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Blog: #hinterlight

Prints 1.3

Welcome to Prints volume 1, issue 3.

Table of contents: Reading • Watching • Making • Links • Thoughts


Typos in books used to bother me a lot. They don’t anymore. (Unless it’s an utter avalanche of them.) Still can’t read books with bad typography, though. Relatedly, I’ve begun reading physical books again, for typographic variety.

I used to like thrillers with secret conspiracies making for amazing plot twists. Now, though, I see how a conspiracies-behind-everything worldview can really mess people up, with dire ramifications for society. Seems like at least some of that worldview stems from stories about conspiracies. I have no evidence for this assertion — it’s just an idle thought — but to me it feels compelling enough that I feel uncomfortable reading conspiracy thrillers even though my story-eating brain loves those tasty plot twists.

One of the delights of having loads and loads of books in your house is forgetting you have some of them and rediscovering them later.

Lately I’ve been thinking about books as software updates for my brain, a way to inject a load of training data into my neural net. (I think I’ve mentioned that before. It’s still something I’m thinking about.)

Recent reads


  • Jordan Mechner’s The Making of Prince of Persia journals, 1985 – 1993. (I have a thing for makings-of.) Interesting to see what’s changed since the ’80s and what hasn’t.
  • Anthony DePalma’s The Cubans, about life in Cuba since Castro took power. My grandfather was born in Cuba. While he left around ten years before the revolution, I still have cousins living there. The conditions are not great. The sinking of the 13 de Marzo was horrifying. This book, though, was really good.
  • Eric Gill’s An Essay on Typography. There’s a fair amount of social commentary here, which I bounced off of the first time I tried to read this, years ago. Now, though, the critique of industrialism resonated with me. Some strong typographic opinions here, too. More and more I’m of the mind that even word spacing is more important than an even edge, so ragged right is probably the future for any books I typeset going forward. This book was set in Gill’s Joanna, and I was intrigued by the left single quote (riding low at x-height) and the running heads (italic lowercase with Roman initial caps, which was how italics were used long ago but you don’t see it much these days) (also, this book was published in the 1930s). While reading this I kept itching to run to my laptop and design some type. Gave in a couple times.
  • John Boardley’s Typographic Firsts: Adventures in Early Printing (the edition that just barely came out). It’s all about innovations in printing — the first printed books, first time printing in gold, first printer’s marks, first time printing music, etc. Right up my alley. Things I learned, in no particular order:
    • Blockbooks are a thing (using woodcuts for the text as well as any decorations or illustrations).
    • The word miniature comes from minium, the Latin name for a red form of lead oxide.
    • The shape of T-O (orbis terrarum maps). I think I may have seen this before but had totally forgotten about it.
    • Loved the conical-projection Ptolemaic map from the Nuremberg Chronicle, though I’m not sure why.
    • The atlas was named by Mercator after a Mauritanian king, not the Greek Titan.
    • Criss-cross comes from Christ-cross. (Which seems blindingly obvious in hindsight.)


  • Martha Wells’ Exit Strategy, novella, fourth in the Murderbot series. Enjoyed it. (This was after bailing on two other novels after reading around 400 pages across them both, so it was nice to come back to a comfort read.) Looking forward to reading Network Effect.
  • P. Djèlí Clark’s Ring Shout. Also a novella, one that felt as substantial as a novel. It’s about hunting down monsters that are disguised as Ku Klux Klan members, and wow, I really liked it. More fantasy like this, please.

