Links for June 21, 2017

Off the Sideline, Into the NBA Analyst’s Chair

Hair short and fingernails short, Meyers Drysdale and Ready sat midcourt in Phoenix’s Talking Stick Resort Arena.... The basketball was clearly not breaking any records that evening. That honor was reserved for Ready and Meyers Drysdale, nearly 40 years after the latter stepped into the Pacers booth. They were two female analysts working the same game for the first time in history. Two women putting an end to first times.

The most powerful woman in sports

By the start of the 2016-17 season, it was clear that the Lakers needed a change. Jim had promised to step down at the end of the season if the Lakers didn’t make a playoff run. By January, it was obvious there would be no turnaround. Jeanie and [Magic] Johnson had dinner that month. On Feb. 21, she fired Kupchak and her brother Jim.... To resolve the litigation, the brothers canceled the board election and signed documents ensuring that Jeanie would be the team’s controlling owner for the rest of her life. Both were removed as trustees of the Buss Family Trusts, replaced by their sister Janie and half-brother Joey.

Gamecube startup 4 billion times.

Links for June 14, 2017

Rank Your Records: Bob Stanley Expertly Appraises Saint Etienne’s Eight Full-Lengths

But the reason why Sarah became a permanent singer was because we got on very well, her voice suited our music perfectly, and we had similar reference points. It just really clicked. Originally, we followed the Soul II Soul and Massive Attack models, where they had different singers on their records. Soul II Soul were kind of the blueprint, but then they started doing all of their songs with Caron Wheeler, so it made sense. If you find the singer you get on with, and her voice suits the music, you carry on with her. So it was as simple as that, and we’re still best mates today!

The Near-Sighted Monkey, Dear Students, I was a kid growing up in a…

There was something about the life on the other side of that circle that looked pretty good. For kids like me there was a map and a compass hidden in Family Circus. The parents in that comic strip really loved their children. Their home was stable. It put that image in my head and I kept it.... I’ve seen that world through my side of the circle for over 50 years. This weekend at the 71st annual National Cartoonist’s Society Conference, I found out that Jeff Keane inked me into life INSIDE that circle.

Batman: The Animated Series (1992)

Most significant, however, is how the titles end. In the mini-pilot we end with Batman fleeing the police, his back to us. In the Animated Series opening sequence, he is long gone when the police arrive and we get that definitive shot: Batman on top of the roof facing us and the city, a force of nature like the lighting behind him. It’s an image that evokes both the lightning strike on the cover of The Dark Knight Returns, and the final shot of Tim Burton’s first Batman movie.

Links for June 12, 2017

The Secret Life of Urban Crows

This, according to Swift, is what its like to attend a crow funeral—an instinctive ritual that evolved generations ago and was just discovered by humans; Swift coauthored an article on her findings in the journal Animal Behaviour in 2015. The gist: Upon spotting one of its dead, the flock attends to the fallen bird en masse with loud shrieking. Given enough time the throng will mob any predator it thinks is responsible, like say, a human in a Dick Cheney mask, or in a mask like the one Swift had in her bag (the lab affectionately refers to that be-soul-patched fellow as Joe).

(see also: Gifts)

Marin County Planners Play 'The Game of Floods'


Designed to be played at a community meeting or workshop, the Game of Floods invites residents to play the role of planning commissioners weighing adaptation strategies against the very wet future of a hypothetical “Marin Island.” It’s a resource-management game, in the style of Settlers of Catan: There’s a hexagonal playing board with colorfully mapped flood zones; players choose community “assets” that they commit to protecting, such as a seabird colony, a parking lot, or an electrical sub-station.


Links for June 4, 2017

Dragons Are for White Kids with Money: On the Friction of Geekdom and Race

On the one hand, I can run a D&D campaign about how poorly certain races like half-elves are treated, and my group will rail against the injustice of it all, but if I bring up any real-world situation of inequality, I get the cold shoulder at best or at worst booed down and given “focus on the game” lectures. As Junot Díaz allegedly said: “Motherfuckers will read a book that’s 1/3 in Elvish, but put in two lines of Spanish and [white people] think we’re taking over.”

Star Trek: Discovery and Michelle Yeoh’s accent

This line might seem innocuous, and it is. But that didn’t stop me from bursting into tears the second I heard Yeoh deliver the line. Why? Because Michelle Yeoh kept her accent.

Alamo Drafthouse Apologizes for Starting Manpocalypse With Women-Only Screening

Each woman pulled a similar double-edged axe from under her seat. We do not know where they came from. We did not put them there. The Alamo Drafthouse did not arm the first Amazon Death Squad. We want to make that perfectly clear.

Links for May 20, 2017

How Missy Elliott Became an Icon

But what makes her iconic is not the numbers; it is what she empowers in others. Missy was always aware of her worth, her real worth—not the fluff or the proxies for currency and confidence that most people depend on. She always expressed what so many of us feel on the inside but have no model for how to display.... This is the stuff that makes her Missy Elliott, the legend. It is a demand for privacy, but also a sign of wisdom. She’s kept our eyes on the prize. She seemed to know early on that the only thing that matters is the work, and it can look fun. But ultimately, the relentlessness and the far-reachingness of it are what have kept her in orbit.

