February 4

Feeling SPEECHLESS at the wonderfulness that is Wordle? But prefer to play words that are DECAMETRIC? Ready to put UNSTINTING effort into a new word COLLECTION with the same AESTHETICS? This might just be in your SUGARHOUSE if you can make the ADJUSTMENT from 5-letter words to 10-letter words. STRENGTHEN your VOCABULARY and play WordleWordle today!

Brigid: Goddess, Saint, Badass (Or Why I'm Starting This YouTube Channel)
This is my first YouTube video, which I've been working on researching, writing, filming, and editing for the past three weeks to a month. content note for Metafilter: contains spirituality of the witchy kind

January 31

Return to the Planet: a Zine Celebrating the 25th Anniversary of FFVII
About eight months ago, some discord friends and I decided we wanted to make a zine to celebrate the 25th anniversary of Final Fantasy VII. It's been a long ride, but happy to share the result with you guys because so many people poured their souls into this passion project and it came out amazing. Includes original art and writing from ~60 people, including eight non-fiction essays discussing topics ranging from Carl Sagan to 90s Japanese environmental activism. Cheers!

Modern Love
Modern Love is a short hypothetical story about love in the age of data. "It was the tradition now. To go along with those old markers of commitment – engagement rings, joint bank accounts, borrowed clothes, shared rent – there was this opening up of your data to each other, all the things you had said and done and seen and been, all the way back to the beginning of time (2007). There was no deeper symbol of your trust, no greater intimacy in your relationship, than this limitless mingling of information. Anna and Oya laid their phones on top of each other and between them they shared everything." [more inside]

January 26

I made this video for my band, Bottlecap Mountain, and our new song, Kool. I play bass on the song, and did everything on the video. [more inside]

January 24

Birdsong Audio Separation
We made some cool new machine learning models for separating birdsong in soundscape recordings, and demonstrated how to use the separated audio to improve downstream classification. The separation model is available on github, where we've also got lots more examples. There's also a paper.

January 21

The Fix - Everything We Think We Know About Drugs and Addiction is Wrong.
Samuel L. Jackson narrates this fast-paced, provocative series that upends everything you think you know about addiction—from why we use drugs to how they’re brought to market. Adapted from Johann Hari’s best selling book, “Chasing the Scream: The First and Last Days of the War on Drugs” and celebrated Ted Talk, "The Fix" exposes the true history of the war on drugs and its impact worldwide. Watch the entire series for free.

January 20

So I made a Wordle clone (with some extra features)
I have been playing Wordle for a few months with friends from a Discord, and I really liked it, but I felt it had some shortcomings that I wanted to address. So, I made a Wordle clone. It's mostly the same as Wordle but [more inside]

January 18

How Stories Saved Me
A blog post I wrote Skolion, on how being a writer with a vivid imagination both harmed and helped my mental health.

January 17

The 885 films I saw and reviewed in 2021
Last year I started reviewing the many films I watch. Bit by bit, writing these reviews became my new “Art Project”, my main creative 'thing’ for 2021. I usually only write a short personal paragraph or two about each film. Here is the 2021 year-end summery with stats and a spreadsheet. I've continued with it now into the second year.

January 16

Dang Blues: The return of Jawbone.  
When Bob "Jawbone" Zabor, a one-man blues band from Detroit, played a 2004 live session on John Peel's BBC radio show, the DJ declared him "almost a definition of what I would like this programme to be about". Peel played nearly every track of Jawbone's homemade CDR on the show and immediately invited him for another live session - but died before that offer could be made good. Jawbone, who still struggled to find gigs in America, released a couple of official albums here and remained a cult favourite on the UK circuit until 2008, when he suddenly dropped out of sight. Now he's back with his first new songs in over a decade and this exclusive PlanetSlade interview telling the full story. [more inside]

January 14

The Rocinante, my hand-painted ship model from The Expanse
I wanted to gift my partner a scale model of the Rocinante, the ship of the primary crew on the show/in the books of The Expanse. So I found a 3D printer who could print the ship (credited inside) and I meticulously painted the ship with every detail using reference images and stills from the show, using the Season 4 red/black/grey design. [more inside]

January 9

The year I won a year's supply of cheese
I started a little journal about what I did with the year's supply of (Cabot) cheese that I won in a contest. And then COVID hit and I forgot to finish it. I finally did. 🧀

January 5

A tiny story I am proud of
This is a very tiny story (less than 500 words) that I wrote years ago for a writing workshop, and the vagaries of social media recently reminded me that it exists. I re-read it, and remembered how much I like it and thought I would share it with Metafilter.

