My Writing/Drawing Process

posted by Edith Zimmerman Nov 30, 2023

Note: I accidentally published this already, but I managed to back-date it to yesterday, so I deleted and am republishing. I apologize.

In the comments section yesterday, Caroline G. asked:

Really interested in knowing more about your writing/journaling/drawing process and practice!

And because I love being asked questions, I thought I would respond in a post!

Basically first thing each morning I drink coffee and draw for an hour or so. I usually draw whatever seems memorable from the day before. This is like three days worth of the journal comics:
The habit started about seven years ago when I stopped drinking and found I had a lot of energy in the morning, and that I really enjoyed doing something manual while I drank a ton of coffee. So I began keeping a traditional journal, and then I started a second journal for sketching (following the classic sober advice of “you might still like doing the stuff you liked doing as a kid”), and eventually the two journals melded into one. Also I was reading a lot of Julia Wertz and Gabrielle Bell, whose work and diary comics have been very influential.

I started posting a few of the comics to an Instagram account in 2017, and I enjoyed doing that so much that in 2019 I quit my job to publish the comics to a newsletter instead, with the hope that I might one day charge people to read it and make a living doing so. That never quite happened (the making-a-living part), but it was going well and growing, until eventually the whole thing started to crumble, for reasons that are still not totally clear to me. But basically I stopped liking my work. I think I was shaping it to try to appeal to people. Or I had lost sight of something. Or both. Or something else. Also I had a baby who was turning into a toddler, and it was easy to accept being a stay-at-home-mom as an identity.

But I kept doing the journal comics, just privately. And a year+ passed, and then Jason Kottke asked me to guest-blog for him, and it got me thinking I might get back into publishing things again! (Plus some other factors, like general boredom and hunger for a project.) I’d love to find a new rhythm for my own newsletter, and I have a few ideas about how I might do it.

On a more technical aspect, I use Micron pens (size 01) and Staedtler Ergosoft colored pencils, on Borden & Riley Paris Paper No. 234. I scan it all in using a Canon LiDE 220 scanner and then tweak it using the Preview application on my MacBook.

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Not long ago, when I ordered a café au lait in downtown Washington, I was told my lait choices were oat, soy, or almond. “I’ll take regular whole milk,” I said. “Sorry, we don’t have that,” the barista replied.

My mind was blown in this entertaining Natalie Angier review of a new book on milk. (“Spoiled: The Myth of Milk as Superfood,” by Anne Mendelson.)
via nybooks.com

A Diet of Media Diets

posted by Edith Zimmerman Nov 30, 2023

When Jason asked me to guest-blog for him, one of my first thoughts was, Omg I get to do a MEDIA DIET!!! However my recent book/TV consumption has mostly been straight P.D. James novels (fantastic, A+), with sides of C.J. Sansom and Sesame Street.

But I do have a mini-diet of media-diet features:

I also read a lot of newsletters, and after years of subscribing and unsubscribing, I can wholeheartedly recommend the following, most of which will probably not be new to Kottke readers, but just in case:

ParentData, by Emily Oster
Evil Witches, by Claire Zulkey

Culture & Criticism
Today in Tabs, by Rusty Foster
The Ruffian, by Ian Leslie
The Browser, by Robert Cottrell and Caroline Crampton
Christian Lorentzen’s Diary, by Christian Lorentzen
The Culture We Deserve, by Jessa Crispin
The Real Sarah Miller, by Sarah Miller

Celeb Gossip
Gossip Time, by Allie Jones
Hung Up, by Hunter Harris

The Half Marathoner (running), by Terrell Johnson
The Unpublishable (beauty), by Jessica DeFino
Ground Condition (home goods, design, shopping), by Kelsey Keith
Dearest (antique jewelry), by Monica McLaughlin

Diary Comics, Oct. 30 & 31

posted by Edith Zimmerman Nov 30, 2023

I’m enjoying sharing some of these more-recent comics on this site. This one basically picks up after yesterday’s left off. Maybe I will try to keep up a string of them until it’s time for me to go.

