June 20

A Visual History of Urbanization  
This map shows a 5,700-year timelapse of the world's cities being born one-by-one, starting with the first known city, Eridu, in 3700 BC. The data is from one of the coolest academic studies I've come across in a long time, which compiled a comprehensive dataset of the world's cities and their historic populations, from 3700 BC to 2000 AD. [more inside]


June 15

Braid - Simple Project Managment Built Into Gmail and Gcal
Braid is a Chrome extension that lets you add emails, events, notes, and files to a project from inside Gmail and puts them in a nice little project news feed thing. It's kind of like if Yammer and Basecamp had a baby inside of Gmail. [more inside]


June 14

From The Desk Of The Director Of The Cold War Reenactment Society  
For my last piece on The Toast, ending my espionage series: A letter from the Director of the Cold War Reenactment Society to new members.


June 13

Interactive video feedback simulator in WebGL
Basically what it says on the tin. Hopefully it works for mobile users, but you'll have the best experience on a full monitor. Warning: it's pretty easy to create bright, flashing patterns with it, so photosensitive folk be careful.


June 10

PrEP Facts for Women Discussion Group
A place for both cis and trans women to learn from other cis and trans women about PrEP and Sexual Health! [more inside]


June 8

Painting math on the wall
I spent the last few days hand-painting a couple of fractal images—a Menger sponge and a Cantor set—on the wall of my home office. This is a writeup of how and why I did it, with some bonus thoughts on the weird nature of the fractal series behind the images.


Hearing aid battery subscriptions!
Ok, it's not exactly disrupting an industry, but I started selling subscriptions to hearing aid batteries. It's something I've always wanted, and figured there must be others out there too. It sucks to need a new battery and realize you don't have any. Knowing that you'll get fresh batteries in the mail each month is pretty handy. Need batteries? Know someone who needs batteries? I will be pleased to serve you. :-)


a month of YouTube viral video data
I went thru a month of the top videos on YouTube and found some interesting things. [more inside]


Make Donald Trump say (almost) anything - Mishmasher
In the vein of Talk Obama To Me, we've created a Trump talking machine capable of making gems about Mexico, China, and snake oil. Please enjoy responsibly.


Subcultured. Interesting Articles.
This is an alternative news site built on the read-it-later feeds from a small group of contributors. It's not meant to replace a news site, but instead to highlight longer form stories of interest from a diverse collection of sites. While originally started as a personal project, I think it's developed into something interesting and worth sharing with others.


Will Wear Many Hats for Food and Housing
I've worn a lot of different hats over the years, in my pursuit of my family's financial security and mine and others' creative ambitions. Now it's raining, and I'm getting soaked. So I made a simple, interactive online resume and work portfolio in the spirit of Wooly Willy to get a little help finding a new hat to cover my bald head in the rain. [more inside]


June 3

Android app - Shortcuts for Waze 2.0
Unlike google maps, Waze has no way of creating shortcuts to destinations. So a while back I created a simple app to create shortcuts and released it into the wild. It got moderately popular, but people kept asking for features. [more inside]


June 1

99% Invisible Site Redesign
As major podcast and design nerds, my developer partner, seldomfun, and I were super excited to work with the wonderful podcast 99% Invisible on their recent website redesign. Talk about a dream project! How did this thang get made you ask? We also just posted a detailed post on our site on the process.


May 27

A Field Guide to Freelancer Finances - a book
I edited a book for freelancers to help them figure out things like how to price, how to chase payment and how to make sense of their accounting reports. It's pretty comprehensive, and it's free to download. [more inside]


May 20

syzer - find large files in directories
Have you ever wanted to quickly find the largest files within a complex directory, but have trouble remembering the syntax for the find command? This might come in handy. [more inside]


May 18

A pun generator  
Generates puns written in the form "You could say he they put the 'demons' in 'demonstrators.'" Written in pure JavaScript, this pun generator can provide a few minutes of amusement, and might even generate something witty and worth sharing! [more inside]


May 17

Animation Arts Booster Organization
Last Fall I launched a non-profit to support independent animation in the Pacific Northwest of the USA. Our website provides visitors (animators and fans alike) with an overview of the history and current scene in the area, as well as a wealth of resources on film festivals, artist residencies, grant applications, etc. [more inside]


mindful_bot
I made a Twitter bot to embed mindfulness reminders in your timeline every half hour. [more inside]


Patina (since there's no "Microsoft Paint for Mac")
I wanted to use something like Microsoft Paint on my Mac, but I couldn't find any existing such app that I liked, so I decided to create one. This two year project finally reached full fruition this week with its launch as a paid app in the Mac App Store. [more inside]


