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August 6

These Are Just To Say
aka "Variations on a Theme by Kenneth Koch": versions of "This is Just to Say" hybridized with other poems (such as "This Be The Verse" or "To Lucasta, on Going to the Wars") or just recast into different forms (such as the double dactyl or the villanelle). [more inside]


August 4

DIY Birth Control, Abortions, & More
I'm working on an easy to read, well-researched guide to help women with healthcare access problems obtain and use birth control methods (hormonal and non-hormonal), emergency contraception, and medical abortion pills. Given the way that these important health issues are treated in the U.S. today, it saddens me that we need this guide but I believe the information is vital. If you are a person who may become pregnant or care about someone who may become pregnant, this guide could be of use--it even teaches a new way to use diaphragms that makes them easier to use, more convenient, and more effective all at once. [more inside]


This Is What Anne Frank's Arrest Looked Like
70 years ago, Anne Frank and her family were arrested after more than two years in hiding in Amsterdam. But what did their arrest really look like? I write about it for mental_floss.


July 31

The Marvel Explanation
Can Joey explain the Marvel Cinematic Universe to his sister Cassie, who only has eyes for Rocket Raccoon? Click to find out!


July 29

DOS POP
this is DOS POP: over 40 minutes of primitive, tinny FM slime-synthesis for the discerning pop aesthete. a soundcloud mix sourced from vintage PC games, with some tasty ear candy and glitchery thrown in for good measure. maxis trash funk, bitcrushed opera, diseasecore, swamp new age, adlib fantasia and soundblaster death jams await your miserable, yearning ears. grab some waterproof headphones and dive in. part of the experience is not always knowing what you're hearing, so I haven't included a tracklist. available on request, though.


July 28

Back Tang Wiesenfeld text generation
Markov chain-style text generation that conforms to Zipf's law. Very spiffy. [more inside]


July 26

Phosphates, Fizzes and Frappes  
A Tumblr blog about the golden age of soda fountains (roughly 1890-1920). The blog includes vintage recipes, soda fountain history, and more. [more inside]


July 23

Go Ahead, read my stuff.  
This is just a tumblr I've put up to put up anecdotes for my grandchildren to read. Saves me the trouble of having to remember all the details when I'm 80, I hope, I can hand the kids an iPad with all the tales neatly formatted and pictures alongside. The next generation of grandpa's knee! Of course, that's the excuse I use on myself: that someone will want to read them. So, I thought I'd stick it up here and let you folks look and critique my writing/style/whatever.


July 22

Film Talk Forum - Smart friendly discussion of the best in Film and Television
I've been looking for a good place for deeper discussion of great films and TV shows. I saw this thread in AskMeFi and checked out the criterion forum, but found it lacking. So I created my own film and TV discussion forum. Please feel free to join and add to the (currently non-existent) conversation. Tell all your film geek friends too. Thanks. :)


July 18

Library of Emoji  
We all know that many new emoji were recently added to the Unicode standard. What we don't know is what emoji will be added in the years to come. Library of Emoji is a Twitter bot that speculates, several times each day, on what new emoji might appear in future Unicode revisions—emoji that today may seem unreasonable, but someday may be commonplace: COOKWARE SYMBOL. MOUTHPART. PRIAPIC SYMBOL FOR UNICYCLIST WATERLOO. [more inside]


July 14

Mario: animated short  
In Italian playgrounds a song is chanted that dates back to World War I. This paint on glass animation tells this dark tale of a soldier who returns home from war to find his girlfriend has left him. [more inside]


Living with our backs to the future  
It's my first piece for the NYTimes! A Riff essay on how the past's view of the future impacts how we live in the present. Plus DeLoreans.


July 13

HODOR  
HODOR [more inside]


July 12

"Democratic Theory and Mass Incarceration" -- Open Access  
The new issue of The Good Society (vol. 23, no. 1) is devoted to a single symposium on the intersection of mass incarceration and democracy. It's available on Project MUSE for institutional subscribers, and on JSTOR, where all the articles will be open access for the next two months! [more inside]


July 11

f/5.6: a photoblog
I've been focusing on photography (mostly street photography) for the last few years, and I put together this photoblog to showcase past and current work. For best results, view in correct order. If you only have time to look at one image, I suggest this triptych.


