Links for May 20, 2019

The Origin Of The Term “Gamer”

The first known record of the word was found in the English town of Walsall and dates back to approximately 1422.... When they said “gamer,” what they meant was “gambler.” And this association lasted well into the 19th century.

How Bullet Hell Games Helped Me Work Through Anxiety

From my experience, the most important part of CBT is the exposure part. That doesn’t necessarily mean putting yourself in dangerous situations, but it does mean actually confronting anxiety-inducing tasks.... The pixel-perfect precision bullet hell games demanded of players gave me something to hyper-fixate on besides my anxiety. I wasn’t running away from my real-life issues, either — I was practicing patience, control of a task, and completion, slowly chipping away at my anxiety.

Meshell Ndegeocello - Waterfalls (Official Video)

Links for May 12, 2019

The Chinese Burner

A Chinese science fiction writer goes to Burning Man.

Slow art? It will ‘blow your mind’

To get people in the mood for slow art, Christie’s, the V&A and the Natural History Museum have been offering yoga and sound meditation baths before visitors step foot into their exhibitions. But rather than putting them in a trance, it’s all about switching on their senses.

“When the Natural History Museum was built and founded it was called a cathedral to nature and people used to come in and take their hats off in awe,” says Lucy Woodbridge, head of events at the Natural History Museum, who likens slow art to sacred looking.

“And this is what we want: a place of learning and stopping and a deeper level of engagement and just allowing people to see more.”

Damian Lillard Shot In LEGO

Links for May 5, 2019

historicalsource (Historical Source) – ZIL and ZAP source files for old Infocom games. – Cataloguing Twitch streams with zero viewers.

The Measure of Things – Enter a measurement, get a list of comparable objects.

Conway’s Game Of Life in APL

Links for April 23, 2019

Spider-Man: Into the Spider-Verse (2018)

Some specific moments, however, did incorporate truly analog illustrations. There is a section about two-thirds into the sequence that uses a series of “HELLO, MY NAME IS…” stickers to create a cel-animated effect of Miles swinging through the scene. We wanted it to look like Miles had drawn a sequence of an animation on these stickers and they would appear to animate as he threw up each subsequent tag. This was where we collaborated with Eric Hibbeler. Eric showed us a variety of stylistic test drawings.

Once we aligned on the illustration style which felt most appropriate for Miles, we took an animated sequence from the film, broke it out into 2s and had Eric work on recreating each frame. These were physical illustrations, scanned in and then composited onto the stickers. Everyone loved how Eric’s final drawings added to the analog feel.

Touchstones: An Appreciation of the Dark Comedy “Heathers”

Naomi Fry reviews the legacy of the 1989 cult classic “Heathers,” starring Winona Ryder and Christian Slater, a teen comedy now celebrating its thirtieth anniversary.


Links for April 7, 2019

‘No console required’: Google unveils streaming game platform, ‘Stadia’

At GDC 2019 this morning, Google detailed its long-awaited streaming game platform, dubbed Stadia.

The Unexpected Philosophical Depths of the Clicker Game Universal Paperclips

Neima Jahromi writes about Universal Paperclips, created by Frank Lantz, and other clicker games, like Cookie Clicker and Candy Box!, which represent how our actions are constantly mediated by screens.

The James Bond Corkscrew Jump Was The First Computer-Modeled Stunt

I’m a little surprised that we haven’t covered this in detail before, because it’s so crammed full of Jalop-bait: jumping and flipping cars, AMCs, James Bond, frustrated backwoods law enforcement, and lots of secret math and early computers. The jump is the famous corkscrew from The Man with the Golden Gun.

Links for March 28, 2019

Project SPHINX - When the USSR tried to change the computer forever

The legendary SPHINX, the high-tech system designed by Dmitry Azrikan in 1986 with which the Soviet Union tried to subvert the computer world

Forum 1985 - Russian Synthpop (𝐒𝐎𝐕𝐈𝐄𝐓 𝐖𝐀𝐕𝐄) Part 1

80s Soviet Synthpop. Alliance - Na Zare (At dawn) USSR, 1987 HD

Links for March 5, 2019

What “Peanuts” Taught Me About Queer Identity

Of all the characters in “Peanuts,” Pigpen seems most at peace with the life he has been given. Sure, he’s immersed in filth—he can “raise a cloud of dust in a snowstorm,” as Charlie Brown puts it—and Patty and Violet seek constantly to humiliate him. But Pigpen will have none of it. “Aren’t you ashamed?” Violet says to him, after making him look in the mirror. “On the contrary,” he replies. “I didn’t think I looked this good.”

A starter pack for those new to interactive fiction

I had a list like this before which I deleted, but I noticed it had a lot of views on intfiction, so I thought I’d make a new one to help people out. It has 10 web-based games, 10 parser games for beginners and 10 parser games of medium to easy difficulty.

Tape Recording of Star Wars In The Theater From 1977 With My Mother

Links for February 28, 2019

Better Language Models and Their Implications

Due to concerns about large language models being used to generate deceptive, biased, or abusive language at scale, we are only releasing a much smaller version of GPT-2 along with sampling code. We are not releasing the dataset, training code, or GPT-2 model weights. Nearly a year ago we wrote in the OpenAI Charter: “we expect that safety and security concerns will reduce our traditional publishing in the future, while increasing the importance of sharing safety, policy, and standards research,” and we see this current work as potentially representing the early beginnings of such concerns, which we expect may grow over time.

The birth of obscenicons – (that’s “grawlix” to you and me)

But when it comes to obscenicons, he may have been beaten to the punch by his colleague Gene Carr, as he was developing the character of Lady Bountiful — described by the Lambiek Comiclopedia as “a rich, well-mannered woman who used her wealth to help and adopt poor street children”… He discovered the following “Lady Bountiful” strip, published in the Examiner on Nov. 1, 1901.

The World’s Writing Systems

This web site presents one glyph for each of the world’s writing systems. It is the first step of the Missing Scripts Project, a long-term initiative that aims to identify writing systems which are not yet encoded in the Unicode standard. As of today, there are still 146 scripts not yet encoded in Unicode.

Sesame Street Pinball Number Count – Playable “1-2-3 4 5 6-7-8 9 10 11-12!”

Links for February 25, 2019

How Minneapolis Mayor Jacob Frey Scored a Rezoning Win

The ambitious Minneapolis 2040 plan will encourage more dense housing development in single-family neighborhoods.

How a Rose Blooms: Its Genome Reveals the Traits for Scent and Color

Now, to develop a new type of rose, breeders typically make thousands of hybrid offspring, looking for the combination of traits they want. Then, they have to select and identify the offspring that have the desirable trait. It’s a process that can take up to 10 years and require lots of greenhouse space and land, as well as water… With data from the more detailed sequence of the rose genome, this process should be significantly shortened, reducing the cost and energy consumption needed to introduce new species.

Here’s Some Future Synth Music From Niger

Nigerién keyboardist Hama transforms Saharan folk songs into psychedelic electronic gems in his new album, Houmeissa.

Links for February 11, 2019

Video games to play if you liked Netflix’s Bandersnatch

Now Black Mirror’s two least interesting episodes share the plot of “video games exist”. What’s Bandersnatch’s larger point? That you should be more careful who you take LSD with? Anyway. Video games. Luckily there’s a big list of personal computer doodads which cover similar topics to Bandersnatch and have a little more to say.


A little text placeholder generator of Jeff Goldblum awesomeness.

HTTBey Status Codes

Beyoncé-inspired HTTP Status Codes