May 16

Custom Steampunk Kilt Jacket
5 1/2 years after posting this question about learning how to sew mens' clothing to Ask MeFi, I made a custom kilt jacket to wear to a steampunk festival earlier this month. [more inside]


@SFTitleADay
A new pompous title from a parallel universe every weekday. Perfect for all your speculative fiction, knockoff Steam game, or prog-rock concept album titling needs. [more inside]


May 9

History of Sweeney Todd
Some years ago, I heard that Sweeney Todd was based on a true story and I began setting out to do more research on the matter. I quickly discovered that the source which claimed the story was true was highly questionable, but it led me into my own historical search, finding ultimately that the story of Sweeney Todd began as a French story -- and possibly as an urban legend relating to some early 19th century city planning.


Metafilter MultiFavorited Multiwidth — Chrome Extension
A once userscript, now Chrome extension that makes it easy to identify popular (i.e. heavily favorited) comments in a MetaFilter discussion. A line to the left of the comment increases in width the more favorites it gets, so you can easily spot them at a glance. [more inside]


22 Switchbacks on the Ken Burton Trail
A short film I threw together all slapdash of me riding my bike down the side of a mountain. [more inside]


May 8

A Writing Forum
A small, informal and friendly writing forum. If you write, want to write, or once wrote and have stopped and are looking to start again and need some encouragement, or if you enjoy reading short pieces of writing, come and join us! [more inside]


May 6

Link finding things
Doo doo doo! This is Link finding things on the web and holding them up for you to see, as he does! Except he's doing it on Twitter instead of your NES, which doesn't even work unless you hold in the cartridge a certain way.


That's Not How Things Work
I made two quick-and-dirty, single-serving sites, to serve as convenient rebuttals to misconceptions that one commonly encounters on the Internet. ThatsNotHowCopyrightWorks.com is for those dopey "no copyright infringement intended" sorts of things that one sees on YouTube, etc. ThatsNotHowFreedomOfSpeechWorks.com is for those people who squeal that their fuhreedom of speech is being violated because someone disagreed with them. [more inside]


May 5

Steve Read's Stories
I'm doing a podcast where I do fully (er, mostly) produced re-tellings of classic folk tales, fairy tales, historic letters and short stories. It has been a blast so far, and I would love for you to take a listen. I'm also always open to suggestions on things to read.


May 4

The Cut: A Play by Patrick Cleary
A play I wrote was picked as the third place winner in Rover Dramawerks' First Annual 10 Minute Comedies Festival. They were kind enough to send me a copy of the video they recorded of the show. It's a play about office manners, fate, and snipped neckties.


Boomtown Sinners: Scans of My Book Collection
I have bad taste in books, or books in bad taste, anyway. Boomtown Sinners is a gallery of front covers from my library. It mostly consists of paperbacks from the 1960s but encompasses a wide range of vulgar, tawdry, and kitschy books and magazines, as well as a small handful you could read in public without embarrassment. Decidedly NSFW with some nudity and lots of sordidness. [more inside]


Handle Your Business: a short book about managing your tiny business
A few years ago a friend of mine who owns a small consulting business was freaking out about their tax bill. Another posted about *their* huge tax bill and how they were going to have to go on a payment plan. Then a third was trying to figure out their retirement options. My book Handle Your Business is for them, and if you run (or want to run) a small business, it's for you too. [more inside]


May 3

My Kickstarter Project Gamer Theory
From the Kickstarter: "My book is divided into two parts. The first part is a point-by-point response to McKenzie Wark's excellent Gamer Theory (2007, Harvard University Press). The second part offers an expanded definition of Gamer Theory, complete with suggestions for ways the reader can think critically about gaming and still enjoy the hell out of it. " [more inside]


So, I got bypassed
Part one- wherein I get my chest splayed open by a nice doctor. [more inside]


Wladimir Putin looking at things
Our dear leader loves to look at things. You can look at him looking at things here. Inspired by the famous Kim Jong Il Looking ah things Website. I made a Wladimir Putin Version!


May 1

What Happened to Country Music?  
I analyzed 50 years of country music lyrics to show how much they've changed.


