April 9

"He stabbed her with a corn knife / That's how his crimes begin."
I've been writing about murder ballads on PlanetSlade for a while now, but this essay's a little different. It's all about the 1893 murders of the Wratten family in Daviess County, Indiana. You may recall the folk song about these killings being used in the final episode of The Haunting of Hill House, where Poppy Hill's ghost recites its lyrics to a terrified Hugh. PlanetSlade's research into the real killings behind this song began with a couple of readers letters, sparked a full-blown investigation on Matt Aukamp's Every Folk Song podcast and has now produceded a new PlanetSlade essay. To unravel it all in some kind of logical order, start here. [more inside]

April 8

Cooking Is Coping: One Funny Recipe Video a Week
I'm a standup comic in NYC, and I'm starting a video series called "Cooking is Coping" - I cook to cope with depression and anxiety. I'll demonstrate a recipe while doing jokes and answering audience questions. [more inside]

April 7

Get Afraid's Joy Generator
A fun little tool to distract you at home. Tap button. Get joy. [more inside]

April 5

Boston Driving School
Initially this was meant to be a series of comics about Boston drivers, who never cease to amaze me with their inventive ways of motoring, thus making me wonder what exactly the local driving schools were teaching. And then...it kind of morphed into a jumble of random sketches. One day I will redraw these properly, but that day is not today.

"Bird" by Hamid Naderi Yeganeh
A mathematically-defined picture of a bird. [more inside]

April 3

Pandemic Lit
My colleague and I co-host a monthly live literary show called Write Club, which pits writers against each other in timed bouts on opposing concepts. While we're all quarantined, we're continuing on with a series of video bouts. First installment is up now, with more to come in the weeks to follow. [more inside]

How many pigeons fit in a child
I was asked by a child who lives nearby how many pigeons I thought would fit into the same space as my 5 year old child. This is a question that can be answered! [more inside]

April 2

Voleflix public domain movie site  
I trawled some lists of public domain movies (lots of great film noir) and put together my own version of Netflix. It also has daft Voleflix Originals and rates your taste in movies from your watchlist.

March 31

A Hundred And One Tales, and The New Brothers Grimm
For the last few years, I've been working on a weekly fairy tale project called A Thousand And One Tales (previously posted here at 25 tales, 50 tales, and 75 tales), which has now reached Tale #101 with A Story In The Afternoon, a retelling of Little Red Riding Hood. To celebrate this arbitrary milestone, I put together a remix/cut-up project of old Brothers Grimm tales and made 13 new Brothers Grimm tales (The 1st New Tale, The 2nd, 3rd, 4th, 5th, 6th, 7th, 8th, 9th, 10th, 11th, 12th, 13th). Meanwhile, A Thousand And One Tales continues with Tale #102: You Don’t Have To Read This, But I Hope You Do, a retelling of another famous tale. [more inside]

March 26

How You Doing Your Quarantine?
Comedian and Director Victor Varnado and I made a song and several comedians (Marina Franklin, Stacey Nightmare, John Gemberling, Hannibal Buress and many more) helped out with the video.

March 25

Stop the World I Want to Get Off
I a delirium I invented lyrics in real time to the Anthony Newly musical Stop the World I Want to Get Off, which I have never seen and know nothing about.

March 24

quarantimer: a coronavirus quarantine timer web app for your things
Forget "can I eat this?", the question of the day is "can I touch this?" Finding myself with a porch full of things in various stages of quarantine, I made this app to keep track of how long you need to wait until any coronavirus on an item has probably degraded. [more inside]

In Praise of Borders Radio Archive
An archive of my 2004/2005 radio show's set lists (with album covers, links to music videos or artist websites where possible, and liner notes). The show was about more-or-less-contemporary world music, w/ a focus on genre/cultural crossover instead of traditional folk forms. [more inside]

March 22

COVID-19 - Should I Stay Home?
Reading AskMe posts about staying home or going out (and rigid employers) on Metafilter turned into questions I asked myself about when it made sense to go outside, with a focus on this one: What if I'm already infected? [more inside]

March 21

PLEDGE The Public Radio Fund Drive Audiobook
On the first day of summer, in June 2019, I self published my book on public radio and the pledge drive. On the first day of spring, in March 2020, I uploaded the audiobook version after three months of reading, editing and mastering the audio. Whew!

March 20

Beauty and Grace in the Time of Covid-19
I've begun a group on Facebook intended to be a respite from the horrible news of the coronavirus and instead to celebrate the moments or acts of grace and beauty that has arisen as a result of it. This may be singing from the balconies of Italy, art, people helping others, swans and dolphins in the canals of Venice, or the like. [more inside]

March 19

All Up In My Grille
A blog of grille, vent, and ventilation elements in buildings, and other minor architectural details.

