delilahdesanges

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Links Post December

Things I have done

Things strangers have done

  • Mapped London’s independent bookshops, to help anyone who wants to support independent businesses and get their books from sources that actually pay their taxes.
  • Provided a handy guide to embroidery needles, which helped me somewhat when I managed to snap one of mine in half while trying to straighten it after my ham hands bent it.
  • Sold very posh perfumes in imp sizes (2 ml bottles) for the impoverished and curious.
  • Collected together the very best and most innovative tattoos from around the world. Lots of material for inspiration here, although as the curator of the blog says, don’t copy anything directly – original work always looks better.
  • Posted about her exploits as an artist-in-residence at McMurdo, which involve a lot of penguins.
  • Put up a short guide to the colourful and weird slang of 1920s America. This should hopefully prove useful if I ever get onto my prohibition-era noir pulp thing with alien pregnancies that I have small plans to write.

That’s about it from me for this year. See you in 2014!

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Links Post September

Things Other People Have Done

  • Written a sardonic post about popular myths about poetry.
  • Designed an eating game based around the Prisoner’s Dilemma. A friend of mine was one of the original test party for this and spent a while explaining interesting “hacks” of the overall premise, which is after all what games are really about.
  • Put up a 1965 high school student’s research paper project: to ask several best-selling authors of the time about symbolism in their work. A surprising number replied, although as you’d expect they weren’t really into the literary criticism side of their stories.
  • Created a useful toy for house planners and writers alike: a room layout planner. Helpful for visualising fictional spaces. (via Cindy R)
  • Written an article about why storytelling is a valuable tool in understanding, in neurological terms as well as social ones.
  • Made this cool thing that makes patterns and is extremely good for calming one down after stressful work days.
  • Put up a tutorial on how to make failed lab experiments.
  • Made a regular podcast about the history of the English language.

Things I have done

  • Started a fashion magazine/blog called Faschionism which should, hopefully, update several times a week with stuff from various contributors.

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August Links Post

Things other people have done

  • Designed, and funded, a 3D-printer that runs on recycled rubbish as its “ink”. Part of me, which still remembers dot matrix daisy-wheel printers as the norm and is still secretly excited by laser printers even though I’ve owned one for 10 years (the same one, which is getting a bit doddery now), steadfastly refuses to believe that 3-D printing is a real thing. This is in spite of owning a piece of jewellery and a random thingamy both 3-D printed from metals. It’s strange to find yourself living in the future.
  • Started printing tiny 3-D versions of people from photographs for no apparent reason.
  • Written a witty and accessible article myth-busting on some common misconceptions about the Vikings.
  • In Texas, some glorious people have converted a disused/abandoned Walmart into the world’s largest public library. Well done.
  • Created a pen out of a pen nib out of a beer can, and made a tutorial about it.
  • Set up a fantastic thing called Forage London, which encourages us urban parasites to look at wild plants and actually use them! Something I’ve done since I was a kid but which is apparently in need of a resurgence.
  • Brilliantly transformed some chaps with long hair into Guys With Fancy Lady Hair, thus scaling back my recent objections to man-tails and reviving my adolescent interest in fellas with long locks.
  • Written a beautiful article about the genius of The Young Ones, one of my favourite sitcoms in TV history.
  • Unearthed a forgotten sporting hero from Britain’s past, Cuthbert Ottaway, who as well as revelling in an absurd name which gives Benedict Cumberbatch a run for his money, also served as the first England football captain and “once shared a 150-run partnership with WG Grace in the highest level of cricket.” He was also a Barrister, and died at 28, presumably leaving most modern gentlemen feeling that they’d achieved nothing in their lives.
  • Made a synaesthetic map of the Tube.

Things People I Know Have Done

  • Made a redbubble account after I nagged them a lot to. Ossifier is the photographer responsible for the cover of Saint Grimbald’s Men, and has a lot of other very beautiful pictures to her credit. Worth checking out for postcards and prints.

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July Links Post

Things Other People Have Done

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Confluence of events

On the 2nd of July two things happened which affect my sewing progress on the million projects I have laid out for myself (including the accidental production of a pair of red snakeskin trousers).

  1. A friend and patron bought me about an acre of really beautiful burgundy taffeta with gold foil patterns on it, and another friend instructed me that I’m making myself a dress out of it.
  2. Which might be a little hard to do, as while I was trying to finish off the aforementioned red snakeskin trousers (made from an adapted leggings pattern), my sewing machine had a tantrum. I fixed it, it promptly threw another. This continued until the whole thing was completely locked up, at which point my partner in crime and cohabiting and I took the thing as much to pieces as we could (it’s been out of warranty for about 5 years, probably longer, given that I got it in late 2005). It was pretty much fucked, and I was faced with a choice between getting a service on it and potentially paying for new parts, or just ordering a slightly less decrepit sewing machine.

I opted for the latter, but even scraping the “special buy” section at John Lewis has set me back more than I can really handle, so…

… I am doing what I’ve just been told is a “buy my shit post”, or more accurately the less humiliating version of begging for Paypal donations (I don’t think I’m down to that yet).

If none of it appeals to you personally, remember that having a box of “gifts for emergencies” is super useful and makes you look like you’re thoughtful and on the ball. Also that I will definitely thank you for it.

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June Links Post

(I may have taken a couple of months off from collecting interesting links due to having an extended holiday from everything).

