The Tildes' Make Something Month (Timasomo) 2021 Showcase Thread
Timasomo is Tildes' Make Something Month: a creative community challenge that takes place in the month of November, where participants from our community self-select creative goals to achieve.
Timasomo 2021 is now officially complete! Participants will be posting their creations and efforts in this thread as a showcase! Comments and feedback from the wider community are both welcome and encouraged! Let these creators know what an awesome job they've done!
Creators: In posting your showcase:
- Give your project a title, and use the
#markdown to make it stand out in the showcase thread!
- Link to your project in whatever way works best for your project.
- Give a "creator statement" that contextualizes what your project is.
- Add anything else you consider relevant! The showcase is yours!
- Treat this thread like a walk through an art gallery or a museum where you get to see different works on display.
- Comments do NOT have to be in-depth -- it is okay to just affirm that you like/love/appreciate something! (In other threads these might be considered noise, but here they are directly validating the sustained creative efforts of another community member!).
- Make sure any feedback you give is constructive.
Floating Dice Display
This is a project I've been working on for a while now. I've been trying to build a dice display that looks like the dice are floating in a void. I've been working on and off for about half a year now and Timasomo gave me the kick I needed to actually finish it.
I built the box myself with my laser cutter, then used ultra black paint to coat the inside. The pedestal the dice are resting on hides electronics to illuminate the dice. This is something like the 4th or 5th iteration and the first one that works completely during normal lighting conditions. Previous iterations have only worked in very dim light and only if you don't look super closely, if they worked at all. This one is straight up trippy to look at.
One of the difficulties involved is that the illusion breaks cameras. With HDR on, you can see some of the pedestal. With HDR off you get a weird kinda blurry void. I only recently figured out the HDR thing, so my album includes pictures both with and without. And turning HDR off doesn't fully capture what it looks like in person.
For now check out these pictures:
Floating Dice Display
I'm extremely pleased with how it turned out. And I might hire an artist to design a pattern for the enclosure for me. Eventually I want to sell these and similar products at the board game store I'm opening
This is absolutely stellar. Even though the camera doesn't fully capture the effect, I still think it looks awesome! I also admire that you tried this multiple times until you got it right. Does the effect display on video? I'm wondering if a quick video where you pan across it would help convey some of the depth effect.
Regardless, it's very cool, and I think those would be a huge seller at your board game store!
Thanks! I'm happy to hear that! I spent about half an hour trying to get a good video and can't get the illusion to work. It's the same problem I ran into before I figured out how to turn HDR off, but there's no option like that in the video settings. No luck lowering the brightness of the LEDs either, for some reason it's not helping (so far anyway). Tomorrow I'll see if recording using my webcam instead of my phone camera helps since I think it does less autocorrection.
It's still a prototype, but I want to overhaul the electronics to make them much smaller, simpler, and cheaper and also figure out if there are any government regulations I need to understand in order to sell something with home-cooked circuitry.
I recently had some ideas for how to create the next iteration with a swappable central pillar. Then you could make it hold pretty much anything you wanted to display in a void, instead of just dice.
I've been really busy the past few days, but I added a very short video I took with my cell phone. Sorry it took so long, I've been really busy the past few days. I still need to try using a webcam
You can pretty clearly see the pedestal until it zooms in and the camera adjusts.
This is really cool! You're right that this kind of thing doesn't show up on camera, but I've seen this illusion with other objects before and I think doing it with dice is a wonderful idea.
Thanks! I don't really know enough about photography to make it work, but my mom does a lot and I want to see if she can do anything with it next time I visit her
TL;DW - Youtube transcript summarizer
At beginning of November there where a couple of F.D Signifier videos in a subreddit I frequent. His videos tend to be quite long so it took me a couple of days to watch them, and it was while I was watching them that I thought: "wouldn't be cool if you could just read a quick summary of what the video is about".
I saw that passing thought as the perfect opportunity to learn Go, in my head the project was small enough with a little bit of challenge. And indeed it was easy, the biggest obstacle was my inexperience with the language, for the most part anyways.
Last week I explained that sometimes is not possible to retrieve the transcripts from Youtube, what I didn't explain is that Youtube is pretty consistent with what transcripts you can or can't download using their public API, if you can't download it now it means that you won't be able to download it tomorrow.
I didn't find a solution but after reading youtube-dl's source code and testing it I found that it also has problems downloading the transcripts of some videos, and what is even weirder is that those videos are not necessarily the same videos my app has problems with. Still, it seems to be an uncommon problem so I decided to stop looking for a solution at the moment.
Anyways, I still added some improvements last week: It had problems summarizing transcripts that were a long sentence (without punctuation marks), that's fixed; added instructions; and improved the reading time estimate. There's still things that need to be done but I contempt with the current result.
