March 1

The End Of Suffering (Album)
I finally got around to putting my 2009 full length album up on Spotify. Until now you had to own a CD - no longer! Stream away. [more inside]


February 29

Celeb Clock
You know those “a day in the life” articles about famous people’s schedules? This project brings a load of them together to present juxtapositions & oddities from past & present, ranging from Hollywood stars breakfasting on protein shakes & meditating, to less famous Brits touring Soho pubs, avoiding The Archers or playing strategy video games. [more inside]


February 19

Dodgeball Finder: Discover dodgeball leagues & events near you to make friends and stay fit
When you think of dodgeball, do you remember being pummeled with 8.5" kickballs as a child or recall the 2004 cult classic movie? Many adults including myself have rediscovered dodgeball as a fun way to get exercise and make friends through local recreational leagues. Discovering and tracking nearby leagues and drop-in events is tedious and typically done through word-of-mouth (since web search results are incomplete and outdated). This motivated me to start a website to help players (initially just those living in the San Francisco Bay Area, California) to reliably find dodgeball happening near them. [more inside]


February 18

By Sound Alone: An open-source and free novel with cargo submarines. Also a pigeon.
I chose to release my submarine novel for free under a Creative Commons license because I am committed to the open-source ideal. Unfortunately, it seems that no publisher would ever touch CC these days, and (more distressingly) lots of readers won't consider it because of our sad cultural heuristic of "free novel = awful". And then the book also doesn't fit nicely into any particular category. It's not really science fiction (the science is realistic). It's not really alternative-history (Hitler doesn't win the war). And it's not even a good fit for submarine novels (the submarines in it are cargo subs, not war subs — it also has strong female leads.) I fear I've doomed the thing to obscurity from the start. But I put years of work into it. I re-wrote it many times. I had it professionally copy-edited. People who do read it, love it. I love it. But this promotion stuff sucks. So if it sounds even vaguely appealing, save me by giving the book a shot! And then tell someone else about it… [more inside]


February 14

2024 Year in Books
This year, instead of "starring" books, I am stack ranking my reads and reviewing each of them. [more inside]


February 7

Random Recipe Project: A YouTube Channel
I've got about 150 cookbooks that I've collected over the last thirty years but in the age of instant recipes on the internet I hardly ever use them anymore. Last fall, despite not really knowing anything about creating good video, or editing even better video, or how to have a successful YouTube channel, I decided to begin a video series of me cooking one randomly selected recipe from my collection. [more inside]


February 6

New book: 20 execution songs from Victorian London.
PlanetSlade's fourth book is out today. It collects all my Gallows Ballads and Bushranger Ballads essays into this volume, and added some bonus material. Sold at chaotic public hangings, these lurid songs described the condemned man’s crime and warned spectators not to follow his example. Many claimed to set out the killer’s own confession – his “last goodnight” – placing these verses atop their own blood-soaked account of exactly what he’d done. Celebrity hangings, like that of Frederick and Maria Manning in 1849, produced many rival ballad sheets and total sales of well over two million copies [more inside]


January 30

TRU5T Ambassadors Kid Astronaut Program
It is very simple: We are sending kids to space. [more inside]


January 26

Party Business Supreme
A game where you are a cake that collects presents for the big client and tries to not get eaten by forks. Now out on Steam, itch.io and Gamejolt.


January 19

Partial Time Travel, and Other Thoughts on Our Media Diets
A consideration of how the Internet causes "samebrain", and some ways to break out of our digital ruts and buck our corporate recommendation engine overlords, including looking in unexpected places, consuming the media of other locations and times, and, um... just typing in random URLs.


Ontario Barn Preservation
Saving the old barns in Ontario, Canada for our rural heritage. [more inside]


January 2

arcc, the Apocalypse Recovery Computing Cluster
Multiuser web-based emulation of a fictional late-’70s computer system created by shadowy technologists who were convinced it could help Britain rise again after nuclear war. Features 3D vector graphics, videos, apps, games, messaging and secrets to discover. [more inside]


December 31

The Infinite 8-Bit Computer Game Character Archive
The Infinite 8-Bit Computer Game Character Archive generates character histories for an infinite amount of imaginary 8-Bit computer game characters from an infinite amount of imaginary 8-Bit computer games from some endless 1980s somewhere. [more inside]


December 27

Various new translations of yet more old games
In the past year or so, I've added several new translations and comments on games that have mostly been left out of the history of roleplaying, story games, fantasy games, etc. Highlights include seven classical mythology games from the late Renaissance (including the mildly LARP-like "Game of Ceremonies," in which players make sacrifices to Venus and Cupid), a translation of the novel Jeux d'esprit written in 1701 by Charlotte-Rose de Caumont de La Force (who gave a complete version of the collaborative storytelling game "Le Jeu du Roman," along with other games depicted in the novel), and trying out a new format, "Kriegsspiele, Parlament, and Prince Albert: light roleplaying in German, 1796-1893" (a blog post on parlor games and live action military-themed games with roleplaying elements).


