March 27

I Will Dance Among The Stars
"Pampa (Dansa Ere Da Setara)" is a song I wrote in Lang Belta, the Creole language spoken by the humans who live in and beyond the Asteroid Belt on the TV show The Expanse. Its a story of tough lives and hard choices in a harsh environment. The lyrics in both Belter & English. [more inside]


March 25

Playing at editing films to music
I thought it would be an interesting experiment to try and make films using only creative commons and public domain footage. I started by making a series of films to accompany the music of a friend and am now branching out to visually accompanying classical music. I'm trying to work out if I'm wasting my time here and would supremely love some feedback on the films I've been making.


March 16

This Is A Boring Shark Attack: 8 Rules for Fascinating Storytelling  
I've been doing standup and storytelling in NYC for ten years this month. Now I'm convinced that the big money comes from telling stories that are built out of jokes, but I'm still waiting for the data to come in.

This Is A Boring Shark Attack: 8 Rules for Fascinating Storytelling [more inside]


March 13

Information Jones Database Detective - Short Stories
Information Jones is the world's greatest database detective and one of its least successful IT professionals. Technology managers knock on his door when they have nowhere else to turn. Follow Information Jones' adventures as he cracks the case contrary to all expectations. His expertise is Oracle. His specialty is unreason. Two collections of short stories, free on the web as HTML or an epub.


March 10

Android Game - Clear Synthesis: Bumbaroo and the Yellow Ghost
I made a phone game for Android! It is a casual/puzzle type game where the objective is to match blocks and empty the board. [more inside]


March 8

Haunted Floating Eye - A Lair Defense Game
Haunted Floating Eye is my newest pay-what-you-can ($0 is fine!) game, in active development. You play a magical floating eye monster who has decided to take up residence in a naturally occurring cliff face, as your kind often do. [more inside]


March 5

Sprinkles: a javascript repeating pattern creator
A pattern generator to create repeating sprinkly designs. Sprinkle colours, width, density, and length are adjustable. Comes with included theme presets.


I Love You Like a Cover
I was going to record an album of original music, but depression and a creative block waylaid that goal. Since Alex Lahey’s debut album inspired me to reconsider some of my approach to songwriting, I decided instead to teach myself GarageBand and cover her album front to back. So here it is.


March 3

Melbourne Women's History Map
In honour of Women's History Month, here's a map to help you explore locations in Melbourne related to women's history. Each location has some information about the site and links to more information (if available). Use the map to plan a walking tour of Melbourne or to explore the city from the comfort of your living room.


March 2

Open Door Policy Guides
This Ask reminded me of something I did for work a few years ago, have given talks about a few times, and recently turned into open source documents. They're meant help create a better workplace by helping people understand how to escalate problems. Prerequisite: A company that wants a better workplace. [more inside]


February 28

100 Doodles
100 Doodles is an art newsletter project where I (try) to draw and write one newsletter per week. Each newsletter contains a small painting and some written notes about the subject. It's sort of a slow, handwritten blog, but in your email. [more inside]


February 25

I blogged for 17 years and all I got were these lousy Markov chains.
What does one do with a blog in 2018? If you're me you export the text, do a little cleanup, ingest it with NLP (Natural Language Processing) tool Markovify, and create random sentences based on your own writing. It's a little eerie to read words that seem like me but clearly were not assembled by me. It was fun to make. You can follow it on twitter @BloggingBot.


February 21

Salary Negotiation: A Simple How-To  
I prepared this how-to-negotiate-salary doc for some family and friends and thought I'd share it with the world! I'm a woman in tech and I had to kinda figure out how to negotiate salary on my own (but see note inside) so wanted to share my experience to level the playing field a bit. [more inside]


February 19

When Journalism was a Thing
This project shows how journalism has collapsed, and why. It shows how the profession's untested truisms and assumptions brought systemic problems and rigs into the profession, and how an alternative model to journalism where patriarchal, binary, biased, narrative, unscientific, and Great Man ideology doesn't corrupt the product. [more inside]


February 13

Bartender.live Cocktail App
I had been looking for an app to help me figure out what cocktails I could make with what I have in my home bar, but just didn't really like any of the ones out there. So I bit the bullet and finally taught myself Swift and created this app. [more inside]


Podcast: Small Craft Advisory
Twice-monthly broadcast from our boat to yours. Friendly radio murmurs on books, art, weather, memory, sex, science, the occult, family, relationships, etc. Ideally the feeling of riding sleepy in the backseat on a road trip in the dark while your friends, who are driving, talk to each other and you drift in and out. Sporadic continuity, amiable guests. [more inside]


February 11

The Our Ladies Pop Magic series
I have been working on this project on and (quite frequently) off for a couple of years now and am excited to debut the first three muses in my Our Ladies series: Norma Desmond from Sunset Boulevard, Morticia Addams, and Endora from Bewitched! Our Ladies combines my interests in Tarot and folk magic with my love of pop culture, especially the fabulous divas and mischievous witches of fantasy, science fiction, noir and melodrama. [more inside]