SoundWorks Collection: The Sound and Music of Resident Evil 7 – using Musique Concrète techniques for game audio.


I started simple, and cooked them over-medium, with just a sprinkling of black pepper and minced chives, serving it over sprouted bread with half an avocado.

Outside, the dog barked skyward.

Links for May 11, 2017

From Virginia Woolf to George Sand: The Case for the 'Flâneuse'

For women, perhaps being in the city and walking is a form of extreme un-detachment, being emotionally bound up in everything that’s happening in your environment. I started discovering more and more women like Gellhorn, Marie Bashkirtseff for example, and feeling that a woman often uses the city as a testing ground, a place for her to prove her independence or help her break away from her family. The urban space was never neutral for women; it has always been charged.

Love & breadsticks: There was a knife fight at Olive Garden

I went on a date last night and the guy meekly shared that he used to be THE GENERAL MANAGER FOR THE TIMES SQUARE OLIVE GARDEN. Clearly, he’d seen some shit. So the next hour and a half was me asking questions. I tried to do y’all right.

Music for 18 Musicians - Steve Reich ; Video clip made with Machine Learning.

Links for May 6, 2017

The Dark Secret at the Heart of AI

There’s already an argument that being able to interrogate an AI system about how it reached its conclusions is a fundamental legal right. Starting in the summer of 2018, the European Union may require that companies be able to give users an explanation for decisions that automated systems reach. This might be impossible, even for systems that seem relatively simple on the surface, such as the apps and websites that use deep learning to serve ads or recommend songs. The computers that run those services have programmed themselves, and they have done it in ways we cannot understand. Even the engineers who build these apps cannot fully explain their behavior.

The Myth of a Superhuman AI

Human minds are societies of minds, in the words of Marvin Minsky. We run on ecosystems of thinking. We contain multiple species of cognition that do many types of thinking: deduction, induction, symbolic reasoning, emotional intelligence, spacial logic, short-term memory, and long-term memory. The entire nervous system in our gut is also a type of brain with its own mode of cognition. We don’t really think with just our brain; rather, we think with our whole bodies.

Howler Monkey by Meier & Erdmann

Links for April 29, 2017

'Survivor': Zeke Smith Outed as Transgender

I remember walking into Tribal Council that night. I remember the smell of the kerosene in our torches. I remember the smug smirk on his face and the gleam in his eye when he turned to me and snarled, “Why haven’t you told anyone that you’re transgender?”… Survivor had spun out of control. That’s the risk you take when you dance in the ethical borderlands, where you’ll betray a friend, swear on your mother and lie to a priest, all before you eat whatever meager crumbs count as breakfast. In Survivor, much is permissible which is typically objectionable, but there are limits, as there should be on a family-friendly reality show on network television.

The End of Men? Not in the Retail Sector

Contrary to the feminine triumphalism that declares traditionally male skills obsolete, the economy is full of surprises and cross-currents. In the retailing world, demand for people-pleasing sales clerks is down.... Meanwhile, demand for merchandise-moving warehouse workers and, at least until self-driving trucks and drones show up, delivery drivers is rising. That’s good news for less-educated men.

Video: CNY bowler sets world record by rolling 300 game in 86.9 seconds

Links for April 25, 2017

How sign language innovators are bringing music to the deaf

Playing roguelikes when you can’t see

Roguelikes have something that games like Skyrim and The Witcher lack – an ASCII interface. The visuals are unimportant, almost an afterthought. Sighted players must learn how to see through them, and use their imaginations to fill in the % signs and capital Bs as carrion and beetles. For many, this barrier is too high, but Moritz has never lacked imagination. For him, ASCII interfaces are a foot in the door, because they can be read aloud by screen readers – and he can picture the rest.

Biisuke Ball's Big Adventure Part 2

Links for April 22, 2017

Closing Communities: FFFFOUND! vs MLKSHK

MLTSHP (pronounced “malt shop”) is a volunteer-run effort to transition the community to a new home under a new name. Amber and Andre gave the code, assets, and anonymized database to a small workgroup of volunteers, who open-sourced the code with permission and raised over $3,000 in a fund drive to cover startup costs to get it off the ground.

Games that might have been

A couple of years ago someone attempted to make a list of every video game ever made, and put it in a 6.5MB flat file. Like any sensible person, I used it to train a recurrent neural network.

Dwitter – JS/Canvas sketching in the space of a tweet.

A Mind Is Born

Making a demo in just 256 bytes would be a formidable challenge regardless of platform. A Mind Is Born is my attempt to do it on the Commodore 64. In the absence of an actual 256-byte compo, it was submitted to the Oldskool 4K Intro compo at Revision 2017, where it ended up on 1st place.