May 22

MetaFilter activity stats
Tracking monthly active users, posts, and comments on MetaFilter and subsites. Automatically updated whenever the Infodump updates. [more inside]


May 19

Blog/Column: Humans and Technology
I started writing technology column (as if we need another one of those) for one of my region's local newspapers, and I've been archiving it on a blog. The focus is on the human side of technology use. [more inside]


May 15

Kirby Klose-Ups
One close-up comics panel by Jack Kirby from his 7 decade-spanning career posted once a day, every day on Bluesky.


May 14

Small Wonders Magazine Year 2
An online magazine of speculative flash fiction and poetry. [more inside]


May 12

"The trouble is, however, that I feel that I have something to say"
A 2017 post on the Blue linked to an essay (archive.org!) about a kinda mysterious 1886 American book, The Story of Don Miff, highlighting its unusual "postmodern" elements. I made a proper proof-read ebook, not previously available, that you can get at >> gutenberg.org <<. [more inside]


May 9

Jiu Jitsu Training Camp 2024
A Brazilian black belt friend of mine is organizing a BJJ camp for a week in Rio de Janeiro this fall and I've been helping him build a website for it. (I'm a brown belt and will be part of the camp, but not an instructor. Unless it's a how to make spaghetti carbonara lesson.) Would love to get feedback on what's there so far, as we're doing it in November and still have time to adjust things a bit. (Looking for feedback both on the website as well as the proposed experience.


May 7

OEDILF, The, n.
The Omnificent English Dictionary in Limerick Form, or OEDILF (oh-DILF), is a magnificent, ambitious, and slightly insane attempt to write a limerick for every word in the English language, one letter group at a time. Twenty years after it was first posted to Mefi, it's still going strong—which means that it's now celebrating its twentieth birthday. [more inside]


May 2

"Here We Are" Close Read Blog-o-thing
I took myself to see the premier Sondheim's posthumously released final play "Here We Are" on my birthday in January and came home with a head full of thoughts. Through the magic of dark internet (Reddit) I was able to get a cruddy recording when I got home and have been listening to it since. I'm trying to get these thoughts out of my head in single-file line ahead of the release of the cast recording on May 18th. [more inside]


May 1

Power Button - Episode 384: Super Shopping Spree
My friend Blake and I have produced a weekly video game podcast for over a decade now. We live on opposite ends of the country and rarely see each other. Last week he came to visit and I took him around on a shopping spree of retro video games and toys. On this podcast recorded in the same room together for the first time since 2011, we let you follow along on our road trip and tell you about the awesome stuff we bought. [more inside]


April 26

Dungeon, an RPG system for Commodore 64
I've gone ahead and pushed #Dungeon out the door for people to buy and play for $5. It's an RPG game system, for old-school RPG adventures, for the C64 from 1990. You use the Dungeon Guild to create a character, then put it through adventure modules other people have created. Five of them are included with the game, to play and to use their monsters and items in your own scenarios. It was published on Issue #74 of the C64 disk magazine LOADSTAR. It's presented by permission of the rights holder, Fender Tucker and configured to play in VICE.


April 24

Anything can be a sandwich
I taught myself to make baguettes and decided I would try to make them everyday, but I also love sandwiches so I was typically taking whatever was for dinner and turning it into a sandwich. Then I started imagining how I could turn a dish into a sandwich and started creating them. I don't do it everyday, but I do on most. I've started documenting the results on a feed on Bluesky. [more inside]


April 23

Lost Notes: Season 4
KCRW’s acclaimed music documentary podcast, Lost Notes, is back for its fourth season! Co-hosts Novena Carmel (KCRW) and Michael Barnes (KCRW / KPFK / Artform Radio) guide you through eight wildly different and deeply human stories, each set against the kaleidoscopic backdrop of LA’s soul and R&B scene of the 1950s-1970s. (The fifth of eight episodes releases this week on Wednesday.) [more inside]


April 18

Snail Facts! -- 15 Minute Incremental
I was on my way to work a couple weeks ago and I got the weirdest idea for an incremental game. Here it is, Snail Facts! This is my first incremental, so I decided to make it pretty simple. Some details inside: [more inside]


April 15

Unsettled Tarot
This is an online tarot reading. You page through ten randomly loaded cards, each card combined with randomly loaded text. I drew the cards, they are my personal tarot deck. They iconography has very little to do with a traditional tarot deck, each drawing is something I could not express in words. It's not intended to be mystical, more to trigger unexpected associations. [more inside]


April 3

British Placename Mapper
A web app that lets you search for British place names that match certain queries (eg. starts with 'great', ends with 'burgh', contains 'sea') and show them on an interactive map. Fascinating patterns start to emerge, and you can even share links to your favourite configurations.


