Prose writing on general subjects.

Bard on Lotto

April 19, 2023

I asked Google Bard, “What are the odds of winning the Washington State Lotto jackpot?” Its reply began with two sentences:

On Twitter and POSSE

April 26, 2022

For indie media types, earthquakes in a platform are a reminder of the value of a multi-platform strategy that includes cross-posting and cross-platform network activation. POSSE: Publish Own Site, Syndicate Elsewhere.

On Discord and Community

April 25, 2022

I enjoy Discord as a supplement to a community but I absolutely hate it for anything else. Discord communities have the memory of a goldfish. It’s extremely frustrating to pump energy into it when it mostly goes into a black hole.…

How to get started in explainer videos

July 17, 2021

Excellent advice on how to get started in explainer videos, from 3b1b’s Grant Sanderson (no relation). Plus motivation to make your first math explainer! And a new podcast on online science education! The Summer of Math Exposition…

On checks in crosswords

May 17, 2021

A nuanced take on the Sunday #nytxw without having read anyone else’s: One of my favorite things to learn about puzzle construction is how important multiple checks are to the solving process. Crossers, spelling rules, and wordplay idioms augment trivia and world knowledge.

On the Bee's "missing" words

March 22, 2021

I know harassing the #nytbee for “missing” words is a Twitter pastime, but it’s worth asking: would Spelling Bee be better with longer word lists? Is it a better experience if a word you’ve never heard of is required to get to Genius? To Queen Bee?

This is the Mitsubishi ductless air conditioner/heater remote control.

November 23, 2020

This is the Mitsubishi ductless air conditioner/heater remote control.

To turn it on, press the OFF/ON button. To turn it off, press the OFF/ON button.

To cool the air, press the TOO WARM (aka “down”) button. To warm the air, press the TOO COOL (aka “up”) button.

On magic and theatre

November 16, 2020

The film adaptation of In & Of Itself by @derek_del and @TheFrankOzJam is a cinematic achievement that recreates the intimacy and teetering vulnerability of the 2016 stage show. It’s breathtaking.…

On social distancing

March 15, 2020

There are strong economic, inertial, and social forces at play keeping people from acknowledging the importance of social distancing. Clubs, coffee shops, movie/stage theaters are still open because they have to wait for govt order to close……

The Black Dog Mystery, by Ellery Queen Jr.

November 16, 2019

The Black Dog Mystery, by Ellery Queen Jr. Queen is both the author pseudonym and main character of a series of mystery novels; the Jr name was used for several juvenile novels. This Black Dog 1st ed includes drawings by William Sanderson.