GPT-3 is publicly available!

I just found out that the amazing text generator GPT-3 was opened to the public months ago! To use it, you need to sign up for an OpenAI account. If you have an account already (for access to DALL-E 2, for example), then you can use that account. If not, it looks like you can […]

Family letters: May–August 1974

This week in my family history project: A letter from Peter preparing for a visit from his parents; a placeholder postcard from Marcy; a note from me to say that two of the foster kids had bullied me once; and a pair of letters from Marcy giving updates on all sorts of topics—the foster kids, […]

Refrigeration, bananas, and truth

When I was a kid, anytime the subject of bananas came up, my father would sing a little jingle, to which the words were: Chiquita Banana says you must never never put your bananas in the refrigerator. And so my entire life, I have taken as absolute fact the idea that bananas must never go […]

Family letters: April–May 1974

This week in my family history project: Three brief notes from me, hand-written in large shaky block capitals. Also a long letter from Peter that consists largely of an extended quote from the I Ching. April, 1974 In which I (having just turned 6) like Star Trek, and I have four foster brothers. Also: “I […]

Guitar-teaching app: Justin Guitar

About six months ago, I started to learn how to play guitar using the Simply Guitar iOS app, made by the same people who make the excellent Simply Piano app for piano learning. I’ve been using Simply Piano for a couple years now, and I mostly love it. Unfortunately, I don’t love Simply Guitar. My […]

Althist translation

Some thoughts about a particular alternate-history TV show (that I mostly like, despite my dubiousness here): Imagine an alternate history in which a major event changed the world over 300 years ago, especially changing North America’s subsequent history in a big way. The change was so big that (for example) although the Revolutionary War still […]

Two culinary adventures

Note: I almost never do anything that remotely resembles cooking, so what counts as an adventure for me is pretty low on the adventure scale for many other people. (No advice, please.) 1. A couple of times recently, I’ve acquired a bundle of scallions. I’ve then occasionally chopped one up and mixed it in with […]

Boardgame review/thoughts: Supernova (2021)

I backed Supernova on Kickstarter, and I really like the idea of it: spaceships moving inward on a spiral path, harvesting energy cubes moving outward on the same spiral path. Loosely “inspired by the ancient Egyptian game of Mehen” (which did not involve spaceships). But Kam and I have now played it a couple of […]

Family letters: January–February 1974

This week in my family history project: Life updates and thank-yous, and a piece of kid art. January 22, 1974 Peter to George: “I’d very much enjoy listening to a tape of some of your [organ] repertoire; no matter what style you played, to me it would always be ‘pop music.’” …and other assorted notes […]