Finally, this is not an original idea but the similar websites I found no longer exist or don't seem to work correctly, so there's that.
P.S.: Turns out F.D Signifier uploaded a new video today, so why don't you check it out with my app.
Oh dang, this is one of the most useful things I've ever seen. I'm often browsing Tildes between bits of work and don't have time or oppritunity to watch videos, so this is great whenever we get those videos that I don't know if it'll be worth watching in my off time.
Edit: I should have forseen this, but this doesn't seem to work great with autogenerated subtitles. It makes sense, since autogenerated subtitles are almost universally terrible. But heck, I was still able to get the idea! So thanks again for making this.
Excellent idea (and domain!) and congrats on the execution.
I seem to have some issues getting the subtitles to work on my end probably because of my WiFi setup(?). Is the F.D Signifier video link that you posted in your P.S. displaying for you?
It worked when I posted it, maybe Youtube banned my server's IP, I'll have to check it out later.
Edit: The IP was indeed blocked for making too many requests, I was hoping it wouldn't happen as I haven't implemented the mechanism to work around this, but at the same time I thought it wouldn't hurt to share it here without it as probably few people would use it.
Insomnia, the Dark Forest of
A very short walking simulator game.
If you would like to play the game, you can download it or play it in browser at this itch.io link. The source code for the game is also available at the link, because why not. The game really is quite short, should take just a bit over 10 minutes to finish. Fair warning, the browser version is a bit wonky and takes a long long time to load (it is a 40MB download), but it should work. The controls should be obvious, but they are mentioned on the itch.io page. If you are playing in browser you will need to press F1 when it is done loading to lock your mouse, to be able to look around. Oh and also it is mouse and keyboard only, sorry to anyone who would like to play on mobile -- if someone really wants to, I could record me playing through the game and put it on Youtube or somewhere.
I am going to talk about the game a bit ahead, so if you'd like to play the game, I'd recommend playing it first before continuing reading:
I am quite happy with how the game turned out. There's basically nothing in it, partly because it was created in quite a short amount of time and partly because I liked how simple it is. I The guitar track was recorded in basically just two takes, which is really different for me, normally I mess up a single note somewhere or decide I don't like something and do everything again, many many times, but here I decided to just roll with it and have it basically just be me jamming for some time.
I would really love to hear what you guys thought about the game if you do play it! I kind of want to talk more about it but I also kind of want to hear your guys opinion first before telling you my own :).
And again, thank you to @kfwyre for hosting Timasomo, I always enjoy getting to do more creative stuff and be able to show it to you cool people :).
Sadly, I can't get the game to recognize the mouse movements on my browser, so I can't turn to open the first door (I presume that's what I need to do?). :(
Is there any particular reason you have A and D as strafing instead of turning? For a shooter I can see those controls being useful, but for a walking simulator not so much.
p.s. Regardless, the games has a really cool aesthetic!
Ah, too bad :(, as always browser builds are very janky, and having the game be first person makes them even jankier. It is very convenient to allow people to play the game in browser, but there are so many issues with it every time. Browsers seem to not like having the mouse be locked without user input, so it couldn't have been done automatically that's why pressing F1 after loading in is needed, thinking about it now I should have definitely written that directly in the game as well. But if that still didn't work, I am not sure. Out of curiosity which browser are you using? I tested it in Firefox and in Chrome.
Using A and D for turning could have worked you are correct. I didn't do it like that because it isn't intuitive for people to play first person games like that these days, but yeah, giving the players this as an option would have been good.
Alright, I finally figured it out. One of my browser extensions was clearly interfering with it. Probably Tridactyl (vim keyboard navigation), if I had to guess, but I'm not 100% sure. I just disabled them all in private browsing mode, loaded up the game there, and it finally worked.
Pretty neat. Pretty pretty looking. And pretty chill. Is there anything beyond the pillars area? I walked for a few min in random directions but kinda got bored at that point. :P
Cool! Good to know. Thank you :). There is another very short section with nothing new really after that. Yep getting bored by the game is very understandable :D.
LOL, sorry if that came across as harsh. It's just that after a few minutes of wandering amongst the pillars (which was very pretty looking, BTW), I kinda gave up since I didn't know if there was anything more beyond that point. The game is still a pretty big accomplishment though, and you should be proud! It's more than I have ever managed to churn out in that department, despite always wanting to give it a try, lazy bugger that I am. ;)
No no no :D :D, it really is understandable :D. Being boring is even partly the point of the game. I had my friend play it and he told me that it is making him fall asleep, and I just said "good". It definitely isn't my best work, at least considering video games, but thank you :).
I loved this!
I don't want to overshare too much, but at one point in my life I did have a clinical diagnosis of insomnia before and used to go on 4 AM walks when the rest of the world was asleep and I was simply waiting for the next sunrise, knowing that sleep would never come. As such, your game was unexpectedly resonant for me.