July 10

Chip64: Chip synth for Reason
Hey there! I make Rack Extensions for Reason, a music-making program from Propellerhead Software. (Rack Extensions are plug-ins for Reason, sort of like VSTs that you'd use for other DAWs.) I've made 10 so far. My latest is Chip64, an emulation of audio chips from vintage computers and video game consoles. There are some audio examples too.


Seven Kings for Seven Sisters
Seven Kings for Seven Sisters is my attempt at actually writing that story that always seems to be lurking behind London railway station names. Cannot promise: artistic quality, meaningfulness. Can promise: lots of station name puns, dubious rhymes, Ford the bridge-playing cat. Six installments up so far, the next is going up on Friday.


July 8

Pee & Pray
Pee & Pray is an ongoing web comic starring Peeing Calvin and Praying Calvin. I'm 18 episodes in so far. There is some NSFW language. And peeing. Thank you.


July 2

World of Objects - Found product photography from eBay & Craigslist listings  
Strange & wonderful vernacular photography collected from eBay and Craigslist listings. Witness as ordinary Objects take on other-worldly, pathetic or even menacing qualities. You will never look at Objects the same again. http://worldofobjects.tumblr.com


July 1

@godtributes
A Twitter bot that posts tributes to befitting each god! Banner by Metroid Baby. [more inside]


June 30

Virtual Unreality: A book about how the internet is messing with your head
Surprised that Facebook has been experimenting on you, deliberately tampering with your emotions? Don't be. Our reliance on digital information in all aspects of our life -- from shopping, to reading the news, to interacting with our friends -- is having an unexpected consequence: we are increasingly dependent on information that's being manipulated by parties who are trying to get you to act against your own self-interest. Virtual Unreality is a book about how the digital revolution is blurring the distinction between what's true from what's fictional, what's genuine from what's fake, what's human from what's algorithmic -- what's real and what's virtual. [more inside]


June 29

Globe Trot (50 filmmakers, 23 countries, 1 dance)  
This is an international crowd-sourced dance-film project put together over the web. I got 50 filmmakers on all seven continents (including Antarctica) to each shoot two seconds of dance by choreographer Bebe Miller. There was a manual on my website that trained the filmmakers in how to learn their 4-count phrase assignment and how to frame the performer they would find on the street. Each person then sent their footage back to me for editing. I explain it more in this HuffPo blog.


June 26

Super Tunnel Brothers: A Minecraft Let's Play Series
Players gumptionthomas and your's truly set out to dig a 17,0000 (give or take) block tunnel for a rail spur in their Minecraft server world, Planet Gumption. As we dig we're discussing futurism, artificial intelligence, speculative fiction, the Singularity...


June 25

Augur: iPhone App That Uses Twitter to Predict the Future  
Augur is an iPhone app that displays random Twitter posts, and attempts to provide both advice and prophesy. Pulling from a growing list of keywords, the app ignores any Twitter posts containing links, images, #hashtags, or @mentions. It also parses out any first person mention (I, Me, Myself) and tries to present Twitter posts containing second personal conditionals (You will, You shall, etc). [more inside]


2014 US Open Class Nationals
I'm blogging the 2014 US Open Class National Soaring Contest in Northern California, where beautiful sailplanes race hundreds of miles. Photos and videos show the view from the rear seat of a 2-place glider participating in the contest. The blog assumes no familiarity with competitive soaring or gliding in general. [more inside]


June 22

Tangaroa, the god of the sea
This is an early cut my friend and I did for an independent artist in New Zealand. She makes installation art. We both liked what she did and wanted to support her by making a video that comprises the process. Feedback welcomed.


