb Chicago, this script makes it simple for you to add a background video to your website. You’ll need the jQuery, jQuery UI, and jQuery imagesloaded libraries and plugin to use the script. With this script, you can load videos from any source (though the author recommends Vimeo), and you can even add an interactive playlist.

Big Video

YouTube Video Background

This is a simple script that’s likewise easy to use; it will call YouTube videos to be loaded as your web page background.

YouTube Video Background

As with any web implementation, test your new video background to make sure it plays on all major browsers and responds as it should (such as with image replacement) on different devices and operating systems. Don’t be afraid to play with the code to add features you want to use, and make it your own! And, if you’re more a designer by heart, you can always hire a freelancer to install these scripts for you.

They’re relatively simple, so an experienced coder should be able to implement them rather quickly and with minimal charge.

Do you have a preferred method of loading videos as web page backgrounds? Have I missed anything that should be included? Let me know in the comments!

Guest Author Brian Morris writes for the PsPrint Design & Printing Blog. PsPrint is an online commercial printing company. Follow PsPrint on Twitter @PsPrint and Facebook.

Useful Links: Alt Text, Responsive Images, MinutePhysics

A Useful Alt Text Decision Tree Added to HTML5 at the W3C. Then Dey Alaxander wrote Text Alternatives for Images: A Decision Tree at 4 syllables.

Here’s a podcast from The Web Ahead with a discussion with Jen Simmons about Responsive Images with Mat Marquis.

And finally, MinutePhysics is here to help you understand what Higgs Boson is.

Useful links: Video, Access U, WordPress widgets

Video for Everybody! “Video for Everybody is simply a chunk of HTML code that embeds a video into a website using the HTML5 <video> element, falling back to Flash automatically without the use of JavaScript or browser-sniffing. It therefore works in RSS readers (no JavaScript), on the iPhone / iPad (don’t support Flash) and on many browsers and platforms.”

A Knowbility conference is coming up on the West Coast. It’s Access U @ CSUN, toward the end of February. Learn from accessibility experts such as Shawn Henry, Jennison Asuncion, Denis Boudreau, Molly Holzschlag, Derek Featherstone and others.

An excellent presentation from Kathy Gill on using widgets in WordPress.

Useful links: W3C news, responsive tables, responsive templates

Two announcements from the W3C relating to accessibility are important news today. The first is a couple of new notes relating to WCAG 2.0. You can find links to the relevant documents here. The other announcement is the first draft of the Media Accessibility User Requirements. The W3C description of the media requirements document: “It first provides an introduction to the needs of users with disabilties in relation to audio and video. Then it explains what alternative content technologies have been developed to help such users gain access to the content of audio and video.”

A Responsive Design Approach for Complex, Multicolumn Data Tables.

Initializr. A responsive design template from verekia.

Useful links: box-sizing, chicken feathers, YouTube Partner Program

Controlling width with CSS3 box-sizing at 456 Berea Street explains how to use box-sizing to lay out a small form.

Waste Chicken Feathers Make Durable Biodegradable Plastic. A science experiment from grade school days that I remember is that the aroma of burning hair or burning chicken feathers was an indicator that there was protein in whatever was burning. Don’t know why I remember that particular science experiment above all others, but this story brought it back.

Conversations With Corvida: Adria Richards Talks YouTube Partner Program. If you make video and haven’t heard of the YouTube Partner Program, this will interest you.