December 18

Winter Superstitions: A Choose Your Own Fate Book
Every year I go a little extra for my holiday cards. This year I created a choose-your-own-adventure mini-book based on winter/holiday superstitions. Do you pet the cat? Clean up the pine needles? Your choices determine if you live to see a happy New Year or if you'll be departing this world before the sun comes up. [more inside]


December 17

Noir solo journaling game
Labyrinth of Night is a noir solo journaling game where you play as a private detective who's stuck in purgatory, wandering the city as you try to either wake up in your hospital bed or move on to your soul’s rest. It is played with a standard 52-card deck of playing cards. [more inside]


December 1

Australian Bioacoustic Search Tool
The Australian Acoustic Observatory has 360 microphones across the continent, and over 2 million hours of audio. However, none of it is labeled: We want to make this enormous repository useful to researchers. We have found that researchers are often looking for 'hard' signals - specific call-types, birds with very little available training data, and so on. So we built an acoustic-similarity search tool, allowing researchers to provide an example of what they're looking for, which we then match against embeddings from the A2O dataset. [more inside]


November 28

Bottlecap Mountain - “I Guess It's Christmas” - Official Music Video
I made this animated video for my band's new Christmas song - "I Guess It's Christmas." I also played bass. [more inside]


November 27

The Taxonomy and Ecology of Demonology
I made a very short, illustrated, RPG pamphlet describing various categories of demon. For any game where you want a gently novel take on summoning and binding hostile otherworldly monsters. [more inside]


November 25

Brids, Sfish and other Amals  
A simple head swapping browser toy that mixes up Victorian animal illustrations to create amazing new hybrid animals every time you click. [more inside]


November 20

What Rosa Brought
When my kids were ready to begin learning about the Holocaust, but not to face its full horror, I told them their grandmother's story. My mom was a little girl in Vienna when the Nazis marched in. She was present for the first steps that they took against the Austrian Jews. Miraculously, she and her parents escaped in 1939. It’s not a happy story, but it's a story whose sadness a child can wrap their head around, and I thought it might be helpful for other parents who are ready to begin this conversation. So, I put it in a picture book. It was published last week, and I'm prouder of it than anything else I've written. It got starred reviews in Kirkus and Booklist. [more inside]


November 15

Kraken Whispers - an interactive text adventure
A climate-fiction text adventure with dystopian themes, set in 2051. Can you survive for one week as a regular person under the rule of the York Emergency Authority? (Maybe you can do more than survive, and blow oxygen on embers of resistance.) With beautiful art by Dibujos de Pam! Play for free in your browser, desktop or mobile. [more inside]


November 11

heroes wreck everything
"Monster in the Wilderness" is a solo journaling game about lying in wait for a hero who wants to come to your lair and steal your stuff. Play using random generators, or by building a house of cards.


November 9

Eldercare, Family Caretaking, and End-of-life Logistics: Stuff I Learned
My mother died this year, after a long decline in her health, and I was one of the main people who helped take care of her. While caring for her, preparing for her death, and handling logistics afterwards, I learned a lot from online resources (including MetaFilter), various professionals, and friends. So I'm trying to pass on some things I learned -- about paperwork, patient advocacy, body donation, delegating to friends, coping with Mom's delirium and incontinence, and more -- by sharing them in a blog post I have been working on for months. It was pretty hard to write in places, and I hope it saves people a few unpleasant surprises. [more inside]


November 5

Bonjour Hi - A game in the Montreal Metro
In the vein of Jet Lag the Game, Taskmaster, The Amazing Race, and more, I came up with a game for my friends and I to play in the Montreal metro (subway) system. We recorded the whole thing. The goal: "capture" the four main transfer hubs of the metro system and race back to where we began. The first team back wins. The fun bit is we need to do various tasks before we're allowed to advance in the game, which leads to much hilarity. [more inside]


November 4

Baby’s first stand-up set
Hey, remember earlier this spring when I asked the green how to learn more about stand-up comedy as a creative outlet? I followed some of your advice, found a local intro to stand up class, and just finished and did my first performance in my class show! [more inside]


November 3

Scorecard.gg
Free minimal scoresheet tool for your favorite boardgames, including Scrabble, 7 Wonders, Kingdomino, Scythe, Agricola, and Yahtzee!


October 31

Jabo’s Annual Halloween Cartoon 2023
It’s Halloween! And another of my annual bone-chilling cartoons; HALLO23, is now up and haunting the HTML. Guaranteed to make you shiver (or maybe just shake your head). As always enter at your own risk. But if it’s a real scare you’re looking for, you can just read today’s paper.


October 26

Shopping List Haiku Generator
It makes poetry / from grocery store items / again and again


October 25

Restaurants in Peace  
Leave a remembrance about a restaurant that's closed. A long project in the making (started in ~2019, before the everything), I'm super happy to share it with the fellow MeFites and the world. You can let me know (via the site or message me here) if places are missing -- and a lot of places are! Cheers and thanks for everything


Choco Chooser
Match with the perfect chocolate for you by building your taste profile. With more varieties of candy out there than ever, this tool will help you discover a new favorite just in time for Halloween.


