You know how you'll be straightening up your abode and at first it's
pretty easy? I know where this goes! I know where this goes too! And
then you get down to the stuff that you can't find a good place for, so
you just shove it in the closet? Welcome to the closet. If you're
looking for any rhyme or reason to what follows, I'm so sorry.
The Lyttle Lytton Contest
Quite possibly the most popular thing on this site, the
Lyttle Lytton Contest has run annually since 2001. The basic
idea is this: the annual Bulwer-Lytton Fiction Contest challenges
entrants to pen the world's most atrocious first line to a novel.
The problem is that most entries are so long that they're not
amusingly bad — they're just flat-out unreadable. So
the Lyttle Lytton Contest forces entrants to keep their
masterpieces down to 200 characters or less. It runs year-round,
so check it out!
A few years ago I coded up a little PHP toy that would pull up
a random spot on
Earth. Now imagine running that script every day and
archiving the nearest photo on a Tumblr blog. Except you don't
have to imagine it, because Stochastic Planet is already doing
it! If you tumbl at all, go check it out — once
you've seen a few dozen of these you might have a different
sense of what the land mass of the Earth is actually like.
|Paintings of rectangles|
When I was a toddler, these were the only colors that things were
allowed to be.
I ripped off this idea fairly blatantly — I once
commissioned video game art from clearfour.com, but thought I
ought to do this one myself since it was for Jennifer's
||CGA 1 (fake Jo
Jo Baer is an artist who painted a number of "black band" paintings
that I like a lot. Here's an homage using the palettes offered by
IBM's Color Graphics Adapter of 1981, on which I deeply imprinted
as a child.
And then, for the stuff that doesn't even belong on any of the closet
shelves, there's that box on the floor way in the back. In real life,
mine has, among other stuff, a raccoon hand puppet, a bunch of old license
plates, an empty box that once held some crêpes dentelles, and my
psychological evaluation from when I was five. Online, it has this stuff.
I recently updated my
annotated list of favorite songs. Listen, learn, laugh, love.
I try to audit at least one class every semester, and the one I
picked for 2013/Fall was a combined astronomy and integrative
biology course called "Origins: from the Big Bang to the
Emergence of Humans."
In one lecture, the professor showed off an analogy for genetic
Take a few dots with different colors, and simply flip coins, two
For each head, give the dot an offspring.
Watch how a very small number of colors will quickly dominate the
population, not because they offer any type of selective
advantage, but simply randomly.
I thought this was neat so I coded it up as a PHP toy.
Check it out.
I made a Youtube movie about date formats. (When I
told Elizabeth about this, her reply was a resigned sigh of
"You and your date formats.")
The end of Daylight Saving Time on 2009.1101
got me thinking... you know how most of the world cheats a little
where time zones are concerned, so that even during standard time
the sun rises and sets later than it technically should? What
would a map of time zone deviance look like? Answer: like
Gull is a
guide to Glulx Inform, which is used to create interactive fiction.
It is also mentioned on the IF
page, but I figure it can't hurt to mention it here as well.
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