January 13

Parsing reports on murdered and missing indigenous women  
Yesterday, the Inter-American Commission on Human Rights released its long-awaited report on Murdered and Missing Indigenous Women in BC and the rest of Canada. I live-tweeted my reading of it, along with moderate extra commentary and clarifications.


January 12

Media literacy, and a terrible spoof of "Tomorrow"
We've kicked off the latest season of our YouTube series on media and digital literacy with a spoof of "Tomorrow" from the movie Annie. (OK, so this particular episode isn't really about media literacy... aside from taking the piss out of yet another movie retread.) [more inside]


January 11

Irish-American Gangster Movies
I'm working my way through every single film made about Irish-American mobsters, gangsters, bootleggers, run-runners, and general thugs, offering commentary on the films, and comparing them with the actually history of Irish-American gangsterism.


January 8

Ink and water music video
This is an animated music video I made a few months ago that just launched online. It is for the Seattle band Dark Hip Falls, and their song 'Lam 2: Red Hands'. It was made using water, ink, and gum arabic solution. Enjoy! [more inside]


January 6

Jackie the baboon, and other upsetting topics
The story of Jackie, a baboon who went to war with the South African army, is the latest instalment in my series on Animals in World War I. [more inside]


Global Voices - News About Japan
Since September 2014 I have contributed stories about Japan as Global Voices' Japan Editor. I report on what Japanese people are actually saying about the news on Twitter, in blogs, and on 2chan (somewhat similar to Reddit). Often I can find eyewitness accounts (in Japanese) to what's happening in the news, sometimes even scooping Western news outlets. It's all about presenting an authentic, slightly quirky take on current events in Japan.


Play-by-Twitter 1st Edition Advanced Dungeons & Dragons
I am going to attempt to run an AD&D campaign played over Twitter. The project is currently in the planning/incubating/looking-for-players phase. [more inside]


She Looks Like Sunday Comics: Watching The Brenda Starr movie (1989)  
Josh Fruhlinger of the Comics Curmudgeon and I sat down and watched the nearly unreleased Brenda Starr movie adaptation and talk about how it tackles camp, gender performance, romantic fantasy, and crazy shoulder-pads [more inside]


January 5

Litblog Roundup
What's happening at the intersection of literary culture and the internet? I've started a new bi-weekly blog series intended to address that topic and more. It's called "Litblog Roundup." [more inside]


esoteric.codes
esoteric.codes is my blog about esolangs (esoteric programming languages), aimed at a less technical audience. Esolangs are created by programmers at play, challenging conventions of coding, looking at how we communicate with the machine, and indulging the strangest what-if scenarios in code. The blog looks at the ideas behind these languages and explores connections to code art and conceptual practices -- but it is also a fanzine to my favorite languages. It features interviews with the original designers (recently: Ben Olmsead of Malbolge, coming up soon David Morgan-Mar of Piet and Whenever) alongside posts about common themes between languages (e.g. languages that produce no output). It was recently awarded the 2014 Arts Writers Grant.


Transit Battle NYC: Pretty Maps for the Subway, Bus and Rail
People in New York love the subway way more than the bus. Sure, it's okay, the bus is confusing, but what if they knew all the secret places the bus could take them faster than the subway? And there was a reaaaally nice interactive map to go along with it? [more inside]


January 2

Vaporcake and the new "digital ephemera"
Fellow MeFite mintcake! and I are trying out an experiment in digital music dissemination. To understand what we're going for, please read this manifesto-of-sorts on Medium: Extremely Limited: A case for the new digital ephemera. [more inside]


January 1

Moshpit Memories
Moshpit Memories contains seven years' worth of trivia, anecdotes and gig reviews from my old diaries as a music fan at the height of UK pub rock, punk and ska. I started the diaries in 1975, when I was just 16 and ended them in 1981. Among the gigs I saw – and have described here - you’ll find a 1977 Clash show in a sweaty little club (plus the NYC appearance which gave us London Calling’s cover two years later), Lynyrd Skynyrd supporting the Stones at Knebworth, pre-fame encounters with both Ian Dury and Shane MacGowan, the Damned becoming the first punk band to play a major London venue, the Ruts frantically improvising on the first night Malcolm Owen went missing and a couple of wonderfully chaotic label revue tours by Stiff and 2-Tone. Live music in Britain has never been more exciting, I had an almost indecent amount of fun and you can read all about it at the link above. [more inside]


December 29

The Art is Not The Artist: On Holding Abusers Accountable & Enjoying Problematic Media
This is the thought process I go through when I’m considering the creative output of a horrible individual, and the questions I ask myself about whether I can consume the work in good conscience. [more inside]


Group satisfaction / dissatisfaction with representation in Congress
In theory, by looking at the number of bills supported / opposed by a given group, we can estimate its level of engagement and gauge whether events in Congress are working for or against the groups' interests.


