My name is Johnathan Lyman and I am an engineer at Papertrail, a huge Apple nerd and semi-regular blogger. Find out more.

Side Projects

Check out my micro blog for a look at some of the half-formed thoughts that spill out.
You can find some of my past projects in the Archives.

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Google's 2017 Year in Search

Google's 2017 Year in Search

(4 days ago) 2 min read Permalink

Google's 2017 Year in Search is out and the trends were somewhat predictable.

The top five searches included Hurrican Irma, the iPhones 8 and X, Matt Lauer, and Meghan Markle. When it came to people, specifically, a few names didn't surprise. Matt Lauer, Meghan Markle and Harvey Weinstein all appeared on the list, two of those three being tied to allegations of sexual misconduct in some form or another. The one person I didn't expect to see (and frankly didn't know anything about) was Nadia Toffa. Turns out, she reported on a nuclear experiement in Italy and was criticized wildly online:

Toffa is an Italian television presenter on the Italian satirical current affairs program Le Iene. In November, Toffa falsely reported a dangerous nuclear experiment was due to take place under Italy’s Gran Sasso mountain. Toffa’s report was roundly dismissed and deemed meritless and the presenter received widespread condemnation in her native country.

And it continues on to say...

Italy’s National Institute of Nuclear Physics (INFN) debunked Toffa’s claims, Il Post said. An experiment that was completely safe was due to take place, the INFN said, but was recently contested by Italy’s Five Star Movement political party, which appealed the regional council in Abruzzo, where the mountain is located, to “immediately and indefinitely block the experiment.”

Toffa’s Facebook page has nearly 1.5 million followers. Her last update was on November 20. She wrote: "We get upset about lies, we break friendships, relationships, just because, in our pride, we don't realize that a lie is a form of weakness, it's a way to hide oneself, not being brave enough to reveal oneself. Next time I'm lied to, I won't get mad, perhaps I will instead be compassionate, trying to understand. Who knows." she wrote.

Beyond that, a lot more obvious suspects made the list, including the Las Vegas shooting, Bitcoin, North Korea (yes, that's their actual public-facing Web site), more individuals in the swirling sexual assault allegation cespool, and the Solar Eclipse.

Unfortunately some trends just need to die, including the Cash Me Outside meme. There's even a freaking song. 🤦🏼‍♂️

You can check out the entire report on Google Trends.

The (Un)Balanced Social Media Landscape

(5 days ago) < 1 min read Permalink

I discovered some stats from a 2016 Harvard study which discussed politics in the social media landscape. It's a good read and worth checking out, but one (actually three partial) things stood out most of all: the political distribution on the open web, social media, and especially Facebok in particular.

Take a look at this graph[1]:


That's an insane distribution. I believe political discourse belongs on Facebook, but there's a largely over-represented group and just as well an under-represented group… both on the same side.

I can only imagine that with time, the numbers will drift farther left and right still. Perhaps it's time to reconsider Facebook's place in my daily life.

  1. Source: "Partisanship, Propaganda, and Disinformation: Online Media and the 2016 U.S. Presidential Election". Harvard, 2016. ↩︎

On Moving to

(5 days ago) 2 min read Permalink

The idea of moving to a first-name.tld-type domain had been on my mind for quite a while. I settled on after much internal deliberation and stomaching with the fact that it wasn't available for just a handful of dollars a year. I ended up buying the domain from a private party a few weeks ago, and now that the dust is settled, I feel comforatable explaining my reasons behind the change.

.ly: Short But not Sweet

I've always had mixed feelings about purchasing a domain name from Libya. As a country, they're not exactly known for open Internet practices so I bought my previous domain ( knowing that there's a non-zero possibility that it might be pulled out from under me at any time for whatever reason[1]. Not knowing where my money was ultimately going—given the odds the Libyan government had a significant hand in running the registry—was enough for me to consider an alternative.

Coming to this conclusion sucked, though, because I was super excited when I bit the bullet and bought

Molding the Personal Brand

For whatever reason, my online nerd brand needed some improvement and I've always been a fan of early-to-mid 2000s Internet and the entire IndieWeb movement. Creating a home online without un-necessary siloing has always been a goal and I felt I could finally carve my place on the Internet for realzies. I also own,, and, so I could have used any one of those, but I opted not to since they either felt too long or not obvious enough[2]. Plus, having a .org address felt like it could hit home that my site isn't one I plan on turning into a business or is any kind of commercial property. It's barebones, loads pretty quickly, and there's minimal tracking.

One thing left on my domain todo list is see if I can get a hold of the non-double-H version of my name, too ( and have it redirect to here. It'd make life infinitely more simple when telling people and I don't have to worry about the misspelling it. I could take it farther and round up other common spellings, but I think we're entering cost territory I'm not quite comfortable with, yet.[3]

Overall, I've felt comfortable with the conversion and I think it'll be something I hold onto for a while. I've changed domain names every couple years in the past largely because I never really felt like it was my true online home. This feels like the real deal.

  1. Yes, this can be the case with any TLD, but given the current state of United States-Libya relations, the odds are much higher. ↩︎

  2. There are more J. Lymans out there than those that spell their first name like I. ↩︎

  3. is going for US$4,400 at the time I wrote this. That's just stupid. ↩︎

Fixing Browsersync Not Reloading

(10 days ago) < 1 min read Permalink

I wanted to jot this down real quick while I work on the next version of this site. I'm using Gulp and Browsersync and for the life of me I couldn't get the reload to actually take place. Turns out I didn't specify properly what files Browsersync needs to trigger when changed.

Here's the gulp.task() that worked for me:

gulp.task('browsersync', function (callback) {  
    proxy: 'localhost:2368',
    files: ['app/**/*.hbs', 'app/assets/scss/**/*.scss']


Note the files: array added to the browserSync.init() function. That's the ticket, right there.

Once I did that, it was magic sauce all over again.

For some reason the robots couldn't think of anything crafty to say here.
photo of Johnathan Lyman
Kenmore, WA,
United States
blogging, design, technology, software, development, gaming, photography