October 17

MetaFilter Filter By Favorites Greasemonkey script
I spent some time writing a Greasemonkey script that allows a user to modify the number of comments shown on a metafilter post by the number of favorites it has received. This work is based heavily on previous Greasemonkey scripts (thanks go to Jordan Reiter and Jimmy Woods) which were no longer working on the new modern theme. I've added in a few new features as well. Works on all the subsites that have comments. For a full description and some screenshots, please view the Greasy Fork page. [more inside]


Metafilter Is A Land Of Contrast
The exports of Metafilter are numerous in amount. One thing they export is Simpsons quotes, or as the Indians call it, “memes”. Another famous Indian was “Crazy Horse”. In conclusion, Metafilter is a land of contrast. Thank you. [more inside]


October 16

First Drafts of History
This Tumblr consists of the earliest extant versions of various Wikipedia articles. It's easy to overlook what an ambitious project Wikipedia is in its design, and the way in which its articles have been built bit by bit into extraordinarily useful resources from often very modest and unpromising beginnings. It's interesting as well to see how the editorial voice and organizational structure common on current articles have evolved over time. If you have suggestions for interesting articles to examine, let me know.


October 12

Denied.
How a Texas Abortion law affected the life, and death of my son. [more inside]


Sculpture made from things and digital collages made from sculptures
After much procrastination I've finally managed to get my new website together. On it you'll find a large number of examples of the art I've been making over the past 20 years or so, as well as some writing and some sound work. Any comments, feedback or suggestions WRT content, layout or structure would be greatly appreciated, as I'm kind of figuring that side of things out for myself at present.


October 10

A Field Guide To The True American Diner  
I wrote this for The Awl. It is about diners and how to sort them.


The Measure - a typesetting / design contest
Each month, a public domain work is offered, and anyone who wants to enter takes the first chapter and designs / typesets it. The winner then gets to pick the following month's title. It's low-key, and fun. To kick it off: Dracula! [more inside]


October 9

2015 Young Explorer’s Adventure Guide
A science fiction anthology of stories written for a middle grade audience, with a focus on diversity and representation. 20 stories from amazing authors, ranging from Nebula and Hugo winners to relative newcomers to the field. 90% of the stories in the anthology are brand new, and 80% have central female characters. We don’t have girls who are prizes to be won or waiting to be rescued. All of our heroines and heroes are on their own adventure, not a side note in someone else’s. Our characters are white, black, asian, latino. Human and robot. Everyone belongs here.


Lucy, Charlie Brown and the Football - A Deeper Look  
For this article up on Slate, I took a look at every example in the 50+ year history of Lucy yanking the football away from poor ol' Chuck, and was surprised to learn that the backstory is much more complex than I thought. It was fun to write, and I hope people enjoy it!


October 8

Choose Your Sonic Adventure
Tangemeenie is back at work in the studio, producing a new indie pop album planned for a crowd-funded release [draft project - Kickstarter login required] as part of a larger multimedia project in the first half of next year. But before launching the crowd-funding campaign, we're planning to release and promote a single from the album in progress. Now we've assembled five rough mixes/preview clips of candidate singles from the new album into a SoundCloud playlist, and would like you, the listening public, to tell us which track we should release as our first official single. Take a listen, complete the opinion poll, and let us know what you think. We'll announce results after a couple of weeks of voting, once a clear winner emerges.


October 7

Vicarious Tinder
It's time to turn the tragedy that is my dating life into comedy gold, so along with New York raconteur and man-about-town Jason Wishnow I've started a Twitter account to do just that. Tune in for Tinder's Greatest Hits- you'll want to immediately ask your loving, stable, long-term partner for an open relationship. I look forward to the forthcoming book deal, appearance on "Good Morning America," and marriage proposals from prisoners.


October 5

The Painful Threshold
The Painful Threshold is a brand new podcast based on the UK-style panel show format, where all the questions asked to the panel are determined by the audience submitting questions to the show's Tumblr, Twitter or Facebook page. Episode one has just been posted (at the main link), and the panel features Kittysneezes contributor Jenny Byfield, Seattle comedian Nick Decktor and KEXP DJ Troy Nelson (also of the excellent band The Young Evils).