Cultural Achievements Inspired by Lice: Laura Hazard Owen, editor of Nieman Lab, recently republished a personal essay about getting lice, in her newsletter. And on YouTube, the ASMRtist Latte’s wonderful video “School Nurse Lice Check” now has more than 21 million views. Both are great!

How to Clean Mold From Bath Toys. In case anyone is in a similar boat, I tried the “put toys in the dishwasher” suggestion, but it didn’t work as well as I’d hoped (but it was pretty good), so I tried the “soak toys for hours in a tub with vinegar and water” suggestion. Also not an obvious success, but maybe I didn’t have enough vinegar. Or maybe I just let the toys get too moldy.

via webmd.com

Alex Tomlinson’s Bird Art

posted by Edith Zimmerman Nov 30, 2023

alex-tomlinson-bird-art.jpgI came across Alex Tomlinson’s work on Instagram one day in 2022 (it was featured on Audubon Society merch, which I bought immediately), and have been enjoying it ever since. I’m having one of his “Red-Eyed Birds of North America” posters framed as a gift for myself this Christmas! He also sells tons of cards, stickers, and apparel on his website. [hootalexarchive/pigeonpost]

Running Pregnant

posted by Edith Zimmerman Nov 30, 2023

A comic from 2021.

Portrait Candles

posted by Edith Zimmerman Nov 29, 2023

For my husband’s birthday, I got him a candle sculpted to look like us, by the artist Janie Korn. It’s brought a lot of joy. She also makes custom pet and house candles, as well as cookie, cigarette, and Marie Antoinette candles, among many others. [Janie Korn]

I’m a megafan of the newsletter The Culture We Deserve, by Jessa Crispin (formerly of Bookslut). I spent most of an entire therapy session discussing a line and a half from an installment a few weeks back: “…online creators need to start developing a healthy amount of contempt for their audiences. Because your audience has contempt for you!” Pairs well with Becca Rothfeld’s essay on condescension in the Yale Review. (“Why do public intellectuals condescend to their readers?”)

“Anti-aging is a disappointing pursuit. … There is no point at which the anti-aging will have worked – when you look in the mirror and say, ‘I’ve done it! I’m anti-aged!’ Once you buy into the concept of anti-aging, you buy in forevermore.” That’s from the first installment of Ask Ugly, an advice column by Jessica DeFino, in The Guardian’s new Wellness section. (And in response to the question “Should I get Botox?”) DeFino’s beauty newsletter, The Unpublishable, is also great.

via theguardian.com

The Day Jason Asked Me to Guest-Edit This Site (Comic)

posted by Edith Zimmerman Nov 29, 2023

A journal entry from last month. I was hoping it would be more interesting, but I’m just going to keep throwing things up here and seeing what happens.

“I woke up one morning and realized that all I wanted to do was drink.” That’s from the “Ask a Sober Oldster” Q&A series, which is a collaboration between the newsletters Oldster Magazine, by Sari Botton, and The Small Bow, by A.J. Daulerio. (I’m biased because I do the illustrations, but I truly enjoy the interviews.) There have been six installments so far, and I think my favorite is No. 4. Or maybe No. 5. Also No. 2. Really all of them.

via oldster.substack.com

Knitting Traditional Maine Mittens

posted by Edith Zimmerman Nov 29, 2023

ez-mitten-compilation copy.jpg
Shortly after I learned to knit, a friend suggested I find the 1983 book Fox & Geese & Fences: A Collection of Traditional Maine Mittens, by Robin Hansen, and make her a pair. I did, it was a wonderful experience, and I have been knitting mittens from the book ever since (some pictured above). They are exceptionally warm and durable. A bonus is that the patterns are written with a kind of common sense that for me at least made a few steps feel like fun puzzles. (What does she mean by “K both colors, gray then red, into the st that should have been gray”?? … ohhHHhhh!!!)

I found the book used on Amazon, but other books of Hansen’s are available on her website. My favorite pattern to make is “Sawtooth” (various above and below), but the best are maybe the “Safe Home” ones (center left), found elsewhere online. [thx Cecilia!] Oh also: Pair with Maine’s Bartlett Yarns – perfection.

