November 24

After ten years, more or less, since putting together an album of my music, I've spent six months polishing off a new one, and so I've taken on a new name - Hammerfest by Milford Progress Association is up on Bandcamp. Give it a spin if you like warm noisy ambient drone. Find it on your favourite streaming service soon.

November 23

Tennis For Two
One of the most fun projects I worked on this year was a recreation of William Higinbotham's 1958 videogame, Tennis For Two, which has been installed in the New York Historical Society's Silicon City exhibition, up through mid-April, 2016. I worked with Brookhaven National Laboratory to build an accurate recreation of the original game in Unity, and the end result is something that I'm quite proud of. I wrote a bit of a postmortem about it. If any of you will be in New York City during the exhibition, I think you'd enjoy it. For best results, bring a friend to play against!

Hirsute History class of 2015
I've just launched my first foray into doing a large annual update for my t-shirt project Hirsute History, where I illustrate famous thinkers, artists, entertainers, activists, and the occasional fictional character using just their hair (well, I cheat and use their glasses, and occasional other affectation from time to time). For the class of 2015 I just added over 30 new designs in one fell swoop, leaning heavily on the women and men that helped shape the 20th century. I hope you like 'em!

November 22

A Thousand Solomons
My story, A Thousand Solomons, is up on the Baltimore Science Fiction Society website, as a winner of their Amateur Writing Contest. The contest is held every year, there are cash prizes, the winner's work is published online (for a year), and the winner has the opportunity to read their work at Balticon.

November 21

FACTHOLE: Entirely true news about politics and technology
Facthole makes other news outlets seem mainstream. Join us for stunning exposes that will literally make you wonder what you are reading.

November 20

Faustian Bargains: Sold Your Soul? Tell the World and Let the Healing Begin!
"From time to time in life, we all find ourselves striking what feel like little Faustian bargains--deals with the devil--to get by. Faustian Bargains is an online community centered on the idea that revealing starts the healing! Only a few rules: No judging. No shaming. No real names or identifiable specifics. Share your story of corrupted personal integrity with us, finally get your sins off your chest, and help others like you feel a little less ashamed of being human in a world that's occasionally less than perfectly humane. Join our community and finally find the understanding, love, and acceptance you've always wanted and deserved in a safe space with benefits!" [more inside]

Your Doorbell Rings.
A short, but hopefully powerful experience that seems especially timely given all the talk in the news these days about whether or not we should open our doors to people in need.

Goal Horns!
I made a twitter bot, @goalhorns, that tweets out a randomly selected NHL goal horn every few hours.

November 18

Explaining Einstein's General Relativity on its 100th Anniversary, with the BBC
It's the 100th anniversary of Einstein's theory of General Relativity! The BBC recorded a conversation with me about Einstein's ideas, and they turned that recording into a short animated video. If you want to know more about general relativity, then (in my extremely biased opinion), this is a simple and fast explanation of the basic idea. (Also, I do not own the shirt that my animated avatar is wearing, but I wish I did.) [more inside]

November 17

Grants, Fellowships, Internships & Awards Calendar
Last year I submitted the work of a team of volunteer journalists at KBOO in Portland for several journalistic awards. While looking for places to submit work from that team, I discovered the means to apply for awards is very disjointed. Many links offering such opportunities are several years old, meaning in some cases, the organization is no longer making the offering. In other cases, the links are dead because the organization has folded. In still other cases, there is simply a message saying the organization is not taking applicants for the current year. [more inside]

November 16

12 Awesome Women of the Stage
12 Awesome Women of the Stage (You've Never Heard Of) is published as the third in a series for 10-13 year olds. It is the third in a series which highlights the achievements and legacies of women that young people may never have heard of. It takes a look at the lives and careers of women both on the stage and behind the curtain. JumpMag (the publisher) is an advertising free, girl-positive environment, which aims to create opportunities for young people and provide role models for young women. [more inside]

November 12

Otherfoot: Only Pen and Paper Required  
I put together a website dedicated to my all-time favorite game, Otherfoot (mentioned previously in my 2006 FPP about ink-and-paper games). Otherfoot is a card game, played with a newly-created homemade deck every time. Gameplay is similar to Apples to Apples or Cards Against Humanity (pre-dating the latter), with key differences laid out in the FAQ (and reposted below). The game concept was developed by friends of my brother, and I've derived a lot of joy from playing Otherfoot with old and new friends for more than 10 years. [more inside]

ooovre - buy books online from local bookstores
ooovre helps people buy books online from local booksellers. The current site is a prototype that allows you to order any book from a local bookseller of your choice and then pick it up from their shop, often within 24-28 hours. We've just launched on Kickstarter to raise £30,000 to build the next version of the site with more powerful tools for local booksellers to sell online and roll out into the US, Canada and Australia. [more inside]