October 4

SoundTalk - Turn forum conversations into playlists
SoundTalk is a Chrome extension that finds song titles in the current page and generates a Spotify playlist. For example, with two clicks it turns this recent Ask thread about ultra sparse music into this playlist. It's different from other tools because it looks for any text that seems like a song title, rather than just finding links to known music services. More playlists and suggested uses below the fold. [more inside]


GSA Per Diem Calculator
Just a calculator for the US Federal Per Diem. I wrote one for Virginia, and was asked to do one for the GSA rates, so I did some rethinking and put it on this site. Business Offices loved the Virginia one to the extent that some require a printout from my site for travel reimbursements. The About page tells you a bit more and links to my personal site where I've written about it in even more detail.


October 3

Creative Commons Thing of the Day
One fun thing from the commons every day. Two rules: it has to be either openly licensed or public domain, and it has to have made us smile when we saw it.


October 1

Irish Ghosts of America
In preparation for Halloween, I have been rounding up stories of Irish and Irish-American ghosts that are supposed to haunt parts of America, such as the ghosts of the Molly Maguires that are said to still hang from their gibter, the spirits of the Irish Brigade whose battle cry is still heard at Antietam, and the cries of the victims of Delphine LaLaurie which still echo from her haunted New Orleans mansion.


September 29

Pay the Piper -- Where Todos Fight Distractions!  
Pay the Piper is a Google Chrome extension that keeps you productive by making you "pay" to visit distracting sites. The cost? One completed task from your task list. [more inside]


September 28

Is There a Dog in This Book?
I made a video of Viv Schwarz performing the long-awaited third volume in her Cats trilogy (after There Are Cats In This Book and There Are No Cats In This Book)


September 27

Rereading #TheStand
I am rereading Stephen King's The Stand and tweeting one chapter's worth of quotes, analysis, criticism, and background per day at @WeHadADealKyle. [more inside]


September 23

The Finest Art, the Dumbest Writing
Were making comic books! But more importantly, for here, a comedy companion blog to hone our skills. Follow as Daniel takes his work more seriously, and Ken takes his less seriously.


Crazy Trick: Is it a clickbait headline or spam mail?
A simple quiz: Guess whether the text is from a subject in my spam folder or a news headline. Or: 21 scandalous true uncensored answers no one wants you to know, but everyone — including your future life partner — is talking about. [more inside]


Underviewed: Searching YouTube Using Default Video File Names  
Most every camera or mobile device uses some kind of default naming convention (iPhone: IMG_1234.MOV, GoPro: GOPR1234.MP4). This site searches YouTube for those default file names, and serves up videos that have a low number of views. Because these videos still retain their default file names as titles, it's unlikely that they've shown up in any searches. And it's very likely these videos haven't been seen by all that many people. [more inside]


I'd Murder For Cinnamon
Yet another food blog. But this time from someone who is obsessed with recreating and eating American-style food while in the UK.


September 20

ITP Code Poetry Slam 2014
I'm organizing a code poetry slam in New York City on November 14. Submissions are now open. Judges, special guests, etc. to be announced. Stay tuned. [more inside]


UpsideOS - Checklist Builder
We think that checklists are great for all sorts of things, so we made a tool to make it easier for people to make and share them. In addition to building checklists for personal use, you can also become a "Checkspert," and share your lists publicly. If people add you to their team, you will earn a fee. We are really excited to share this with the community and have you guys help tell us what can be improved.


