Behold the John Whitney Music Box, a realization in music of the motion graphic concepts of John Whitney. The animation and audio are by Jim Bumgardner, who first developed the web app 10 years ago.
You may notice some interesting links between the visuals and the audio, especially if you are a musician. For example, when the pattern forms a 3-arm starfish, the chords you are hearing are diminished chords, which consist of minor thirds, an interval in which the notes are 3 chromatic steps apart. The chords you hear always bear this type of relationship to the pattern you are seeing, consisting of intervals which match the arrangement of arms.
I generated the audio using my sound synthesis program, Syd, which provides a very elegant way to accomplish this kind of thing. Unfortunately, Syd is horribly supported these days (I haven’t updated the Macintosh version since before OS X). Here’s a sample Syd patch which was used to generate the audio (I actually used 3 similar patches and mixed the results together).
Bumgardner commented on a recent Reddit thread:
I made the Whitney Music Box nearly 10 years ago. It seems like it gets rediscovered on Reddit about every 18 months. Invariably, I see the same comments: 1) Aphex Twin 2) Bowser's castle 3) Hypnotoad 4) Microtones are creepy 5) Awesome on drugs. And, much to my relief, no one seems to mind that its still implemented in Flash!
There are many variations and each plays perfectly full-screen. Read the rest
If you're the sort to use fancy words, try Cleartext, a simple Mac text editor that won't let you.
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Tristan Miller and Dave Morice created a website that produces highly-authentic Shakespearean sonnets. The trick: rather than randomly-generated Markov gobbledygook that evokes the flavor while crudely hitting the meter, each generated sonnet reuses whole lines from the body of Shakespeare's poetic work. The results are more convincing, at the cost of more commonplace repetition.
Writes Miller: "unlike some other poetry generators, this one ensures that the poems have the correct rhythm, rhyme scheme, and grammar. Dave first published the
method for generating the poems back in 1991, but this is the first time it's been implemented on the Web."
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LambdaConf is a conference for people who are into functional programming. If you don't know what that means, it suffices to say that these are stout, yeomanly Hobbits of computer science. What's news is that they invited Mencius Moldbug to speak at it. Moldbug (real name Curtis Yarvin) is a Hollywood archetype of coders: the programming whiz who has strange and comically retrograde opinions of minorities, slavery, ladies, etc. So. Should he be invited to speak?
LambdaConf founder and chief organizer John A. De Goes wrote in a blog post that the conference decided to keep Yarvin as a speaker in order not to set a precedent of discriminating against attendees because of their beliefs. "LambdaConf does not and cannot endorse any of the wildly different, diametrically opposed, and controversial opinions held by speakers, attendees, volunteers, and vendors," he wrote. …
Jon Sterling, organizer of LambdaConf workshop PrlConf, decided to cancel the workshop, writing in an open letter: "We cannot possibly organize a workshop under the umbrella of a conference that values the free expression of racist and fascist views over the physical and emotional safety of its attendees and speakers."
Not all who oppose Yarvin's views say they will boycott the conference. The writers of a forthcoming book on the programming language Haskell say they are coming to support other speakers and attendees.
There's a passage in one of the Hannibal Lecter novels, probably Silence of the Lambs, where it's made clear that the good doctor, though incarcerated as a serial killer, is still engaged as a professional in his field of study. Read the rest
Jo Edkins' online design a tessellation
widget makes it easy to create tessellating patterns in a style similar to that of M.C. Escher… albeit without the fastidious pencilwork. There's also a simpler grid tessellation widget
and one for triangles too
. Read the rest
accepts JPG uploads and redraws the images using only straight lines. The effect is ghostly yet technical, resembling something human-drawn but not enough to be confused as such. Watching the picture emerge over time is strangely meditative. Unless you've uploaded a picture of Trump, that is, in which case it's just another example of something slowly going wrong on a computer.
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created The Color Clock
, whose background color is always a hexadecimal RGB representation of the current time. You can download screensaver versions too. Read the rest
Following up on yesterday's fractal fun, here's a real-time fractal zoomer on the web.
Use the arrow keys to pan, A and Z keys to zoom, S and X keys to change the threshold.
It's by Jonathan Alpers, using WebGL and Three.js, and was featured on Chrome Experiments in November. Read the rest
You like zoning out in front of fractals, right? Of course you do!
FractalJS is the easiest fractal zoomer yet: just pinch-zoom or scrollwheel and watch it go. There are several sets to choose from, a smoothing option, lots of color schemes, and it's all open-source.
Alternatives: Calvin Metcalf's Leaflet has Google Maps-style controls and Alson Kemp's WebFract3D renders sets in three dimensions for an especially bizarre experience.
Bonus: Here's a Mandelbrot set being generated on a 50-year-old IBM mainframe.
Found any cool fractal stuff on the web lately? Read the rest
The Next Web's
I'd love to read
article titled "Ad-blockers aren’t ‘immoral,’ but maybe you’re using them wrong", but it is impossible because of the hilariously broken full-screen ad superimposed upon it. Read the rest
"Based on the historical GitHub Archive and GitHut data starting in 2012, we analyzed the most common developer actions within GitHub and turned it into [these] infographics"
Interesting factoid: four of the top five entries were introduced in 1995, and the other (CSS) in 1996.
The Most Popular Programming Languages in to GitHub Since 2012 [loggly] Read the rest
My only objection is that it's not a full-length documentary.
Pierre Chevalier's "EMMA" is a curious online art/code project that grabs random images from Google Street View and juxtaposes them with random text snippets from the DreamBank database of dream reports. (via Waxy) Read the rest
The curator puts it a little more succinctly: Shit for making websites
. [shitformakingwebsites.com] Read the rest
Boston coder Darius Kazemi's interest in chance led him to create a bot that buys stuff on Amazon: a human decision made ineluctably alien by the randomness of a computer's whim.