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Links #74

More catching up.

Ian Sample on the first UK baby with DNA from three people born after new IVF procedure. Science fiction concepts continue to take over the world.

Austin Kleon on artists being allowed to make bad work. This resonated a lot with me. I certainly feel like I frequently have experimental periods with my art that end up being more failure than success, anyway.

Jason Kottke on how big the biggest black holes are. Whew.

@emilm on some lovely Krita brushes. Used one of these on my last piece for the brushstroke texture. Great examples at the top of the thread, too.

What Midjourney thinks professors look like, based on their department. Ha. Stereotypical but with some truth to it.

Christopher Butler on the internet. “Pockets of life within the propped-up corpse of the internet might be it. It may be the best we get. But I’d prefer to be more optimistic than that. I’d like to think that those of us living on in small ways inside this thing have a collective, good reason to keep it alive. I’d like to think that what’s happening in here can spread and once again reach the surface.”

ast-grep is super interesting.

Nate Oman on possible ways to theologically reconcile same-sex sealings. Interesting food for thought.

Mark Hachman on Sightful’s new Spacetop AR laptop. Want.

Maggie Harrison on a new wooden satellite. Very cool.

Liz Busby on religion in speculative fiction. I think I generally prefer slightly more analogous than explicit, but I also haven’t been reading much overtly Latter-day Saint fiction lately.

Bun 0.6.0 can build standalone executables.

Isabella Rosner on some amazing 17th- and 18th-century Quaker names. Love these.

Strawberry, a tiny build-free frontend framework. Love the website. Also see VanJS. I don’t know if I’d actually use either, but I’m certainly interested in tiny build-free frontend frameworks.

Jim Nielsen on .well-known/avatar. I like the idea. Ended up putting mine at bencrowder.net/avatar.jpg, because my Unix roots make .well-known feel weird to me, like it’s a hidden directory.

Elizabeth Rayne on a sensitive robot hand. “This hand doesn’t just pick things up and put them down on command. It is so sensitive that it can actually ‘feel’ what it is touching, and it’s dextrous enough to easily change the position of its fingers so it can better hold objects, a maneuver known as ‘finger gaiting.’ It is so sensitive it can even do all this in the dark, figuring everything out by touch.”

Mark Shwartz on a new nontoxic powder that uses sunlight to quickly disinfect contaminated drinking water. I hope this works as well as it sounds like it would.

Dwarkesh Patel on lessons from Robert Caro’s The Years of Lyndon Johnson. This got me started with The Power Broker again (which I started a year ago but ended up dropping).

The cognitive load developer’s handbook. A good lens.

Meta on multilingual models that can do speech-to-text and text-to-speech for 1,100+ languages. Wow.

Andre Fuchs’ ultimate list of kerning pairs (for type design).

Molly Templeton on two kinds of unforgettable reading experiences. Many of my reading memories are tied to where I was when I was reading those books — I remember reading Lord of the Rings for the first time at the UTA bus stop my freshman year of college, reading Goethe’s Faust while pacing my bedroom, reading The Sword of Kaigen while waiting at the bus stop, reading Heir to the Empire on the floor of my bedroom when I was a kid, and apparently all my memories are either at the bus stop or in my bedroom. Ha.

Austin Kleon on disability and art. This was heartening.

John Warner on originality being undervalued. “Artistically, the question of how faithful something is to another thing that already exists is simply fundamentally uninteresting. It asks us to respond to art primarily through the lens of nostalgia, rather than on the art’s own terms.”

Simon Willison on that lawyer who ChatGPTed himself into a load of trouble.

John Ousterhout on scar tissue in relationships. Good metaphor.

Rob Stein on IVG. “The researchers used cells from the tails of adult mice to create induced pluripotent stem (iPS) cells, and then coaxed those iPS cells to become mouse sperm and eggs. They’ve even used those sperm and eggs to make embryos and implanted the embryos into the wombs of female mice, which gave birth to apparently healthy mouse pups.”

Eric Karrfalt on swallowing upside down as a way to combat GERD. “A novel exercise is described for resistance training of the lower esophageal sphincter. Resistance is provided by gravity as food is swallowed and pushed up an incline into the stomach. The incline is established by kneeling with the head bowed lower than the stomach. After several months of daily repetitions, symptoms of gastroesophageal reflux ceased and the exercise was discontinued without relapse.” I’ve started trying this.

Hannah Devlin on suspended animation with rats. More science fiction poking its head in. Crazy!

Joel Cuthbertson on Connie Willis and her upcoming novel. I still need to read All Clear and Blackout.

Daniel Huffman with another walkthrough of one of his mapmaking projects. Loved this.