November 10

Black Hole Citizen Science Site
I'm trying to develop a site to advance astronomy research and education. Layperson volunteers help to classify the very complicated X-ray flickering of black hole system GRS 1915+105. [more inside]

Magic Realism Bot  
Magic Realism Bot is a Twitter bot that writes tiny magic realist stories. Think Jorge Luis Borges, with a dash of Calvino, Eco, García Márquez and Allende. There's a little bit of Lewis Carroll, C. S. Lewis, Philip Pullman and (a childhood favourite of mine) Richard Hughes in there too. [more inside]

November 8

My Path To Trans Motherhood
"I’m still learning what my kind of motherhood would look like, since I live among institutions and ideologies that continue to question my existence." [more inside]

Words for Music for Films
Written accompaniment for Brian Eno's classic album Music for Films. [more inside]

November 6

Dr. Spaceben  
Ben Carson's words, Dr. Leo Spaceman from 30 Rock's face. And vice versa. Proposed by Phineas X. Jones and quickly brought into fruition by him and his friends.

Rap video
I helped make a music video for Winnipeg rapper Employee of the Month. The gimmick for the video is there are gig-posters with the lyrics on them.

Unprepared To Die: The Movie
I've just posted a seven-minute film on YouTube about the making of my newly-published guide to America's greatest murder ballads. The book itself's been discussed previously on Metafilter, and this new film explains why I felt compelled to write it and how I came to be so obsessed with these gory, fascinating songs in the first place. We call it Unprepared To Die: The Movie. [Caution: autoplay audio.]

Biographies of Chinese Students
I finally got my blog up about Chinese students studying at American universities from the turn of the century to World War II! [more inside]

November 5

Trans, Kink, and Poly-inclusive sex ed
I am a Quaker, and the Quaker magazine Friends Journal asked me to review a book on sex ed by a Quaker teacher, Al Vernacchio's For Goodness Sex. As a radical sex-positive poly person whose nuclear family has a 50/50 trans/cis split, I found Vernacchio's mildly progressive approach inadequate, and said so. Plainly, in keeping with Quaker tradition.

November 4

Farting Emoji
Here is a twitter bot with random emoji followed by the 💨 emoji, which of course is totally a fart cloud. [more inside]
Refugees and migrants have traveled over two billion miles to seek asylum in Europe this year. Follow the journeys yourself, and make choices along the way, in this interactive video narrative.

The Great Siege of Malta, 1565
Official release day for my history of same. Christmas is coming, the book could be suitable for the non-fiction readers on your list. Pre-release readers have described it as a fast read, "well-researched, convincingly argued and engagingly written."

tree is a content-focused social network (with standalone browser extensions to save and share on the fly): you follow people within categories so as to only get exposed to content that matters to you. You can choose to follow people in music, or in technology, or in news & society... [more inside]

November 2

Dagwood Sandwich  
I made the "original" Dagwood Sandwich, and documented it for my friends' blog about sandwiches. Feel free to read about the process if you don't mind horrifying pictures of beef tongue.

Stan Lee graphic novel memoir
In this gorgeously illustrated, full-color graphic memoir, Stan Lee—comic book legend and co-creator of Spider-Man, the X-Men, the Avengers, the Incredible Hulk, and a legion of other Marvel superheroes—shares his iconic legacy and the story of how modern comics came to be. (And I got to color it!) [more inside]

The Bench Warmers Podcast
A Podcast about the misadventures and victories of a life in the sciences. As told and lived by Graduate Students. We mimic the format of This American Life (more or less) to chronicle the crazy stories and hijinks of current and former graduate students via interviews. This month's episode (there are four out so far) asks "What Would You Do For Your Data". [more inside]

October 31

Just in time for Halloween! A list of my greatest fears, from age 1 to 43. Basically, I'm scared of everything.

Very MetaFilter (@VeryMetaFilter) tweets out humorous lines, phrases, memorable quotes and other ephemera from the community weblog, MetaFilter. [more inside]

October 30

The Black Tapes Podcast transcriptions
A site containing episode transcriptions of The Black Tapes Podcast. [more inside]

Monthly Damage
Are you trying to buy a house? Well, if so, this tells you how much you'll have to pay each month for it, factoring in taxes and loan terms, so you can immediately find out if a house or condo is just too bonkers for you.

October 29

better than being a I had a dream last night about my friend Rick, who died in the Bali bombing back in 2002, and so I spent the morning making this thing about an in-joke we shared to give myself (and hopefully a few other people) a slightly melancholy chuckle. [more inside]

The I Eat Food Survey
I made a survey using Google Forms to try and gain some insight into the eating preferences of Internet people. Results are available at the end! It's kind of silly and apparently some folks have enjoyed taking it. I solemnly promise the data won't be sold to a horrible marketing firm.