Books acquired since last issue

  • Factory Girls: From Village to City in a Changing China — Leslie T. Chang
  • What Can a Body Do?: How We Meet the Built World — Sara Hendren
  • Embassytown — China Miéville
  • Merchants of Culture: The Publishing Business in the Twenty-First Century — John B. Thompson
  • How Music Got Free: A Story of Obsession and Invention — Stephen Richard Witt
  • Game Over: How Nintendo Conquered The World — David Sheff
  • Inside the Kingdom: Kings, Clerics, Modernists, Terrorists, and the Struggle for Saudi Arabia — Robert Lacey
  • The End of Poverty: Economic Possibilities for Our Time — Jeffrey D. Sachs
  • The Tudors: The Complete Story of England’s Most Notorious Dynasty — G. J. Meyer
  • The World in a Grain: The Story of Sand and How It Transformed Civilization — Vince Beiser
  • Magna Carta: The Birth of Liberty — Dan Jones
  • Bible and Sword: England and Palestine from the Bronze Age to Balfour — Barbara W. Tuchman
  • Where Good Ideas Come From — Steven Johnson
  • Golden Gates: The Housing Crisis and a Reckoning for the American Dream — Conor Dougherty
  • The Fatal Shore: The Epic of Australia’s Founding — Robert Hughes
  • Four Queens: The Provencal Sisters Who Ruled Europe — Nancy Goldstone
  • Secrets: A Memoir of Vietnam and the Pentagon Papers — Daniel Ellsberg
  • Mythology — Edith Hamilton
  • How Money Became Dangerous: The Inside Story of Our Turbulent Relationship with Modern Finance — Christopher Varelas
  • Autumn in the Heavenly Kingdom: China, the West, and the Epic Story of the Taiping Civil War — Stephen R. Platt
  • Imperial Twilight: The Opium War and the End of China’s Last Golden Age — Stephen R. Platt
  • The Art of Language Invention: From Horse-Lords to Dark Elves to Sand Worms, the Words Behind World-Building — David J. Peterson
  • The Signal and the Noise: Why So Many Predictions Fail—But Some Don’t — Nate Silver
  • The World: A Brief Introduction — Richard Haass
  • Certain Dark Things — Silvia Moreno-Garcia
  • The Crisis Years: Kennedy and Khrushchev, 1960–1963 — Michael R. Beschloss
  • His Master’s Voice — Stanislaw Lem
  • In the Land of Invented Languages: Esperanto Rock Stars, Klingon Poets, Loglan Lovers, and the Mad Dreamers Who Tried to Build A Perfect Language — Arika Okrent
  • In the Camps: China’s High-Tech Penal Colony — Darren Byler
  • Paradox Bound — Peter Clines
  • No Filter: The Inside Story of Instagram — Sarah Frier
  • Amazon Unbound: Jeff Bezos and the Invention of a Global Empire — Brad Stone
  • The Body: A Guide for Occupants — Bill Bryson
  • Mapping the Heavens: The Radical Scientific Ideas That Reveal the Cosmos — Priyamvada Natarajan
  • My Stroke of Insight: A Brain Scientist’s Personal Journey — Jill Bolte Taylor
  • Kennedy and Roosevelt: The Uneasy Alliance — Michael R. Beschloss


Words I’ve come across lately:

  • jointure
  • donnybrook
  • banditti
  • sus
  • hopepunk
  • chrysography
  • neume

Unicode corner

An experimental new section, where I a) read part of the Unicode spec and b) jabber about it to y’all. Years ago I read the first few chapters and generally enjoyed it, and I like the intersection of tech, type, and languages, so here we go.

Decided to start with chapter 21, on notation systems. I’ll only talk about the points I found interesting.

Unicode doesn’t specify physical dimensions for Braille, which makes me wonder how many different standard sizes of Braille there are, and whether large-print Braille would be easier to read or harder/slower. (From some cursory research it looks like each country might have its own size standard, but international Braille is a thing so maybe sizes are more uniform.)

I didn’t know Common Musical Notation (CMN) was the name for what I think of as standard Western music notation. The Unicode characters for music are focused on inline use (which makes sense), so there’s no pitch encoding. Nice use of combining characters, though of course there is a small set of precomposed characters as well. Also interesting that the accidentals are in a different block — I ran into that with Coptic, which re-uses characters from the Greek block. Apparently RTL music at least some of the time mirrors the clef sign — but not the note heads. Ties and slurs and such are encoded with just beginning and ending markers, which makes sense because ties and slurs and such have variable length. I’m less familiar with the 18th-century ornamentation but it looked interesting.


Just BYU volleyball, both women’s (last season) and men’s (this current season). I haven’t seen Tenet yet but want to.


Minor epiphany this past week: for me to care about a project I’m working on, it has to feel innovative in at least some small way. While I don’t know that I want innovation to be the sole lens I look at my work through, it matters enough that I need to make sure I account for it going forward. (By consciously acknowledging what the innovation is on each project, that is, and culling the projects where I can’t come up with anything new.)