Okay one more shot, these are my everyday mittens, I think I’ve been wearing these for the past five winters (Sawtooth pattern). Glorious!

Dolly Parton on “Jolene”: “…to have someone love a man so much that she would, rather than giving him up and being mad about him having an affair, but loving him enough to understand how he would fall in love with someone else because they’re that beautiful. … People thought it was a very honest, open, and humble kind of song about the subject.” I’ve always wondered about that aspect of the lyrics. Maybe that’s something to aspire to, but I don’t really get it. Obviously I love the song. [vulture]

via vulture.com

Hello! And a Comic About a Bear

posted by Edith Zimmerman Nov 29, 2023

Hello, I’m Edith! I love this site, and I’m excited to be here. (Thanks, Jason!) I haven’t blogged like this for more than a decade, so I hope I’m not too rusty. Please feel free to email me any tips; I would be delighted to get them.

As Jason mentioned, since 2019 I’ve been sending a comics newsletter called Drawing Links, although it’s been on hiatus since last fall. However, I’m going to try running some old comics here – see below – in the hopes of working up momentum to bring my newsletter back. We’ll see how it goes!

More about me?? I’m originally from Cambridge, MA, and although I lived for 16 years in Brooklyn, a couple years ago my husband and I moved to a small town in upstate New York, not too far from Albany. We are now expecting our second daughter, due in a few weeks.

Thanks for reading!

…Okay, I was hoping to hide these comics behind a “read more” page-break button, but it seems Jason’s interface doesn’t have that option, so I guess I’ll be really taking over the main page.

And so, to kick this off, here is a little story about the first time I saw a bear (from 2022):


Please Welcome Edith Zimmerman to the Site

posted by Jason Kottke Nov 28, 2023

Hello everyone. I’m going to be traveling for a few weeks and have invited my friend Edith Zimmerman to guest edit kottke.org while I am gone. Edith was the founding editor of The Hairpin (RIP), wrote a profile of Chris Evans that broke the internet a little bit, and most recently was Drawing Links (on hiatus). You can buy greeting cards featuring her drawings on Etsy. She starts tomorrow — I’m very excited to see what she’s going to do with the site. Welcome, Edith!

Now if you’ll excuse me, I’m off to complete an item from my bucket list: going on a walk with Craig Mod and Kevin Kelly. I will see you back here in mid-December. 👋

Brickception: a Breakout-style game for desktop browsers in which a popup window acts as the paddle for the main window…but there’s also a mini Breakout game in the popup. So awesome.
via waxy.org

The 2023 Kottke Holiday Gift Guide

posted by Jason Kottke Nov 27, 2023

header graphic for the 2023 Kottke Holiday Gift Guide

Itttt’s baaack… After not happening for the past three years, the Kottke Holiday Gift Guide has returned. I’ve scoured the internet and dozens of other gift guides for the best (and sometimes weirdest) stuff out there — it’s a curated meta-guide for your holiday giving. This list is US-centric, link-heavy, and you might see some tried-and-true items that have been featured in previous years. Ok, let’s get to it.

Charitable Giving

First thing’s first: charitable giving should be top-of-mind every holiday season if you can afford it. Giving locally is key. I support our area food shelf year-round, with an extra gift for Thanksgiving and the December holiday; giving money instead of food is best. The kids and I also support Toys for Tots by heading to the local toy store to get some things — they like it because they get to pick out toys and games (they’re thoughtful about deciding which ones would be best).

For national/international giving, do your research. GiveWell has a list of their top charities and Vox has more tips here. Read up on big charities like Red Cross and Salvation Army…they are often not great places to give to. GiveDirectly sends money to people living in extreme poverty around the world. You could contribute to Casey McIntyre’s Memorial & Debt Jubilee — each $1 donated cancels $100 in medical debt for someone in need. I ran across Transanta recently: “Deliver gifts to trans youth in need, safely and anonymously.” I personally give to several organizations, including the National Network of Abortion Funds.

