Sotto Voce.

"Qui plume a, guerre a." — Voltaire

Archive for the ‘Life the Universe and Everything’ Category

Keyboards and the Future of Computers —

At Apple’s recent special event announcing its latest MacBook Pro lineup, SVP Phil Schiller introduced the new Touch Bar feature by explaining that it was designed to provide a dynamic and adaptive replacement for the row of physical function keys that has accompanied computer keyboards since the early 1970s. Why, he asked, should interface design […]

Get Thee to a Pennery —

My pen restoration hobby is off to a good start. The Wearever button-filler that I wrote about here and here is now in the hands of Mrs. Sotto Voce, who is trying out some blue inks she bought for it. At the suggestion of Joe Van Cleave, I’m going to start making some short videos […]

My New Hobby —

I’ve been looking for a new hobby, one that would hopefully meet several broad criteria. Ideally, this hobby would: Fit on the workbench in our shed; Involve many of my tools for plastic scale modeling; Be relatively inexpensive; Require precision work; and Relate to one of my existing hobbies or pastimes. Pretty soon I whittled […]

On Reading about Rousseau on a Saturday Morning —

So I’m reading a TNY article about Jean-Jacques Rousseau and it did that thing again where some hick from the sticks comes wandering into Paris and suddenly WHAM he’s attending salons and hanging out with the literary set. I mean, literally in the same (and not too long by TNY standards) sentence the guy goes […]

Failure Modes —

A couple days ago, after work, I was tooling around YouTube and came across a documentary I hadn’t seen in a while: “Failure is Not an Option: A Flight Control History of NASA.” It’s ever so slightly over the top, but that’s okay because the subject — how a group of young engineers invented the […]

What’s in a Preposition? —

The uncreative mind can spot wrong answers, but it takes a very creative mind to spot wrong questions. – Antony Jay As usual, I’m two or three issues behind in my New Yorker reading, so it was only a few days ago that I had a chance to finally read Alec Wilkinson’s controversial article about […]

The Lights Are On Again at Channel 37 —

Last week, in a stealth move, I posted the first installment of a new Space Repairman serial, “Word of Honor” on Channel 37. The next chapter goes up this week. I have two more chapters in the works to complete the story. And I’m thinking about what will come after that. Gary says we have […]