March 17

Old Fashioned (tech)
I stress-made this cocktail database browser, so you can now enjoy it! It's simple and to-the-point but also has some fancy tricks up its sleeve, like narrowing down recipes by what you have and showing 'neighbor' recipes! [more inside]

March 16

Local Corona Stuff
The WHO has a list of coronavirus commodities (copy at the bottom of the page here since their link is busted today)... which has significant overlap with things that a lot of people may already have at home, and feed bad about hoarding, and maybe be willing to drop off at their local hospital. Boiled down, this site is just two lists: a set of stuff to potentially donate (from people who have stuff), and a set of needs from potential recipients (for example hospitals that need masks). [more inside]

March 15

Tracking the US Government Response to Coronavirus
I created a website tracking US federal legislation and regulations responding to coronavirus and COVID-19. [more inside]

March 9

Big Deal or No Big Deal
Guess which Wikipedia articles are most popular and win big! I made a game that mashes up Wikipedia data with Deal or No Deal's mystery briefcase gameplay. [more inside]

March 8

Visualizing COVID19 with interactive programming
I wanted to better understand the COVID-19 situation, so I found some open data, wrote some programs to create bar charts and choropleth maps, open-sourced the code, and blogged about it. [more inside]

March 1

Greens Alignment Chart
I was inspired by discussions between people of African diasporas living in the United States to create a cheeky alignment chart of how the standard dish of "greens" might be interpreted. Happy eating, however you prepare your collards, kales, or otherwise.

February 29

YOU (September 1994 – June 1996)
YOU (September 1994 – June 1996) is an autobiographical short story that attempts to recreate what it felt like being a 16 to 18 year old at school in the 90s.

February 20

A Slovenian Memoir Twitter bot
A Slovenian Memoir is a twitter bot that randomly generates bits of a travel memoir set in one of the loveliest places in the world. It's up and running, but I am always adding to it or tinkering with it (source code here} and if anyone has feedback or suggestions, I welcome them.

Turtle Town
Your people live in a city on the animal, a gigantic turtle. It is time for her to go to the ocean and lay her eggs. Can you survive the trip? A strategy game about ever-changing environments. [more inside]

The Amazing Kondoizer
I wanted to selectively bulk-delete over 10 years of tweets, and wrote yet another web app that let me do that. But then I wanted to avoid getting into this situation in the future, so I also implemented automatic deletion of tweets based on an expiry string I call the slashtag. For example, a tweet that contains the string #/1h will be deleted a little over an hour after it's published. So far it's working out for me.

February 12

To create ‘the ultimate comic strip for millennials’, I gathered a list of tiresome “millennials are killing X” articles and made a page that generates speech bubbles over Jamie Smart’s artwork featuring Avocado, Toast and the delightful Mister Boomer.

Experience by Bike Ep 5 — Ev Kane and the Pacific Coast Bike Route
My friend Seth interviews me about the bike tour I did last summer: “In June of 2019 Ev embarked on a tour along the famous Pacific Coast Bike Route from Portland, OR to San Francisco, CA. In this episode Ev talks about their experience planning for the trip, and shares stories about the ride itself.” [more inside]

January 31

Life Modeling Facebook Group
I'm inviting you to join this new Facebook group I've created in celebration of my 100th life modeling gig on July 14th, 2019! Now exceeding 120 members ... [more inside]

Unicode Text Transformer
This little web toy converts latin text into unicode variants. It translates spaces and some punctuation into full-width variants when the glyphs in the variant are generally square-ish, otherwise it leaves them alone. 𝔜𝔬𝔲 𝔠𝔞𝔫 𝔲𝔰𝔢 𝔦𝔱 𝔱𝔬 𝔪𝔞𝔨𝔢 𝔱𝔢𝔵𝔱 𝔩𝔦𝔨𝔢 𝔱𝔥𝔦𝔰. 𝓐𝓷𝓭 𝓽𝓱𝓲𝓼.

January 29

Generative Texts
Generative Texts is a new kind of publisher. Rather than utilise humans, our publishing process is entirely AI driven, ensuring our texts meet the demands of our post-human future. As a publisher of AI-created, initiated, designed, and honed works, Generative Texts releases books exploring themes of interest to human and post-human minds alike, such as Irrational Numbers, Linguistics, the number One, the un-number Zero, and, in Brexit: The Commemorative Text, even politics, a subject previously considered beyond the interest of artificial minds. All our works are available to buy in splendidly produced machine-automated output forms, both in perpetual paper-based releases as well as in more ephemeral electronic data-propagations.

January 15

Art Is My Middle Name
...is a newsletter I started as a birthday gift to myself. Each installment is a short thought about some topic in art (appreciation, analysis, or creation, and with a reallllly broad definition of art). So far, installments have covered Kurt Vonnegut's advice on appreciating paintings, the moral calculus of watching Watchmen, and East German kids using punk music and fashion to build identities.