Won’t Someone Think of the Children

photos of some gifts for kids

Some kids and some ages are really easy to shop for. But for those that aren’t, here are some good gifts for the young and young at heart.

Give the gift of sitting at a table for a few hours, listening to quiet music, and sipping on a mug of tea: the JIGGY Puzzle Club. Remember the Babysitter’s Club books from the 80s & 90s? They’re back in the form of graphic novels…my daughter really liked these when she was younger.

I’ve heard some mixed things about the Tidbyt, but I still kinda want one. I definitely want one of these cute Tiny Arcade Pac-Man Arcade Games. I don’t know why it never occurred to me that you could buy climbing holds and just make your own climbing/bouldering wall at home with some plywood.

When our kids were really young, we gave them crayons and they snapped them into a million pieces — these Crayola Palm-Grip Crayons seem like a much better idea. Pencils with Marimekko patterns? Yes, please.

And here’s a great gift for kids that doesn’t require shopping: holiday coupons (like “stay up 20 minutes past bedtime” and “one minute of saying bad words”).

Guides consulted: The Kid Should See This, Youngna Park, The Verge, The Strategist, Cup of Jo

Stuff I Swear By

This is the section where you’re going to see a lot of repeats from past years because this is stuff that I regularly use and love. You’re probably getting tired of me talking about the 2nd-gen Apple AirPods Pro but I use mine every day and they are great. Almost every book I read, I read on the Kindle Paperwhite — it’s light, waterproof, and very travel-friendly.

When cooking, I wear the Headley & Bennett crossback apron and use this 8” chef’s knife from MAC. (I used to use a cheaper knife that got the job done, but the MAC knife is so much better that I’m thinking of getting one of these as well.) The best meal kits I’ve found are the hand-pulled noodles from Xi’an Famous Foods — the price is resonable, thwacking your own noodles is fun, and it tastes exactly like when you get it at the restaurant. And I love my rice cooker — “advanced Neuro Fuzzy logic technology” FTW!

Apple AirTags are super useful for traveling and keeping track of my keys and bags. When I need some art for my walls, I go to 20x200, run by my pal Jen Bekman. For a pleasant atmosphere while working, I often burn a Keap Wood Cabin candle.

See more: The Strategist, The Verge, Wirecutter

Now We’re Cooking

photos of some cooking-related gifts

Here are a few things to help your loved ones outfit their kitchens this holiday season. I got a wok recently and it’s been fun cooking with it — this Joyce Chen carbon steel wok is a great one. (And it pairs well with Kenji López-Alt’s The Wok cookbook). I love this gorgeous Japanese whale butter dish, but this butter crock looks neat as well. I love my Ernest Wright kitchen scissors — and this pair looks equally amazing.

The Ooni Volt electric pizza oven (Amazon) doesn’t give you the smoky flavor of their wood & pellet ovens, but it is unbelievably easy to use and cranks out delicious pies. For smaller savory round foodstuffs, try this Dash Mini Waffle Maker. This tortilla press from Masienda is awfully tempting…it’s hard to find good tortillas here in VT.

Guides consulted: New Yorker, Serious Eats, The Verge, Spoon & Tamago

Various Kottke T-shirts

The Process Tee (aka the Design Squiggle Tee) is available in dark and light fabrics. And what’s this? I’ve reopened ordering on the Kottke Hypertext Tee for the holidays. Huzzah!

Ready to Wear

It gets cold here in Vermont and instead of wearing slippers in the house all day, I wear a thick pair of wool socks because they are unbelievably warm and comfortable. I got mine from a local place, but you can find alternate options on Etsy. Speaking of VT, I thought Darn Tough socks were a local secret, but I found them on multiple gift guides — they’re great for any outdoor activities.

Native-owned OXDX makes a great Native Americans Discovered Columbus t-shirt. My pal Dan sells type- & design-related shirts at Simplebits.

And I give up: everyone loves Crocs. They are comfortable and you can get all sorts of jibbitz to fancy them up — Star Wars, Minecraft, Pokemon, sports, Starbucks, Pixar, Marvel, etc, etc, etc.

