Author michaeljubel

Equilibria, a Multi-Purpose Business WordPress Theme

Another happy day at ColorLabs. We just launched Equilibria, our first multi-purpose WordPress theme, which is mainly targeted to business users who put their corporate blogs at the frontline of their businesses. It comes with 5 different color schemes, 3 types of landing pages, a pack of page templates and more features are coming. You can read several posts written by members of ColorLabs team, here and here.

Here’s a screenshot of the theme and you can read more about it here and see the live demo here.

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What’s in the name?

From this point below, I will be going to bore you to death but let me try so I know how bad it would be. If you’re looking to know more about the features of this theme. Please read this post instead. If you’re willing to read a bit about chemistry and science stuff, you may proceed.

Equilibria (or equilibrium) is the condition of a system in which competing influences are balanced. Equilibria comes with several types of landing pages (business, blog and portfolio) to balance all sources of influences a website might have, hence the name. I could have come with any name, you know, but again I always find it exciting to take names from my parallel world and use them for names of WordPress themes.

I believe you studied chemistry some years back? In a chemical reaction, chemical equilibrium is the state in which the concentrations of the reactants and products have not yet changed with time. Usually, this state results when the forward reaction proceeds at the same rate as the reverse reaction. Interesting, huh? In a state of thermodynamic equilibrium, there are no net flows of matter or of energy, no phase changes, and no unbalanced potentials (or driving forces), within the system.

I know you’re all confused, puzzled and bewildered but bear with me. I’m going to give you one simple, real-life example. Have you ever seen water boiling? It’s a perfect example of a system (water) that attempts to reach equilibrium. A certain amount of water (in the liquid phase) are turning into vapour while a certain amount of water vapour are also turning into liquid. The controlling factor is simply the heat that we’re adding to the system. If it could be maintained at a constant level, the phase changes would happen at a same rate and the system would be in a perfect equilibrium. This is called VLE (vapour-liquid equilibrium).

How to purchase the theme?

If you like the feel of it or simply want to cherish the engineering philosophy behind the name and want to have it on your blog, simply go to Equilibria‘s page at ColorLabs or click the buttons below and they’ll take you there. Currently ColorLabs has a 30% off offer for all themes so now is the right time to have this theme. The code is EA628 and will be valid until 24 July 2011.

Purchase nowLive demo

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Additional skin for Arthemia Premium, your voices have been heard!

Arthemia Premium has been around ColorLabs for a while now, rocking the top players of magazine style premium WordPress theme, and it’s only grown and become bigger and bigger. We have continually updated it to fix bugs and make it work with the latest WordPress versions, as we do with all our themes.

Along the road we have been receiving popular response from users of Arthemia Premium, that they love to have more white space in their beloved theme. So, one day we wondered, why don’t we provide an additional skin for Arthemia Premium so our premium users get to choose?

Say hello to Blue Accent – a clean additional skin for Arthemia Premium. Read More →

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Wireline, a Premium WordPress Theme from ColorLabs

ColorLabs launched a new premium theme last month but we’re so busy that we didn’t have the time to blog about this. The good thing is that Anita Pravitasari, the new ColorLabs community manager (her title sounds so cool in this geeky world of WordPress business, to be honest) came to the rescue and finally blogged about that. You can read her post here. She’ll be busy managing the ColorLabs community from now on, so thank God that’s one check-mark off my daily routines. Also, don’t forget to check out the profiles of Firman Firdaus and Rio Purnomo, our new web designer and web developer. Pretty kicking, huh?

Let’s stand out

Wireline has this shiny, oh-so-2011, modern look and is packed with cool animations like featured posts slideshow, scrollable popular posts and jQuery-powered drop-down navigation menu. There are 5 color schemes available so it’s just so unlikely that your favourite colour isn’t there. And if you’re into the geeky side of web development, it might worth telling that ColorLabs incorporate some HTML5 and CSS3 stuff into it.

Have a look at this top-to-middle screenshot of Wireline, this one is the brown one:

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Wireline comes with 5 alternative color schemes: red, green, blue, brown and black. Read up on the specs of the theme, view the demo and then give us a little feedback love. If you want to get more technical details on the theme itself, please head to ColorLabs‘ website because what you’re about to read below might not interest you at all.

What kind of name is Wireline?

So here’s the thing about being both an engineer and a web developer: you get to pick odd-sounding names taken from your parallel world. I named one of my themes ‘Platformate‘ back in 2008. Platformate stands for platinum reformate. In plain English, platinum reforming is the re-arrangement of some sort of chemical compounds, which in this case are the carbon chains in crude oil, using some sort of accelerator, which in this case is platinum. Reformate is the product of the process. Confused? Okay, try this one: it’s LIKE (note that) turning Premium into Pertamax so Pertamina can get more money. That’s NOT exactly the case (hence the capitalised LIKE) but hopefully you get the idea. It’s one of the cool chemical engineering stuff.