"We Live To Serve" - Ask Hatter & Hare
I joined some friends of mine in creating a web series based on some Alice in Wonderland characters. It's an advice column hosted by the Mad Hatter and the March Hare. There's a teaser for the next episode on the Facebook page, as well as some production photos. And if you seek advice from a pair of madmen, you can drop them a line at askhatterandhare at gmail dot com. They may expound on your quandary in an upcoming episode or on the forthcoming podcast. After all, they live to serve.

Pipeline: a vid critiquing the tech industry
I made a political video remix/fanvid using Taylor Swift's song "Blank Space" to criticize hypocrisy in the tech industry's recruiting narratives. Specifically, I wanted to vivisect the ways the mainstream US software industry tries to attract marginalized people, especially women, into engineering careers, but doesn't take care to keep people who have entered the "pipeline." I montaged visuals from documentaries, movies, TV, comics, coding bootcamp ads, blog posts by tech feminists, and more. I've also posted a detailed making-of essay with links to nearly all of my video and web sources; I used free and open source software. All in all (including learning how to vid), this took about 75 hours to make.

October 27

Preparing for the Zombie Apocalypse with Android
A new take at "Getting Started with Android". Rather than yet-another-boring-screencast, we've interspersed it with a narrative story (involving zombies). [more inside]

Stained Glass & Bike Taxidermy
This year I participated in my first Open Studios event. It was the culmination of nearly four years of learning stained glass and the first time I've ever shown my work publically. In preparation for the event, I put together a website and my brother, a graphic designer, created a logo for my studio. In addition to glass, I brought along several pieces of my bicycle taxidermy. I created a couple of these years ago after seeing Picasso's Cabeza de Toro, but received quite a bit of encouragement to produce more for show. [more inside]

October 26

What if Wordpress Was Your Boyfriend
So, a couple of friends and I read a blog called The Toast, and we love it an awful lot. But its web site was janky and slow, so we redesigned it. The new version of the site went live today, and we wrote a bunch of blog posts about how we did it. It was fun.

3 Ingredient Recipes
Another bunch of videos from me. I like to cook, but not anything too complicated, so I started finding some recipes that only require 3 ingredients. Some are savory, some are sweet, none are especially complicated. < [more inside]

October 24

It's Autumn on Arrakis  
Our novelty twitter account @MuadDiBucks posts Dune quotes with the word "pumpkin" strategically inserted. (e.g. "Wherever there is pumpkin spice, there are worms." "Always?" Halleck asked. "Always.")

October 23

Scoring Lyrical Clichés with N-Grams
The first in a series of posts on my band website about using n-grams to score songs and albums on their use of lyrical clichés. In this post I am testing out the concept to see if it has any legs. Future posts in the series will get into rating a single lyricist over their career. [more inside]

That Half-Drop Image Grid From The Royal Tenenbaums . JavaScript
My first js library, w o w. A brand-new JavaScript file for repeating an HTML element's background image in a centered half-drop pattern, like that thing (1, 2, 3) from that movie. Also available on github.

October 22

Carbon Costume
A blog compiling easy DIY costume guides from television, movies, and video games. Make a costume for your favorite character this Halloween using stuff you already have in your closet and off-the-shelf items.

October 20

Tetrakinesis is a puzzle game for windows that's easy to learn, but difficult to master. 25 levels of grid destroying madness. [more inside]

October 19

The Astronaut Instruction Manual  
It's an astronaut instruction manual. For pre-teens. [more inside]

October 18

"An old dad, a young mom"
'Opposites' features 12 musical interpretations of a somehow-biographical song that I wrote together with my daughter.
2 years ago, when my daughter was 4 years old, we started composing little 'songs' together. Since then, we wrote nearly 50 songs, and published one book.

Here are 2 other musical pages: 4 songs as played by Douglas Haines, and 4 songs read in sign language by Koli Cutler.
More than half of our songs had been put to music by musicians from around the world, some of them in multiple styles.

These are parts of the One A Day Project I started when she was born.
There are many similar pages inside.

Today is Adora's 6th birthday. Happy birthday, dear Adora.

Estilo Hindu - A Mexico City Comicbook
A hand-drawn non-fiction comic about Mexico City in 2015. Contains stories about street-side electric shocks, nightclubs named after forgotten globe-trotting radicals, the magical realism of the city's street names, a 25-year old dance battle, the idiosyncrasies of the city's museums, a long-running counterculture market and a spiritual experience disguised as a 'mud bath.' [more inside]

October 13

A long post about three months' worth of mass shootings
I wrote up a list of all the mass shootings that had happened in January, February and March of this year, and posted it to Facebook. Each event had a brief write-up from whatever news source I could find. Following the list are a bunch of words about the results of posting the list to Facebook, trends noticed, and a brief bit about what it's like, emotionally, to actually compile that list.

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