Guides consulted: Wirecutter, The Strategist

The Kottke Cinematic Universe

some photos of gifts

Every year, I feature goods and services by people I know, folks who read the site, and from kindred online spirits. My friend Aaron runs an ice cream shop in Somerville called Gracie’s and pays extra attention to the merch. Wondermade sells marshmallows in all sorts of different flavors. Robin Sloan and his partner make extra virgin olive oil in California. My pals at Hella Cocktail Co. have grown quite a bit in the past few years: in addition to bitters, they now sell mixers and bitters & soda in a can.

I’ve been buying art from 20x200 for almost as long as it’s been around. Edith Zimmerman has an Etsy shop with greeting cards featuring her drawings. My friend Jodi Ettenberg sells food maps from various countries in her Legal Nomads shop. My pal Yen sells prints of her art on 20x200. Christoph Niemann is selling a calendar of images called On the Road II. (to be continued below…)

Some Truly Absurd Gifts

You know what time it is: it’s 55-gallon drum of personal lubricant time! One of these years, someone is going to buy one of these off the list and it’s going to make me so happy (for some reason). Maybe you can buy this 80-qt mixing bowl to hold some of it. I bought some Goodr sunglasses for an upcoming trip and noticed they were selling a pair of their sunnies for $10,000 (they came with a custom bike + assorted goodies) but sadly they are out of stock. And perhaps weirdest of all is this $4200 umbilical charing cable for the iPhone. What in the actual f?

Guides consulted: Gizmodo, New Yorker

Richard Scarry Temporary Tattoos!

three Richard Scarry Goldbug tattoos on a kid's arm

I had to break this out into its own thing because when I saw these, I audibly yelped: Richard Scarry temporary tattoos from Tattly. GOLDBUG TATTOOS?! From one of my all-time favorite children’s books? Are you kidding me? Sign me all the way up.

A Guide to Gift Guides

Ok, I’ve mentioned the various gift guides I’ve consulted along the way, but I wanted to list them all because they’re worth checking out — no duds here. The favorite is always The Kid Should See This Gift Guide; hands down the best place to find gifts for curious kids. Another excellent guide for kids is the INSPIRE Engineering Gift Guide from Purdue University. The Verge does a great job with their tech-oriented gift guides. The Wirecutter has tons of lists and I place a lot of trust in their recommendations. The Strategist is great too with a lot of lists and a Gift Scout tool.

For more tech and tech/culture gifts, check out Engadget, Wired, and Tools & Toys. Gizmodo’s gift guides are delightfully offbeat this year.

For food, check out guides from Serious Eats, Food52, and Helen Rosner at the New Yorker.

I always read the gift lists from my pals quite closely: Cup of Jo (+ her new newsletter gift guide), Robin Sloan’s yearly guide, and Youngna Park’s excellent picks for kids, children’s books, and grown-ups.

And finally, here are some guides that don’t quite fit into any of the above categories: Bookriot’s Best Gifts for Readers, Spoon & Tamago’s gift guide of neat things from Japan, Pow Wow’s Native American Holiday Gift Guide, a Google Doc of independent map sellers (one of each from all of these cartographers please), and Evan Applegate’s guide to map-related gifts.

Grab Bag

some photos of gifts

It wouldn’t be kottke.org without a bunch of stuff that’s difficult to categorize. Get your favorite nature lover a 1-year National Parks Pass.. Whoa, check out this intricate maze drawn as a side project over a period of 7 years — now available as a full-scale art print. This gorgeous blanket was designed by Addie Roanhorse, a member of the Osage Nation who worked on Martin Scorsese’s Killers of the Flower Moon.

Nikolas Bentel makes cool things like the pasta box handbag and computer folder wallets. Moo’s Hardcover Notebook is perfect for lefties because it lies flat. Someone you know will love this McDonald’s Happy Meal Box Figural Crossbody Bag. Ponder imperfection and think about the acceptance of defects while you sip your tea with this Kintsugi Cup and Saucer.