December 27

#GiveIt100 Skincare Challenge
For 100 days I will be going outside my comfort zone by following a skincare plan and documenting my progress via a daily video blog. [more inside]


My article for The Atlantic  
on shipping and the enduring power of rooting for love.


December 24

Filmstamp
For the past few months I've been blogging my year in romantic comedy. [more inside]


Twicery: Twitter keyword monitoring
A user on Quora asked "Are there any free or cheap tools that would enable me to monitor a keyword and be notified whenever somebody over a certain follower threshold (say, 100,000) used it in a tweet?" I thought it was a great idea, so I built it. Specify Twitter keywords, set a minimum follower count, and receive an email when a suitably popular account tweets about it. You can also exclude retweets and filter out chosen accounts.


December 19

mynderMail - Email Yourself (my first Android app)
I got sick of composing a new email every time I wanted to send myself a note. I looked around, but couldn't find anything that did everything I wanted (at most I found ones that pre-filled the "to"/"subject" field). So I learned Android development (helped that I was already a Java dev) and wrote this app. [more inside]


December 17

You Gotta Wear Shades
For two years running I've published genre fiction anthologies on the internet, and now the third one is out! It's called You Gotta Wear Shades, and it's about the kind of problems you want to have. It opens with a great story about a camping trip on Mars by Metafilter's Own Narrative Priorities, and follows that up with six more tales of brighter futures. [more inside]


December 15

Endless Jingling  
Endless Jingling: an elf singing randomly generated holiday music, forever and ever. Reload for a new combination of carols. Spiff up and/or ruin holiday parties as needed. [more inside]


December 14

Lone Wolf and Parenting
Ogami Itto is just a single dad trying to make his way through the world on a quest for vengeance that requires the rejection of human morals. It isn't easy with a young child in tow! This Tumblr highlights the trials and foibles of parenting on the assassin's road. [more inside]


Subrosa.io - encrypted messaging and calls in the browser, that's actually usable.
There's many encrypted IM apps, but few of them are actually usable. Subrosa is a web app that abstracts away all the cryptographic details*, resulting in an app you can share and use with everyone. It's open source (of course), and supports IMs, voice and video calls, group chats, and more. *: Yes, real end to end encryption, not 'encrypt with keys the mothership knows'. [more inside]


December 11

Peep's Other Place
Developing a webcomic/animation series. At the moment I'm just figuring out what it is, but I recently finished a short animation which brings the little guy to life. I'd really love to hear some feedback if anyone has any.


Irish genealogy, DNA, and my adoption
I was adopted, and for most of my life all I knew was that my biological parents were English and Irish. A year ago I took a DNA test, and sudden I know a lot more: Who my biological mother was (and the amazing coincidences between our lives), what percentage of my DNA is Neanderthal, and the complexities of Irish identity, ethnicity and genetics.


December 9

Shape Shape Shape Shape—porcelain and cotton rope wearables
My partner and I have recently launched a project of porcelain and hand-dyed rope necklaces that we are calling Shape Shape Shape Shape. [more inside]


December 7

Rabbit, Rabbit
A short play I wrote for a holiday-themed new works festival. Some of the video quality is a bit shaky, but the whole play is there!


December 4

How to built an e-book library you can touch
I built something physical out of my Kindle highlights to have an e-book library with the moments from the books I wish to remember and to have something on the shelf to talk about when friends visit and want to have a look and talk on what I've been reading lately. It’s a prototype of what I would like to see from publishers.


November 28

How to make a hacked LED Pez Menorah  
I've been making these for a few years now, and since people occasionally ask me how to make them I decided to document the process. [more inside]


Flagged as Fantastic, a MetaFilter-related Twitter account pointing out excellence
An independently-run MetaFilter-related project that tweets to all followers anything I've flagged as "fantastic". [more inside]


November 25

Fat Tire Flyer: Repack and the Birth of Mountain Biking
My book on my mountain bike adventures is out on VeloPress. I was one of the "hippie daredevils" whose goofy hobby of modifying old bikes to race them downhill turned into the modern sport of mountain biking. This weekend I received a glowing review from the Wall Street Journal. Previous reviews, all overwhelmingly positive: Dirt Rag US Cycling Report Marin Independent Journal Pez Cycling News Winkbooks


November 23

@eventuallybot  
@eventuallybot is a Twitter bot that generates short films in GIF format, sourced from shreds of random YouTube clips. The films all tell stories, but sometimes the stories don't make a lot of sense. [more inside]


November 22

NES My Life  
My latest t-shirt project: mundane everyday challenges (such as finding a job, dealing with ultra conservative relatives, or deleting unwanted dick pics on a dating site) envisioned as classic black box retro 8bit Nintendo games. Hope they give you a chuckle!