January 1

Hello, I'm Currently…
This is a non-functioning but clickable demo (built using Carrd) of the sort of thing I wish I had now that I'm off social media: a profile-driven site, with no feed, where people can just update what they're up to or into these days. "Catch up, then log off; made for people, not users." [more inside]

December 31

December 30

The Frenchie Guide to Life ??
If you're thinking of getting a French Bulldog or are already a butler to one, this guide is packed with Frenchie-specific information and printables to help your Frenchie live it's fullest, healthiest and happiest life. [more inside]

December 24

Noddy screams "It's Christmas!" for one hour
Just some dumb fun on December 24: my wife (Kitteh, here) said "I could listen to Noddy scream It's Chriiiistmaaaas!! for hours, and I thought I'd test that theory. [more inside]

December 23

Mary Sue's Character Casino
A loving tribute to character tropes, gacha games, and freestyle music in the form of a simple, browser-based roguelike deckbuilder. [more inside]

December 22

Emma Goldcoin
Emma Goldcoin (EGX) is an easy to use and totally secure cryptocurrency with zero environmental impact. [more inside]

Tracking college and university plans for Omicron
How will academia deal with the Omicron COVID wave? Several of us set up an open Google Sheet to track institutional plans, especially decisions to cancel or move classes online this January. [more inside]

December 20

Rogerian Therapist Bot
This is a Rogerian therapist modeled after real transcripts of therapy administered by Carl Rogers. Uniquely, this program can be downloaded and used locally. It is for entertainment purposes only, of course, but some may fortuitously find it helps in self-examination. Enjoy!

December 19

Overtime (a seasonal Laundry Files tale)
Every author has to write a Christmas story sooner or later, even if they're not Christian: it's a tradition or an old charter or something. Here's mine, published in 2009 on Tor.com and shortlisted for the Hugo award for best novelette in 2010 (it didn't win). Merry solstice!

December 16

North London's angry & witty protest stickers: a gallery of lamp-post art  
I've been out photographing the street art of my North London neighbourhood again. This time, it's the wide range of angry, witty and often very creative protest stickers adorning every lamp-post and traffic sign round here. Targets of the 50+ stickers in my online gallery include climate change, male violence, NHS austerity, Brexit and increased police powers. Others I've chosen aren't protest stickers at all, but earn a place anyway simply because they made me laugh. [more inside]

December 12

git-history: a tool for analyzing scraped data collected using Git and SQLite
I've been exploring a way of running web scrapers for a few years that I call Git scraping: the idea is to scrape a source of data (like a "current power outages" map from an electricity company) into a Git repository such that the history of that repository tells the story of changes to that information over time. git-history is a new command-line utility I've released which helps convert that collected history into a SQLite database to support analysis using my Datasette tool.

December 10

Show-biz Yiddish
Yiddish words that were used in the golden age of entertainment, with brief demonstrations by yours truly in a variety of silly voices and glasses.

December 7

Triple Tautonyms
I noticed a list of 28 triple tautonyms (animals with zoological names made up of three identical words) and decided to make them into a Top Trumps/Pokemon deck using illustrations by HappyToast. There's a PDF of the cards you can print off.

December 1

Volunteer Responsibility Amnesty Day  
Lots of important things depend on volunteer labor - local civic groups, open source software projects, and more. But maybe you are getting exhausted, burned out, from trying to volunteer too much. So: every solstice (the next one is December 21st), it might make sense to take a look at your volunteer responsibilities, and see if it's time to pause, rotate, or sunset one of them. Feel free to point to the Volunteer Responsibility Amnesty Day page as a way of saying: I need to put a few things down. I hope other people pick them up and carry this work forward. But even if no one does, I need to stop, or at least pause for a while. [more inside]

Cha-Chinga Hotel Nor Casino!
Conan writer/performer Andrés DuBouchet is best known for his many characters on the show including Tony the Cameraman, the President of Boliviguay and gold iPhone designer Raffi Jaharian. His latest album, Poseidon’s Retreat, is a series of dark and absurd monologues recorded without an audience and set to a musical score. (I edited the album and also composed and performed the music to several tracks.) If you listen to just one track, make it the 10 minute and 43 second commercial parody “Cha-Chinga”, which fellow writer Rob Kutner calls “one of the most joke-dense, nonstop laugh machine bits ever recorded -- as solidly high-concept-funny as every great SNL fake ad combined into one.”

November 24

Formula Non (2009 - 2019) An Alternative F1 Photo Project
This project began in 2009 and took me to twenty five Formula 1 race weekends in seventeen countries over ten years. The photos are all shot from the edges of the circuits, where little can be seen other than some clues that you might be at a Formula 1 race. [more inside]

November 20

"How to Sous Vide," a helpful cookbook
Looking to explore sous-vide cooking? My latest cookbook, "How to Sous Vide," will help you get the most out of it. [more inside]

November 17

Skittish, a playful space for online events
For the last year, I've worked on Skittish, a weird space for virtual events and gatherings of all kinds, where everyone's a goofy-looking animal and you talk to others with spatial audio in a customizable browser-based 3D world. It's now open to everyone with a demo that doesn't require registering, and it's free to create a world of your own. [more inside]

November 9

Princess Unlimited
Ten years ago, when my daughter was little, I read too many picture books about princesses who sit around waiting to be rescued. In response, I wrote my own tale about a princess who faces a dragon, starts a business, and saves the kingdom. Today, it finally hits the shelves, with wonderful art from Raissa Figueroa. It got a great review from School Library Journal: "This essential purchase smashes societal barriers erected against gender"! [more inside]

