July 29

Vermont FarmCam
In 2006, in a MetaFilter thread about a person in Norway making a time-lapse of the woods behind their house, I said:
"One of these days I will do something similar where I live."
Two months after that comment we bought our little house in the hills of Vermont, and I started playing with my own scenic webcam. [more inside]


July 24

The Debt Narrative is Dead Wrong
The moral tale of household debt is repeated over and over. The crisis of 2008 was caused by too much household debt, and because lending was to the wrong people — namely poor families with low revenue and less responsibility. Banks needed to be bailed out with public money because of these excesses. The problem with this narrative is that it's wrong.


July 20

Iowa City 5-0
I get up in the morning and draw a one-panel comic based on an entry into the twitter version of the Iowa City Police Log. [more inside]


July 19

ReLarn: A classic Roguelike, updated
ReLarn is a fork ("variant") of the classic 80s Roguelike game Larn (by way of Ularn, another fork) that aims to preserve the spirit of the original game while being much better suited to modern computers. It also has a more maintainable code base. As such, most of the noticeable changes are bug fixes and quality-of-life improvements, albeit with a few extra touches here and there. This project has been out for a couple of years now but this is the first release that provides pre-built binaries, supports Microsoft Windows out of the box and will (optionally) run in its own window instead of a text console. The project website has a selection of screenshots, a list of notable changes from the original game and a full list of changes from Ularn 1.5-ish.


July 14

autoconf 2.69b
GNU Autoconf is "a tool for producing configure scripts for building, installing and packaging software on computer systems". It's been around since 1991 and it's been neglected -- eight years since the last release. I've helped Zack Weinberg make a new beta release, 2.69b, on the way to a proper release of 2.70 in a few months. If you care about things like Makefiles, check this out and test it.


July 9

No Scary Parts: a browser extension that skips scary scenes on Disney+
No Scary Parts is a chrome extension that skips creepy scenes in classic Disney movies on Disney+. Since the beginning, every Disney film, without fail, has included a weird scene or two that traumatizes generations of kids, from Dumbo's pink elephants to Fantasia's Night on Bald Mountain. Currently I have 5 movies supported. If you have a sensitive toddler or don't want flashbacks to your own childhood, try out this extension.


July 7

Tennis for when there's no tennis.
I've spent 30+ years fiddling with sports simulation games and using them to learn how to code. I think the only thing that made me finally finish this app was the fact that professional tennis has not been played in four months, but maybe also because I wanted to hone my Flutter skills. So here's my lifetime side-project -- a tennis simulation app that's neither a pong derivative nor a sports management game. It's not even really a game at all. But you can add yourself to the player list, and tap away to see how you do. Available for testing on Android, coming later for iOS.


July 6

Why You Should Be Happy: standup/storytelling album
I'm a standup comedian and storyteller based in NYC. I just came out with my second album of stories and standup - called "Why You Should Be Happy." Video of the title track here. You may have heard my work on This American Life, The Moth podcast or Risk. The record is about how I found that the world around me hadn’t been working and had to rebuild myself after trauma from out of the skies. Then there are just a lot of jokes about racism, blackface, Brazilian jiu-jitsu, Southern food and broccoli salad.


Maps of the Lost
A (fictional, maybe) guidebook to the lost knowledge, the thin places and the secret histories of the UK. Be cautious, though. If you follow them, you may become lost yourself. Available on the web, on Facebook, via a bitesize podcast, or a monthly email newsletter. [more inside]


July 3

Weekly COVID-19 Infections
I have assembled tables of COVID-19 virus data using the daily reports from each state of the United States. From this database of approximately 20,000 entries, I have assembled weekly statistics and rankings for each state. [more inside]


Full Spectrum Resistance
Last year, Seven Stories Press released my book Full Spectrum Resistance, a two-volume exploration of how to build more effective movements. Right now you can get a free eBook version of both volumes (until July 5). (I’m posting bonus content on Facebook.) If you like free books about resistance, you can also download a copy of Direct Action Works: A legal handbook for civil disobedience and non-violent direct action in Canada, first released during February 2020's massive Indigenous solidarity actions.