November 21

Otto Jukebox - A multi-user streaming anti-cloud music player
Otto is an open source music jukebox app that disguises itself as an iTunes replacement without all the extra baggage, but is actually a web-first, fully streaming, anti-cloud, social music server that allows multiple people to listen to the same stream of music at the same time and DJ for each other. Kinda like a private turntable.fm. For Mac OSX and Linux. A limited demo loaded with some CC licensed music can be found here. [more inside]


MetaFilter Deletion Reasons Twitter Bot  
Tweeting MetaFilter post deletion reasons at @mefideleted to celebrate the wise and gentle hand of moderation reaching from the heart to the edge of our community. [more inside]


November 19

IGNITE: Women Fuelling Science and Technology
IGNITE aims to highlight women and girls working in STEM in various ways - as developers, artists, activists, community organisers, educators, and much more. We're also collecting #BeTheSpark stories on how you got interested in STEM, so if you have a story to share please contribute!


November 18

Electobot: Open-Source UK Election Predictions
Opinion polls are all well and good, but they don't give you much of an idea of what might actually happen in an election (particularly in a multi-party democracy like the UK). Electobot aims to solve that by running thousands of simulated elections in order to work out what might happen if the election were run tomorrow with the polls as they are. In addition to running the simulations, I've also been blogging the results at Electobot: The Blog. [more inside]


November 15

Floodgate Poetry Series comprises 3 chapbooks by 3 poets in 1 volume
Campbell McGrath’s Picasso/Mao appears in Floodgate Poetry Series Vol. 1, along with short collections by Jenna Bazzell and Martin Anthony Call. [more inside]


November 14

The People Podcast
Short interviews (6-9 minutes) with interesting people you probably don't know about.


November 12

DestinyQuest Infinite - D&D meets Fighting Fantasy meets Choose Your Own Adventure
DestinyQuest Infinite is a CYOA, Fighting Fantasy-style game for the web. It has over 600 pages of text, hundreds of monsters to fight, a virtual die-rolling combat system, a ton of loot to collect, three long acts to navigate and survive, dozens of quests to complete, illustrations, sound effects, walking turnips and dozens of hours of gameplay. Here's a demo of a tiny bit of it, and a trailer. [more inside]


November 11

Open source Minecraft Server hosting project with pay and DIY options
MC-COAL is a different approach to hosting multiplayer Minecraft worlds. It's based on an open-source project to host, build, and maintain multi-player Minecraft worlds and communities. COAL is a web application that is written in python and runs on the Google Cloud Platform. [more inside]


November 9

Dear Hannah: A Geek's Life in Self-Improvement
This "cautionary tale about self-improvement" tells the story of what happens when your whole life is dominated by the world of self-help. It comprises 82 letters written over 16 years describing every self-help book, pop psych article, and personal invention I used—or abused—to change who I am. [more inside]


November 8

Investigative Journalism about the American Legislative Exchange Council
KBOO, a community radio station in Portland, Oregon, has just completed a months long project investigating the American Legislative Exchange Council's effect on members of the state legislature. The project, made possible by a grant from the Fund for Investigative Journalism, contains pieces from volunteer reporters about aspects of ALEC's lobbying efforts, interactive maps and spreadsheets detailing legislator involvement in ALEC sponsored model legislation and links to ALEC and organizations that watchdog ALEC. KBOO intends the work to be a model other community stations in other states might use as a starting point for investigating their own legislatures.


November 7

Interview with Largely Unknown Discordian
Previously on the Blue, here's a new interview out that’s bound to interest MeFites, as it deals with Discordianism [more inside]


Memoirs from the War in Heaven
College student drops acid on a Friday night, and gets caught up in the mythical War in Heaven. A war in eternity. It's most probably not like anything you'd imagine. Off and on for the next 25 years he's in it, not to know at any real level what it was, exactly, that he'd been caught up in, not till near the very end of it. Like a spirit that from time to time takes over his life, like a fugue. And which at the end it all comes together. This is a true story, as best as could be recollected. Too strange to be fiction.


November 6

Mose the Fireboy  
A history of a once-famous, now-mostly-forgotten character from Civil War-era New York. Mose the Fireboy was a Bowery B'hoy, volunteer fireman, and butcher who appeared in a series of plays starring Frank Chafrau, and ended up being one of the iconic characters of the era, as well as one of the inspirations for Bill the Butcher in "Gangs of New York." [more inside]


November 4

MetaFilter tools: new and updated
Seven current Greasemonkey scripts and Chrome extensions written by me, six(ish) following the request of MetaFilter users. These scripts and extensions have been successfully tested with MetaFilter after its recent redesign, including support for both the modern and classic themes. [more inside]


On Nine Lives
I went through a traumatic experience losing a pet I was very close to, and I wanted to honor him and share the experience of knowing this wonderful animal, along with some of my best photography of him.


November 3

Face Control - A Moscow Travelogue  
A 30-page hand-drawn comic book about Moscow in 2014. Contains stories about mysterious women bikers, dark chocolate with cheese curds, avant-garde Russian poetry, the 'Moscow Face', anti-cafes and the music of Viktor Tsoi. [more inside]


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