I haven’t done a good job at bringing innovation into my writing, however, and I suspect that’s one of the reasons I’ve struggled to produce much there. Still thinking through what might work for that. I should add, by the way, that it doesn’t have to actually be innovative in the world, it just has to be something I personally haven’t seen before.

Reading about printer’s marks in Typographic Firsts made me realize I hadn’t said anything on here about my initial attempt at a publisher’s mark, used on the title page of my recent Historia Calamitatum edition. It’s nothing special, and I suspect I’ll rework it soon, but it was fun to make. (By the way, it wasn’t technically an initial attempt. I’ve used a couple other publisher’s marks in the past, back when I was making books under my Riverglen Press and Quillfire Studios imprints.)

Current projects

Salviana (working title): Figured out who the narrator needs to be and got the outline finalized enough to start drafting. With the voice change, it made more sense to start from scratch (though I hate doing that, which is why I want to get good at outlining). Five pages written so far, and it’s going well. I need to resurrect that create-before-consume idea (already abandoned! I like reading!) to put more time in on this, though, because it’s slow going when I only spend a few minutes a day on it.

Charts: Haven’t done anything here yet. Still thinking about making that Latin ending lookup chart, though I worry it might always be incomplete enough that it wouldn’t be useful. (I’ve also been out of the Latin-study frame of mind for a long time.)

Marks: The main update here is that I’m now seeing this as a DSL not only for purely generative art, but also as a DSL for modifying input paths — e.g., pass in an SVG or a font glyph, modify it, and then re-export it. A slightly more concrete example: take in a font glyph, split its paths into small segments of equal length, move each segment’s start point along its normal (out if it’s odd numbered, in if it’s even), and union random small circles to it along the way as well. This all comes from my interest in making digital things look analog. Also, as far as going with a DSL instead of a library in a general-purpose language: while a DSL might not be able to do everything a general-purpose language can do, it can make certain tasks easier; and you can always use a general-purpose language to create the DSL code. Anyway, I’m still writing up explorations for how this Marks language should work. Nothing worth showing yet.

Bend: Still slow progress here, haven’t spent much time on it. Decided to decouple cursor movement from moving the current selection. I need to come up with more user stories to guide the language design.

Hinterlight: I’ve done a couple of revision passes. Type design is still hard, and I still haven’t produced anything I’m happy with, but I think I’m getting a little bit better at making curves look smooth and not janky. (I need to look at existing fonts in FontForge to see how their curves are set up. That should help.) The new proof setup (Paged.js to generate, iPad to proof) is nice. FYI, my focus with Hinterlight has been to design a typeface that looks like it’s been printed with traditional processes — ink spread, rounded, less sharp and clear, more in the vein of the IM Fell fonts. But I’m starting to think it might be better/easier to design a digital font and then use Marks to modify it to get the look I want. Still deciding. Also, I’ve been running into posture-based neck pain issues both with proofing and with the type design work itself. Need to figure that out.

Journal PDFs: I added Paged.js to my Leaf journal app so I can easily export annual journal PDFs for any of the years I have journals for. It’s working fairly nicely, except that sometimes the last line on a page will disappear. I haven’t managed to figure out yet if it’s Paged.js or Chrome dropping the line, but either way, it’s problematic. (There was a similar issue related to hyphenated final lines, with a fix in the comments, but this one is still unsolved for me.)

Morte d’Arthur. I’m planning to make a Middle English edition of Malory’s Morte, for fun. If I can figure out the Paged.js issue I may do a PDF, but at this point I’m leaning toward doing just an EPUB. Originally I was going to first write Caxton, a shiny new replacement for my md2epub script, but I realized that md2epub works fine and I don’t actually have a real need to replace it. (I’ve thought about using pandoc instead, but the same principle applies.)

Andrew Lang’s Green Fairy Book, to go along with the first two books in the series. This’ll just be EPUB. (Getting Kindle books to look good outside of Amazon’s enhanced typesetting ecosystem is a losing battle, so I’ve given up on that.) Also, I’m looking at Green and Morte as a way to figure out better, more sustainable ways for me to make books — avoiding RSI, mainly. This will probably take the form of a text processing DSL ala Fledge, possibly with a more verbose and more user-friendly replacement for regular expressions.

