Oatmeal

A digital pillow fort

A 3 year old wearing a black beanie sitting on an elaborately carpeted staircase.

Working on our Wes Anderson game at the Portland Museum of Art.

Link logging

Mark’s bookmarklets

I like bookmarklets. I like that these are bookmarklets made by Mark. See also Mark’s Learn2JS.

Pixaki for iPad

This is an app that I have not tried, but that looks groovy if you are into creating pixel art.

Bad ethernet cable

Reminding us that it is important to remember that the medium is the message…especially when the message relies on a medium for transference.

SQL: One of the Most Valuable Skills

Leave your ORM at the door. SQL fo’ lyfe!

Opportunity did not answer NASAs final call, and it’s now lost to us

RIP. You were the best robot adventurer. You will be missed.

I’ve gone full Apocalypse Dad

I read this. It caused me to panic. Living in blissful ignorance and being busy with work and not having the money to actually really stockpile anything of usefulness is what keeps me from being a full on doomsday hoarder.

But responding to the possibility of the worst, by pursuing mere survival, seems a bit limited — even to the point of being paradoxical. Survival is conservative by nature: however bad the world might be, my best chances of surviving in it are by learning and respecting its rules. My best hopes at riding out any given disaster are if things, as far as possible, continue to follow laws and norms I already understand. And yet, the possibility of disaster is inherent to the world as it presently exists, as long as the world remains the same, that possibility will be there. In a way, then, the best thing to do would be to throw caution to the wind, to forget [mere] survival and embrace — as far as possible — radical change. Only then might we achieve a world in which we are genuinely safe, without ever needing to rely on mere survivalism again.

Hello. By the Way. Whatever.

Nora Ephron on blogging.

…one of the most delicious things about the profoundly parasitical world of blogs is that you don’t have to have anything much to say. Or you just have to have a little tiny thing to say. You just might want to say hello. I’m here. And by the way. On the other hand. Nevertheless. Did you see this? Whatever. A blog is sort of like an exhale.

Virginia Woolf on a similar topic:

Of all forms of literature, however, the essay is the one which least calls for the use of long words. The principle which controls it is simply that it should give pleasure; the desire which impels us when we take it from the shelf is simply to receive pleasure. Everything in an essay must be subdued to that end. It should lay us under a spell with its first word, and we should only wake, refreshed, with its last.

SPUDwrite is a DIY E Ink typewriter… with a printer… and an LCD display

An E Ink typewriter.

O Uommibatto”: How the Pre-Raphaelites Became Obsessed with the Wombat

I had no idea that wombats were so beloved by the Pre-Raphaelites!?

Wombat sketch by Edward Burne-Jones featured in Memorials of Edward Burne-Jones (1904) by Georgiana Burne-Jones

TYPE DESIGN, TYPOGRAPHY, TYPEFACES AND FONTS: An encyclopedic treatment of type design, typefaces and fonts. This site is also known as on snot and fonts.

Need I say more than this title?

Tonight’s improvised dinner:

Bow tie pasta, peas, and Alfredo” sauce…

  • Puréed steamed cauliflower
  • Caramelized onions
  • Nutritional yeast
  • Veganaise
  • Mustard
  • Salt

My favorite lazybones trick to caramelizing onions lately — blanch the onions, then stir in a small amount of either soy sauce or coconut aminos at the very end.

Toddler eating a very large pastry.

Today has been deemed a success. 🧁

Kid asks for mashed potatoes for breakfast. I figure it is the weekend and we have the ingredients so, what the heck, I’ll make some. I begin to take out potatoes. Kid runs back into the kitchen: what are you doing!? They’re in the jar!” while pointing to a jar of dried tomatoes…we had dried tomatoes and smoothies for breakfast. Weird, but not bad.

  • David: plays a secret chord
  • Lord: Emacs can do that!?”

A joke, certainly stolen.

Quiet week. Server migration almost complete. Linode is purdy. As is Mosh! I’ve never used anything but ssh, but think I’m smitten with mosh.

I’ve been back filling tags on old posts. Things should be becoming more…connected? Increasing the edge and surface area through which folks can make entrance into posts of all sorts.

Child in blanket fort.

Blanket fort, the second

Dog in a blanket fort.

Blanket fort, the first

This evening my son (3) introduced me to an incredible culinary invention: animal crackers dipped in jam. 10 out of 10, highly recommend.

Black and white dog on couch.

Hanging with Abe.

Sleeping dog on a bed.

Snoozing. 😛

Eating pancakes and French toast.

Breakfast grin. 😬

I am 100% in love with Captain Marvel’s marketing micro-site.

Link logging

Whoops! This post is a wee bit longer than previous link-logging posts. I’ve broken it up into a few sections to make it more easily skim-able. Granted, all barriers and edges are illusory at a certain point, so I recommend looking for connections rather than demarkation and separation. Do not tare along the dotted line. Personal pizzas are best when shared. 🍕

Creativity and capitalism

On Godzilla and the Nature and Conditions of Cultural Success; or, Shedding the Skin

I’ve got a quick confession: I love Godzilla. This post encompasses all the things I like about Godzilla. You’ve got some cultural production stuff, you’ve got climate and ecology stuff, with a smattering of socio-political stuff all wrapped up in a rubber dino-monster suit. What isn’t to like!? Also, this picture…

Just the legs of Godzilla

It could be that Godzilla is successful in 1950s Japan and in 2010s USA because it happened to fit two very different but very specific cultural niches — the trauma of defeat culminating in nuclear war, on the one hand; and (to make something up) a compulsive desire for re-enactments of 9/11 on the other hand. But explaining wide-spread success by a series of particular fits falters as we consider all the many other social contexts in which Godzilla has been popular. Maybe it happened, by chance, to appeal narrowly to one new context, but two? three? ten?