June 30

singingbush.online
Do you love The Singing Bush from the 1986 comedy ¡Three Amigos!? [more inside]


The Unfathomable Stupidity of Rich White Men
Hi, everyone. I've written a number of pieces for DailyKos that I've been proud of and that have been well-received, but this is the first time I've posted one to Projects. It really seems to have struck a nerve with readers, and I'm both curious about whether MeFites agree with the premise -- that we are witnessing a long-overdue mass revolt against a corrupt and racist plutocracy -- and eager to see it continue to find an audience, as I genuinely feel it is generating positive energy and enthusiasm for change. Thanks!


June 29

Messages From Sagittarius A*
An eclectic radio show where I essentially play three hours of whatever I've been listening to that week and have a drink. All feedback is enjoyed.


June 27

Break Into Us
I made a web-based puzzle game. Players must solve clues to reduce the possible permutations for a series of combination locks and get them open. There are a couple of deliberately-easy tutorial levels at the start, but once you've solved the first one you can jump to any lock you please. [more inside]


June 15

Kaggle Birdcall Identification Competition
We just launched a machine learning competition for bird identification in soundscapes! This is a surprisingly difficult problem, which can ultimately help with ecosystem health monitoring (for example, if birds X, Y, Z are present, you can make inferences about their food and predators). I've been building models in this space for a couple of years, working with both the Cornell Lab of Ornithology and Cal Academy of Sciences in my spare time. I'm excited to see what sort of ideas we get from the larger community!


June 13

Typewriter Stories with Doctor Sparks
Every day (M-F) I host a livestream where kids video chat in, and together we write a story on my mechanical typewriter. The stories are illustrated in real time by Cecilia Olivera-Hillway. The show is a celebration of the creativity and storytelling of children. Tune in at 4pm Eastern! [more inside]


June 12

Match Game '73: All the blanks!
For absolutely no reason, I have transcribed all the questions, answers and blanks of all 119 episodes of "Match Game '73." (Except for the 3 that are missing.) Just the questions and answers, and nothing more. The early episodes are interesting of course, because the show hadn't yet found its footing. Brett Somers didn't make an appearance until episode 11, and she was on the bottom tier! As someone who really likes the 4th-grade-level wordplay of the show, this gives me a big laugh. If there's more interest here or elsewhere, I'll start soon on '74.


June 9

CNBSeen
CNBSeen seeks to reduce the number of profiling of vehicles with burnt out lights by replacing burnt out lights on vehicles for free. This helps 1) Reduce the number of stops which have resulted in confrontations between police and innocent people of color (esp), 2) Reduce the amount of financial hardship on drivers who may find themselves having to pay concurrent fines, and 3) Promote public safety on the road by repairing broken lights. [more inside]


The Mad Magazine Fold-In Effect in CSS  
At age 99, comic artist Al Jaffee just announced his retirement. Jaffee was best known for his Mad Magazine fold-ins, where folding the page reveals a hidden message in the artwork. Plenty of examples can be found on the web. Unfortunately, they all show the before and after statically, diminishing the magic. There’s a whole generation who may have only seen the fold-ins in this format. So of course I had to create the paper folding effect for the web.


June 4

A Timelapse of Tides
This is a very simple 9 hour time lapse of the tides on the River Thames. [more inside]


This MP Does Not Exist
I trained a StyleGAN neural network using official photos of UK Members of Parliament, then generated a whole new load of them along with names and constituencies (using segments from real MP names and structures of actual constituency names). The results are often blandly white, male & middle-aged, and occasionally very weird.