I loved the drop after leaving the house. I then wandered the forest for a while, just listening to the soundtrack and seeing if the roads took me anywhere. I was pretty sure the game was just a sort of never-ending wander, so I nearly closed it out, but also my curiosity was ever-so-slightly activated -- was I slowing down?
Sure enough, I was. I kept walking and kind of tried to use it as a bit of a meditation, waiting out the game to see what would happen once I stopped. When I used to go on walks I'd come back in and just stay up, unable to sleep, but in the game it I got brought back to the house, to the bed -- to, at least as I interpreted it, actually sleep.
The game made it feel like the long walk was what was needed in order to fall asleep -- the slowing of a player a metaphor for trudging through increasingly difficult fatigue, until blissful rest actually becomes an option. As such, the game felt like it had a nice, happy ending. It was a tranquil walk towards rest, and that's a beautiful thing.
Anyway, suffice it to say, I loved this. Excellent work!
I'd also love to hear your thoughts on using Godot as an engine too, if you're willing to share.
Thank you so so much! I am so happy to read your experience playing through the game, really thank you for writing it out.
Spoilers replyI am really happy that you noticed that you were slowing down, I was wondering if it will be too minor for people to notice when playing, especially as it is happening over quite a long time period.
Yes, your interpretation is pretty much spot on, what you wrote is pretty much exactly what I was aiming for with the game! If I understand correctly that your insomnia has gotten better, I am really happy for you. That sounds like it has been a terrible experience. I am lucky enough that I don't have it too bad, I just quite often have a really hard time falling asleep, but I always do manage to fall asleep. I'll never understand how can other people just lie down and instantly be asleep though.
I really enjoy working with it so far. I have been using Unity for a very long time and decided to check out Godot only this year, after hearing that it now has pretty good C# support. I've used it for one Ludum Dare game and also for a game I was making for about one month, before indefinitely pausing work on it. I can confirm the C# support is quite good, I had basically zero problems using it so far. GD script seems to be the most supported language, so online resources tend to use it most of the time, but rewriting GD script code to C# is never any real problem.
I think I enjoy it even more then Unity, for example using "scenes" for everything instead of prefabs like Unity does. but it is also obviously much smaller than Unity, which has an incredible amount of money behind it, so for any large projects I would probably still use Unity. But for jam games and small projects I think Godot is perfect. And that is pretty much all I make :), so I expect to use it a lot more in the future.
Again thank you very much, it makes me very happy that you connected to the experience the game provided :).
30% Superfat Coconut Oil Soap
I have been making soap using a coconut oil recipe but it has been too harsh for my SO's skin, which makes sense because apparently coconut oil makes a very drying soap. I upped the superfat, or the extra oil relative to the amount of lye in the soap, to 30%, which is about as high as people seem to recommend going with coconut oil. The bars are good, with the green color turning out better than I thought during the process, and the vanilla scent working better in this batch than a previous one that didn't get enough so it smelled like play doh. The bars are still curing so I haven't washed with them yet, but hopefully they are good when I get to that stage.
T Shirt Design
I also got inspiration part way through for a shirt that I wanted to wear. Seeing that no one had made it online, I decided to make the design myself. I have been commuting to the office on my bike the last few months, and I thought this design would be a cheeky reflection of my new attitude towards my bike. I was hoping to order it as a sample from a print on demand service but the color I want seems to be hard to come by, so I am waiting it out.
Thanks to @kfwyre for running everything and everyone for participating!
Just like last year, I am thrilled to see your showcase here! For the rest of the community who might not know: Gyrfalcon is the only person in the entire world to be a three-time Timasomo showcase participant! We are in the presence of greatness!
Definitely let us know how the homemade soap goes. I once was gifted a homemade bar of soap by one of my students' parents as an end-of-year thank you (she makes and sells them at farmers' markets), and it was honestly the best soap I've ever used. I hope yours turn out just as well.
Also, I love the t-shirt design, and kudos to you for biking for your commute! I find that both awesome and impressive.
Goodness I feel like I need to take a bow now! I have been using soap based off the recipe I linked for myself for a while now and I like it a lot, but soap fortified with good Timasomo vibes may be better.
The bike commute isn't too impressive, it's only 4 miles and the temperatures are pretty good in my part of the world right now. I am a little worried that I won't be able to keep doing it in the summer since it might be 80+ degrees F in the morning, and I don't have anywhere to shower when I arrive at work. Hopefully I can get my shirt and wear it to work before then!
How long does the soap have to cure?
