When Is It OK to Use a table HTML Element?

Never, but there’s an exception. If you are displaying tabular data, it’s fine to use.

A quote from CSS-Tricks:

So, when should we use<table>? Actual tabular data, of course! If you need to display a list of baseball scores, statistics or anything else in that vein, <table> is your friend. 

Ryan Grist. 2020. Why Do Some HTML Elements Become Deprecated? (April 2020). Retrieved September 6, 2020

What about using display: table-cell (CSS)?

In the Stackoverflow post titled How (and why) to use display: table-cell (CSS), this is interesting:

“..there is no good reason, and you should probably never do this.”

“In my over a decade of experience in web development, I can’t think of a single time I would have been better served to have a bunch of divs with display styles than to just have table elements.”


At CARFAX, we share best practices like this, apply the knowledge gained, and grow together. CARFAX and its members also share knowledge with the community at large.

Do you like challenges? Here’s one: What will you do to share knowledge with others today? If you’re looking for ideas, I have one. Feel free to share this blog post on Twitter or any other social media platform and let me know, please.

Thanks and have a great day!

Purpose Chant in Meditation

“I am one with the Force. The force is with me.” was chanted over and over by Chirrut Îmwe in Star Wars. This inspiring chant reminds me about the power of concentration chants.

Concentration chanting is a wonderful technique. As Dan Harris points out in the 10% Happier meditation app, it can be an enjoyable experience that gets you quite focused. The ability to get quite focused is a wonderful state of being. Sharon Salzberg covers the wonderful results of doing such a chanting practice in Concentration is a Skill in the same 10% Happier app.

Sharon shares wonderful insights such as:

  • “As we practice meditation, we get used to stillness and eventually we’re able to make friends with the quietness of our sensations.”
  • “We tend to count on intensity in order to feel alive. And the more we practice the more like simple things kinda pop and come alive for us like our hands in water, the sensations, or feeling a tea cup, or seeing a tree or whatever.”
  • “Just these moments that we usually disregarded or discounted in life as we sought greater and greater stimulation end up being very fulfilling.”

Inspired by George Mumford, my mantra is currently one of three words: hopeful, optimistic, or confident. However, doing a Lovingkindness based meditative chant also can serve well. Credit goes to Sharon Salzberg for the Lovingkindness words I have currently chosen.  On that note, “May you be safe, be happy, be healthy, and live with ease.”

Learning TypeScript

I’ve been coding for over a decade. Most recently, iOS development for over 5 years. However, before that I did a ton of JavaScript. Even though I’ve been writing iOS code, I haven’t abandoned JavaScript. In fact, I even dived into some sever-side TypeScript and am ready to share how. (Special thanks goes to a mentee of mine, Laquisha. She inspired me to write this short blog post.)

What’s TypeScript, you ask? As stated on the official website:

TypeScript is a typed superset of JavaScript that compiles to plain JavaScript.


Good Resources For Learning TypeScript

For the most up-to-date information, you can’t go wrong by going straight to the official TypeScript website at typescriptlang.org. Warning: As of July 2019, there’s a Quick Start link that isn’t as quick as you might think. What if you just want a taste of the language?

For a quick taste of the language, click on Documentation then Tutorials. In there is a TypeScript in 5 minutes document. Give it a quick scan, install what you need, and try out the code in your favorite editor. A popular editor is the Microsoft Visual Studio IDE and they even provide their own TypeScript tutorial.

If you don’t want to commit to installing anything yet, you can use the popular online editor called CodePen at codepen.io. It supports TypeScript.

Hungry for a video instead of reading? There’s a 2018 video titled Learn TypeScript in 50 Minutes – Tutorial for Beginners. In true community fashion, it’s clear that people are eager to share the benefits of TypeScript.

TypeScript Communities

Communities for TypeScript are usually embedded inside of other larger communities. The best I could find are:

There you go! That’s what TypeScript is about, some resources, and communities to help you on your way. I hope you enjoy your journey into TypeScript!

November 2019 Update: Made changes in the TypeScript Communities section: Added TypeScript Community and Reactiflux. Deleted low activity IRC channel. Reformatted.

Boom! Discovering Open Awareness Meditation

Boom! Brightly colored cards fly all over the game board. A little blue eyed boy sits stunned and motionless. Whoops! A moment passes.

In wonderment, he looks up and asks, “Can you think .. about nothing?” Ah! At that moment, he had a glimpse of just experiencing. A glimpse of what it’s like to take in all the raw sensory data with open awareness.

“You can observe everything as just input.”, was my reply. “You can hear a sound as just raw input. Input into your consciousness.” I paused for two seconds then “snap.” I gently snapped my fingers and let it sink in.