What about Wireline? In case you don’t know, the oil and gas industry is pretty dodgy. If there had to be the most superstitious and prophetic engineering on earth, that’d be petroleum engineering. Let me tell you something: A one-pixel discprepancy on a visual design can actually irritate my eyes and the creative side of my brain could instantaneously combust. In petroleum engineering, I’d have to be satisfied with 30% of uncertainties in my engineering estimation. If we’re talking about a 960-pixel wide web site, that error is equivalent to 288 pixels, about the size of a sidebar.

Wireline is a cabling technology where a current is sent to downhole logging tools in oil well exploration and completions. Petroleum engineers send logging tools into oil wells so they get to understand the characteristic of the sedimentology underneath in order to ‘guesstimate’ everything. This practice, and in fact it’s pretty cool, is called Wireline. In simple terms, engineers send a line of wire into the well, hence Wireline.

How to purchase this theme?

If you like the feel of it or simply want to cherish the engineering philosophy behind the name and want to have it on your blog, simply go to Wireline‘s page at ColorLabs or click the buttons below and they’ll take you there. Currently ColorLabs has a 30% off offer for all themes so now is the right time to have this theme. The code is EA628 and will be valid until 24 July 2011.

Purchase nowLive demo

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ColorLabs Has Just Got a Facelift

After having been more than 2 years in business, ColorLabs finally gets its second facelift. The site is now fairly simpler and shows a lot of whitespace which makes reading much more enjoyable. It is also in so many ways more integrated so users will find it easier to explore.

First-Time Installation Service

Okay, this is something that is completely new at ColorLabs and we bet you’re going to love this. Each purchase now includes a free, optional first-time installation and configuration service and we promise to make your web site ready in 24 hours. Not only is this so great and helpful for you all, this also cuts the number of technical issues raised in our support systems, which in turn will let us focus more on designing new products for you. To opt-in, you need to submit a request to the Resolution Center and we’ll get down to business in a snap.

Support Systems

We also have just upgraded our support systems. We now have the Resolution Center, a member-restricted area where you can get one-to-one assistance from our dedicated support agents. This system is very secure and you can safely provide us with your WordPress and FTP accounts details if need be. This simplifies matters significantly and you will get your technical issues resolved more quickly.

Additionally, we will have the Discussion Forum, another member-restricted area where you can interact with other members and share your experience using our products. Here, you can find awesome mods that somebody else has done to our themes and discuss how to get them. We will closely monitor this forum as sometimes users raise technical issues which should have been posted to the Resolution Center. This forum is not yet online and we will tell you more about this after. At the moment you will still get forwarded to the current User Forum.

Theme Licensing

All our products are now licensed under GNU General Public License. We simply want to comply with WordPress, the publishing platform that we love so much, and we hope this change will benefit you in so many ways.

What next?

We are still cooking so many things here at ColorLabs. We are trying to focus more on publishing tutorials for you and providing a better customer service. We also have some cool themes waiting to be released and we bet they simply can’t wait to see you. And last thing, we are now recruiting. If you have a passion for design, do drop us a line. You might be the one we have been looking for.

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I Didn’t Know I Wasn’t Asian

There is something exemplary in employee recruitment process in the UK. In the application form, it is required that a candidate complete a section, titled ‘Equal Opportunity’, where one can disclose information related to gender and ethnicity. This practice also applies to many activities of the society, e.g. education and health care. Government and officials tally up the numbers and use statistics to analyse whether people are being treated equally. Although it is rather debatable whether the information provided would bring equality — it might as well bring the opposite –, this is indeed a good attempt. If you are interested, you can check this link out; it tells you more about the Equality Act.

That is about as good as it gets because the form details are rather confusing and even misleading. I was baffled when I was first introduced to the form. It was when I applied to Imperial College in early 2009. Never in my life have I come across a form where I could choose to fill in a field but not to state the information asked. I was given a list of options for ‘Ethnicity’, which looked like the one below.

Note: The list is different in Scotland and Nothern Ireland. The one above is only for England and Wales. You can read this Wikipedia article about Classification of Ethnicity in the UK.

I’m definitely not White, or Mixed, or Black,” I said to myself.

