Dune Cheese

The Dragon in the Sea
The Santaroga Barrier

Frank Herbert

About a year ago my brother lent me an old copy of Frank Herbert's first novel, The Dragon in the Sea, and I hadn't got around to reading it, but after watching the second of the new Dune films I …

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Fedivision 2024

Fedivision is an annual song contest held around the same time as Eurovision on the Fediverse. I entered an instrumental in 2022 but this year I wanted to actually write a song with lyrics and vocals. I've tried songwriting many times over the years but have always gotten too shy …

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Buffer overflow

An Arduino microcontroller and a breadboard with an even smaller chip, a bunch of sockets and a rotary pot, all connected with colourful jumper leads

Late last year I started looking at a microtonal pitch quantiser for my modular synth setup, and then I remembered that I had an Arduino Nano and an Adafruit MCP4728 Quad DAC sitting in a drawer, waiting for me to overcome my fear of soldering, and thought that fiddling with …

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Best of 2023


  • Gideon the Ninth and Harrow the Ninth, Tamsyn Muir
  • The Book of the New Sun, Gene Wolfe
  • Boswell's Life of Johnson
  • In Search of Lost Time: The Way By Swann's, Marcel Proust, tr Lydia Davis
  • The Chronicles of Amber, Roger Zelazny
  • Letters from Amherst, Samuel R Delany

I read …

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Merry Christmas

The second half of 2023 was pretty hectic, between work and health issues, but I did get a chance to play with the synths: this is my first stab at a sequencer running on an Arduino Uno and sending out control voltages through an Adafruit MCP4728 Quad DAC.

I also …

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The 120-cell

About a month ago I had to rest up at home following a medical emergency, and I was looking for a way to distract myself which wasn't getting stuck on the harder levels of Baba Is You or reading Boswell's Life of Johnson (which was good, but sometimes too gloomy …

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Strong Fish

A sketchy line drawing of an aggressive fish with blue fins

I'm recovering from respiratory syncytial virus and thinking of sticker designs, as part of this I searched through the @GLOSSATORY archive for all of the posts which feature Strong Fish.

SHOT: a short dish of a strong fish. A drawing of a round pot containing a ragout in which two small fish float, and from which wavy rays symbolising a strong aroma pass upwards.
CRAWL: a strong fabric with a strong fish and a sharp point. A drawing of a bolt of cloth thrown upon a fish and a spiky thing, indistinctly shown through its form.
SHOOTING STITCH: a strong fish used to start a strap or bottom. The drawing shows a figure on the left bracing themselves on a bar, facing away from a large fish who is strapped to their midriff.
STRAIGHT STRAIGHT: a strong fish that is used to start a strap of a paddle. The drawing shows a fish in harness at the left, attached by a cord to a paddle wheel at the right.
DRIP CLIP: a hand loom for cooking a strong fish. A drawing of a small loom holding a fish on top of a flaming cooktop.
SCREW: a strong fish used to cover the shore of a boat or boot to protect the strings of a strap as a ship. The drawing depicts a large fish with a helical body towing a sailing vessel through the ocean.
STRAIGHT HOUSE: a strong fish that is used to start a straight strain. The drawing depicts a person in athletic wear seated at the right, holding a bar which is attached to a large fish which rests facing away from them to the left.
TOP: a strong fish that is used to start a speed and the first back and forth. The drawing depicts two fish swimming from left to right, one in the top left and the other in the bottom right of the frame.
SLIDE: a small strip of metal or plastic that is used to start a strong fish. The drawing depicts a small j-shaped chute from which a fish is being launched into the air.
SHORT STRAIGHT: a strong fish used to strike a short strap at the same time. The drawing depicts a fish leaping from the water towards a curved strap.
SHOOTING STITCH: a strong fish used to start a stairway or bottle and the strings and a strong surface on the shoulder. The drawing depicts a man with a staircase resting on his left shoulder. A series of strings extends upward from the top of the staircase and a bottle is suspended from a string to the right of the man. A fish is flying towards the staircase from the upper left.
SCREW: a strong fish that is used to start a straight strap or the front of a book. The drawing depicts a book with its front cover partially open with a fish emerging from within.
BOOTH: a strong fish that is used to start a strap or the shoulder. The drawing depicts a woman with a blonde bob wearing a white dress, the left strap of which is a fish.
SCREW: a strong fish used to strike the flow of air. The drawing depicts a cylindrical turbine from which emerges a helix ending in a fish’s head, with wavy lines indicating airflow.
CARRIAGE BALL: a strong fish for controlling the head of a bed. The drawing depicts a man asleep in a bed. A fish’s head protrudes from the wall above the bed, with two lines proceeding to the corners of the head.
STEERING CHAIR: a cross with a strong side and a strong fish. The drawing depicts a spindly chair with a fish taking the place of one of the armrests and a cross at the back.
BASEBALL CARD: a rectangular strip of metal strings that are attired and a straight strip of strips of water and a strong fish. The drawing depicts a rectangular portrait of a baseball player with crosshatching standing above a landscape of straight canals. A fish is poking its face from one of the canals.
POSITIVE STRIKE: a strong fish that is used to decorate a record of a ship or service. The drawing depicts a framed certificate with a sailing ship at the top and a large fish at the bottom.
WINDOW BONE: a small bone that is used to make a strong fish. The drawing depicts a small curved bone above which is a glowing portal through which a fish is emerging.
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Glossatory Emojos

Part of my daily routine is to do a bunch of drawings each morning based on the output of @GLOSSATORY, which is a now completely obsolete neural network trained on a big list of dictionary definitions. I try to post two of these every day to another Mastodon account at …

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LLMs and journalism

Cartoon of a robot with a pensive expression

This post is meant to point out some of the ways in which I think mainstream journalism has been dropping the ball in its coverage of large language models. I'm not an AI expert, but I can tell when journalists are confused and out of their depth when writing about …

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