“Everything you see, hear, feel, and even think can be observed.”, I added. I didn’t go into the benefits of that. That was enough for now.

“Uh oh”, I thought some minutes later. Something more needs to be shared. Catching him just in time before he lost himself in play, I shared: “Since I have shared that secret, there’s something important to tell you.”

I went on, “People matter. Love matters. That is an axiom .. a foundation from which to live.” Thankfully, he agreed.

May we all embrace such a foundation. People matter. Love matters. Yes, you who are reading this now. You matter. May you be well.

Scared child with a wall of pillows

Procrastination and Mindfulness

Weekends are an interesting time for many go-getters. You have a sense of freedom and space, but the freedom won’t last forever. So, one needs to get going in order to get some goals accomplished.

What Do We Know?

In an effort to ensure that I am not procrastinating on the weekend, I turn to Sam Harris to see if he has any tips about procrastination. In the Making Sense by Sam Harris podcast : Ask Me Anything #15 (53:40), the question was asked: “Have you ever struggled with procrastination?” “Do you think mindfulness can be utilized…?”

The answer to at least one of the questions is “Yes!” As Sam shares “[mindfulness] is just increased awareness of what is actually arising in your mind.” By increasing your awareness of what is happening in your mind, you can figure out what you are rejecting and what you truly want. (If you want the great scheduling tip and “writing a novel” example he gives and are not a Sam Harris subscriber yet, I recommend subscribing and then listening to the podcast episode.)

Once you know what is troubling you and the emotions around it, you can make some logical choices. As Sam and others have shared, procrastination is the logical outcome of being afraid of failing. In short, you feel fear.

Since you are not guaranteed to finish and succeed, a person will naturally put off that potential pain of failing by not starting. Get started even though you’re highly concerned (scared) and uncertain. So, how does one tear down the wall that is blocking you from getting started at all?

How To Conquer Fear and Uncertainty?

Throwing yourself into a project can greatly help with fear. Pragmatic tips around tackling projects or problems include breaking down a big project into small manageable chunks. Tackle that small chunk and see what happens to the fear.

On the subject of fear, it’s okay to recognize the fear. Once that is done, don’t feed the fear. Just accept fear for what it is. An example of feeding the fear is telling yourself a story about all the things that might or might not happen.

If left unfed, fear is just a naturally occurring phenomena that will eventually pass like anything else in the world. It bears repeating that this is only true if you don’t feed the fear!

If you are having trouble with dealing with the uncertainly, I recommend practicing the Don’t Know meditation practice taught by Jeff Warren. There’s a Don’t Know audio recording on his website and a YouTube
video of him guiding others through the practice. The YouTube video is titled The Do Nothing Project with Jeff Warren February 25, 2019.
Here’s the video:

Summing Up

Fear and uncertainty are often the cause of procrastination. Be the hero you are meant to be. Look fear in the eye. Deal with the uncertainty and just get started. May your journey forward go well.

I am Not Dead – Meditation and Mindfulness Online Community

Contrary to popular belief, I am not dead.

When not coding on iPhone app development related projects, mentoring a software developer, and meditating, I have been working closely with the online Meditation and Mindfulness community. The website is Project Mindfulness and I’m a proud member.

Our meditation community has been doing wonderful things. As a member, I have been:

So, I am not dead. On the contrary, I am sharing my light with all. More writing on this blog is planned. Thank you for being here. May you be safe, be happy, be healthy and live with ease.

Update: Fixed broken links to the Project Mindfulness website.

Teaching Others Meditation

“How do you do what you do?”, she asked. That question came right after she complemented me on my ability to completely focus on one thing at a time.

What should the practiced meditator-on-the-street do next? When asked this sort of question, this is the crucial moment where I share that I meditate.

How they respond could start them on a meditation journey that levels them up to a next level of life optimization. When you’re prepared to share the wisdom and they’re ready to learn, you’ve both begun a new journey together. As someone who has taught meditation for decades on and off, there are some things you should know.

One Offs

Sharing meditation tips once in a while is completely fine. However, there’s going to come a time when you need to lead a person through a meditation. Where to do that? At first glance you might consider doing it where they live. That can go badly.

My First Rich House

Once, I responded to the request to teach a nurse meditation. The only place available at that time was her beautiful large house. Since I can appreciate the beauty of a wealthy home, this was looking to be a fun and novel experience.

After I walked up the long lit path while admiring the beautiful flower garden and lush green lawn, I rang the doorbell and her son answered the door. He looked up at me like “What are you doing here?” and yelled for her mom. With a smile, I mentally wished her son lovingkindness and let go of the “What are you looking at?” thought that arose in the mind.

