Ark Nova

Some notes about the boardgame Ark Nova: I was a little dubious about this game when I saw the Kickstarter for it. Some aspects were intriguing, but appeared to include a couple of mechanisms that I tend not to like: polyomino tile arrangement and worker placement. (But see below.) And the zoo-development theme didn’t really […]

Cleaning out the plastic-utensils cupboard

Yesterday, I noticed that my silverware drawer was getting hard to close, because restaurant-takeout disposable chopsticks and drinking straws were getting in the way. (I’ll note upfront that this is not an advice-request post; also, please be careful in your comments not to imply that reduction of clutter is inherently or universally good or positive […]

What I’ve been up to

There’s lots that I want to write about, but also lots that I want to do today, so maybe I’ll try a quick-ish (but still on the long side) what-I’ve-been-up-to post and then go try to do some stuff. This is meant as a description of what I’m up to, not as requests for advice. […]


I saw a list on CNN of “some of the major concessions and promises McCarthy has made over the course of the negotiations, according to CNN reporting.” So below is a different list: some of the major concessions and promises McCarthy has made over the course of the negotiations, according to JED reporting. Any member […]

That was the week that wasn’t

I’ve been off work this week. Which has been really nice, but I’ve done very little of what I planned to do with my time off. And that’s fine; rest and relaxation are good. I don’t need to be productive all the time. But even so, it does feel a little like the week slipped […]

Last night’s Vienna Teng concert

Last night’s Vienna Teng concert at the Freight & Salvage, which I watched on livestream, was lovely. The opening act was a singer/songwriter named Alex Wong, a friend and collaborator of Teng’s. I completely forgot about the concert until 45 minutes after the start time, so I missed most of his performance, but I liked […]

AI text completion from 2019

In 2019, a friend pointed to a web interface for talking to an AI. At the time, I tried interacting with it a bit; here are four of those interactions. That system wasn’t nearly as sophisticated as ChatGPT, but it was fun. The first two responses end abruptly, because the system is set to stop […]

Twain on Harriet Shelley

(Content warning for mention of suicide.) The Complete Essays of Mark Twain includes a long 1894 piece titled “In Defense of Harriet Shelley.” Twain had just encountered Edward Dowden’s book The Life of Percy Bysshe Shelley; in addition to objecting to Dowden’s florid writing style, Twain objected very strongly to Dowden’s insinuation that Percy Shelley’s […]