This Japanese nail clipper is supposed to be great. This book is right up my alley: The 100 Greatest Retro Videogames: The Inside Stories Behind the Best Games Ever Made. I’d never seen this before: tiny sheets of paper soap for washing your hands while you’re traveling or camping or whatever.

Guides consulted: Tools & Toys, Pow Wows, Spoon & Tamago, Gizmodo, The Strategist, Engadget, New Yorker,

Full STEAM Ahead

Some gifts with a strong science, math, and engineering basis, including How to Explain Coding to a Grown-Up by Ruth Spiro & Teresa Martinez, National Geographic Magnetic Marble Run, Turning Machine strategy game, and ButterflyEdufields 40-in-1 STEM Robotics Projects for Kids 8-12 Years.

Guides consulted: The Kid Should See This, Purdue Engineering

For the Bookish

I haven’t had time to compile my EOY books list yet (and may not get around to it), but books are always the most popular items under our tree. Rapid-fire-style, here are a few titles that caught my gifter’s eye over the past year:

Too Polite to Eat the Last Piece of Cake

some photos of food-related gifts

Food is always a great gift. I’m gonna lead with the Xi’an Famous Foods hand-pulled noodle meal kits, which I’ve also mentioned in the Stuff I Swear By section. Legendary NYC shop Murray’s Cheese has a Mac and Cheese Club (monthly delivery of different kinds of mac & cheese). These milk chocolate sardines are fun stocking stuffers. Momofuku’s Chili Crunch will liven up any meal (try it on avocado toast). Finally, I’ve never had this trio of smoked tinned fish, but it sure sounds amazing.

Guides consulted: Cup of Jo, Serious Eats

The Kottke Cinematic Universe, Phase Two

More goods and services from pals in my little corner of the internet. Moss & Fog and Spoon & Tamago both have shops filled with well-designed products. Andre Torrez makes bags (products here go quickly and may not be in stock). Fitz sells custom-fitted eyeglasses and was inspired in part by a post on kottke.org. Craig Mod’s new book just came out: Things Become Other Things.

During his cancer treatment, Hank Green designed some socks; they’re now for sale, with profits going to help people get access to cancer treatment. OG web designer Dan Cederholm sells fonts and shirts, prints, and other type-related products at Simplebits. Field Notes makes some of the best notebooks around. Ami Baio makes “sweet, kind games to connect people” at Pink Tiger Games. Storyworth helps you compile a book of stories told by a loved one.

Things I Would Like

In the course of compiling these guides, I always run across some stuff I’d like to have, even though I have relatively simple everyday needs. This year, I’ve got my eye on Super Mario Bros. Wonder (while also hoping for a new console from Nintendo soonish) and the Analogue Pocket (alas, sold out). A few years back, I replaced my 27-inch iMac with an M1 MacBook Air & a 24” LG monitor. I love the Air but miss the bigger monitor, so I wouldn’t complain if I found Apple’s Studio Display (or, better yet, the truly bonkers 32” Pro Display XDR) under the tree. But I’d settle for the cheaper LG 27MD5KL-B 27 Inch UltraFine 5K.

Guides consulted: The Verge, The Strategist

Leggo My Legos

closeup view of Hokusai's The Great Wave Lego set

Lego sets are always a huge holiday hit. I’ve had my eye on Hokusai’s The Great Wave set (Amazon) for awhile but I hadn’t seen this NASA Mars Rover Perseverance set (Amazon) with the Ingenuity helicopter — wow. If your household already has too many Legos, check out The Lego Engineer by expert builder Jeff Friesen — he guides you through 30 builds of engineering marvels like bullet trains and skyscrapers.

Guides consulted: Purdue Engineering, The Kid Should See This

Thermometers Are So Hot Right Now

When I’m cooking (like the Thanksgiving turkey for example), I use a couple of different thermometers to make sure nothing gets overcooked: the Thermapen ONE and Combustion’s Predictive Thermometer.