I really wanted to choose an option and it must not be ‘Not Stated‘. I skimmed through the list and wondered why ‘Chinese‘ was as an exclusive ethnicity and not categorised under ‘Asian‘. I thought it was the Asian of Asians. I watched so many English-language movies and TV shows and the term ‘Asian‘ was always used to refer to an Oriental-looking person, who annoyingly enough was always assumed to be Chinese and Chinese-speaking.

They are everywhere and constitute nearly 20% of the world population. Maybe that’s why Chinese should be an exclusive entity,” I thought while I was still figuring what to put.

Well, I’m Indonesian and Indonesia is part of Asia so I must be Asian,” I added.

So I chose ‘Any other Asian background.’ Little did I know that I was not Asian, at least not in this context according to public convention in this country.

Days and months went by and I always chose the same option, with confident, knowing that it would be the way the society would think of me. In January 2011, a shameful event made a headline, two Asians were caught grooming White girls.

It was such a disgrace and everybody disapproved of it. The headline caused massive public condemnation. It got complicated as it also triggered something else, not merely due to the criminal nature of the event, but also a racial issue that was assumed, by some, to be potentially associated. John Straw, former home secretary, a Blackburn MP, jumped in and made racially stereotyping comments and correlated the crime to the origin and the religion of the convicts. But hey, let’s not dwell on this.

It’s not that I wanted to belittle the severity of the crime but I was rather annoyed with the excessive use of the term ‘Asian‘ in the news. The origin of the convicts was quite specific yet ‘Asian‘ was instead used. It was not geographically incorrect but referring to them as ‘Asians‘ could be leading to misconception.

“A hidden world in which Asian men “groom” young white girls for sex has been exposed with the jailing yesterday of two men for child-abuse offences.” – The Times

“However, speaking on the BBC’s Newsnight programme after the case, Mr Straw said vulnerable white girls were at risk of being targeted by some Asian men.” – BBC News

“The police are being blamed for not having done enough to fully address the issue of young girls being groomed for sexual exploitation by Asian men.” – The Guardian

The credibility of the authors and the sources was undoubtly of high standard. If there were a mistake in the use of adjective, it would have been mine. They were all most probably native speakers of English and chances that they were wrong were very, very low. There must be something behind the use of this word that I didn’t know of.

I quickly looked for references online and I stumbled upon this Wikipedia article about British Asian.

“In British English, the term the ‘Asian‘ usually excludes East Asians (see East Asians in the United Kingdom). Britons who mark the ‘Other Asian‘ category on the UK census are normally of Afghan, Iranian, Iraqi, and Yemeni ancestries.” – Wikipedia

I continued to the link suggested by the article and I found this:

“In British English, they (East Asians and South East Asians) are sometimes called ‘Oriental‘. In the 2001 British census, the term ‘Chinese or Other‘ is used.” – Wikipedia

“In Anglo America (mostly the United States of America), the term refers most commonly to people of predominantly East Asian and Southeast Asian ancestry; however, in the United Kingdom, the term refers most commonly to South Asians. In other countries (like countries of Continental Europe), the term is applied in a wider sense to all people from Asia or from a number of its regions.” – Wikipedia

To confirm the validity of these citations, I went to two of my friends, an English and an Iranian UK permanent resident, and they confirmed that it was indeed the case.

I was shocked. I nearly could not believe them or everything I found about this little misunderstanding. It was as if my years of learning English were thrown into garbage as I could not understand a word as simple as ‘Asian‘. I tried to think about it and everything seemed to be coming into sense.

Chinese‘ is considered a separate entity because the term ‘Asian‘ is publicly used to refer to South Asians only. South East Asian, quite unluckily, appeared to be considered as a small subcategory of Chinese, hence not Asian.

Is it not weird to say “South East Asians are not Asians” yet there is ‘Asians’ in ‘South East Asians’?

Is being greeted with ‘Ni Hao’ not enough that I should properly and legally be classified under ‘Chinese or Other’? How annoying.

After having been for one and a half year in this country, I finally find out that I am not Asian and I have never been. Even though ethnicity is self-identified, in a way the classification has suggested otherwise.

This sort of classification of ethnicity has also attracted controversy in the past: particularly at the time of the 2001 Census where the existence and nature of such a classification, which appeared on the Census form, became more widely known than general. (Wikipedia)

Starting 27 March 2011, the Census day, I can ‘officially’ be Asian as the Office for National Statistics are making some changes in the ethnicity classification in England and Wales. They are to put ‘Chinese‘ to where it should be and should have been, which then would make choosing ‘Any other Asian background‘ a lot more sense to me. They are also to introduce a new category, ‘Arab‘, as an exclusive category.

Illustration by unfoldedorigami.

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