1. After many unsuccessful attempts to propagate shrub cuttings, this sage seems to be cooperating! Making a tape grid over a plastic tub of water is a nice low-tech solution for holding many cuttings upright.

  2. New video: Ai Wo Mitsuketa Basho (愛を見つけた場所) by Oku Hanako and Akito Matsuda. I adapted the brass duet arrangement from Sound! Euphonium for hurdy gurdy, and played both parts on gurdy #10 before shipping it to its new owner.

    Nobody’s likely to make an anime about hurdy gurdy players any time soon, so this will have to do for the moment.

  3. Day 4 of the was very successful after the storm-related inactivity of day 3, with 106 observations from the Lobau and Prater. Highlights include:

    My first sighting of wild european pond turtles

    My first black woodpeckers

    Many great spotted woodpeckers

    A greater bee fly which held still long enough for me to photograph it

    Some newts

    This interesting spider

    These enormous beetle larvae

    This cool looking moth

    And many, many oil beetles

    That makes a total of 213 observations over the long weekend. It’ll take some time for them to be identifed down to species level, but it looks like at least 130 individual species.

  4. Day 2 of the : I finally made it to the Lainzer Tiergarten and made 73 observations, the highlights of which included:

    Some enormous woodlice

    Some sort of Polydesmus, curled up on a little wall it had built to protect its eggs

    Plenty of Glomeris and pill woodlice

    A red squirrel

    A nuthatch — not a great photo, but they’re one of my favourite woodland birds

    One of the furriest moths I’ve ever seen — I think it’s a chimney sweep moth? If so, it’s an appropriate name.

    And finally, this enormous severed stag beetle head.

  5. Made 34 observations on the first day of the Wien. Nothing particularly remarkable, except for the biggest frog I’ve ever seen, and lots of hamster activity, including some fights and parents with young, which I’ve not seen before.

  6. I finally got Visual Studio Code’s terminal and tab handling working the way I wanted, with these keybindings:

    [
      {
          "key": "shift+cmd+]",
          "command": "workbench.action.terminal.focusNext",
          "when": "terminalFocus"
      },
      {
          "key": "shift+cmd+[",
          "command": "workbench.action.terminal.focusPrevious",
          "when": "terminalFocus"
      },
      {
          "key": "cmd+w",
          "command": "workbench.action.terminal.kill",
          "when": "terminalFocus"
      },
      {
          "key": "ctrl+`",
          "command": "workbench.action.terminal.focus"
      },
      {
          "key": "ctrl+`",
          "command": "workbench.action.focusActiveEditorGroup",
          "when": "terminalFocus"
      }
    
    ]
    

    This way, cmd+shift+] and cmd+shift+[ not only allow you to switch between editor tabs, but also terminals, when the terminal is focused. cmd+w kills the current terminal tab as expected. ctrl+` switches focus between the editor and the terminal.

    I was considering overriding cmd+t to open a new terminal when the terminal is focused, but decided to just get used to the built in ctrl+shift+` shortcut instead.

  7. Happy 237th Halibut Day, everyone!

  8. A Camomile tip I learned the hard way: audio units built using camomile (and presumably VSTs and lv2s too) will stop working if you rename them, as they rely on the bundle filename, the .txt configuration file and the main .pd patch all sharing the same base name in order to function.

  9. Every time I try to do embedded programming outside the arduino/teensy ecosystem, I’m amazed at how everything else manages to somehow be even worse

  10. Watching the colours mix and flow is almost as beautiful as the painting itself

  11. I don’t often check my internet numbers, but I’m happy to see that a music video I made is at least marginally more popular than that one time I 3D printed some minecraft foxes.

    (And yes, I know that the foxes have a vastly higher Internet Number Per Year, but the music is the more enduring content so that’ll self-correct over time)

  12. I’m seeing a lot of rhetoric claiming that the UK dropping out of ERASMUS is good because it “enables UK students to travel to better universities because only one EU university is in the top 50, and they’re 50th”

    I’m no expert on university rankings, but five minutes of cursory internet research reveals this claim to be questionable at best. There are three major international university rankings: QS, ARWU and THEWUR. The “only-one-in-the-top-50“ “fact” spouted so readily by leavers is true of only one of these: the QS ranking, which list the TUM in 50th place.

    ARWU is a different story, with the Paris-Saclay University in 14th place, the Sorbonne in 39th and the Karolinska Institute at 45th. THEWUR has LMU Munich at 32nd, the Karolinska Institute tied with the University of Tokyo at 36th, the TUM at 41st, Heidelberg University at 42nd, KU Leuven at 45th and PSL at 46th.

    Additionally, Swiss universities are ranked highly by all three lists. While no longer a part of ERASMUS+, it’s in theory possible for EU student exchanges to be funded via the SEMP programme.

    Apparently the UK’s participation in ERASMUS will be replaced with the tactlessly-named “Turing Scheme”, about which only vague details are available. Given the current governments track record on… pretty much everything, I don’t much rate its chances, but who knows.

    There are many other holes to poke in the claim that leaving ERASMUS (and indeed the EU in general) is a good move for UK students, and that university rankings are the be-all-and-end-all of choosing where to do an exchange (variety? language choice? social/cultural connections?), but they’re more complicated questions. This particular claim was so easily debunked that I couldn’t resist.

    Update: this twitter thread from a UK professor confirms most of my suspicions about the prospects of the Turing scheme.

  13. In lieu of being able to sing together with people this winter, I transcribed Thomas Ravenscroft’s “Remember, O Thou Man” carol (from Melismata, 1611) into 4-shape notation.

    I left in most of the notational oddities and old spelling, although I did fill in the missing bar in the alto part with what seems to be the generally accepted version. The empty bar at the beginning is necessary to persuade Musescore to let me notate a dorian piece in 4-shape notation — that’s also why the second system has the wrong key signature (it doesn’t look like that in the editor, only the export.) Hopefully they will either fix that soon, or I’ll find a good way of getting ABC notation typeset in shapes.

    Anyway, here’s the score. Enjoy!

    Remember, O Thou Man.pdf

  14. New video: How to build a Chien (hurdy gurdy buzzing bridge)

    The article I wrote a few years ago is now available for your viewing pleasure.

  15. Are you as sick as I am of stupid modal pop-ups interrupting almost everything you try to do on the web these days? Here’s the email template I’ve started sending to any site owner who I think might be receptive about the issue. Feedback welcome.

    Hello NAME, I was just trying to read this article on your website: URL but stopped pretty quickly because of the annoying modal pop-up window which showed up a few seconds in. Decades worth of user research data has shown modal pop-ups to be a terrible, off-putting design pattern which will do nothing but irritate and drive away readers and users: https://www.nngroup.com/articles/popups/ Apologies for the weird email but I’m really sick of these annoying modals which pervade online life these days and decided that, in cases like this (where the website has an easily-reachable, potentially receptive contact person who is likely to both care about the issue and be able to implement a better solution) I would just write to them in the hope that it might result in the situation being improved. All the best, YOUR NAME