Projects I’ll probably never do

  • A self-contained wireless plotter, basically a DIY Logo turtle. Probably with a Raspberry Pi Zero W running it. Maybe with Legos for the chassis and motors. An arm to hold the pen, and some kind of DSL to control the movement.
  • Paper speaker (copper tape) that can somehow read its audio data from printed marks on the same sheet of paper. (No idea how this would actually work.)

Ploum on a computer built to last fifty years. I like the offline-first idea, and the peer-to-peer idea is intriguing.

Steve Lord on the hundred-year computer. Similar idea. Permacomputing is my jam.

Collapse OS. Even if an apocalypse like this never happens, these projects fascinate me.

The Manager’s Handbook on giving feedback. Good suggestions.

SimulaVR on why VR computers are better than PCs/laptops. Whether it’s AR or VR, something in this vein feels like the future and I want it.

Matt Webb on social gradients. This was good. I need to read A Pattern Language, too.

Joe Pinsker on not apologizing for being slow to respond. Food for thought.

Tracy Durnell on writing metrics. I think she’s on to something.

Lincoln Michel on writing the right words, not the most words. Also good.

Lincoln Michel on the plotting vs pantsing false dichotomy. Useful.

Charles Brooks’ photos from inside musical instruments. Lovely and a little haunting.

Tom Watson’s wiki trivia game was fun.

Brian Potter on why skyscrapers are so short. I don’t know that I agree with him that we should build taller, but I’m also super afraid of heights.

Natashah Hitti on the Norimaki taste synthesizer. I’m assuming at some point I’ll have to mute smells on Zoom calls.

Ryo Tada’s Fulu project, a haptic fingernail. I’m still not entirely sure how it works, but it looks interesting.

Alise Fisher on the Webb telescope arriving successfully at L2. Yay!

Janelle Shane with some New Year’s resolutions generated by AI. These are great.

Jason Fried on presence indicators in apps like Slack. Agreed. After reading this, I set my Slack status at work to always be away (with my manager’s blessing and with letting my team know).

Lincoln Michel on why you need to read fiction to write fiction. Yup.

Max Böck on making free stuff (on the web). I am clearly in favor of this. Sidenote: I am becoming less and less of a capitalist as I grow older.

Merriam-Webster on what ‘sus’ means. I haven’t heard it in the wild yet but I’m looking forward to!

Paul Karasik on studying something you love in depth. This is good.


I made Siri fast on my phone again (it had gotten incredibly slow) by turning off content suggestions. Also sped up the Reminders app by turning it off in iCloud and back on again, and moving all my items to a new list.

I totally forgot about macOS Monterey and still haven’t upgraded yet. I used to be a day-one adopter on these OS upgrades but in recent years I’ve gotten burned too many times. Still trying to decide if I want to chance it.

Some of the career paths I wish I could have tried in addition to the one I have, in no particular order: writer, editor, journalist, graphic designer, illustrator, 3D animator, artist, typesetter, lawyer, professor, detective, private investigator, architect, city planner, publisher, think tank researcher, archaeologist, anthropologist, physicist, biologist, geologist, astronomer, civil engineer, mechanical engineer, electrical engineer, aerospace engineer, materials engineer, roboticist, cartographer, lexicographer, set designer, technical writer, carpenter, blacksmith, sculptor, geographer, historian, baker, tailor, potter.

When I see other people behaving badly, I now tend to think of them as having gotten their mental software into a glitchy state. I don’t yet know all the ramifications of thinking about people this way, or whether I’ll continue with it, but one advantage I’m finding is that it dissociates the behavior from the person. (When I say state, I’m thinking of software state while a program is running — temporary and not innate. And yes, rebooting humans is harder.)

For my website, I’m now leaning toward sticking with my Linode instead of moving everything to Render. Running my own VPS is more hassle, sure, but it feels more indie to me…and apparently that matters. I do plan to start over soon with a new Linode where I can keep on top of upgrades more regularly, though.