January 9

How Disgusting Are You?
I surveyed 423 people about their hygiene habits after repeatedly noticing thriving online discussions of mundane things like how often you change your bed sheets. The test compares you with the results, but it's largely just a way to browse the stats and make the point that we're all ‘disgusting’ in our own ways (almost everyone gets a fairly high score).

January 5

The 100 Day Writing Challenge  
A couple of years ago I made a free 8-week writing course in podcast form. Starting from Jan 1st I'm releasing a new, bigger version called The 100 Day Writing Challenge. [more inside]

December 25

Tinseltown Tasty Times
I reviewed every place to get lunch at the odd mall called Tinseltown (technically International Village, but that's boring) in Vancouver. Every place. The food court, the congee restaurant, the bubble (tea|waffle) place, the 7-11, the weird protein powder store, and more.

December 24

#8PrimatesOfChanukah on Twitter  
Science Twitter has some great holiday hashtags - #25DaysOfFishmas, #AdventCalendaR, #25DaysOfCrustmas, #AdventOfHominins - but they're all pretty Christmas-y. I decided to combine some science education and a little bit of religious diversity to celebrate the #8PrimatesOfChanukah - every day, a new primate species with some resonance for Chanukah! [more inside]

December 23

Advisory Circular LA
Advisory Circular LA is a twitter bot that tweets, in real time, when it detects aircraft flying in circles over the Los Angeles metro area. Helicopters and fixed wing aircraft flown by news stations, police departments, and fire departments are an ambient part of LA airspace, and one of their most stereotypical behaviors is flying in circles over something interesting. Every circle tells a story, and this bot begins to surface those stories. [more inside]

December 22

This Film Is 100 Years Old
This Film Is 100 Years Old is a site where I watch and review films that are 100 years old (or sometimes even more). Films I've looked at so far include Lotte Reiniger's first ever cartoon, the first appearance of Felix The Cat and a minute long piece of footage of a printing press in motion, as well as the first appearance of Santa Claus, 121 years ago. [more inside]

December 12

FLASHBack - A weekly chronicle of the classics of Flash Animation
Started in mid-December of 2018, FLASHBack is intended as a two year long collection of weekly blog post essays in no-particular order, each covering one or more Flash Animations from the early web, celebrating the variety and the insanity of the genre, before Adobe relegates Flash to the End-of-Life bin at the end of 2020. By the end of it, it'll be sort of my "Top 100+" list. Often includes non-Flash bonus trivia. [more inside]

December 10

How to Spend a Literary Long Weekend in Chicago
I wrote this piece for Lit Hub's ongoing travel series, as well as taking the pictures that accompany it. Previous pieces in this series covered 8-10 places; I managed to cram several dozen in here, and I still couldn't fit all the places I wanted to mention. If you're coming to Chicago, I hope this will be useful.

An Illustrated Guide to the Democratic Primaries
A short comic explaining one key point about the democratic primaries.

December 3

a Twine game about the Queen under the Hill
"Eyes of Tree" is a hypertext game about the price you pay for loving the fairy queen. [more inside]

December 1

NYRB discussion group
I've started to read many of the books and articles covered by the New York Review of Books. I'd like to hear the thoughts and reactions of other active readers to these works. [more inside]

November 30

AI Dictionary (Twitter bot)  
I wanted to see how much OpenAI's language model actually knew, so I tried to get it to define words... but I accidentally had it set to 'random', not 'best'. [more inside]

November 27

Niche Museums
I love visiting tiny or niche museums. I've started posting one museum I've explored every day to my new website, and I plan to keep doing so for as long as I can find new niche museums to explore. Since there are more than 30,000 museums in just the USA I'm hoping this will keep me going for a very long time. Hit the "Use my location" button to see niche museums I've visited near you!

November 24

What makes this song terrible?
Is this episode, we examine the song "Bad and Boujee" by Migos, exploring what makes it so profoundly irritating. Inspired by Rick Beato's "What makes this song great?" project.

November 22

Brother Hawk is Led by Love
Atlanta band Brother Hawk is basically a family, anchored by childhood friends. Until two years ago, there was literal family in the band. Then Joe Brisendine, harmonica player and the singer’s dad, was diagnosed with terminal brain cancer. I wrote in Immersive Atlanta about the love and loss that surrounds their album The Clear Lake and their new follow up EP.

A Bad Dream
A Bad Dream is a short comic about an unsettling childhood dream, illustrated using simple plasticine models and doll's house furniture. [more inside]

November 21

Hit the High Notes singing game  
Sing to your browser and see how high you can go compared with 27 famous singers. I've been working on this for a while, struggling to get robust cross-browser pitch detection, then eventually found a combination of hacks/libraries that does the trick.

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