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The past 20 posts to MeFi Projects


Rykobiography: The Serialized Story of a Man and His Cat

Fri, 09 Dec 2016 15:40:06 GMT

On Monday, November 28, 2016, at 9:45 PM, I lost my best friend and lifelong companion, Ryko, to complications from alimentary feline lymphoma. She was 18 and a half years old. In order to keep myself somewhat sane as I learn to process the loss of my girl, I'm writing her biography in serial form, from her manic kittenhood in Boston, MA, to her final peaceful days on the Westside of L.A.

[Link] Emoji Domain Registration

Thu, 08 Dec 2016 18:11:02 GMT

Domains can be more than just letters and numbers. Most people have no idea they can just type a bunch of hearts in their address bar and go to a domain... and yet, it works!


I am the Internet: AMA

Wed, 07 Dec 2016 15:01:24 GMT

It's me - the Internet. You know, the place with all the cat videos and pornography? Well, now you can ask me questions and I'll try to answer them! As best as I can, anyhow. Sorry in advance for all the typos.

This was a fun personal/side project for me, as a chance to get more familiar with React (and to continue to play around wtih the Twitter API). To be clear, this isn't a chatbot, in that there's no ongoing conversation to be had. Ask a question, and it tries to come up with a related response.

Under the hood, the site uses RiTa to examine each question, pulling out nouns, verbs, adjectives, etc. Then it searches Twitter for those keywords, and hopefully gets somewhat close to a reply that's on-topic.

Depending on the question, I'll sprinkle in some additional keywords. For example, if your question has the word 'why' in it, I'll occasionally add the word 'because' when I search for an answer.

The first incarnations of this project revolved around using Twitter as a means to predict the future - a lot of future-facing statements that were written in the second person ("you will" and "you may", etc). If you use the "Random" button, you'll find that many of the answers are formatted this way, along the lines of a fortune.

Opening things up to be more free-form, to allow specific questions, was a fun variation. And the idea of trying to impersonate/personify the Internet made me laugh. Hopefully, it does the same for you.


Hocus Growcus

Wed, 07 Dec 2016 03:18:22 GMT

Hocus Growcus is a puzzle bullet hell game about a witch trying to switch majors in college. When you are forced to take the entrance exam to your new major, you have no time to study, so you go in blind -- all you have is your wits, a minor magical plant-growing talent, and the ability to change the flow of time. In order to succeed, you must face down twenty waves of enemies, but without a direct means of attack, each encounter becomes its own puzzle. Can you pass the test?

Yes, we know Hocus Crocus would have been a better name. Too late to change it now, and the pun didn't land with most we tried it on.


Dingwings: Reverse Wingdings

Tue, 06 Dec 2016 20:29:59 GMT

Dingwings is a font you can only type with an emoji keyboard.

Instead of having letter/number codepoints mapped to symbolic glyphs (like Wingdings), it takes symbolic Unicode characters and maps them to English letters, numbers, and punctuation.

I coded this demo page with HTML/CSS/JS as a fun side project.


Learn Linux in a Month of Lunches

Mon, 05 Dec 2016 15:01:48 GMT

I wrote a book for non- and less-technical users about how to use desktop Linux. It walks new users through everything they'll need to do to get Linux up and running at home. The publisher site has two free chapters. I'm proud of this book because of its focus on making Linux accessible to an audience beyond sysadmins. My hope is it will be popular with knowledge workers, like academics and journalists, looking to take control of their electronic work environments.


1958 Rambler Super Station Wagon Rebuild

Mon, 05 Dec 2016 01:02:04 GMT

My brother has been rebuilding a 1958 AMC Rambler Super Station Wagon (4 door) for me. The original vehicle was in rough enough condition that he "transplanted" the body onto the chassis of an 1986 Oldsmobile, and then he just went from there.

I will be adding more pictures as we progress - right now we are partway through the interior. I do need to take a few pics of the engine as well.

Currently the car is running - we have the seats ready to go in - but I mis-measured for the headliner and will be remaking that once more fabric arrives.

New wheels & tires are also on the list, but at this point I am certain we'll be on the road in time for spring


Mike's Holiday Song Advent Calendar

Sat, 03 Dec 2016 07:09:05 GMT

So I decided to make a list of Advent Calendar of Holiday Songs on Tumblr but then I found a silly web app where I could create my own and now I'm sharing it to give a little joy to 2016 maybe.

Basically it's a bunch of virtual doors you can open daily that lead to YouTube links (or sometimes MeFi music links) of my favorite December classics with maybe a few personal paragraphs underneath as well.

Maybe you won't care, maybe you will actively dislike it if we don't have the same taste in music, maybe you'll love it. Who knows?

It's silly but I wanted to post something to Projects before 2016 was over and nothing else is going to be done by then, so now here this is: my gift from my house to yours.


Cultural Amnesia - Laments

Fri, 02 Dec 2016 01:24:55 GMT

Autumnal, melancholic E.P. from Cultural Amnesia, at Bleak, Bandcamp and all four tracks on YouTube - I, II, III and IV


2016 Commemorative Christmas Ornament

Thu, 01 Dec 2016 20:20:11 GMT

I designed a 3D-printable 2016 Commemorative Christmas ornament that I feel will match the feelings of much of MeFi. Share and enjoy.