September 19

A Smaller Flea
The purpose of this blog is to share our appreciation for the study of microbial viruses, the viruses that infect Eubacteria (also known as bacteriophage), Archaea, and microbial Eukaryotes. They dominate our planet's ecosystem, serve as a profoundly useful model system for understanding life at its simplest, possess a dizzying array of powerful molecular tools we can borrow, and make steadfastly vicious allies in our fights with problematic microbes. Our name is based on the nursery rhyme "The Siphonaptera," which eloquently describes a beautiful phenomena found more clearly in the viruses that infect microbes than anywhere else.
The Siphonaptera:
Big fleas have little fleas,
Upon their backs to bite 'em,
And little fleas have lesser fleas,
and so, ad infinitum.

And the great fleas, themselves, in turn
Have greater fleas to go on;
While these again have greater still,
And greater still, and so on.



September 17

Vintage Visualizations
Once upon a time I liberated a bunch of fun post-Civil-War maps, charts and graphs for all to see. But now you can buy them! For your walls! Posters of ye olden days graphics on everything from consumption to population to religion to Germans and more. [more inside]


September 15

THE GUEST
I produced a new movie called THE GUEST. It comes out this week in theaters in New York, Los Angeles, Chicago, Detroit, Dallas, Miami, Seattle, Phoenix, and San Antonio. The film is currently at 92% on Rotten Tomatoes and played at Sundance, SXSW, and the Toronto International Film Festival. It's by the same writing/directing/producing team as YOU'RE NEXT. You can see the trailer and theater listings on our official site. [more inside]


September 12

Known
Known is a simple platform for publishing words, pictures, podcasts and more to a site that you control. Choose to syndicate it to social networks like Twitter and Facebook, or software you already use like Moodle or Sharepoint. With Known, you control your content and ideas. [more inside]


September 11

Anthology of the Best Short Stories  
In a 1914 New York Times article, twenty-six of the most prominent writers of the day were asked what was the best short story in the English language. Among those naming what they considered the best story were Arthur Conan Doyle, Jack London, Edna Ferber and Booth Tarkington. I have compiled these stories (approximately 1,500 pages) into a three volume series. [more inside]


Grizzly! The Film!
A short film about an ancient and malicious terror that attacks the humble village of Meminiscz. [more inside]


September 9

Romulan - Sick Day
A hip-hop album produced by yours truly, rapped by 22-year old Romulan. If you like old school sample-based beats and sometimes playful/sometimes serious raps, this is an album for you.


September 8

Do Not Disturb The Dragon!
Do Not Disturb The Dragon! is a picture book (an actual real physical book available in bookshops and everything, which is quite exciting, for me at least) about a dragon that really just wants to sleep and sleep and sleep some more, but everyone else seems to be determined to keep her awake. It’s quite funny, and exciting, and contains at least one picture of things being set on fire, which is everything you could ever want from a book about dragons, really. [more inside]


Wiggling Hands
This is me both trying my hand at the "Whiteboard Explainer" genre of video, and making fun of its ubiquity. [more inside]


September 7

Thanks: a short film
A lost girl approaches a shop keeper. This film was shot in 24 hours for no budget and I'm really proud of how it turned out. Please watch and share!


Hi Button
Sometimes it's hard to talk to new people at a conference. A few friends and I thought it'd be nice to have a simple button that says "hi" on it, so that's what Hi Button is. [more inside]


Burke & Hare ballad sheets: 1829.
Last month, I delivered a talk on this subject at the Edinburgh Festival's Burke & Hare day. My subject was the ballad sheets enterprising Edinburgh printers produced about Burke & Hare's 16-corpse career, which they knocked out on the night before William Burke's hanging and sold to the watching crowd next day. I've now adapted that talk into an essay and a 45-minute YouTube video slideshow. My talk closed with Steve Byrne from the Scottish folk band Malinky singing his own rendition of Poor Daft Jamie, one of the 1829 ballads I'd just been discussing, for the assembled audience. You can hear a live recording of Steve's performance on Soundcloud here.


September 6

NumbersRound - Countdown-style number problem solver/app
I made a web-app that generates and efficiently solves Countdown-style number problems. Then I turned it into an android app (free of charge and also free of advertising). The javascript powering both is open-sourced under the MIT license.