June 21

Whispering Machine
is one of three strange glimpses into Us Conductors, a theremin novel by me. Each of the trio of sites visits a different passage from the book through the lens of a different designer, with different contributing musical artists: Whispering Machine, by Luc Mikelsons & Adam Benzen, has sounds by Bear In Heaven; Our shadows slanting by the lamps..., by Brendan Reed, has sounds by Owen Pallett; I gazed at a long shelf of batteries..., by Jez Burrows, has sounds by an unnamed musician.


June 19

Documentary: Round Window stained glass, stop motion
I make stained glass windows for a living. For a long time I've wanted to make a stop motion movie of a window going together. So I finally did it. [more inside]


Octropolis
A fast-action scrolling maze game for Android, intended for tablets. Guide an octopus through a huge maze, collecting eggs and avoiding sharks. Consume "mega eggs" to attack the sharks back. Intended as a riff on classic Namco arcade maze games of the 1980s, including Pac-Man and Rally-X. [more inside]


June 17

An Open Letter to the Start-up CEO Who Believes He Owns a Business
I wrote an Open Letter on Medium snarkily addressing my long-term issues with Startup Culture, VC funding, and various other tangled attendants.


June 15

How to Recognize the Signs That You Work For a Corporate Cult
I've been "working" on this for a few years. It was originally for a certain magazine, but it got to be too long. I didn't feel like cutting it down to meet the word limit requirements.


Dickens.me: Collaborative serial storytelling
Dickens.me is a community creative writing project to craft an interactive adventure in the style of the "Choose Your Own Adventure" stories, with authors writing chapters of up to 400 words that each end in two choices for the reader.


June 13

animation marathon segment
A few months ago I took part in an animation marathon as part of the Fete de L’Anim in Lille and Tourcoing. Myself and two classmates from St Joost created 10 seconds of animation in two days. It was super fun and you can watch our segment here, and the whole compilation here. Our little clip and its companions are playing at this year’s Annecy Off, an alternative festival in Annecy dedicated to young filmmakers.


Ignoranti
Website and podcast where the hosts confess their ignorance in a range of topics and ask intelligent people to explain things to them. [more inside]


June 8

Logs of Lag: League of Legends netlog analysis
A drag-and-drop web tool for analyzing network logs from the game League of Legends. Fast, simple, helps you understand the lag you see while playing the game. It's a simple HTML5 app built with D3.js. Screenshot, GitHub.


June 7

#BringBackOurGirls and the Misuse of Imagery
The Twitter campaign #BringBackOurGirls helped galvanize a response to the kidnapping of 276 Nigerian girls by the Islamic militant group Boko Haram in early May. Accompanying the hashtag are images that have been reposted thousands of times—by everyone from Chris Brown to the BBC. The only problem? These are pictures from Guinea-Bissau, three years ago, of girls that have never been kidnapped.


June 6

Lapsed Historian - Because History is Fun. Honest.
A website for long form history writing, such as The Longest Forecast, the story of the Meteorologist Eisenhower challenged to find the right day for D-Day. Also for sharing interesting history pieces found elsewhere as well. [more inside]


Black And White (2014) 15mins
"Surviving a suprise sex party with your soul intact is tough. Welcome to the Black And White midnight party." - This is a nail-biting, brand new, Australian short that's just been released. ‘Black And White’ is a dark morality tale about a man that finds himself stuck at a sex party in the middle of nowhere. It’s about the horror of moral collapse and how we act when no one is watching. It's one of the most intense clips you'll watch all year.


Soles Series of Stories
My small press, Upper Rubber Boot Books, has just released the first nine titles in the Soles Series of Stories, which comprises standalone ebook short stories spanning the speculative fiction gamut, including science fiction, literary stories using SFnal tropes, apocalyptic and post-apocalyptic, steampunk, slipstream, alternate history, utopian and dystopian, fantasy, and horror. [more inside]


Disabled Brony Dad PResenting at Bronycon Needs Your Stories
"Coping With Disabilities Through Pony" is panel set to premier at the largest Brony convention in the United States, BronyCon. The mission of the panel is "...to share how the cartoon My Little Pony: Friendship is Magic and its fans have helped to improve the lives of individuals with special needs." It is being organized by a father with a visual disability. [more inside]


June 5

Ten Thousand Sonnets
Using Python 2.7 and the Natural Language Toolkit, I created a program called Sonnetizer that generates 14-line rhyming sonnets in (mostly) iambic pentameter from any text corpus. Using Sonnetizer, I generated 10,000 unique sonnets from the sonnets of William Shakespeare, and compiled them into a PDF.