I have been curing for about a month, which I think is typical for coconut oil bars. Different oils take different amounts of time, so the olive oil soap I want to try next may need to cure for up to 6 months before it works well. I think those two represent fairly extreme cure times, most soaps will be somewhere in between. The first part of the process is for the lye and oil to finish reacting, otherwise the soap will try to turn your skin to soap which makes it very harsh. After the first 24-48 hours or so, it is mostly about letting water get out of the bar, which improves the lather and cleaning ability.
So does the water exiting the bar just evaporate or do you cure them on an absorbent surface of some sort?
The water just evaporates, so I keep them on a plate with a microwave cover so they get air but bugs and stuff can't get in. Some people try to speed curing up using warm air or fans but I have not tried anything like that. It is also possible to do hot process soap (as opposed to cold process) where you add heat after combining the oil and lye. That helps water escape while everything is liquid, and ensures that the soap goes through a gel phase, which is something I still don't quite understand yet, but I think helps with color and overall quality. I recently got this book so hopefully once I get to reading it I can be a bit more knowledgeable.
2 + 1 Blog Posts
My goal for Timasomo was to give some love to my neglected personal blog and write some things in it of value. I began with two warm-up entries about how I manage modern media consumption:
These were neat, and I liked doing them, but they were very much appetizers for the main course:
This was not what I was intending to set out to write, but @cfabbro pinged me on an article and inspiration struck.
I spent a lot of time with this. More than it looks like for how much there is. I went through a lot of rewrites. There's a lot on the cutting room floor. In fact, I'm actually not happy with it at the moment because I edited and rewrote so extensively that I kind of lost the ability to see what it is as written, because my mind keeps filling in so many gaps or assuming references are still there to things I ended up taking out. I think I need some time away from it so that I can process it with fresh eyes. This is one of the difficulties of writing without an editor!
Nevertheless, I will say I'm happy that I made an effort, and even if what I've written isn't great I at least think it will be thought-provoking. Hopefully some of you can find some value in it!
Also, finishing this is actually personally significant for me. COVID anxiety completely deactivated me for Timasomo 2020, and I didn't end up participating last year, which was honestly a huge letdown. I carried a lot of disappointment over that -- much more than I was expecting. Thus, this year I'm glad that I was able to see it through.
Big thanks to anyone who takes the time to read my words, and an even bigger thanks to those who chose to participate in Timasomo this year in any form, whether you were successful or not. Much love, y'all!
Despite how you see the grades piece, I think it's written really well and does a great job at illustrating the problem in question.
I will ask though, is American education really this... odd? Do schools really have such an influence over a student's results? Do all students study the same topics at the same level of complexity at the same time, regardless of their ability and knowledge?
In the UK, "maths" is one topic and it's normal for there to be multiple classes at a particular year (grade) set at different skill levels. Each would cover different topics at different times, pitching them at different levels. Then, in year 11 (age 16) there are two maths exams of three papers each: one lower level paper (simpler, but with a capped maximum grade) and one higher level (uncapped but complex). They cover all the topics, not just one.
It just seems like having exams at every year would distract from learning and remembering the topics in question (some topics you'd ignore for so long you'd forget them, even while still studying a mathematical topic).
Am I right here? It probably seems normal to you but for me it seems unnecessarily complex and test-driven. That's not to say the British system works any better though - there are still massive social disparities.
I hinted at it in the thread, but there's actually a whole parallel post I could have written about standardized testing and American education in general. I actually believe it's garbage and that we shouldn't be taking its data as gospel, because I'm of the belief that the purpose of standardized testing is, first and foremost, to create the perception that American education is failing.
In short though, American education is hyper-focused on testing and standards. I've talked before about how, because math and English are the main testing focuses, many elementary schools do not teach social studies or science as a way of getting more instructional time for math and English. The standards that we are forced to meet, meanwhile, are too much, too quickly, and don't have any failsafes for students who don't meet them. In that same post I linked above I talked about a principal who had to basically threaten her first grade teachers to teach to the pace of the standards and not the students.
There is a bit more differentiation than I talked about in my post, and it's also true that it varies based on school/district/state, but from a macro perspective, yes, students are essentially in lockstep. Most states have adopted most of the Common Core standards which you can see clearly lay out parameters for student learning across subjects and grade levels.
I’m wondering if the problem isn’t so much that the tests show that some kids aren’t keeping up, but rather that little is being done about it. Getting kids into classes where they can actually learn something seems pretty important.
There was a trend towards computer-based education being used to give kids problems more appropriate to their level and I wonder what happened to it?
I think it's both, honestly. I think the tests are not valid, reliable measures nor are they well-implemented, and we're also not learning from the data and using that to make systemic changes.
As for computer-based education, the main limitation of these is that they're really good at feeding kids practice problems based on their skill level, but they're not particularly good at the instructional portion. If a student is self-driven and can learn on their own, these can be really good, but it's not great at reaching students who need more involved instruction, or who hit a roadblock with a particular skill and need someone to help them route around it. We use them to supplement what we're doing, and they're invaluable for that, but they're definitely not the cure-all people want them to be.