An alternative is that Godzilla has managed to spread because it appeals to tastes which are not very context-specific, but on the contrary very widely distributed, if not necessarily constant and universal. In the case of Godzilla, we have a monster who breaks big things and breathes fire: an object of thought, in other words, enduringly relevant to crude interests in predators, in destruction, and in fire. Since those interests are very common across all social contexts, something which appeals to them has a very good source of pull”.

What’s inside a brand?

… When your customers are active partners in making” and managing” the brand, policing who is allowed to shop at your store is, weirdly enough, a hiring decision like any other. We’re used to thinking of production and consuming as separate activities, but, as Jefferies shows, in modern branding, they are one and the same. Making sure the right” person consumes your clothes is a way to enhance a brand’s value. Like it or not, then, modern life gives you little choice but to work” for a brand, putting all of our social lives in the service of capital. What branding offers is belonging (for a price).

This entire article walks right up to the edge of likening brand based marketing to fiction, but doesn’t bridge the gap. This isn’t my faulting the piece by any means…I think it is a stretch, or at least a stretch in the context of the article, but I couldn’t stop noticing how similar the discussion of self-policing brands looks to the discussion about fandom, and who is or isn’t a fan of some particular thing. Who gets entrance into the narrative, be it Apple’s or Star Trek.

Ursula K. Le Guin Was a Creator of Worlds

Traveling to an unfamiliar place often has ethical implications in Le Guin’s fiction

She also resisted the approach to writing that emphasized that fiction must have a hero, a conflict, a storyline.

Civic

Washington Will Decriminalize Fare Evasion. Better Idea: Free Transit

The idea of free public transportation isn’t as crazy as it may sound. Prompted by concerns over congestion and pollution, the European countries of Estonia and Luxembourg already offer it, and Germany is considering it. Removing fares clearly makes transit more desirable; when Talinn, Estonia’s capital, adopted free public transportation in 2013, ridership immediately spiked 10 percent. Such ridership gains would certainly be welcome in the United States, where 31 of the 35 largest transit agencies saw passenger counts dip in 2017. Unlike most goods, transit gets better with heavier usage because more frequent bus and train service will reduce wait times.

Journalism should be free

This is a depressing moment for… well, everything, but also journalism. Watching talented reporters get laid off is heartbreaking, infuriating, and despair-inducing. Out of the ashes, new ideas for sustainable, impactful journalism are bound to emerge. The best ones will acknowledge that journalism should be free.

How to Design Playgrounds for the World’s Most Vulnerable Kids

Designing systems (specifically public systems) with children not just in mind, but at the forefront pretty much always seems like a very good idea.

Math and astronomy

How a Strange Grid Reveals Hidden Connections Between Simple Numbers

Sharing this piece specifically because I think it does a really solid job explaining something that is rather complicated (at least for me) in a clear way that also doesn’t come off as being dumbed down.

Far side of the Moon photographed by amateurs

Moon Minute Monday

Learn something new about our Moon every Monday.

Webby techy stuff

A new interview with Manton Reece of Micro.blog for 2019

I enjoy participating in the micro.blog community, and appreciate Manton’s persistence in going it slow, making intentional design choices. While the source code of micro.blog itself isn’t open source, it is refreshing that Manton’s process is, through posts and interviews like this one. Manton is practicing a different sort of Calm Technology with micro.blog.

The Ethics of Web Performance

Poor performance can, and does, lead to exclusion

And comes at a higher environmental cost.

Web Browsers and Privacy in 2019

Google Chrome, destroyer of worlds? Defo eater of RAM. See also Browser diversity starts with us.

You are in a maze of deeply nested maps, all alike [TALK]

All be honest. I was into this mostly for its title. It sounds like a line straight out of a Robbe-Grillet story.

Also, shout out to Eric Normand for almost always including a transcript alongside video and audio content.

Literate Programming against REST APIs

Starts with a tl;dr:

TL;DR Other HTTP Clients aren’t that great. Here we use Emacs and restclient, with public APIs, to identify plants and share on Twitter. Emacs and restclient offer a great user experience and workflow when documenting and exploring APIs.

I’ve got a soft spot for literate programming. I haven’t done much of it, but as I gain confidence writing LISP, I think a little side project may invite it. 🤷‍♂️

The big DNS Privacy Debate at FOSDEM

You all. DNS is baffling. I’ve been migrating some client sites and I set up (again) a pi-hole and, while I feel cozy with the basics of DNS config, the underlying architecture is both fascinating and…terrifying? Maybe the wrong word. Obtuse.

Hacker tools

A neat resource. I dipped right into the lesson about Virtual Machines and Containers.

Saving time with Emacs, or not.

Yes. I love emacs. I agree with Jack: Emacs does not typically save me time.

I spent a hot second updating the archive and search pages here. One of my goals with my newly revamped website is to open up more ways into the content — trying to think of the website less as a linear timeline, and more of a mess of noodle-y soup. Here are 2 new ways into the miscellany!

Black and white dog sleeping on its back on top of a colorful blanket.

Black and white dog snoozing on its back. Legs all in the air.

We got a touch of spring today!

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