An American Soccer Playlist
If the US Soccer team is going to perform at the highest level in the World Cup this summer, they're going to need a high-quality playlist. This is the country that invented electric guitars, blues, jazz, rock and roll, country, and hip hop. We might not have Messi, but we've got James Brown, Elvis, and The Velvet Underground. So I created a playlist worthy of our emergent American style of play.


June 2

Bloodletters and Bad Actors  
My look at the early days of Omaha theater, back when it was a frontier town, its amusements were questionable, and vice was rampant, with occasional forays into more recent performing arts misbehavior. [more inside]


Regret Labs science podcast
Did you study hard in science class? Neither did comics Aric and Levi. Regret Labs is their attempt to make up for lost time. In each episode they attempt to explain a scientific concept and then invite a guest expert to join them and tell them how very wrong they are. [more inside]


June 1

All That You Can Be
A satirical recruitment ad calling for trans women to join the military. I wrote and directed this to protest the recent prioritization of trans inclusion in the armed forces above and beyond all of our myriad concerns, something which happened on the say so of one billionaire with absolutely no dialogue with the larger trans community. Enjoy.


May 31

Smidgeo.com  
I've taken on a side contract to build my cat's corporation's web site. Smidgeo is a business built on growth, digital, social, disruption, a proprietary form of smart marketing known as Smidgeo Smarketing. The bottom line? Smidgeo GETS results. Smidgeo's business model may seem complex, but there is an animated diagram so that even the worst can understand. [more inside]


May 30

BLOODSMOKE: A Tommy Darlington Novel
An editor for the New York Times said, "A sexy new voice in Old Florida fiction." She won't let me use her name, though, 'cos we had awesome sex for three months and I dumped her for another cute girl . . . in Costa Rica. It's the first in a series of 69-Minute Novels, cool thrillers you can read in about an hour (if you read kinda fast).


Nervous Times, Photography by Lawren Hyder
Just what the internet needs, more still images. I spend the majority of my time as a photographer working in Victoria, BC, Canada, particularly within the 2 km² confines of the James Bay neighbourhood. Through the lenses of crap cameras, Leicas, Nikons, and everything in between, I've amassed a veritable mountain of mostly incidental photographs—snapshots, failed attempts at fine art, and, above all, an inordinate amount of stuff that makes me think “What exactly was I thinking when I tripped the shutter?” [more inside]


May 29

Trudy Campbell Is A KGB Spy  
A careful read of the early seasons of Mad Men reveals a hidden truth: Housewife Trudy Campbell is a secret KGB agent working to undermine the West.


How Not To Be Wrong
After three years of work, my book HOW NOT TO BE WRONG: THE POWER OF MATHEMATICAL THINKING comes out today from Penguin Press! It's about math. Also: baseball, Reaganomics, daring lottery schemes, Voltaire, the replicability crisis in psychology, Italian Renaissance painting, artificial languages, the development of non-Euclidean geometry, the coming obesity apocalypse, Antonin Scalia’s views on crime and punishment, the psychology of slime molds, packing 24-dimensional spheres, what Facebook can and can’t figure out about you, the invention of calculus, and the existence of God. The book is available at Amazon, Indiebound, Waterstones, and (I hope!) your local bookstore. MetaFilter has been a fantastically useful resource for me in putting this together; partly because I can use Ask for my questions about statistical significance in different languages and stockpicking scams, but more importantly because I've learned so much about how to write about math for non-mathematicians from writing about math on MetaFilter!


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