October 24

Jazz!
This past summer, I took on a fill-in show at our local campus/community radio station. A traditional jazz show, but I decided to only ever say the station's call letters, frequency, and the word "jazz". Over and over and over again. [more inside]


October 18

Any movie scene, rewritten like a Michael Bay movie  
Needs More Boom is proof that sometimes you just need to do something stupid for no other reason than "because I can." Just type the scene, hit the 💥LFG💥 button, and see how much better if would have been if Bay had shot it. [more inside]


October 5

Quonsmas Magazine
I was looking through my old Canva projects when one caught my eye, and I thought it might be worth sharing here. It's the magazine I put together for Quonsmas Magazine. [more inside]


October 2

Mahnawhgads
Do you like the Muppets? Do you like Homestar Runner? Then you might enjoy this mashup tune I made.


October 1

British Seaside Simulator  
Fully experience the sights and sounds of the UK’s coastal resorts. This was meant to be a quick thing using a ready-made rain effect but, as documented on Mastodon and ex-Twitter, I ended up doing it my own way from scratch and added lots more features.


September 26

Incredible Doom: Eternal September
A new comic series we're launching today in the Incredible Doom universe (that Metafilter has been so kind to!), Eternal September is an intimate, harrowing series about teenagers navigating the wild, dangerous days of the early web. You can read Issue 1 free online today, and you'll be able to read the entire series for free as it's posted to followers. No ads, no trackers, no middlemen, we're going back to our roots on the open web. [more inside]


Endless Knights
Endless Knights is an infinite Arthurian knight generator, for all your heroic knightly needs. [more inside]


September 25

Halloween History Zines
What's the relationship between Samhain and Halloween? What sorts of divination games were played that night? Where did trick-or-treating come from? What about the Jack-o'-lantern? I have written two zines about the history of Halloween! They are published by Microcosm, or you can get PDFs on itch.io. [more inside]


September 22

Codections
Connections for coders. Inspired by the hot new word game from the New York Times. Test your dev knowledge!


September 12

Practical Defence Against Piracy - a graphic novel / webcomic in progress
Twelve years ago I posted a project here - “DelilahDirk.com - a graphic novel, serialized online.” Then, for a decade, I kept my head down in an old-fashioned authorly manner and made two more in the same series and some other books I’m proud of. Now I’m making another comic on the internet, it’s full of pirates, it's been nominated for a Will Eisner award, and the final instalment of the most recent chapter goes up on International Talk Like A Pirate Day. [more inside]


September 10

Modern Art in Midcentury Comics
For a while I've been collecting examples of 20th century comic strips and newspaper cartoons which include parodies of Modern Art. (I got some help from ask.meta last year!) I've now posted my collection on cohost, and I will add new ones as I find them.


September 8

Scorned by every other graveyard? Welcome to Cross Bones
Today I published PlenetSlade's third paperback book (Amazon link), and it's an updated version of my 2013 e-book telling the tale of South London's Cross Bones Graveyard. This tiny patch of unconsecrated ground just south of the Thames has sheltered the remains of London's most despised citizens for over 400 years. Today, it's a shrine to our own era's outcast dead, where thousands of people a year attend the monthly vigils created by a shamanic local writer and attach their own heartfelt offerings to the site's gates. It's one of the most fascinating graveyards in London, and a vivid lesson in what the poor of this city have always had to endure. [more inside]


September 4

A Substack of My (mainly) Fantasy Writing
I've finally pulled the trigger and started a Substack! [more inside]


August 30

Verity web app
A web app that uses AI to generate quizzes and score open-form answers on whatever topics you like. [more inside]


August 26

An Abundance Of Beasts
An Abundance Of Beasts is an endless medieval bestiary generator, creating new creatures every time you look. [more inside]


August 25

Mertonon
Neural network organizational budgeting. You put down a picture of your organization as a neural network, and backpropagation will tell you where to allocate your resources. Like Project Cybersyn, only not from the 70's, prolly (hopefully, lol) not gonna get ganked by Nixon and Pinochet, based upon marginally more modern technology, and you can download the JAR for it right now.


August 21

Clone-a Lisa  
Can you paint a copy of the Mona Lisa in 60 seconds? Anything over 80% is good, 85%+ very good, and 90% may be possible if you're extremely fast and accurate. While making it I posted updates to Twitter and Mastodon (click a later post to load more of thread).


August 19

The Lucille Ball book I wrote over my maternity leave
I wanted to share the update to the book I wrote over maternity leave -- it's a real book coming out in October! [more inside]


August 18

a web app for playing Netrunner via video call
Pantograph is a web application that streamlines playing the card game Netrunner with a remote opponent using physical cards. Each player needs paper cards and a camera positioned over their play area. Once you start a video call using the app you can click on your opponent's cards to see higher resolution images. [more inside]


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