The Monster List of Books 2017

bookstackI didn’t manage to read enough during Twenty-Seventeen. Including books I re-read, books I began but didn’t finish, and books I read for the first time, I read a paltry thirty-nine books, which was still somehow more than last year. If you subtract the ones I didn’t finish (nine) I still managed more than last year. A miracle. If only I was ten again. I had plenty of time to read then. Out of school, when I should have been asleep, in school, during Maths… Continue reading “The Monster List of Books 2017”

Resurrected Elephant Revisited and General Social Media Post-Mortem

funny-2935405_640Oh, cool, Chnerk Mandog joined Mastodon. Honest.

It’s interesting; as another non-techy person, Chuck’s initial experience seems to have been largely like mine. “Hey this is neat, with caveats.”

I stopped using Mastodon a few months ago because trying to use four networks at the same time was like trying juggle four cannisters of other people’s shit; it makes you anxious and you’re bound to get some on you.

Then a little after that I stopped using social media almost altogether, and I’m still in that limbo. These blog posts get auto-cross-posted, (I know it’s not a word, that’s why I frankensteined it together with hyphens), and I sometimes go on Twitter or Instagram to check they’re still there, but otherwise, I’m social media free, at least in my personal life.

I’m still not sure whether that’s a long term thing. The idea of deleting my accounts altogether seems drastic. Continue reading “Resurrected Elephant Revisited and General Social Media Post-Mortem”

Live-stream North American Beaver Dissection

Ever wanted to see what’s inside a beaver, or learn how specimens are prepared for museum collections? Well here’s your chance!

Over at The Brain Scoop, Emily Graslie and Lauren Smith did a live dissection of a North American Beaver (Castor canadensis). It’s like a Magic School Bus trip into a beaver, but with more blood and guts. Continue reading “Live-stream North American Beaver Dissection”

Wednesday Morning Thriller 4EVR – Music Round-Up

I’m social media tee-total, but I still get the desire to share stuff that I like. Here’s the music I’ve been into this quarter.

It’s been eight weeks since I stopped using social media, except for two or three browsings of five minutes apiece. What? I’m human. I lapse.

It’s been… well, it hasn’t really been anything. I can’t say that it’s been a revelation, nor has it impacted my life negatively. I’ve simply compulsively used other things to fill the time that I would have compulsively, mindlessly, spent on social media. That says more about me than it does about social media. Either way, unless something makes it a real benefit to use, I can’t see myself going back any time soon.

If you see something here that makes you think “Oh, if he likes that, he’ll love this”, please share it in the comments, I love sharing like that. Don’t be bummed out if I’m not into it though.

Beautifully Unconventional – Wolf Alice

I loved ‘My Love is Cool’, so when I found out Wolf Alice had another album out, I was a happy boy. I haven’t had chance to listen to it all yet, but Beautifully Unconventional struck me. It’s not revolutionary, but I like it; I really like Ellie Rowsell’s voice. Continue reading “Wednesday Morning Thriller 4EVR – Music Round-Up”

Toot Toot Tweet Tweet

I’ve been trying out a new social media site, here’s a few thoughts. A caveat: I’m not a software developer or a user researcher. This is just going to be my user experience, your mileage may vary. Do a Bruce Lee and take what you can use, leave what you can’t.

Animal Noise Onomatopoeias

I’ve been looking for new social media platforms for a while now. About a year ago I signed up to Ello, but something didn’t click and I’ve never used it. Recently, however, I came across Mastodon, a Twitter alternative.

On Mastodon, posts are ‘toots’, (you know, like the noise a prehistorical elephant might make) and have a limit of five hundred characters. Unlike Twitter the site is decentralised, meaning that it’s run on many servers (called instances, numbering over a thousand at time of writing), instead of one at Twitter HQ. You can follow people and browse hashtags to find new users.  Continue reading “Toot Toot Tweet Tweet”