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Prints 1.2

Welcome to Prints volume 1, issue 2.

Table of contents: Reading • Watching • Making • Links • Thoughts


After reading four nonfiction books at a time, I’ve dropped back down to one at a time (along with one fiction at a time). Reading more books concurrently felt like a way to get through the slow more easily, but I think it made it worse. I definitely wouldn’t have finished Bede’s Ecclesiastical History any time in the next month or two if I hadn’t focused on it. One at a time also has the advantage of being cognitively easier, which feels better on my brain.

I predominantly read books written in the past fifty years, but as I’ve mentioned, I’d like to read more books written before that narrow sliver of time. (Thus the Bede.) To that end, I’m hoping to try to have every fourth book (or so) be an old book. Planning to try some Roman historians next, and maybe some English chronicles as well.

Goodness, there are lot of books I want to read. Mount TBR’s growth is certainly more than linear. Hopefully not exponential yet, though.

With my (extremely meager) writing, I tend to measure my output by the number of words written. Getting one or two thousand words down marks a really good day for me. Well, for comparison: last year I read approximately 9.4 million words — around 25,000 a day. (While the comparison interests me, it is of course not fair. Creating is usually more time-intensive than consuming, something I need to remember more often.)

Recent reads


  • Kassia St. Clair’s The Golden Thread was fascinating. More wide-ranging than I expected, across both time and space. I absolutely want to read more about textiles — very open to recommendations.
  • As alluded to above, I went full Bede and finally made it to the end of his Ecclesiastical History of the English People a few days ago. If you care deeply about what day Easter is observed on, this is the book for you. Slow reading at times, but I liked it and I’m glad I read it. Also, the old place names were delightful. A small sample: Infeppingum, Ythancaestir, Streanaeshalch, Paegnalaech, Lyccidfelth, Cerotaesei, and Adtuifyrdi.


  • As with the first in the series, I liked the anthropological/linguistic angle in Arkady Martine’s A Desolation Called Peace. My brain found it very reminiscent of C. J. Cherryh’s Foreigner — so much so, in fact, that my imagination kept replacing the Teixcalaanlitzim with Cherryh’s atevi aliens. (This reminds me that I need to continue the Foreigner series sometime.)
  • I enjoyed Martha Wells’ Rogue Protocol, third in the Murderbot series. The novella length is perfect for me. These are light, easy reads, too.

Books acquired

A new experimental section, inspired by David Allen’s book posts. It’ll be embarrassing (I buy a ridiculous amount of books) but I like books enough to want to include it. Keep in mind that I mostly buy ebooks on sale, and I also work at a company that has an unlimited books benefit, which I am clearly putting to full use.

Books acquired since last issue, in acquisition order:

  • The Black Coast — Mike Brooks
  • The First Clash: The Miraculous Greek Victory at Marathon and Its Impact on Western Civilization — James Lacey
  • Termination Shock — by Neal Stephenson
  • The Passage of Power: The Years of Lyndon Johnson IV — Robert A. Caro
  • Caught in the Revolution: Petrograd, Russia, 1917 – A World on the Edge — Helen Rappaport
  • The Artist, the Philosopher, and the Warrior: The Intersecting Lives of Da Vinci, Machiavelli, and Borgia and the World They Shaped — Paul Strathern
  • Ghosting the News: Local Journalism and the Crisis of American Democracy — Margaret Sullivan
  • Win at All Costs: Inside Nike Running and Its Culture of Deception — Matt Hart
  • Betsy Ross and the Making of America — Marla R. Miller
  • Ages of American Capitalism: A History of the United States — Jonathan Levy
  • Songs of a Dead Dreamer and Grimscribe — Thomas Ligotti
  • Labyrinth of Ice: The Triumphant and Tragic Greely Polar Expedition — Buddy Levy
  • They Said They Wanted Revolution: A Memoir of My Parents — Neda Toloui-Semnani
  • The Tycoons: How Andrew Carnegie, John D. Rockefeller, Jay Gould, and J. P. Morgan Invented the American Supereconomy — Charles R. Morris
  • The Brothers Karamazov (Pevear & Volokhonsky translation) — Fyodor Dostoevsky
  • Kingdom of Nauvoo: The Rise and Fall of a Religious Empire on the American Frontier — Benjamin E. Park
  • The One Device: The Secret History of the iPhone — Brian Merchant
  • How Do We Look: The Body, the Divine, and the Question of Civilization — Mary Beard
  • A Practical Guide to Conquering the World — K. J. Parker
  • Ember Rising — S. D. Smith
  • Ember’s End — S. D. Smith
  • China in Ten Words — Yu Hua
  • Bag Man: The Wild Crimes, Audacious Cover-Up, and Spectacular Downfall of a Brazen Crook in the White House — Rachel Maddow
  • The Making of Prince of Persia: Journals 1985–1993 — Jordan Mechner
  • Leonardo da Vinci — Walter Isaacson
  • The Cloud Roads — Martha Wells
  • The Undoing Project: A Friendship That Changed Our Minds — Michael Lewis
  • Edgar Rice Burroughs: Master of Adventure — Michael A. Lupoff
  • Facebook: The Inside Story — Steven Levy