April 1

Voyage of the Marigold
Every choice matters as you command the Federation Starship Marigold through unexplored sectors in a desperate race against time. [more inside]


What Big teeth, a free RPG about minimum wage werewolves
The pitch is that you're a group of people cursed to be werewolves. The curse drives you to hunt, and so most werewolves become murderous monsters. But the curse doesn't actually care what you hunt. So you're hunting the other monsters instead. But you still need to do your day jobs. [more inside]


March 28

Thousand Day Celebrations
Celebrating one's Thousand Days is an excuse to get more birthdays in your life. They never occur on your actual birthday, and also shift from season to season every time. You could also see who else shares your thousand day, even if they weren't born on the same day as you. [more inside]


March 27

In The Name of the MOON
For those who are interested, I have an album out recently. It's best described as "experimental ambient electroacoustic long-form sounds with a vague Sailor Moon theme" which doesn't boil down to a single tidy hashtag. [more inside]


March 24

Where in the World
'Where in the World' is an interactive web based game in which you try to locate notable places or historical events on a map. You are given a series of 10 locations to find on a map. You try to get the lowest distance between your guess and the actual location. [more inside]


March 22

Movie Posters Perfected
I love movies—and especially movie posters. I have very fond memories as a kid in the 80s seeing new movie posters at my local theater teasing next summer's blockbusters. So I thought it’d be fun to turn an unused TV into a digital movie poster display to help recreate some of that nostalgia at home. I figured out the best way to mount a TV vertically and connect it to a cloud-based library to display my collection of movie posters. I love how it turned out, so I decided to write a guide to help people who might be interested in putting together their own. [more inside]


March 21

Potassium supplementation and weight loss: My n=1 experiment
Potassium chloride (KCl) is a salt substitute often used by people who have high blood pressure. Some earlier investigations suggested that daily supplementation with KCl may lead to weight loss. I performed a study on myself to test this hypothesis. I lost a modest amount of weight (about 4.2 pounds or 1.9 kg) over a period of two months. My experiment is an example of citizen science, also called personal science, n=1 investigations, or "quantified self".


March 19

Untangling Non-Linearity: How the Linked List Changed Media and Challenged our Notion of Thought
How the simple link became the foundation for artificial intelligence and all dynamic media.


March 17

Vancouver Needs More Housing
morehousing.ca is a daily blog about how Vancouver needs more housing. Housing in Vancouver is maddeningly scarce and expensive, making us poorer and worse off. We regulate new housing like a nuclear power plant, and we tax it like a gold mine.


March 16

Ray and the Stone Cold Axe Woman is published!
I've just published Ray and the Stone Cold Axe Woman. This is book 2 in the "Ray and the Echoes" series, and is the sequel to Ray and the Cat Thing. If you've not read Ray and the Cat Thing yet, now's the time to get it - I've made it 99c on all the ebook sites. [more inside]


March 11

IN WHICH I EXPLAIN WHY EVERYTHING IS SO UNBELIEVABLY F*CKED UP
I recently finished writing this, sort of a summary of my philosophy, and I don’t know how I feel about it. I may just need someone to read it; I am puzzled by it now, wondering if it can be understood by anyone else in the entire world.


March 6

XOXO 2024
After nearly five years away, we're bringing back our experimental festival for independent artists who live and work online, one last time to Portland, OR this August 22–24. To celebrate, we launched a little teaser website that holds a little secret. [more inside]


March 5

Hey, There's Science In This
I wrote a book! "Hey, There's Science In This" is a short collection of essays about unexpected science links to everyday topics. Rubber ducks at sea, a Japanese TV show, food-based paint techniques, hiking trails and much more all reveal their hidden science. The book started out as blog posts written between about 2007 and 2023, but they've been updated and rewritten for this collection. [more inside]


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]


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