April 30

Hurt (NIN Fat Angus cover)
In the spirit of #keepmefiweird, an old cover I did of Nine Inch Nails' Hurt, guest starring an Amiga 500 (well, WinUAE, as I couldn't get my own running) on vocals. Why? Considering the tone of the song, I decided to go the exact opposite direction of Johnny Cash. It's a machine almost doing an almost Shatneresque take on a painful, regretful song. (Also: you see that spike at the end? It's loud. You've been warned)


April 28

Dress British Think Yiddish
I have been teaching myself Yiddish, mostly using the sort of brute-force, memorize 1,000 words using smart flashcards techniques offered up by various hacky "hack the language" web gurus. And it's been working surprisingly well. At the end of three months, I could understand between 70 percent and 80 percent of every headline I read in the Yiddish Foreward, and, in general, I am more comfortable with the Yiddish I have learned since I started than I am with the Hebrew I spent 12 years studying. [more inside]


April 27

Nagpur Junction: A Short Tragicomic  
A 9-page comic about grief, generation gaps, Indian counterculture and Nagpur Railway Station, where the final missing link was inspired by a Metafilter comment. [more inside]


Daily condensed MLB game videos, delivered to your inbox
This was my weekend project - it delivers a link to MLB's condensed game videos (12-15 min long) direct to your inbox every day at 7AM EST. I find it useful to keep up-to-date with what's going on with my team in a different time zone. [more inside]


April 23

You Matter, Episode 1: Greg Erskine
MeFi's beloved Gregnog was kind enough to be the first guest for my new podcast. The whole pretense is this: I've spent 20 years in public radio, listening to people being interviewed only because they had a new book or movie or TV show coming out that week. I love Terry Gross, but her bosses would never schedule a butcher or a puppeteer or a single mom, unless there was some financial reason to do so. So that's the point of this podcast - I am going to interview "ordinary" people, to underscore the fact that there is no such thing as an ordinary person. (Here is the full manifesto behind it.) Thanks to gregnog for being a great first guest. I have six more in the can, and I have solved the audio issues that plague this first one.


April 21

The Disability Integration Act of 2015
The Disability Integration Act establishes in Federal law that people with disabilities have the right to choose to receive services in community settings where they are in control, rather than being forced into institutions just because that is where States and insurance companies primarily and by default offer the services that people with disabilities need. [more inside]


April 19

App search engine that filters out fake reviews
While developing mobile apps, I realized how rife the App Store is with rating/review manipulation. So, I created apprecs.com, a facade for the store that allows you to filter out many of the fake, coerced, or otherwise manipulated reviews. You can also filter by other criteria such as how recently the app was last updated and age/gender of the typical user. What do you think? I'm getting started on adding Android (Google Play) support today. [more inside]


April 18

“Can’t Feel Your Pulse”
A medical school music video parody of "Can't Feel My Face" by The Weeknd. (These parody music videos are a thing at med schools right now, and mine is no exception.) Simultaneously kept me sane and drove me crazy while I was learning cardiology over the past few weeks. The lyrics are in the video description on the youtube page. If you have any familiarity with med school, pay attention to the details on screens and whiteboards in the video for additional jokes.


April 17


April 16

New Gerhard art: The Murder Ballet.
PlanetSlade is (somewhat belatedly) celebrating its 5th birthday with a big new piece off artwork from Cerebus's Gerhard. The piece - which I commissioned a couple of months ago - builds references to 33 PlanetSlade essays into a single giant composition, and also sneaks in a "Where's Wally" style appearance for Cerebus himself. There's a roaming zoom function to let you scrutinise the art close-up, an enlargeable scan of it in its pencils stage and Gerhard's own animated GIF showing the inking process stage-by-stage. I've added a short essay explaining the genesis of the project and letting people follow it through from conception to finished art. [more inside]


April 14

Estiplate. Crowdsourced calorie counting.
I built a website that aims to make calorie counting easier and more accurate using the wisdom of crowds. Upload your lunch, guess on some plates and try it out!


April 13

Oh My
I am very happy to announce that the music video I was slaving away over in February and March has just come out! Made for The Animators, out of Melbourne, it features a chase through the snow, some magical realism, a very cute animal, and a whole lot of painted plastic cut-outs. I have some stills and 'making of' pictures on my blog.


Reader on Revolutionary Feminism  
I work with a group that just put together a second edition of a reader on Revolutionary Feminism. It includes a century of debates between communist, anarchism and radical feminists, extending from 1890 to 1983. Groups in 21 cities and four countries did study groups on the Revolutionary Feminism reader in the fall and winter of 2015. This collection is beautifully laid out, easy to share, and includes a lot of great material on lost traditions of queer and women's liberation movements. [more inside]


Tameline — Your Twitter, Organized
Tameline organizes your Twitter feed by giving everybody only one row. Loud users no longer crowd out quiet users. Here's an example. [more inside]


April 11

Women in Today's Star Wars
A few weeks ago I decided to start a review of the role and place of women in Disney's Star Wars franchise through various mediums, television, cinematic, novels and comic books. It became surprisingly clear that the decision to make Felicity Jones' character the lead in Rogue One was not just a follow up on Rey's prominent position in The Force Awakens, but an overwhelming trend across every medium to feature many strong female characters in the Star Wars universe.


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