Another new experimental section: words I’ve come across in my reading that caught my interest.

The polite thing to do here would be to include definitions, but looking words up is half the fun, right? I’m also leaving out the language — some of these are from a French dictionary, for example — and I’ll leave the list unsorted to boot. (If you think I’m just being irresponsibly lazy here, you’re not wrong.)

  • maltote
  • IOOF
  • chapfallen
  • gage
  • marivaudage
  • rodomontade
  • mulct
  • flitch
  • electuaries
  • on eyre
  • condign


I don’t feel like I watch enough of anything to warrant a section here, but that’s probably not as true as I think, so here we are.

Enjoyed Encanto (still have the music stuck in my head), Ron’s Gone Wrong, the Loki series (so weird), and the Assembled documentary series (I love love love making-of documentaries).

Tried The Book of Boba Fett but I really struggle to enjoy Star Wars at all anymore. Back when The Mandalorian came out, I bounced off it as well. (Guess which streaming service we subscribe to, by the way.)

Lately we’ve started watching BYU volleyball games, which has been fun.


This past run (as in a run of days, which is what I’m calling the time period between issues, at least for now) my back has been worse, which makes some type of work (like art) more painful/difficult. My day job has also been very busy, leaving me with fairly little energy left over in the evenings. End result: not much project work.

Current projects

Salviana (working title): I’m close to finishing the new outline. It incorporates a lot of what I already have in the first draft (which is a nice change; usually my revision outlines end up changing everything). Hoping to finalize it soon so I can dive in and make the revisions.

Retzi (working title): On hold while I finish outlining the Salviana story.

Religious art: My Their Work and Glory piece is in a new exhibit, The Sacred Feminine in LDS Art & Theology at the Center for Latter-day Saint Arts Gallery in New York City, open January 14 through March 6. (It’s in under the alternate title Their Work and Their Glory.) I’ve tried a few ideas for new work but haven’t come up with anything I’m happy with. I suspect I may have reached the end of my time exploring this type of art; a pivot to some other kind of art is probably best. Also, in case anyone’s curious about scale here: in 2019 I sold 15 prints, in 2020 I sold 183, and in 2021 I sold 196 (all on-demand through Society6). I haven’t done any marketing and don’t care to.

Other art: I played around a little with Procreate 5.2’s new 3D painting functionality. Itching to do more with that and realized I need to get better at modeling in Blender first. (I did end up playing around with geometry nodes a little. Nothing to show for it yet.)

Charts: I’m thinking about making a Latin endings chart. It would show -ae, for example, and then list out all the grammatical possibilities for that suffix. Not sure yet if it’s actually a good idea; still in the exploratory phase. (Still haven’t actually done anything beyond writing down the idea, to be fully transparent.)

Bane: Backburnered for now. I’m not sure designing a general-purpose language interests me enough right now to continue with it — at least not one that’s basically just an amalgam of other languages. If it was innovative enough, though, then perhaps.