This is fantastic! I think you should post "Grades as communication" at top level.
(I don't want to share it more widely without your permission, but I think it's worth doing that too.)
Thank you, and it's incredibly thoughtful of you to ask for permission before sharing it. I'm hesitantly okay with that. I like the idea of my words reaching people who might find them valuable, but I also hate the idea of a context collapse, where my words find parts of the internet who know nothing about me and who might meet them uncharitably, or with lots of hostility. Basically I just don't want to blow up on reddit or Twitter. I understand that I ultimately don't have control of content once I publish it though, so feel free to share it if you feel compelled to.
Also, I posted it as a top-level submission here.
Yeah, I’m not sure where I would post it that wouldn’t result in context collapse? I guess I’ll hold off on that.
It’s odd to think that, as a link sharing site, we link to blog posts all the time, and that’s always taking something out of context. We also make so many things public for all the world to read (including everything on Tildes). But we often aren’t prepared for the consequences of it actually getting attention, even though it’s always a possibility.
If I had to guess, you're probably not running in the type of circles that would want to crucify me for what I've written. :)
Feel free to share it as you see fit.
Woo. Thanks. Looking forwards to finally getting to read it!
(once my migraine goes away, and I can think clearly again)
You do realize it's over 6700 words, right? I think it looks like you put plenty of work into it, even if a fair bit was left on the cutting room floor. But I understand what you're saying. :P
Would you believe me if I said that one of my goals in writing this was to actually reduce my rambling and prioritize word economy?!
I tried to write it differently from my usual Tildes posts which tend to go heavy on one thing. In this I tried to lightly land at several different stops along a trip, and I was vigilant to not spend too much time at each one. If I went all-in on all the different things I'd brought up in my usual style, this would be 60,000 words, not 6,000. :D
Also, sorry about the migraine. Hope it clears soon.
And this is why linear media are ... suboptimal. Conventional text is bad. Movies, books, everything bad. Hypertext good. You know why wikipedia rabbitholes exist? Because it's hypertext. It links to other parts of wikipedia, and if you're interested you can read those too. Or you can just not, and have a concise and reasonably detailed experience. If I were to record every word I read in one of those rabbithole incidents and produce an article from it, it would
All of this to say: Embrace the hyperlink. Write your tangents out, then put them in their own articles that you link. I'm trying to do so as part of my own personal knowledge management, but I'm not disciplined enough for it.
Or don't, I'm not your boss and you certainly have a better way with words than me. This might be a bit much of a soapbox, so don't read it as me shitting on your writing. Read it as me suggesting a way to produce more writing, but keep it manageable for the reader.
I actually had the same thought as you when I watched Contrapoints's latest video: Envy. At nearly two hours long, it's essentially a feature-length film and the kind of video that @Kremor's tool is perfect for. Over the course of the video, she kept spinning off into side tangents that I felt would have had more impact and been more meaningful if she'd treated them as individual pieces on their own rather than stepping stones in a single path.
So I definitely see your point. It might be a structure I play around with in the future.
"But that is another story, and will be told another time."
The best and the worst thing about The Neverending Story
(feel free/encouraged to ignore the questions, more of a rhetorical thing)
Love the idea of making the decision between two things! I've had that given as advice for young children: ask "would you rather wear X or Y" instead of "what would you like to wear". From what I've read that generalizes pretty well.
If you were to try to name them, what features do you find yourself making selections based on (e.g., enjoyment, exposure to something new, pop relevance, ...)?
What do you think of Oceans grouping by those features vs. the medium? Are series and
Do you have something of a blacklist for items that you've previously rejected? Or is there some chance you'd add and remove Jim Varney: The Importance of Being Ernest, only to add it again at a later time? Does a blacklist contain meaningful information about your past self?
Petition to give your Media Captain a cool name. Cousteau? ...John Smith?
That nostalgia hit! I had a parent that worked near a library which led to me being a frequent fixture of the cushion-lined bathtub in the upstairs area. Oh the age-inappropriate books I read...
I had 3 drives fail on me within a week in college and was a bit of a zombie for a day after the loss set in.
That semester I'd read Natural-Born Cyborgs which held that humans were unique as a species in the extent and readiness to which we incorporate our environment into our cognition. It argued that we were already cyborgs through the use of pen and paper that let us have enhanced memories or the ability to do calculations our brains were incapable of.
The loss of the hard drives drove that home for me. As a small bit of psychonautery after that I wrote some code that randomly distorted pixels or words in (safe) files I had. I don't think it got near the goal of simulating something like Alzheimer's (ELI5: standpoint epistemology) but it certainly had an unsettling feeling to it.
