Twitters and Tumblrs - Poetry and VisualizationMon Oct 21 2013
My new Twitter and Tumblr projects are getting going.

They sort of relate to each other thematically, although am not sharing any code in their respective bases.

The first is scoundrel steals fruit, apologizes insincerely. a place to put visualizations of parodies found of famous poems.

Parodies are harvested periodically from the internet by bots. Actually they are quite plentiful so I have a queue.
Bots are written in Node.JS and PhantomJS.

When the bot finds a site with a parody it looks around for more parodies, if a single page has a bunch of parodies it takes all the parodies of the single type of poem it is looking for that it can find - this process can of course be error prone.

A single page can be split up to parodies in the main content of the page, and parodies in the comments section.

Some sites have specific bots written for them, since those sites are structurally very similar all over, and have a lot of parodies.

When parodies are extracted they are sent through a processing sketch to generate a word cloud with a funny image of a robot. Some of these combinations can be quite interesting, but really the reason I do this is that the poems I am taking to be wordclouded are often quite insipid.

The famous poems I am parodying are currently This is Just to Say - by William Carlos Williams The Red Wheelbarrow - by William Carlos Williams The Road Not Taken - by Robert Frost

At first I was just doing This is just to Say, which I believe is the most parodied on the internet in English - although this has not been tested in any way.

I don't actually like the poem, so I found it somewhat amusing to be taking insipid parodies of a bad poem and running them through the least interesting form of visualization there is, the Wordcloud!

Then I added the Red Wheelbarrow, another Williams poem I hate with hardly any passion.

I then broke my pattern and took The Road not Taken, a poem that is quite good but that has worn out its welcome like a cross-generational earworm.

Here are some example wordclouds This is just to say parody 1 This is just to say parody 2 This is just to say parody 3 This is just to say parody 4

You will note that all the pictures contain robots (lots of them have women also, a side-effect of choosing pulp sources.) I thought that robots would be appropriate given the bots do most of it.

The second project is just trying to understand twitter as a medium, The Poet Ninja is a one line joke. Every now and then I take a famous poem, run some code to generate an image from the text - it could be a wordcloud with ninjas as background, it could be a spiral of the words or different shapes generated by properties of the words, lots of different stuff, I then put that up on The Poet Ninja tumblr log

Here are some example generated images If You Forget Me by Pablo Neruda Do not go gentle into that good night - Dylan Thomas

Then after I upload the generated image I tweet some short parodies of the poems, in the persona of The Poet Ninja, who can't help but put a lot of blood and violence into his poems, as an example:

Do not go gentle into that good night,
because I am crouching in its shadow

Tasty Search - an old projectMon Sep 16 2013

Ah, I found an old project I had even forgotten I made.

Tasty Search - Google Custom Search seeded with my delicious bookmarks, of course I dropped using delicious about 2 years ago when I made my own bookmarking service but probably I should add it back in to my workflow.

One of the tricky things in building the index was having sites that were too big only index their absolute urls whereas sites that were small would index their absolute urls and their relative urls. So for example if I bookmarked [] both that url and itself should be indexed, whereas if I bookmarked [] then only that absolute url should be indexed, otherwise I would end up with a search engine with a lot of lifehacker content drowning out poor old sheldonbrown.

And if we extend the idea behind tf/idf to develop a metric for the worth of sites we would probably have to conclude that the site of sheldonbrown was likely to be more informative and important than that of lifehacker.

Of course there are some problems that an expanding web brings to that idea. Many corporate sites and blogs when I made Tasty were much smaller, thus they did not crowd the index overmuch. That has changed. Knowing what I know today I guess I would have to make a tool to periodically clean the index of the built up cruft.

Given that Google has added capabilities to its custom search over the years, maybe I should resuscitate the project.

Compendium Design AestheticWed Oct 09 2013

I am not photogenic. I'm presentable enough in person but in a photo I look like Frankenstein's monster ready to stroke out in three. So I haven't pu my picture on any of the well known social sites, or on my CV, or on this site. I basically did this for the kids, they use the internet and there are some things they shouldn't have to see.

So what to do for profile pictures?

I knew I wanted something unique for each site, yet I wanted each site's profile picture to have a relevance to that site, and also to hang together with all the others - to have an overarching aesthetic.

So I decided to use the common user logos for these sites as my profile picture, but to run each of them through some image filters in processing and for this site I chose a generic stick figure, also ran through processing.

This allows me to have a unified but unique look, and since the color combinations are done algorithmically I can change my aesthetic quickly.

Here is an example of some of the pictures:

LinkedIn Tumblr Facebook

On how this site is madeMon Sep 09 2013

Technologies used in this site: node.js, docpad, stylus.

init blogMon Sep 09 2013

This is the first post of this blog, as mine is a utilitarian enterprise I will now describe it

A Compendium Blog

A Compendium blog gathers data from the various enterprises, projects, other blogs and digital presence of its proprietor(s). This does not mean reposting content, but rather shortening it, placing related things together, or making meta commentary on a project.

  1. Suppose I have several open source projects that relate to each other, I might do a single post here describing the relation.
  2. If a project has experienced a good deal of activity recently, that activity might be summarized here.
  3. If I publish a list of related articles elsewhere a post would probably appear here describing the relation between the articles, or discussing the impetus for the articles.
  4. In the case of fiction I might use this blog as a place to describe what I see as the reasons for various decisions I might have made in writing the original piece.
  5. Writing on cross project design decisions and personal content strategies will probably also appear here.
A Proviso

All that said, I have some things to write that I might just put here until I have the actual channels up for processing it.