Linked List: April 2024

Calm Cool, Silver Grey

Rightly traced and well ordered; what of that?
Speak as they please, what does the mountain care?
Ah, but a man’s reach should exceed his grasp,
Or what’s a heaven for? All is silver-grey

Beneath The Tree

Sound recorded with a hydrophone in contact with the roots of a forest of aspens, one of the largest living organisms in this world.

See also: Pando Suite: Soundscape.

Zoom Into the Horsehead Nebula

This video takes the viewer on a journey through space to reveal a new image from the NASA/ESA/CSA James Webb Space Telescope, the Horsehead Nebula.


Your own mini ecosystem in a jar.

KitHack Model Club, Firebot for Mac

Two bits of excellent news:

  1. KitHack Model Club, formerly known as KitBash Model Club, heretofore known as Balsa Model Flight Simulator, is out in early access once again!

  2. Firebot is now available for macOS!

Assistive Access for iOS

Apple’s iOS has a feature called Assistive Access designed for people with cognitive disabilities such as elderly parents. Thanks to CharlesW on HN.

Certainty Breeds Insanity

“Certainty breeds insanity”, or “make a pledge and mischief is nigh” are two translations of one of the three things inscribed at Delphi.

The other two:

  • “Know thyself.”
  • “Everything in moderation.”

Good advice, difficult to keep in mind!


A pencil drawing of an atom.

A pencil drawing of an atom with electrons around it to remind that everything in the universe is connected.

One of the most interesting things about atoms to me are electrons, which can be in two places at once.

This drawing is also the HyperTextHero base subscriber badge.

Plant Root System Drawings

At Wageningen University. Via Kevin Kelly.

Wired The Game

Video game that helps you learn about electricity made at the University of Cambridge. You can play it in a web browser or in Windows and Mac computers, so I’ve added it to the list of Mac video games.

Scale of the Universe

Warmly recommended version of the same thing in meditative video game form: Everything.

Get Real

Anna Wiener speaks with Epic’s Tim Sweeney and others about video game engines, computer graphics, simulations, virtual, and real realities.

Arma gets a mention, and the New Yorker issue cover by Ana Juan contrasts well with the piece.


Feathers kept B6 warm overnight while it flew above the Pacific Ocean. Feathers repelled rain along the way. Feathers formed the flight surfaces of the wings that kept B6 aloft and drove the bird forward for nearly 250 hours without failing.

One might expect that, considering all the time humans have spent admiring, using and studying feathers, we would know all their tricks by now. Yet insights into these marvelous structures continue to emerge.

For Love of Pixels

I first made pixels with Adobe Photoshop 1.0 on a Macintosh LC III, but I first moved and was moved by pixels with video games like Space Invaders.

In that spirit, and in response to Jeffrey’s post, here are some of my favorite things visibly made from the little squares raked across many of our windows to this and other worlds.

What Is Success

By Ralph Waldo Emerson.

To laugh often and much;
To win the respect of intelligent people and
the affection of children;
To earn the approbation of honest critics and endure
the betrayal of false friends;
To appreciate beauty;
To find the best in others;
To give of one’s self;
To leave the world a bit better, whether by a healthy child,
a garden patch, or a redeemed social condition;
To have played and laughed with enthusiasm and
sung with exultation;
To know even one life has breathed easier because you
have lived -
This is to have succeeded.

Returning Home

Documentary film about Canada’s Residential Schools system and the disappearing salmon that hopefully can be helped back. Found via the music of Melody McKiver.

Does Microsoft Flight Simulator Simulate the 2024 Total Solar Eclipse?

Close, but not quite, it seems. Probably user error? Let me know in the comments!

Midnight & To Body

I’m enjoying the work of Amelia Winger-Bearskin that I found in a search for indigenous games while reading Braiding Sweetgrass.

Who determines the protocol for looking at the sky? Like moss and fungi, animals and plants, and indeed most living beings, the sky does not have borders. It moves and is part of a larger system that includes the moon, the sun, and the stars. MIDNIGHT is a companion project of SKYWORLD/CLOUDWORLD, a more extensive series by Amelia Winger-Bearskin.

Open Source Quality Institutes

Tim Bray:

There are other essential human activities that lack a business case, for example tertiary education, potable water quality, and financial regulation. For these, we create non-capitalist constructs such as Universities and Institutes and Agencies, because society needs these things done even if nobody can make money doing them.

I think we need to be paying more attention to the quality generally, and safety especially, of the Open-Source software that has become the underlying platform for, more or less, our civilization. Thus OSQI.

Total Solar Eclipse 2024 Merch

Typographic design of a solar eclipse with a lunatic typeface saying Total Solar Eclipse 2024 April 8th.

Typographic design added to the shop to celebrate the total solar eclipse of April 8th, 2024. See also an alternate version using letters moving quickly.

My favorite canvases for this one are the t-shirts and the clock.