June 2

Arigato: A minimal, unopinionated toolkit for scripting with AudioUnits
I have written a lightweight system for making it convenient to play AudioUnit software instruments in code on macOS. Arigato consists of a tool, ARigEditor, for creating networks of pre-prepared AudioUnits (which I call ARigs, hence the name), tagged with names, and a library for loading these and doing things with them in Swift, typically in Xcode Playgrounds. Oh, and ARigEditor will also generate Playgrounds containing your AudioUnits and the necessary support code. [more inside]


May 28

Motto
a playful ghost story brought to life by the one-of-a-kind way you see the world. Working with friends and Canada's National Film Board, we spent the past three years trying to develop a new vocabulary for a kind of interactive novella and portable treasure hunt. It's a curious adventure about a ghost named September and you can explore all six chapters free on your phone.


London's coronavirus street art.
As London's coronavirus lockdown started to ease, I took an early-morning walk each day round my local north London neighbourhoods of Hoxton, Shoreditch and Islington, photographing all the best examples of coronavirus street art I could find. I've complied my better photographs into a poster collage, which you can enlarge to study the art's detail if you wish. I'm still adding to the collection too. [more inside]


May 21

Reverse engineering Apple Photos to extract photo metadata and do fun things with it  
I've been building tools to liberate my photo metadata from Apple Photos. In addition to machine learning labels (it automatically tags my photos with categories as detailed as lemur, pelican and seal) I also found an intriguing collection of quality scores, with names like ZPLEASANTCAMERATILTSCORE and ZSHARPLYFOCUSEDSUBJECTSCORE. I've used them to identify my most aesthetically pleasing photographs of pelicans according to Apple's fancy machine learning algorithms!


A Chrome extension for managing your tabs
Quickly find, open, save, and share all your important web pages. [more inside]


May 19

Trouble finding TP? Try Shelf Bear!
So we've been working on this for ourselves - but I saw comments in the Door Dash thread saying that "I wish there was an app to help find things," so even though we're a day or two out from live launch (plus approval from app stores) I thought I'd go ahead and post this here. I take responsibility for the terrible puns, and Mr. Gyre handles the server bits. I just wanted to be able to wipe my bum and find meats that don't cost an arm and a leg without running all over town or activating the literal phone tree. Maybe some other folks might find it useful, too. [more inside]


May 6

In Sickness: a podcast about caregiving
Two millennial caregivers for their chronically ill spouses, speak honestly about what life is like when there are more days spent in sickness than in health. [more inside]


Lucid
Four and a half years ago, I thought I was a cis man. Then I wrote a book. [more inside]


May 4

TrudgeCast podcast
I set out to make the most mundane, dreary podcast possible... but then Stuff Happened that made it topical and perhaps slightly poignant. Each episode features the audio of a different person's journey to work, sometimes with just the background noises, sometimes with commentary. [more inside]


May 1

Pictures and Stories
An editor friend of mine and I have been trying to keep occupied during the lockdown by collaborating on short (sometimes very short) fiction based around reader-submitted photos. These are the tales we have so far.


MCLUHAN VIDEOS
Salutations Everyone! We all have read the quotes about McLuhan, now hear and occasionally see him speak, it's quite different than just reading, as if the person, or medium, if you will, alters the content of what's expressed, or message, ya might say. Seriously though, I'm serializing a project entitled: "Western Cynical: McLuhan Unclaimed", it's available on YouTube, episode 13 is premiering very soon. [more inside]


Boast & Drive: A Squash Card Game
If you're bouncing off the walls, we have your antidote. Boast & Drive is a strategic card game for 2 to 6 players bringing to your living room the suspense and excitement of a squash match. Designed in Cleveland; made in the USA! Be the first to own the world’s best (and only) squash card game. Every purchase includes a donation to a member program of Squash & Education Alliance.


April 30

Fifteen Monsters All In A Row  
Fifteen Monsters All In A Row is a short text adventure/twine game (which should work in any browser), where you have to confront fifteen monsters (in a row), which I made for/with my five year old niece and two year old nephew, who designed the monsters, and wrote some of the stories. The game contains 15 monsters (all in a row), several secret monsters (occasionally in a row), multiple solutions to every problem (almost), some exciting stories (occasionally), at least two jokes, and even a super secret special ending. [more inside]


I have eaten the plums
Inspired by this post my favorite pastime recently, when I'm feeling down or bored, has been getting GPT-2 to complete William Carlos Williams poems. I've made a tumblr where I have been posting some of my favorite completions of his classic, "This Is Just To Say."