February 8

Ukulele song book index, and chord tracker
I like to play the ukulele everyday. I know a bunch of chords but not all of them. I wanted to have a tool that searches song books based on which chords I already know, so I could discover new songs and navigate my books better. Click the chord diagrams you know, and it displays a directory of all the songs you can play with those chords. [more inside]


Experience Vermont as a local, through interviews and tours
We want to introduce folks to the amazing artists and craftspeople that call Vermont home, and I’ve been interviewing them in a new YouTube series. I (and sometimes terrapin) also share a weekly tip or recipe from our own craft hobbies, primarily brewing, cooking, knitting, and dyeing. This week’s videos feature an interview with MeFi’s own Jessamyn West, and her tutorial on making your own mossarium. [more inside]


February 6

Georgian and Regency Weirdness from Erato
I thought, "Oh, I will try to write something super commercial, something that will sell like hotcakes because it's a popular genre that lots of people love." The result of my effort has been described as like the John Waters version of the Regency era. It may never be really popular, but if you like your historical novels with fewer bonnets and balls, but brimming with disease, garbage, cadavers and suicide attempts, these might be up your alley. Oh yes, most of them are comedies, by the bye. [more inside]


Shift Change
A few weeks ago I made a text based game with Twine with one of my brothers that puts you in the shoes of a missile alert system tester in Hawaii on a recent January morning. [more inside]


My Tom Russell fRoots interview - expanded version
Towards the end of last year, I spent an hour on the phone interviewing the great Americana songwriter Tom Russell for a feature in fRoots magazine. It ran in the mag's Jan/Feb 2018 issue, but has never appeared online till now. I've supplemented the original interview here with a bonus Q&A exchange between Russell and I, my review of his latest album and some photographs and notes from his recent run of UK gigs. [more inside]


February 2

The Couch to 80k Writing Boot Camp  
I made a free 8-week fiction writing course in podcast form. [more inside]


February 1

Official music video for the first song from my debut solo album
This music video is for the song Make Do, which is track 1 on my forthcoming debut solo electronic music album, Beat Smoothie. [more inside]


OpenStreetMap for mefi
For people who use noscript/µBlock/µMatrix or whatever to limit Google's reach on their browsing behavior, here's a userscript that replaces profile geolinks and IRL maps with OpenStreetMap. [more inside]


January 31

The Wildest West Podcast
What began as an exploration of my love of weird western stuff has evolved into a discussion of creativity and the professional market for creative undertakings, with a lot of little side trips into the worlds of wrestling, polka, horseback riding, rattlesnake chili, and whatever else attracts our attention at the moment. Cohosted by Coco Mault.


Web archiving for bots
From the explanatory post: I’ve made several bots over the years. They’re mostly Twitter bots. Some of them are throwaway larks, and some of them only work in the moment. If Twitter becomes too harmful to humanity to gift with free content, I’m OK with letting those go. However, there are many bots whose fate I want to keep in my own hands, rather than Twitter’s. To that end, I built a static site updater. [more inside]


January 26

THE ESTATE OF WILLIAM BRADLEY PITT VS. THE MUSEUM OF NEW REALITY
A short SF story I’ve been trying to sell since 2015 that suddenly has relevance thanks to the Vice story about face swap pornography so I decided to self publish it to Medium. Celebrity! Copyright! Intellectual property! Puns!


Wiles Habit - Track Your Habits
This is a habit tracking system I developed that has worked reasonably well for me. It's helping me stick to my New Years' resolutions. It's very rough. I'm sharing it here in case anyone else would find it helpful! [more inside]


January 25

How I Became A 44 Year Old Rapper
After a night of being teased for performing both the Running Man and the Roger Rabbit, I bet my wife and her friends I could make a legitimate hip-hop video and make $10 from strangers on the internet. I decided to completely commit to this bet for the sake of pride, art and the culture of hip-hop. I present to the fine folks of Metafilter......."Never Bet Your Money On Another Man's Game" [more inside]


January 24

Thicket.io: a tool for a post-truth world (visualize research and debates)
Thicket is a platform for rigorous thinking. Users can map out political ideas, discover relevant research, and debate policy claims with others. Thicket puts your beliefs about policy in context, connecting them to relevant academic research and to opposing arguments. Thicket is aimed at students, researchers, journalists, and everyone interested in politics and public policy. The intro video is the best place to start. [more inside]


MeFi Post Recommendation Engine
Just finished building a content recommendation engine for MeFi using natural language processing and non-negative matrix factorization techniques! It produces a list of post recommendations based on a user history of posts, comments and favorites. It can also make recommendations based on a piece of text, so for example, you could paste a particular post and it will return a list of other posts that have some similar characteristics. I hope you enjoy playing around with it! Please let me know what you think. Here's more info in case you're interested (: https://github.com/tomasbielskis/metafilterpostrecommender


January 23

Weird One Character Domain Superstore  
... a dumb weekend project for Unicode / IDN domains which got out of control... [more inside]


January 20

Cartoon Cats Vega
My cartoon


I made a Blockchain  
Cryptocurrency is our future, there's no doubt about it. So I set out to make my own Blockchain, which required mining some coin, which I call JimCoin™. Some smart people invested early and before long the chain was growing. [more inside]


The Coen Brothers Must Die
Do the Joel & Ethan actually work for Big Tobacco?