Marks: I’ve decided to go with making this a DSL instead of a VM. Random ideas for it that I haven’t really thought through yet:

  • Leaning towards declarative instead of imperative (ala POV-Ray, Lilypond, OpenSCAD, etc.)
  • Special focus on path manipulation (iterating through paths, moving points around, filters for roughening paths, etc.)
  • CSG/Boolean support
  • Not sure if this is purely generative or if modifying existing SVGs (for example) would also be part of it
  • Custom brush strokes defined through functions, with controls for falloff, opacity, etc.
  • Paths and points as primitives, along with being able to define new primitives (just functions, really)
  • Not sure yet how much will be vector vs. raster
  • Reference implementation built in JavaScript

Bend: I’d been trying to figure out the curve-editing commands more abstractly, but it was hard to latch on to and I didn’t get anywhere with it. Recently, though, I tried writing user stories — e.g., “I place a point, pull out a control point, and then place another point up and to the right with its control points extended” — and already it’s helping anchor things enough that I’m making (slow) progress again.

Hinterlight: A typeface, previously known as Hinte. I started it months ago (designing it in FontForge) but abandoned it because I am not at all good at type design yet. Recently I resurrected the project, with a few new process ideas that will hopefully help: using Paged.js to generate proof PDFs and then proofing those on my iPad (in Documents, using my Apple Pencil to make annotations). I feel like it’ll still take a long time before I get any good at type design. Baby steps.

Projects I’ll probably never do

  • A protocol (parallel to HTTP, Gopher, Gemini) that lets you broadcast one word per day. An exploration of the idea of really slow communications. This would possibly lead to some suspense (“Which way is this sentence going to go? I won’t know for weeks!”), but more likely it would just be insanely boring. Still, smaller, simpler protocols for alternate nets interest me. (I do still plan to get a Gemini server up at some point.)
  • Take a medieval chronicle and publish it in blog format. Probably posted all at once, but possibly in “real time” with a contemporary day for each year in the chronicle. Someone has probably already done this.

Brandur on using Docker for local development. Reproducible deterministic environments are worth it, I think. But I’m all for getting rid of complexity where possible.

Mapbox on their adaptive projections for interactive maps. Loved this.

TinyGo, a Go compiler for embedded and WebAssembly. (A stripped hello world gets down to 10k.)

Where Is Webb, a nice info page showing the current status of the Webb telescope.

James Padolsey’s Break the Bubble escape chamber. A recommendation service for books you probably haven’t read by people who read books like you.

Tom Scocca on how long it takes to caramelize onions. From 2012 but still good.

Dinwar on how geologists think. Found this fascinating.

Moxie Marlinspike on crypto. For whatever reason I’ve had zero interest in blockchain/crypto/NFTs/etc., but this seems a level-headed take.

Molly White on blockchains. Also a level-headed take.

PrinceJS, a web-based recreation of Prince of Persia (which I played as a kid). Works on mobile, too.

Stanford Carmack on subordinate that usage in the Book of Mormon. His research into the Early Modern English syntax of the Book of Mormon is fascinating.

Christopher Moore on a meteor that hit Tall el-Hammam 3,600 years ago. More particularly, it’s about how they deduced that this happened.

Women in Type, a research project showcasing women’s contributions in type history. (Fonts, that is.)

Patrick Tanguay’s list of friendly indie micropublishers. I love lists like this.

Kevin Kelly on ideas wanting to be shared. This resonated with me.

Kevin Kelly’s 99 additional bits of unsolicited advice. Also, I wish I’d had the foresight to register back in the early days of the web.

Julio Merino’s EndBASIC project. A web-based interpreter modeled on QuickBASIC with a DOS environment. Nostalgia! (It’s not quite the same as what I programmed with as a kid, but still nice.)

Anthony Warner on botulism and Botox. The stats toward the end blew my mind.


On that iOS keyboard bug I mentioned last issue: if I open Safari, go back to Home Screen, and then reopen my PWA, the keyboard returns. A little quicker than killing the PWA, though still obnoxious.

Some random small horological musings on advantages analog clocks have over digital. Analog is spatial: time takes up space, so you can see the size of it at a glance, along with relationships between intervals. With digital, you have to do some basic math first and it’s still more abstract. Also, analog clocks make me less concerned about the exact time — within a few minutes is usually acceptable. (These thoughts bubbled up when I decided to change my watch face from digital to analog.)

Realized I’ve had this website for over half my life.

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