Trey Fontaine
Bizarrely, and for reasons too long and dull to explain, I’ve released an album of odd rock guitar instrumentals under the pseudonym Trey Fontaine. [more inside]


April 29

The Gray Area
After two and a half years of work -- recording and editing some 300 hours of audio with dozens of actors -- I have started releasing the second season of my audio drama. Nineteen episodes (including a forthcoming seven part epic set between 1994 and 2023), 120 speaking roles, and I wrote nearly a thousand pages. The series involves parallel universes, wisecracking demons, revolutionaries, exuberant aliens fond of American nostalgia, and, above all, an examination of love and empathy.


April 28

Nick Cave and the Bad Seeds - Deanna (TNG edition)  
A while back, I went looking for a TNG version of Deanna – not finding one, I obviously had to make one myself. [more inside]


April 27

Service Ribbons in CSS
Service ribbons commemorate a soldier's participation in war, campaign or battle starting with the establishment of the state of Israel in 1948. Ribbons are made of cloth and steel. This project is about creating them with HTML & CSS.


TV Opening Sequences Quiz  
Identify each TV show by a single frame taken from their opening titles. All those years spent on the sofa watching mindless entertainment can finally pay off, if only in Internet glory. [more inside]


April 25

Red Ticket: A Story of Collapse
1993 was the most brutal of the post-collapse years in Moscow, and it was also the year I moved there without really knowing any better. I woke up in a society where few institutions functioned, mobsters in tracksuits flourished, and chewing gum was worth more than money. Red Ticket is my memoir about Russia after it lost the Cold War (remember when we used to say that?), and about social and personal collapse. [more inside]


April 23

Basho poems
Each day, I post a Basho poem. These are my own translations. [more inside]


April 21

Content-aware concrete
I made a new website for my art practice, and, while my last show and newest work is textile-based, I thought MetaFilter might like my 2015 exhibition Screen Wall, featuring concrete breeze blocks I designed by (mis)using Photoshop's Content-Aware Fill. [more inside]


April 17

Sharing feelings and creative opportunities during lockdown
I worked with a group of young creative / technical folks (mostly POC) to create an emotional mapping site. Tag a location and share how you're feeling — and check out the three opportunities for funded creative 'residencies'. [more inside]


Every Day A Song
It took a plague to slow me down enough to realize a years-held dream: posting a new video to youtube every day (almost) of me playing the guitar and singing a song. Been at it for a couple of weeks now and it's going pretty good! Covers so far include Lucinda Williams, Woody Guthrie, Doc Watson, and Steven Universe, plus a bunch by Trad of Itional, and I would describe the musical style as crude but heartfelt. Hope you enjoy!


April 16

Due to COVID-19: Documenting the Signs of the Pandemic  
I'm crowdsourcing a photo collection of all the COVID-19 closure signs that have popped up all over our communities. I'd love to include photos from your city! [more inside]


Cuddle Call
cuddlecall.me connects you with your favorite cute, cuddly animals directly over video chat. [more inside]


April 14

Maersk Container ship model made from wood
I built this single shipping container model made from wood. It was part of a larger project, but I can only take credit for this small tiny section. This single element was used as a template to fabricate the other containers that you will see in this video. I double-checked the rules. Although this has a business element, I'm only referencing the container as my project. Although I'm a manager, I do on occasion like to get my hands dirty. Here is the video that shows the full project just in case you wanted to see how this large 5-foot model came together. BUILD VIDEO PS. If you think this is spammy or promotional in anyway, Please let me know and i will take it down.


This is All Perfectly Normal
I started knocking out a 3-panel comic strip (mostly) daily since this whole "shelter in place" thing forced everybody to stay home and confront the abyss of boredom yawning away before them. [more inside]


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