September 5

The Destruction of The Alien Siege Machine
Our UFO mutant vehicle, The Mothership took part in the destruction of The Alien Siege Machine at Burning Man 2014. [more inside]


September 4

True Music Facts Wednesday  
On Wednesday, September 4 last year, I sent a friend a piece of music trivia and (jokingly) claimed that it was "just like we do every Wednesday." Then I decided to actually start doing it. Yesterday marked entry 52 - one year of "True Music Facts Wednesday." All 52 entries are posted at the link, and I have previously posted 3 of the stories to the Blue (1, 2, 3). Other favorites include the genesis of the "Amen Break," the story of Vaughn Meader's rise to (and sudden fall from) superstardom, Blues Traveler's hidden-in-plain-sight taunt in "Hook," the story of Jason Everman's stints with two of grunge's biggest bands, the hip hop #1 that was inspired by Spuds MacKenzie, the joke offer that (maybe, almost) reunited John and Paul in 1976, and the accidental, serendipitous creation of "Puff, the Magic Dragon."


September 3

Batch uploads to AWS S3 using Clojure
Clojure demonstration of authenticating and batch uploading to Amazon Web Services' Simple Storage Service. [more inside]


September 2

50 days 50 ways
I'm about to move away from DC after living here for 10 years; I know that "I'm leaving town" pieces are trendy now, but I wanted to reflect back on the positive ways that living in DC has affected me and enriched my life [though a few do stray from this main topic] via a series of short essays & photoessays on a daily Tumblr. The goal has been to churn through a lot of ideas rather than make something perfect--more NaNoWriMo than Goodbye to All That.


September 1

Every Curd
Tweeting all the delicious dairy products, in alphabetical order. @everycurd is my tribute to [mefi's own!] @aparrish's classic twitter bot @everyword, whose task is now complete.


August 31

Post-Structuralism Explained With Hipster Beards
So I've started tutoring a university course which touches on structuralism and post-structuralism. It's a pretty complex and unwieldy theoretical history to get your head around, so I made this BuzzFeed list to help my students navigate their way through it. I'm writing part 2 (with added GIFs!) which I'll link from the end of the article tomorrow. [more inside]


August 29

Meet People While Fighting Off Wandering Monsters
Vastarien.com is real-time adventure/fantasy game. To play, enter a name, you can leave the password blank, and then click on an icon and class and you should go right in. Use the mouse button to move around by click on the map in the middle. Standing on the edges of the map will pull you into the next section. Sound is off by default. Use chat at the bottom to communicate with other players. Good luck!


August 28

Name That Student: An app to help teachers learn students' names
Name That Student is a free Android app to help teachers (post-secondary or K12) learn the names of their students. The app uses pictures of each student to create study flashcards and then to create quizzes: flashcard, multiple choice (one picture: 3-5 names), and reverse multiple choice (one name: four pictures). [more inside]


August 27

Hyper-Yakety-Lapse
Instagram announced Hyperlapse - their new smoothed timelapse app for iOS (which is really cool). I felt it was lacking an 'add yakety-sax' button, so I went and created a bookmarklet to do just that.


Speaker of the House  
I think there comes a time in everyone's life when they feel compelled to draw picture after picture of Republican Speaker of the House John Boehner. I started this blog to catalog my experiments in the medium.


August 26

Please Hold: A Representative Will Be With You Shortly!
A humorous interactive fiction/visual novel game about dealing with customer service representatives. Available free for download on Windows, Linux & OSx (40mb .zip). [more inside]


August 23

Gripsweat: A big searchable archive of vinyl record auctions *including sound clips*
Mainly made as a utility site for record collectors, Gripsweat tracks and catalogs vinyl record auctions. This is handy for pricing finds or for determining some ballpark at "rarity" and desirability. My favorite part of the site (and something that I think the non-record nerd might like) is the sound clips. I've killed hours just clicking through sound clips to find 45s and LPs that probably otherwise would have slipped past me. This is especially nice for "deep" genres like afrobeat, turkish, rocksteady, garage, disco, etc. [more inside]


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