After the usual exchange of greetings and her thanks to me for coming over, we went into the living room. All of us. The nurse, her kids, and me. We all took a seat on her extremely comfy carpet.

I’m Not Your Dad

I started with the basics of mindfulness meditation. After the introductory meditation session was complete, her son looked at me with an accusatory look and said:

Why are you teaching her? Are you here to replace dad?

I still remember me saying “I’m not trying to become your new father. I am here to teach meditation.” This later led to a deeper conversation with the nurse about how her family life is not a happy one. Such discussions would never have happened if we had another location.

As I mentioned in Meditation, Neopagans, and Sex, it was risky anyway for me to teach meditation where someone lives. I do not recommend it. At least this time, I was not offered sex.

What’s Traditionally Available For Teaching Meditation?

Typically, meditation can be taught at meditation centers where they receive proper instructions. However, syncing up the needs of the meditation student and the needs of the meditation center can be tricky. A perfect example is when I asked a center when the next beginners meditation course is starting and the response I got was “In the fall.” That was months away. Too long of a wait for people who feel the call of starting down the meditation path now.

Where Online Can They Learn?

The 10% Happier courses on the mobile app and website are wonderful. 10% Happier has coaches that come with real life experience. Yet due to the nature of the situation, conversations with them will be slow. You send a message and wait for about a day for a response. Although I absolutely love my online coaches and have gained special insight from Rae in particular, there’s no substitute for a realtime conversation.

Where Can Meditation Be Taught Outside of a Meditation Center?

Chatting with your local meditation center instructors can reveal new ideas. I had a wonderful chat with Armine Alioto at the Show Me Dharma meditation center. (A description of the center is covered in the Show Me Meditation post.)

She pointed out that the Unity Center of Columbia church may have some space available for us. She also said I might pick up a few others who want to learn as well. The key is to have an uninterrupted safe area.

Outside of churches, I have taught meditation in the backroom of a store, a townhome clubhouse on a quiet weekend, and in library study rooms. I have also shared insights online in the new online Discord Meditation community.

It’s Worth Sharing Your Insights

It’s worth figuring out the logistics so that you can help others begin. By teaching, you’re sharing and learning. If you let the wisdom flow through you, it will feel as natural as breathing. It’s a natural choice which brings you closer to oneness and wholeness. For me specifically, it’s a natural expression of my Personal Mission as shared in Resilience and Optimism. Good luck and happy sharing.

Meditation Mind Community on Discord

Humans love to compare experiences and share what they learn. Sharing knowledge, compassion, and wisdom makes us all stronger. With meditation, there are certain natural questions and experiences that come up. Although the meditation learning experience is best facilitated by interacting with a reputable meditation instructor, it’s fun and comforting to casually interact with other meditators.

If you’re looking for an online community of passionate meditators where you can post a thought, question or just want to say hi, the best online meditation community I have found is the Meditation Mind community on Discord. The website is titled Meditation Mind. The URL is https://meditationmind.org

Found in the #about channel, their vision statement includes:

Meditation Mind is a global community to support each other on the path of being present. We keep the emphasis on mindfulness, respect and compassion; This is a space for all interested in or practicing meditation & mindfulness and all are welcome. Self-moderation, habit building and personal maturity is our purpose for coming together

The community is run by thoughtful people who I have had the pleasure of directly interacting with online. At the time of discovering the Meditation Mind community, I was one of two organizers running our own online meditation community named Still Life. The other organizer and original founder of Still Life was Eddie Cohen. I proposed Still Life merge into the Discord community and Eddie heartily agreed!

There have been no regrets in making that move. The people are quite friendly and willing to help each other.

This Discord community formed just a few months ago and yet have hundreds of members. in the year 2018 and has 2700 members now! Whenever I get on, I see multiple posts in the #the-lounge text channel every day.

As said, they use the communication platform called Discord. Originally built for gamers, the Discord communication platform is used by many other different groups. Here’s a video that will teach you how to use Discord:

There is a Meditation Mind Discord link for joining the community. If you join, be sure to say hi on the #introductions text channel. After that, checkout the #about text channel for more details about the community.

Since this is a casual community, most of the people you will be interacting with are not meditation teachers. Also, people are people even if they meditate. So, it’s theoretically possible to run into a mean person even though I have not met one there.

Book Club

There’s a book club in the community. Be sure to check it out at #book-club! It has been active for years now.

What Am I Saying?

I am saying that I highly recommend the Meditation Mind community. Feel free to say hi to me, finneycanhelp, after you join Meditation Mind on Discord!

Update (February 2019): Removed a chat image, updated the name of the group to Meditation and Mindfulness, names of Discord communication channels, and the number of community members.  