I've personally counted every single cigarette & tobacco item appearing within all 17 films created by the infamous Coen Brothers. Visit tobaccoenbrothers.com to view the raw spreadsheet data and read about my alarming conclusions. Joel & Ethan Coen seem to have an overwhelming allegiance to Big Tobacco that goes way beyond simple product placement deals. Like everyone else, the films by the Coen brothers hold a special place in my heart, but what I've found during this study will shock you.


January 17

Datasette Publish
I've been working on Datasette for a while: it's a tool for publishing static structured data online with a browseable web interface and a JSON API. Until today you had to install various bits and pieces on your computer to use it, but I just released Datasette Publish which provides a web interface that lets you upload data as CSV files and click a button to turn that into an online database and API. My blog has more, including an animated screencast showing how I used it to build an API for exploring California campaign finance data.


From Science to SciComm
I made a downloadable workbook/guide for science PhD students and postdocs who are interested in a future career in science communication. Why? Because this didn't exist yet, and until now everyone just had to figure it all out on their own. [more inside]


January 16

I Am Stuck: a chatbot fiction experiment
Me: a person trapped in a toilet stall. You: a helpful person on Facebook Messenger trying to chat me through this mess. Involves time travel, the creative industries and swears. [more inside]


January 15

Roads & Kingdoms: A food, travel, and culture magazine
We redesigned Roads & Kingdoms, winner of the James Beard Award for Publication of the Year, with Anthony Bourdain as partner and editor-at-large. [more inside]


January 11

Chart.Business
High-performance web site for business professionals with advanced business needs, keep up-to-date on all business facts for your business. Growth, leverage, portfolio, value-added, markets and other key business metrics. [more inside]


January 10

arreXted developMEN
“This is the story of a School for Gifted Youngsters that lost everything, and the one mutant who had no choice but to keep its superhero team together.” [more inside]


January 8

Your Market Can't Learn XOR
Math for the Arrow-Debreu model of markets and the perceptron model of neurons is remarkably similar, down to similar derivations for linear equilibrium via linear separability in solution space. I talk about consequences.


January 5

London charity shops treasure hunt.
Just before Christmas I visited 30 different London charity shops, anonymously donating a signed and numbered copy of my murder ballads book to every one. My online photo clues are there to help people find the shops involved and snap up these moderately-attractive collectors’ items at a bargain price while also supporting the charity's work. The headline link here gives full details and this Twitter account has news of the results so far. [more inside]


Box breathing box  
I wanted a device for box breathing, the technique where you breath in/hold/out/hold for 4 seconds. A device that wasn't a phone or computer. I built one, out of wood, plexiglas, metal, transistors, and a tiny bit of code. Then gave it the photo studio treatment, shared the code, and wrote about the experience.


A book on chanting  
I wrote a book on joint speech (many speakers, speaking/chanting in unison). Its a science book, but aimed at a general readership. After being unexpectedly dropped by a publisher, I'm self-publishing. Details below. The book is available as a free pdf for tablets or smartphones. The associated website has numerous examples and additional documentation. [more inside]


January 4

New music: Flash of a Smile
Here's a collection of self-penned, home-recorded pop songs. All done 100% with Linux, tip to tail (a twist I hope makes them MeFi Projects-worthy). [more inside]


A Spreadsheet for Tracking Calls to My Elected Officials
This is just a little spreadsheet for tracking calls to my elected officials, which I'm sharing in case other MeFites find it useful. [more inside]


Bergbahnen (The Swiss Alps, 500 Years Later).  
The mountain cableways and ski-lifts of Switzerland rarely feature in images from the country, even though they cover many areas of land that function as slopes in the winter season. Yet this infrastructure sits in place year round, and in some cases will go unused for up to ten months a year. When the "Bergbahnen" and "remontées mécaniques" do feature in photos they are typically of winter sports, because why else would they be interesting? [more inside]


January 2

OUR AUDIENCE INCLUDES
SAD CATS • PURCHASERS OF SPACECRAFT • MACHINE INTELLIGENCES WHOSE ID SUGGESTS THEY MAY BE USERS OF ICHOR (I made a web toy that generates short descriptions of very specific demographic groups, and saves the ones people click on.) [more inside]


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