I also read Moonwalking With Einstein that semester, a book on a journalist-turned-memory athlete/champion. One of the characters he met described wanting to intentionally go about life creating as many and as visceral of memories as possible.
One of the funny bits was that memories stick better if there's something primal in them, something that triggers that biological need to understand or retain. So these nerds were making mnemonics that involved granny sex and whatnot.
Every time you take a memory out you renew it, but you also reinterpret it. It's a bit sad but you either get your fingerprints on important memories or you let them fade away.
If you applied the 1st posts notion of the Ocean (Decks, rather) to memories, what memories do you want to maintain?
Do logs fall short of keeping the granularity of the memories you want to look back on? Would a diary entry work, and if so what would prompt you to leave a "verbose" log?
Have you considered something like spaced repetition but for media?
Do you have memories/media that you wouldn't want to revisit due to how you've changed as a person?
If you've never heard the term, quantified self might be a handy label to know to find curated discussion/tools such as the eponymous awesome-list?
Particularly, you might find ActivityWatch something that would let you passively (and privately) log some things that you'd be interested in?
Sorry for the late response, but I've been busy and wanted to do your questions justice. I love that you dug into this so deeply!
This is a bit hard to pin down. What I've noticed happen is that I'll go through cycles where I'll look at everything in my Oceans and then go "oh my god look at all of this!" and I'll diligently whittle them down over time. Then, once a particular Ocean starts to look more like a lake, I'll go on a hunt and find a bunch of things to add to it. Sometimes this will be genre or topic based, but a lot of times it's simply looking up lists (e.g. "Best Books of 2019") or chaining "similar to" links on stuff I've liked to explore what's out there. I have a pretty strong "click" feeling when I look at something that interests me, and when I feel that, it goes in the Ocean. If there's no click, I just move on until I find something that does.
For a long time I put stuff on my lists that didn't click with me but because I felt like they were things that I should engage with, usually because they were deemed culturally important or critically acclaimed. I found that this gave me a lot of stuffy items on my list that I was engaging with not because I actually wanted to but out of some sense of "well, other people said it's important, so..." I've fully squashed that feeling and now only seek out what interests me. I still try to be well-rounded and will put things on there specifically to challenge me or as "reach" entries, but I'm no longer trying to keep up with everything else and I feel that I'm more satisfied with what I engage with as a result.
This would be hard, mostly because there aren't clear lines and my reasons for adding things often overlap. Even grouping by medium can be tricky in certain cases.
Great question! I've actually thought about this and decided against it. I like the idea that something that left an Ocean can find its way back to me at a later date. After all, there was a reason why I added it in the first place -- that "click" was there somehow -- so who's to say that it won't happen again down the road?
I. LOVE. THIS.
I'm currently searching for a name. I like the ring of "Cousteau", but I also like the idea of choosing something less "obvious". I'm on a hunt and will let you know when I find a name that "clicks"!
So, I've been thinking a lot about this in general. I used to journal, and it was a very valuable way of documenting memory. I don't know that the Oceans setup would work for it, as an entry like "Weekend with friends" doesn't really capture the experience. The log would have to be far more involved and be more narrative than entry-driven, which would require way more effort. One of the things I like about my setup is that the upkeep is very easy, which means maintaining completeness is trivial. Anything that would require significantly more effort would essentially become like homework, and I don't want to get backlogged on logging.
It's funny that you mentioned this, because another user PMed me with the same recommendation! I've used Anki in the past and really liked it, but I don't know that I'd want to do something like that with media. I've accepted at this point that some of it will fall off due to memory and some will stick with me. I like my logs as an anchor point but don't feel the need to hold on to more than that.
Absolutely. If I could delete those awful cringe memories that pop up and remind me of mortifying, embarassing moments in my life, I'd do it in a heartbeat. I'll be driving in on my way to work and my brain will just decide to dredge up that moment from twelve years ago that still makes me viscerally shudder.
Outside of that though, I definitely do have a "don't touch the memory" policy with some stuff that I'm really fond of. I've revisited some stuff that I loved when I was younger and found out that, from more removed adult eyes, the magic was gone, and it's felt like I've tampered with former delights to my own detriment. I've noticed this with video games in particular -- the progress that the medium has made has happened so fast and over the course of my own development, so there are plenty of things that I loved as a child that have not aged well and can now be seen for the clunky messes that they are. I'd rather keep them as the lovely experiences I had as a child, so I tend to avoid going back to them because I don't want to be made aware of their shortcomings and limitations.
Also, some stuff just doesn't age with you either. I had a brief metalcore phase, for example, where I was convinced it was the height of music. I now find much of that genre unlistenable, and when I listen to stuff I used to love, it's hard for me to see now what I loved about it in the first place.
