Re-reading Moonstruck to remind myself just what it is about that graphic novel I found so adorable. A lot of it is Chet. I think I've met puppies that were more aloof and reserved.

As a writer, I'm torn on DALL-E 2. On the one hand, I want to show solidarity with other creatives by having nothing to do with the way it scrapes the creative product of millions of people for profit, potentially putting a lot of illustrators out of work. On the other hand, I really want to know what it comes up with when I put in the descriptions I've written for my original characters.


Who will the Tories pick to run the country next? Based on past performance, it could be Judge Death, Beaker from the Muppets, or an attractive lampshade.

Covid, food + 

An interesting study on what to eat to prevent Covid, and reduce its impact. What you'd expect in terms of diet, but it's good to see the numbers behind it. has free short courses on all sorts of diseases and health issues, in lots of different languages. They're really interesting. I've just done one on Monkeypox, and I'm learning about rabies next.

ukpol, internet 

I've been down the rabbit hole of looking at the text of the Online Safety Bill. It's nuts. Under the premise of protecting children, there's a big grab for age-verification requirements that will be expensive for sites to use. And will cover a lot of sites. They affect "user-to-user" and "search engines". I couldn't figure out whether the definition of search engine included a site search that links to its own non-user-provided content.

We call this cutie Gus. He's quite comfortable in the feeder and comes most days.

From the archives, The Grass King's Concubine by Kari Sperring came out 10 years ago. An absolutely stonking fairytale:

@rosjackson also the humans who've categorised and tagged those photos are almost definitely in no small part borderline slave labour

DALL-E isn't job-destroying because it's any good, yet. It isn't very good, except for carefully curated selected phrases. It's depressing because it will inevitably improve, and because it's clearly generated using scraped photos that people have carefully described. This means that pro illustrators and photographers now have much less incentive to create new public work, and to put it on the internet with long descriptive text.

Be gentle with yourselves, my beloveds. Things are deeply suboptimal right now, and there’s no shame in knowing as much. If you feel like nothing is okay at the moment…well, you’re not alone in that estimation.

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They made their money the old-fashioned way: sheer dumb luck.

"The results are something of an eye-opener. Their simulations accurately reproduce the wealth distribution in the real world. But the wealthiest individuals are not the most talented (although they must have a certain level of talent). They are the luckiest. And this has significant implications for the way societies can optimize the returns they get for investments in everything from business to science."

I don't believe that science will save us from climate change, certainly not on its own. But, you know what, advances in "cultured meat" are interesting. Especially when it comes to preventing dangerous antibiotic overuse.

There is a petition for Amazon to change the return policy on finished ebooks. Pretty galling for authors to find finished books getting returned, or whole series of books read and serially returned.

Animal death 

We lost this guy today. Run over by a car. I wish people would drive slower; and I wish he had learned a bit more road sense. Heartbroken.

. Today the murderboy killed 4 times. Mice, shrews, voles, whatever. He's now under house arrest.

Sololearn seems a lot like Duolingo, but for code. As in, it's structured in a very similar way in bitesize chunks, but I don't think it goes very deep. Fun, though.

I signed up two days ago and got my first certificate:

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Wandering Shop

The Wandering Shop is a Mastodon instance initially geared for the science fiction and fantasy community but open to anyone. We want our 'local' timeline to have the feel of a coffee shop at a good convention: tables full of friendly conversation on a wide variety of topics. We welcome everyone who wants to participate, so long as you're willing to abide by our code of conduct.