Things Other People Have Done

  • The Oxford Dictionaries Blog have made a fine post detailing the evolving language of Tumblr. Lexocography is an interesting science and one which seems a lot like trying to move water with a sieve, from where I’m sitting, so it’s even more fascinating to see how one of the world’s most comprehensive dictionaries takes on the perpetually-changing dialects of the internet. (That said, a lot of the language defined isn’t unique to Tumblr).
  • Fickle Sense rendered up unto the internet a helpful tutorial on how to make circle skirts – full, 3/4, 1/2, and 1/4. Very useful for anyone wanting to make this most basic part of a wardrobe, excellent for sewing beginners.
  • Some very clever designers have made gold pendants out of city maps. Beautiful and an obvious way of expressing your civic pride.
  • These wonderful people have a business producing replicas of bones from a huge variety of vertebrate lifeforms, including extinct animals, and damaged human remains for pathological study. If I didn’t currently have a carrier bag full of actual bones dragged out of Thames waiting for me to clean them (it’s best not to ask), I would definitely be interested in flinging some cash in their direction.
  • Tumblr user chaperoned has created a handy guide to Reactive vs Proactive characters, why you should aim to write proactive characters, and how to do it, with a number of pertinent quotes. Said Tumblr user has also been a lot more polite about it than I usually am when dispensing writing “advice”.
  • Some mad genius has made animated shorts out of Superf*ckers, a fabulous/horrendous comic by James Kochalka. Which is wonderful, although possibly a little misleading if you are expecting the cute figures to behave like anything other than complete arsewipes.

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February Links Post

Things strangers have done

  • Created a polygonal sine wave generator, which allows you to play sine and cosine waves generated from regular polygons which aren’t circles. Entertaining to mess around with, and allows you to change the frequency of the waveform to suit your hearing as well. Discoveries with A (440Hz) include that while increasing the number of the source polygon’s sides until it most closely resembles a traditional sine wave produces a smoother-sounding note, reducing the number of sides until the waveform resembles a flamboyant triangle drawn with a calligraphy brush creates something which is both harsh and musical at the same time. Fantastically good fun. 
  • The British Library remind everyone that their Medieval and earlier manuscripts are in the public domain and the digitised catalogue is available for use: good news for scholars, the interested, or people like me who are having a bit of a belated spike of appreciation for the times prior to the fall of Constantinople.
  • The Kerala State Library too have a large digitised collection online in English and Malayalam. Some of the books are very rare, and there are over a thousand titles available.

People have done other things, but I haven’t been paying attention.

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January Links Post

Things I’ve done

Things my friends have done

Things strangers have done

  • Posted a marvellous Victorian experiment in cross-dressing, where for scientific reasons gentlemen discovered that corsets are a right bastard to bend in. As someone who spent New Year’s Eve having to rely on their friend for all shoe-tying and bag-raising needs I can wholeheartedly concur, although despite the belief of the male participant in this experiment, it is possible to both eat and drink in one. Kind of.
  • Wrote a very accessible post about temperature and negative temperatures, using Warren Buffett, Scrooge McDuck, and the Dalai Lama as examples in an analogy. I’m not the brightest when it comes to understanding physics (it wasn’t really taught in my school) but this makes rational sense to me so I’d say it’s a pretty good piece of science journalism.
  • Worked out how Vestal Virgins must have done their hair. In case you felt the need to recreate it.

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December Links Post

Things I have done

  • Reached a stage of procrastination so acute that I thought it was a good idea to start making Etsy Treasuries.

Things friends have done

Things strangers have done

  • Made this great tutorial on how to make your own filigree masquerade mask. I think you’d need steadier hands than I have to make it work.
  • On the theme of tutorials, this blog is full of useful beading tutorials.
  • Created this beautiful costuming and tapestry blog which is full of very revealing and fascinating posts (illustrated with photographs, of course) for anyone interested in those crafts.
  • Written a very charming round-up of English letters that ceased to be English letters as a result of French printing presses, or for other less amusingly xenophobic reasons.
  • Made what a friend describes as “an in-browser tool for making up nonsense words to your phonetic requirements”.
  • The British Library has made available online a truly staggering number of medieval European illuminated manuscripts.
  • Made an entire kit for constructing a language from scratch!

That’s all for this year! Have a happy new year, everyone who observes the Gregorian calendar, and I hope 2013 is better.

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November Links Post

Things my friends have done

  • I can now say with absolute sincerity that I have had a song composed about me (by my dear friend Hana), and I will just have to sit on the fact that she wrote it because I pouted at her after she wrote a song about our mutual friend Fiona (and that mostly because Fiona rhymes with boner. We are an intellectually robust cabal). This is worth listening to just to hear Hana break down in giggles mid-verse.
  • Written a rather beautiful poem.

Things strangers have done

  • Pertinent to the month which has just passed by us, the Guardian have published a guide on how to write a book in 30 days.
  • Set Skillex’s most well-known track into a piano piece, in which it sounds as well-composed and wonderful as ever, but perhaps less grating for those who, like one of the commenters, have strong negative feelings about dubstep.
  • The Foreign Institute Service has developed a series of language courses and put them online for free.
  • This deviantartist has created a tutorial on how to draw backgrounds using Google Sketchup.
  • More appropriate links to the month just passed, and for anyone who still wants to be a writer: your lack of confidence is neither interesting nor unique.
  • Memrise, who appear to specialise in mnemonics, have some courses on learning Irish.
  • On the subject of Gaelic, there is a handy pronunciation guide here.

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