I've dabbled in lifelogging in various forms over the years, most of which have fallen by the wayside. For a while I realized I was gathering/keeping data on things simply because I could but not because it meant anything to me. I'd gather the data in hopes of finding meaning from it later, but it didn't really do anything for me. Plus, because I invariably ended up doing so in imperfect ways, I was always frustrated more by gaps in my data than in what the data I did have could actually tell me. My Media Captain system is pretty much the only thing I've consistently kept to -- most likely because it's the one of the only parts of personal logging that I see value in. Other stuff like weight tracking has value in an immediate sense to me (knowing where I'm at and where I'm headed), but I don't particularly feel any need to keep the data around long-term, as it's not very important to me to know where I was at 2 or 10 years ago.
I've read Grades as communication, it was written so well! The length felt just right, the formatting is really nice, it is just a great article! Reading through it, I was once again reassured that I definitely could not be a teacher, all these questions you have posed seem pretty much impossible to answer.
I am looking forward to reading the two other blog posts too :).
I wonder if this should be my motto! I just checked my to read list over on Storygraph and it's at a hefty 529 books. My selection process is a bit simpler though, it's mostly just a combination of whatever is available with a short wait as an ebook from the library, and whatever books I can convince people to buy me for the holidays. I loved reading about your system though, and I've saved the other two articles to take a look at later on my reader.
The grade piece is something that is really impactful and I like how you covered multiple facets and angles of the 'simple' issue of assigning a grade (as it seems to an outsider like me). I've got quite a bit to chew on now that your writing has exposed me to the nuances present.
Thanks for writing and sharing -- this seems to be a significant undertaking!
So I have finally read the two blog posts about tracking media. Again, really well written, reading your writing is so pleasant!
I find your system of keeping track of media you want to read very interesting. I probably don't need anything like this, because most of the time I don't really have a queue of stuff I want to read/play/listen to. Whenever I find something nice, I just consume it immediately, or if I don't have the time immediately, create a bookmark in my browser for it. Most of the time I have exactly nothing queued up like this. For things that take a longer time like games, I just make a mental note, which has been good enough so far, for example currently I want to play Mother 3.
I can really relate to your second article. Tracking stuff like this really feels good, I don't really even know why, guess just having it as an habit is somehow comforting. I use RYM to track and rate music I listen to, I am really happy with it so far, using it for around two years now I think. I can understand what you said about it being a bit strange to "expose" so much about yourself by publicly sharing everything you listened to. I am ok with it though :), so far at least. I don't really track other media, because I don't really watch too many movies, or read too many books. I listen to a ton of music, and being able to put all music I listen to into a kind of huge tier list is just really fun :D.
I also keep something similar to a diary, where I occasionally write down media I especially enjoy. As you said -- it is really cool to be able to read about what kind of random stuff I enjoyed a few years ago. It is really interesting to see how much I change, but also stay the same.
I seem to have missed the memo O_o but here goes:
I had time to wrap up / start new remixes from scratch. Unfortunately, I couldn't upload them to SoundCloud as the copyright detection kicks in (I rip only the vocals, the rest of the instrumentation is all by yours truly).
1. Despicable - grandson
I did some interesting stuff in this one: The vocals at the beginning are filtered to make it sound like it's through a phone (albeit, a low quality line). I liked switching from acoustic drums to electronic ones with sharper transients in the drop.
Plus, the entire drop is basically making use of hocketing
2. Starboy - The Weeknd
I remixed this one just to get out of a creative rut which is why it's a bit of a lazy remix with not much variation. I didn't want to go overboard with the synths because I wanted the vocals to shine through and the Weeknd basically sings a lot here.
3. Lights - Ellie Goulding
This is a very old track by Ellie Goulding that I decided to breathe some new life into by using some combination of future rave-ish Saw basses and other features reminiscent of the genre. Although, all of that goes out of the window during the drop ¯\_(ツ)_/¯
It feels weird putting out my music like this because I don't really share it with anyone, but any feedback (good or bad especially) is welcome! From a glance through other posts, I can see many successful completions of the TiMaSoMo which is awesome and I'm glad I could join y'all!
P.S: thanks @kfwyre for organizing this!!
It's really hard to judge remixes without knowing with the original track... so your first two were fun to listen to, but because I have never even heard the originals, I don't really know what you actually changed in them. However, Ellie Goulding's Lights is one I am pretty damn familiar with, and have heard tons of remixes of over the years. I really like your take on it! Her vocals are much darker and more ominous feeling, and I especially love everything after the drop.
Thank you for your kind words, and yes, I'll add a link to the originals now :-)
These are fantastic! I thoroughly enjoyed all of them, but my favorite was "Lights", most likely because I'm familiar with the original (the others were new to me). That bass is so good in the song, and I love how the whole tone of the song is completely changed.
Also, you definitely know how to hit a drop.