Concept shamelessly stolen from


Woof Hampers

Thu, 01 Dec 2016 04:43:40 GMT

WOOF! Gift hampers filled with tough toys and yummy treats for big dogs, small dogs, and puppies too, just in time for the holiday season. They make great gifts for your pooches, or deliver dog joy to a canine friend.

We dispatch worldwide from Ireland, and pricing is available in US$, GB£ and EUR€ with shipping included in the pricing on each product page.

(Or hey, you can just follow for the cute dog pics... Instagram | Facebook | Twitter)



Thu, 01 Dec 2016 01:17:18 GMT

MusicMessages! is a collaborative step sequencer for the iMessage App Store (iPhone, iPad). Using the simple and (hopefully) intuitive interface, you can punch in a few chords or a percussion line and send the message off to your friends, who can then make their own changes and send it back. Five instrument layers and over 40 MIDI instruments are available to use. Bonus: if you have an iPhone 7, the note buttons respond to pressure and "pop" like bubble wrap with the help of the Taptic engine!


Fade.Email: Temporary disappearing email addresses

Wed, 30 Nov 2016 21:20:26 GMT

Free, temporary (1 hour) email addresses. That's it. Ok, technically there are paid options to extend the life of a mailbox, download the emails, or password protect them. But it's really just temporary email addresses that anyone can use.


Sullivan Spaniel

Wed, 30 Nov 2016 15:18:04 GMT

My very first built-from-scratch puppet, Sullivan Spaniel, has his own YouTube series. He's desperately trying to become famous, but he doesn't ever get it right.

Sullivan is often joined by a consultant who tries to steer him in the right direction, from trying a challenge video to participating in a tag video to doing that mannequin challenge that's so popular these days.

Once in a while, someone different stops by, like maybe a zombie or a penguin who thinks he's a dog.

Sullivan may never get it right, but it can be fun watching him try.


Tue, 29 Nov 2016 23:08:43 GMT is a simple tool for calling your senators and representatives in Congress -- you can create scripts and calls-to-action, track your calls, and share with friends.


Crown Prince Of Rabbits

Tue, 29 Nov 2016 20:55:15 GMT

My first book of poetry is being published by a small press. I drew the cover art, and then decided that I should also record myself reading every single poem. (Remember this AskMe?) But I didn't want a simple audiobook. So I composed and recorded original music for every single poem in the book and posted the resulting mega-album to Bandcamp. Then I made a little microsite for the entire project.


Nicktoons in the Trap House

Mon, 28 Nov 2016 18:05:46 GMT

I wrote about 90s/00s references in today's hottest hip hop (from Lil Uzi Vert's Spirited Away t-shirt to Offset's diamond choker) and what they say about rap's obsession with youth as a status symbol.

Today's newest generation of rappers are embracing and flaunting their youth with the sort of 1990s to 2000s nostalgia that only someone who barely remembers those decades can pull off. They've got closets full of vintage Nautica and Tommy Hilfiger, hyperkinetic Skittle-colored aesthetics drawn straight from the Saturday morning cartoons, and heads full of dreams inspired by childhood nights sleeping on the floor in front of a big boxy television.


Lewton Bus

Mon, 28 Nov 2016 14:37:36 GMT

A film criticism and review site I recently launched with a number of my film nerd buddies.

From our "About" page:
Seventy-four years ago, producer Val Lewton and director Jacques Tourneur scared the pants off of audiences with the sound of a bus pulling into frame. After the release of Cat People, the technique of dissipating tension with an innocuous jump scare came to be known as the "Lewton Bus." If you've ever watched a slasher film and been startled by a cat jumping out of a cupboard, you've been a victim of it.

We don't mean to scare you, but we don't mean to be innocuous either. We're just a bunch of people who are passionate about movies and have chosen that somewhat obscure bit of film lore as the name for a new film criticism site. We look forward to clogging up your RSS reader and Facebook feed.


Hive Mind Playlists

Sun, 27 Nov 2016 15:52:59 GMT

Magically translate AskMe song recommendations into Spotify playlists (it takes a minute or two).

I've often wished that I could just hit "play" on some of AskMe's song recommendation threads. This project sort of lets you do that.

Theres a mix of guessing and natural language processing going on. Feel free to dive into the code (link below), but the rough process is:

1. Assemble a list of "recommendations" by:
 * checking any links to youtube for video titles (since they are usually metadata-rich); otherwise, looking for link text
 * looking for capitalized words or "interesting" words/phrases in comments
2. Search Spotify for each recommendation string and take the first track of the results.
3. Return the tracklist.

The code is all on github (I'd welcome any contributions!), and please report any bugs or problems on the issues page.

TODOs: I'd like for the site layout to be more responsive, and I'd like a button that lets you export the playlist directly to your spotify account. This would require the user to log in with OAuth credentials.


Touch Bar Piano

Sat, 26 Nov 2016 14:35:42 GMT

Have a new MacBook Pro with Touch Bar? Wish it had a really tiny fiddly two-octave keyboard? Then this is the program for you! Fully polyphonic, choice of all 128 sounds from the General Midi orchestra. Here's a demo video.