Blog

Rewatching Pixar short films

I rewatched lots of Pixar shorts the other night. So much of Pixar’s storytelling is fixating on parenting, growing up, child development. Also it seems like each Pixar short is some kind of experiment in animation or storytelling. A great example is Piper, the story of a sandpiper on a beach learning to find shells in the sand. The animation of the surf, and the sand with all its different consistencies and levels of water saturation is amazing.

Boys State

We watched Boys State this week. It’s a documentary that follows a cohort of Texan teenage boys going through an intense one-week political bootcamp at the Texas state capitol. They’re divided randomly into two parties*, given lessons in the state constitution, and then they run a compressed set of elections for party chairmen, gubernatorial candidates, and ultimately for state governor. I really enjoyed it, though I felt myself predictably enamoured with the charismatic and thoughtful liberals Steven and René.

Week Notes - 7th September 2020

Ideally all the books in the API should stay in the store even if they haven’t been included on any of the named shelves in the last Goodreads scrape. When a new scrape is run it would add any books that don’t appear, shift any books that are in the store but don’t appear in the latest scrape to a no-shelf status (representing books I know about but have no relation with, I guess).

Accessible Buzzfeed

This article was originally published on the BuzzFeed Tech Blog Header image by Devin Argenta Last month, external accessibility experts certified buzzfeed.com as compliant with the best accessibility practices for the web. That simple statement, ripped straight from the headlines of a boilerplate internal email, does not do justice to the two-year process that brought us to that point. Nor does it embody what the achievement means to our team, especially myself, on a personal level.

Swimming Notes

The swimmable water in Iona harbour, because I don’t have a photo of my pool I’ve grown up with a Pavlovian connection between swimming pools and chocolate bars. When I was a kid I was often taken to the local swimming baths and would stage a successful whinging campaign afterwards to be given 50p for a chocolate bar from the vending machine in the lobby of the baths.

Scraps from the Isle of Mull

Machair behind the dunes at Salen Bay, Mull A few weeks ago I went camping in Scotland. Below are some scraps I wrote down while I was on the Isle of Mull. There are significant magnetic anomalies around the islands of St. Kilda. The name St. Kilda is an oddity: there is no such saint. One theory is that it comes from “sunt kelda”, Norse for sweet wellwater.

George Floyd Protester Relief Resources

I’ve been struggling to keep track of links to the relief funds established for Black Lives Matter activists across the USA who’ve been arrested, injured, or killed by the police. I’m throwing them up here, with sources linked at the end, to keep track of them for myself and for others who are struggling to pull them out of Twitter. For now, I’ve donated to the Brooklyn Bail Fund. Update (2nd June 2020) There’s now an even easier way to donate to a wider range of organisations fighting for this cause.

Getting off of Netlify

I wanted to quickly follow up to my recent post about personal infrastructure with some updates I made this week. Why the change I got a warning last week that I was almost at the limit for my allocation of “build minutes” on Netlify. Upon investigation, I found that my personal website had been building too often and for too long on Netlify, and that soon they would start charging me for the overages.

How this site works

Note: There’s a follow up to this because I’ve since made more changes to the infrastructure of the site. Read more. I’ve been slowly moving over to self-hosting more services and trying to balance that with personal convenience. This post is a quick summary of the current setup I have running to do the following: Develop and run my personal website Cross-post certain types of content from my website to Twitter Periodically scrape a couple of proprietary services I use, to keep track of the media I’m consuming Store and serve that data along with some other personal data in an API Regularly update my personal website with the latest in my media consumption Personal website My website is built on Hugo, a static suite builder written in Go.

The bedsheets may be in use elsewhere?

I’m reading the epic biography of Robert Moses, The Power Broker, at the moment. At the moment it’s the 1920s and Moses is trying to wrestle swathes of land off the robber barons who’ve built their manor houses on Long Island, so that he can build extensive park systems and a parkway to connect them to the city. It’s a mammoth book but I’m really enjoying it. The 1920s is an interesting era in American history not just because of my teenage obsession with The Great Gatsby and the associated milieu, but because it’s also a period when the Klan were incredibly active in white, Protestant communities all over the country, and because it’s when the robber barons of the Gilded Age were really trying to hand onto their wealth.