Guide consulted: Serious Eats

Give the Gift of Gift Cards

Let’s destigmatize the gift card: there is no shame in not knowing what to get someone for a gift, even if you know them really well. This is actually the gift of getting someone exactly what they want, even if it’s something practical & lame like razor blade refills, HDMI adapters, or laundry detergent. There’s the obvious Amazon gift card but you can also get cards for Apple (use it for Fitness+ or Apple TV+?), Audible, Fortnite, Snapchat, Airbnb, Disney+, Spotify, Netflix, and Roblox.

Days Gone By

Ok, that’s quite enough to get you started. I’ve got more recommendations that I’ll add in the next few days. If you’re interested, you can also check out my past gift guides from 2019, 2018, 2017, 2016, 2015, 2014, and 2013.

When you buy through links on kottke.org, I may earn an affiliate commission. Thanks for supporting the site!

Relax, Electric Vehicles Really Are the Best Choice for the Climate. “Electric vehicles are like digital cameras in their early iterations. They are already better than the alternative for almost everyone, and improving at a breathtakingly fast clip.”
After OpenAI’s Blowup, It Seems Pretty Clear That ‘AI Safety’ Isn’t a Real Thing. “The long-term fallout from this gripping incident is bound to be a lot less enjoyable than the initial spectacle of it.”
The recipe for the cookies that Sesame Street’s Cookie Monster eats. “They’re edible, but barely.” And they have to be “thin enough to explode in a shower of crumbs”.
Children, left behind by suburbia, need better community design. “Walkable, mixed-use planning is the key to getting young people outside again and enabling their independence.”
This is me every single damn morning: “To hurkle-durkle is to lounge around in bed long after you should have got up.”
Phil Plait on How to Buy Your First Telescope. “If you just want to see the moon, the bright planets and the occasional astronomical event such as a bright comet, then you don’t need anything big and fancy.”
Wow, Taylor Swift’s website from 2002. Includes “dialup” and “broadband” download links to her music.
The opposite of the straw man argument: the steel man technique. “Put simply, it’s building the best form of the other side’s argument and then engaging with it.”
Three Palestinian students were shot in Burlington, VT on Saturday evening. The alleged shooter was a middle-aged white male — it’s being investigated as a possible hate crime. This is fucking horrifying.
Whoa, the 2nd-gen Apple AirPods Pro are on sale at Amazon for $190…that’s $60 off and $10 cheaper than I’ve ever seen them for sale. These are the new USB-C ones too.

Ministry of Sound’s The Annual - Millennium Edition

posted by Jason Kottke Nov 22, 2023

I listened to Ministry of Sound’s The Annual - Millennium Edition on heavy repeat in my mid 20s. What a treat it is to rediscover it on Soundcloud:

It’s an unofficial upload so who knows how long it will last. The three song mix by Judge Jules at the beginning of the first disc is still one of my all-time favorite mixes — I’m dancing in my chair to it right now.

Craig Mod’s new book is out: Things Become Other Things. Great title, perfect cover.
AI Thanksgiving includes such traditional dishes as GRASTED POTINOS, PUCAPIN, TURFING, FUFER, GREENRRY PANS, and PUPLIN ROLLS.
Rebecca Solnit: Billionaires are out of touch and much too powerful. “The 1% aren’t just the biggest climate wreckers, they also greatly influence how the world responds to the crisis.”
The current state-of-the-art in AI video generation reminds me so much of the early days of film — short, experimental, silent, uncanny resemblance to real life, mostly just moving still lifes.

Bach’s Toccata and Fugue in D Minor × Insomnia by Faithless

posted by Jason Kottke Nov 22, 2023

The Ministry of Sound did a show back in September at the Royal Albert Hall where they re-imagined classic 90s dance music (Fatboy Slim, Chemical Brothers, etc.) backed by a 50-piece orchestra and vocalists. I found out about this via organist Anna Lapwood’s Instagram, where she posted a clip of her participation in the show: playing Bach’s Toccata and Fugue in D minor as a lead-in to Insomnia by Faithless. I enjoyed the captions but the sound on her video is not great; I found this video on YouTube with much better sound (relevant part starts at the 4:15 mark):

I would love to have seen this live…I’d have lost my mind at this part. Sometimes I think I love remixes, mashups, and covers more than the original versions.