I finally got my Murder Ballads book back into print!
Unprepared to Die's 2015 Soundcheck Books' edition dropped out of print when its publisher closed up shop. That was frustrating because Soundcheck's demise happened to coincide with the book's appearance in Dolly Parton's America, which prompted quite a bit of interest in it just as there were no longer any copies to sell. Now the rights have reverted to me and I've put out a new self-published edition using the original text (with a brand-new cover). Here's a collection of the book's reviews, plus a YouTube video explaining the project's genesis and some bonus material from Billy Bragg, Mick Harvey and the other musicians I interviewed about these fascinating songs. [more inside]

November 8

The Stick Princess
The third book in the Ways of Magic series is finally available, a mere twenty years late. [more inside]

November 7

The Fucking Bible (warning: 7.5 MB)
It's the Bible — with added swearing! [more inside]

November 3

Saturday Afternoon Ikea Trip Simulator  
Saturday Afternoon Ikea Trip Simulator is a (one joke) text adventure designed to simulate the experience of going to Ikea on a Saturday afternoon (other times of day and/or days of the week are available upon request). [more inside]

November 1

Halloween is dead, long live Halloween…
It’s my 20th Annual Halloween Cartoon and it’s packed with bone-chilling bon mots and spine-tingling satire. It may be a tad bit behind schedule, but it is Dias de las Muertas… somewhere. And if you like this, be sure to visit the bowels (eyeeeeew) of my blog for departed versions from years past. Happy (late) Halloween!

October 29

Mini-Project: Convert exported Metafilter comments to HTML, JSON, or MBOX
I wrote a little utility to convert the massive text file one obtains from the Export Your Comments page into a variety of other formats suitable for various purposes. Currently converts to HTML, JSON, or Unix-style MBOX (mailbox) format. [more inside]

October 25

The Worst House On The Internet  
Remember when you went trick-or-treating and there was always that one house on the block that gave out the worst treats? Now everyone on the Internet can re-experience that same feeling of Halloween disappointment. You’re welcome! [more inside]

Ha-Ha-Haunted House... of Comedy  
Gothtober is an annual Halloween "advent calendar" with a different participant providing media or digital art for each day. My contribution dropped today, Gothtober 24 (there's no way for me to link directly to my piece, you have to scroll down and tap /click "24"). It's a silly animation of classic monsters performing at a comedy open mic night. Totally SFW. [more inside]

October 20

Trunk Show  
Please enjoy two of my trunk stories, horror and gothic and historical. I've posted them for fun over at Medium. Roughly 24 min. reads each.
The Little Lady of the Way
The Invocation of Miss Helen Demmler
(cw: violence, child death)

October 19

Mystic Paths - A new word board game!
A deduction through word association party board game my friend and I co-designed has made it to stores! [more inside]

October 15

Are You a Clickbait Genius?
I took headline A/B tests from Upworthy’s real data and turned them into a challenging quiz. [more inside]

October 14

Fix My Code: Engineering alone can't fix what's wrong with the internet
"Fix My Code" uses the eponymous 2021 book as a launching off point to talk about internet history, the allocation of capital, and the artificial barriers created by traditional notions of intellectual property.

October 11

Bringing the International Mars Society Convention into VR
The 24th Annual International Mars Society Convention is Thursday-Sunday, October 14-17, 2021. AltspaceVR allows large groups to meet in a shared world. I will be streaming 52 of the 130+ talks from Zoom into AltspaceVR events, and have set it up so that people in VR can talk to the speakers on Zoom. Additionally I made a persistent world where people can meet outside of the talks, code PDK958 [more inside]

October 4

The Islands Of The World
"An artefact from another world, The Islands Of The World is a guidebook to the many strange and wonderful places that exist out there across the endless immensity of the seas. Here among these hundred islands you will find wonders and whales, mountains and mermaids, sorrow and silence, forever frozen fields and ever-burning flames, alongside a treasure trove of carefully curated illustrations from around the world." The Islands Of The World is a series of 90-odd short, poetic descriptions of mythical islands, paired with wonderful old public domain illustrations of faraway places. Alongside the website, a fully-illustrated print version is also available for £9.99/$12.99 (it's quite nice). [more inside]

October 3

1,228,178 genetic variants, 2 million years
I have mapped, graphed, and sonified all of the single nucleotide genetic variants which were found in more than one person from human chromosome 22. Genomes were collected and sequenced by the Human Genome Diversity Project, the Simons Genome Diversity Project, and the 1,000 Genomes Project, and were dated by Wohns et al. in A unified genealogy of modern and ancient genomes. The end result is a 5 part, 42 hour video series. [more inside]

September 28

Wildcard Bicycle Novelties
Stickers and t-shirts with designs that tweak the nose of cycling tradition. [more inside]

September 26

Invisible Sun
Invisible Sun, the third book in my Empire Games trilogy, is published on September 28th, 2021. [more inside]

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