Media TV

Review: Making It

Now finished with its second season and hosted by Amy Poehler and Nick Offerman, this show is America’s answer to the Great British Bake Off. It’s a positive and joyful romp through crafting and creating. Light weight, it’s like a lemon sorbet for my soul which reinforces my desire to make 2020 my year of being a maker. 5 out of 5 glue guns.

SMS 2-Factor Authentication is not good. It’s better than nothing, but it’s not as good as using something like Google Authenticator. Here’s an article about the issue on Wired from two years ago.

As a reader of this blog, please promise me you’ll avoid using SMS authentication if you have the option for one your important services such as banking, email, phone, etc.


A Mesmerizing Airplane

Watching this fascinating simple airplane I found on Reddit reminded me about an evening back when I was in Boy Scouts. The scout masters had set up for the patrols in our troop to compete in a paper airplane contest.

I was a member of the senior patrol, called “JOFA Patrol” for some joke I can’t remember. We were also notorious for working smarter, not harder, which often led to us breaking rules. Well, we immediately identified that the rules were insufficient for this competition. That is to say, there were none.

So, rather than make the best airplane we could. Instead we emptied our pockets of coins. Then we took the provided piece of paper and crumpled it up into a ball around the coins. The coins gave added heft to ensure the ball flew far. Rather than have to rely on a plane flying gracefully after a skilled toss, we just had the baseball player in the patrol chuck our “airplane” as far as he could.

As it turns out, this was longer than the entire length of the event hall. Our “airplane” burst against the wall, scattering its payload of coins.

The scout leaders disqualified us for cheating.

If you do try to create the original paper airplane, be aware of this advice from Reddit user jchasse, in response to someone saying their versions of this plane always crashed terribly:

The trick is in “throwing” it.
Hard to tell from the short vid.

Pointer finger sits on top of the paper crease in the middle bottom of the circle with thumb and middle finger below the paper on earthier side. (Take those thee fingers and point them in front of you. That triangle shape is what you are going for) You don’t grasp the paper (like a traditional paper airplane) so much as let it rest between the fingers like a launching rail.


DON’T toss/throw this like you think of a normal paper airplane!
This is all about a gentle push/release.


Let the air currents do all the work NOT the snap of your arm or wrist.

Once you have that down you can start to throw it by facing it vertical up in the air and adding a bit more of a wrist snap before releasing it horizontally, but again this is not about power more about grace.

Do this from the nose bleed seats in a stadium and you can reach all the way to the courts.

As far as the flappy wings never tried that before, curious if they add lift in some manner.



In summary: Today has been a fucking day.

New York Times front page after Iran’s attack on US bases in Iraq.
Further down the same frontpage on the New York Times.

If Iran attacking Iraq, then suffering a planecrash unrelatedly, wasn’t enough – don’t forget there was also an earthquake in Iran today.

It felt like today was on the knife’s edge of tilting us into another war. So far, the US has not further responded, and Iran has said this was their retaliation for the assassination of their military leader. I have to wonder what I will wake up to tomorrow.

And, because I find humor in including something that is cosmically irrelevant, but statistically improbable; this was a tweet I posted during tonight’s D&D game. [Disclaimer: I work for Wizards of the Coast.]

If I did the odds right, there is a 0.8% chance of me not succeeding at least once with those rolls.


What I'm Reading Right Now

Seattle Prohibition: Bootleggers, Rumrunners and Graft in the Queen City by Brad Holden – It’s a fairly thin book at 128 pages. This is not a criticism, but at the same time I’ve taken weeks to read it. I’ve read it just a few pages a night before going to bed.

Gideon the Ninth by Tamsyn Muir – I am only barely into the novel so I can’t say much about it, but it is an absolutely fascinating world and it has me deeply hooked to read more.

How The CIA Overthrew Iran’s Democracy In 4 Days (NPR) – NPR podcast Throughline published (back in Feb. 2019) this look at the history of US’s CIA role in the fall of the Iran Democracy. Even more important for Americans to understand given the politics of the last few days. Don’t just read the article, listen to the 38-minute podcast.

The most awesome space images of the decade ( – Some truly stunning images from space. This one from the European Space Agency’s Rosetta mission, landing on the comet 67P/Churyumov-Gerasimenko, still blows my mind. We captured that from the surface of a comet.


With 2020, one of my big goals is to be more of a maker. Of which, this blog is a big part of it for me. But also, I want to do more physical stuff. Adam Savage is one of my major sources of motivation and his one day builds series on YouTube is a constant source of enjoyment for me. Here’s the newest video which is much more of a how-to than his normal videos, which are as he puts it more of a “here’s what I did” sort of video.

Happy Public Domain Day – With the start of the new year, a whole host of new items enter the public domain.