What's your process for making these? What software do you use, and how do you determine which songs you'd like to work on? When you listen to a song, can you "hear" the changes you'd like to make, or is it more something you discover over time as you start to work with a song?
Thank you for your kind words!
I'm happy to expound
I scour the Internet for acapellas which are filtered pretty good or the original stems (often released as part of a remix contest, etc.) and listen to the original for a while because I want to deviate a fair bit from the original. Then, I listen to the vocals in isolation as that restricts my scale choice and BPM range (if I'm making something even more dancier than the original, I just crank up the BPM even higher so that's an easy choice)
More often than not, the vocals themselves provide useful hints as to how they can be set in arrangements.
In this case, one of the qualities that I noticed about Goulding's voice is that
I had this sample pack which matches what I'm looking for https://www.iwantthatsound.com/mammoth (basically drums drenched in reverb and/or distorted)
So, drums are in place, and for the bass, I knew this remix was just begging for a Reesey-style bass for the intro. Since tension and release are key in dance music, I switched to a less powerful bass guitar in the verse, and switched out the acoustic drums for sharper electronic ones in the drop.
I also wanted to emphasize the words in this track which is why the kick pattern punctuates certain words and a little
Again, you probably see the pattern now: to again emphasize the vox even more, I let the reverb wash out before the drop so that the drop is even more impactful. I can't deny that the vox are what make this remix what it is!
I was also looking to do something unexpected with the arrangement which is why the drop sounds a bit incongruous when juxtaposed with the intro/verse.
I use Ableton Live 10 and purely virtual instruments and samples. One of the advantages of working with purely virtual devices is that I don't have to record anything in or deal with frustrating cable issues, etc which significantly speeds up the whole process -- this remix took me a little over 3 hours to complete on vacation :)
Other software that I use (in no particular order)
As for which songs I wanna work on, the first few lines of the first section answer that partially, but I also try to prioritize tracks that have a special memory tied to it (a significant life event for example) as remixing it feels like expressing a degree of veneration towards it, if that makes sense?
It has never been the former for me :(
All my remixes are a product of randomness (I try out random stuff) and grow organically. In this case, processing the vox with my effects set me on the path to craft something cinematic(?).
Thanks again, it fills me with delight to know that someone out there probably smiled a little when listening to my music and that's precisely what I want my music to accomplish.
3D Printed Lex Prime
Totally and completely blew the timasomo deadline on this, hope you'll forgive me for dropping this in here a few days late. This was going to get completed either way, since it's intended as an Xmas gift, so I figured I'd share the end result. I had a very unproductive week in the middle of Nov, otherwise I think I might have finished this within the target month.
Final build shot: https://imgur.com/5flbp0G
Full process Imgur album : https://imgur.com/gallery/IuMnjZ4
:edit: I also made it a box: https://imgur.com/gallery/hG9vrMX
What is this?
This is a 3D printed prop replica of a video game weapon, the Lex Prime from the F2P game Warframe. It is intended as an Xmas gift to a good friend of mine, who has been using Warframe as one way of coping with the stresses of being a new dad and WFH.
How'd it go?
It went really well overall. The 3D design was well done and separated, I didn't have to modify anything to make it fit other than a little bit of sanding of edges here and there. There were no big unexpected surprises, just a lot of small problems to solve. How to get certain nooks and crannies sanded and smoothed. How to join pieces together so that they look like they're one piece. How to apply paint patiently. I have a habit with spraypaint of trying to get ALL the surfaces perfectly coated on the first try instead of waiting and filling it in on the 2nd or 3rd pass. Which often ends up causing drips and pooling.
I also had fun jury-rigging a photo "booth" with some spare lights and a sheet to get some nice final glam shots, which I haven't bothered to do before.
Would you do it again?
While I probably won't make this exact prop again, this is now my second prop that I've made in the last few months and have immensely enjoyed both. This has solidified that this is definitely a hobby I want to continue doing. I bought an air compressor and airbrush supplies this month just for this project and to do more projects in the future. I have derived a lot of joy from creating something with my hands that exists physically (as opposed to code). It's made even more special by giving them to people I know will appreciate and enjoy them.
Wow, this is amazing! I used to play Warframe so I can kind of recognize the weapon. The entire process looks so intricate and seems to require a keen eye!
The banana for scale is a nice touch :P
Thanks for sharing the build photos and congrats on completing TiMaSoMo!
Thanks, I'm always delighted when someone notices that, I try to include it in all the pictures I take for any project.
That is a gorgeous piece of work! It has a crispness to it that's unbelievable. It looks like you just reached into your screen and pulled something from a videogame into the real world. Absolutely incredible!
I also love your build album, as it helps me to appreciate just how much time and effort went into this project. You have fully captured the spirit of Timasomo with this!
Also, the person receiving this gift is going to, I think, be completely blown away by it.