Blaseball

This year’s Hugo ballot has a (one-year-only) Best Video Game category. I had heard of (but not played) most of the nominated games, but was curious about one in particular that I had never heard of: Blaseball. Turns out that it’s a free, web-based “absurdist […] take on fantasy baseball,” in which you bet imaginary […]

Accessibility in online gathering spaces like Gather and Kumospace

I’m seeing reactions that I think are worth signal-boosting regarding conventions held in virtual spaces like Gather (aka GatherTown) and Kumospace. The core of the issue is that although those kinds of spaces may be really useful and accessible for some people, they’re really inaccessible and hard to use for a lot of other people. […]

Google’s conversational AI, the Turing Test, and equity

In early 2020, Google posted about Meena, “a Conversational Agent that Can Chat About…Anything.” The post gets fairly technical, but it also includes two brief sample dialogues with Meena in which Meena pretty much passes the Turing Test as far as I’m concerned. (In one dialogue, Meena makes a couple of on-topic puns; in the […]

Recently acquired boardgames

I’ve acquired a ridiculous number of boardgames lately—eight of them in the past three weeks. (I bought 11 boardgames in all of last year, and most of those were near the end of the year.) Which I’m calling ridiculous partly because I’ve run out of space on my boardgames bookcase, but mostly because I’m unlikely […]

Free books again

More books! Free to a good home. Let me know if you want any of these. Also some VHS tapes. (At the end of this post.) This list contains about 50 new items since the previous list I posted (in November). A total of about 260 items here (minus however many have been claimed since […]

The Prius saga continues

Yesterday morning, the car saga continued. Here’s the backstory, some of which I’ve posted before (but maybe only on Facebook rather than here, not sure): For complicated reasons, my 2005 Prius is in Chicago. The screen of the touchscreen system in the middle of the dashboard (the “multi-function display,” or MFD) has had some sun […]

My history with tabletop roleplaying games

This started out as a Facebook comment about my history with story/plot in RPGs, in response to a discussion between Ben and Kel in comments on a post of Mary Anne’s; but it got long and sort of morphed into a broad overview of my history with RPGs. (In this post, I’m using the term […]

Equinox

The spring equinox here in the northern hemisphere occurred about eight hours ago. I know there are many reasons to not feel particularly celebratory right now, but I’m nonetheless posting my traditional spring quotation of Swinburne: For winter’s rains and ruins are over, And all the season of snows and sins; The days dividing lover […]

Guidelines for writing image descriptions

Social media posts these days often include image descriptions, which is great. But some image descriptions focus so much on describing every detail of the image that they obscure the main point of the image. So below are a couple of links to useful guidelines about how to write a good image description, both of […]

Tiny cute 2TB portable hard drive

For this trip, I decided it would be a good idea to have a portable external hard drive to back up to. (I also keep remote backups via Backblaze, but I wanted to be able to use Time Machine.) So I bought a 2TB Western Digital My Passport SSD. And I’m amazed at both its […]

Ted Lasso

The other day I saw a list of recommended Apple TV+ shows, and on the list was a show called Ted Lasso. It looked like something I would never have the slightest interest in, so I moved on. Short version of this post: I was wrong; it turns out to be a remarkable and lovely […]