Update (March 2019): Added Book Club section

Update (July 2020): Updated URLs and name of community to Meditation Mind. Updated number of members: “..has 2700 members..”


Forgiving and the Five Fingers of Freedom

A question from one of my favorite meditator friends:

I read the Five Fingers and they sound great! Something I have a hard time getting past is forgiving others when they don’t care. They won’t acknowledge what’s happened, and certainly don’t care if you forgive them. How do you get past that?

A fantastic question. This wonderful meditator is referring to the FinneyCanHelp Five Fingers of Freedom‘s 3rd finger, “Forgive yourself and others.” The short and quick answer is to accept reality, let go of stories, make life adjustments, and take care of yourself.

Accept Reality

Sometimes people are the embodiment of a thoughtless chaotic storm. They are a storm of indifference that sweeps through your life, cause mayhem, and then hopefully moves on. If a person is truly indifferent, I accept the chaotic storm as a natural yet untrustworthy phenomena.

Boats and Story Weather

Let Go

What stories are you telling yourself about this storm? When I observe thoughts in my mind like, “But he did this”, “She said that”, I recognize the thoughts as just stories about a storm. The storm doesn’t care about what stories are in my mind.

If a story persists, I change the story in the mind to say “The storm did this. The storm did that.” At that point, I realize I am dealing with nature as it is. Like a real thunderstorm, conditions came together to create the storm that is in front of you. It’s true that some of those conditions are based on actions from others. However, it all comes down to conditions and nature. Let go of any useless stories that are saying the same thing over and over in your mind.

Make Life Adjustments

So now, I have come to terms with the storm that I have faced or am facing. For this thunderstorm, I shall protect myself and loved ones. If the storm is over, I shall clean up the damage done to my life. If I can create different conditions so as to make the storm less likely, I shall. However, most of the time the wholesome and mindful action is to do Lovingkindness meditations, protect what I can, and stay clear of the storm’s chaotic and damaging influence.

10% Happier

To help keep perspective, the meditation I like to do is called “Anger: The Big Lie” by Sharon Salzberg in the 10% Happier meditation app. In that meditation, Sharon shares that there are lots of forces and variables at work. Being mad at someone doesn’t help you. As Sharon would put it, staying mad is “not onward leading.”

There’s a peace that comes from letting go of the useless thoughts and emotions. There’s harmony in coming back to a mindful awareness of existence.

Take Care of Yourself

For those people who are chronic indifferent storms of chaos, I drop those relationships where I can. Although you can make a slight influence on the conditions which form such a storm, you are also potentially fighting nature itself. Yes, you are giving up something by dropping a relationship, but you are gaining space to let goodness come into your life.

If it’s not possible to drop those relationships, deal with the situation like the bad weather. Make sure you take care of yourself first so that you are strong enough to take care of others as needed. Get regular exercise, good nutrition, and meditation into your life. All of this is your foundation which will help you and those around you weather any future storms in life.


Alarm clock by a bed

What Gets You Meditating, Time or Triggers?

When and why do you meditate? This question bubbled up into the mind when I was asked the following great question by Lulu, an experienced and friendly meditator:

Do you meditate at certain times, or because of certain triggers, etc?

Morning Routine

Great question! I meditate for sure as part of my morning routine. The routine goes like this:

  1. Brush my teeth to keep my teeth
  2. Take prescriptions to keep my physical health
  3. Meditate to explore my mind, satisfy my curiosity, and enjoy the benefits.

I strengthen my mind using mindfulness meditation and enjoy the benefits of Lovingkindness meditation.

Alarm clock by a bed

States of Being

My morning meditation is time based. However, I also meditate when I see that my mind or body is in a certain state. In other words, the trigger to meditate is the recognition of its useful in response to having certain states of being. States of being that encourage me to meditate include:

  • Apathy
  • Full mind – Due to learning lots of new things or life
  • Distress – What people usually call stress
  • Excessive excitement related to eustress
  • Fear or heightened concern
  • Nausea – such as when I feel sick
  • Pain
  • Sexual arousal aka feeling horny when such a feeling is untimely and distracting.
  • Sleepiness when a power nap is not appropriate

Also, I continuously practice mindfulness even while walking. Look for “Plug yourself in and let’s go for a walk” in these Guided Meditations by 10% Happier to get a sense of what’s possible while walking. Alternatively, read more of my posts about 10% Happier.

Clouds With Sun Rays

And You?

How about you? When and why do you meditate? You can reach out to me on Twitter @FinneyCanHelp or join a new Slack meditation community that I joined recently by going to http://still.onuniverse.com and click on the “Join the Community” button. Looking forward to hearing your experiences!