Sam's notebook

"giving men a voice"?! August 26th, 2018, 10AM

Miscellaneous

What a joke!

Some 150 or so protesters eventually assembled on the forecourt of the SBS building where they were welcomed by veteran anti-Muslim agitator Avi Yemini, a habitual associate of Blair Cottrell, Neil Erikson and other luminaries of the local fascist right.

“We are going to show the Victorian socialist state that there is still hope,” Yemeni said. He led the crowd in a chant of “Aussie, Aussie, Aussie, oi, oi, oi”, before explaining that he wasn’t interested in hating women.

“I bloody love women,” he said. “This is about empowering men, about giving men a voice.”

Later, the marchers heard from veteran men’s rights activist Robert Brockway, who complained about the cruelty of terms like “mansplaining”, “manspreading”, “manflu” and “man babies”.

‘Stop the name-calling!’: anger unites March for Men protesters by Jeff Sparrow, Sun 26 Aug 2018 11.45 AEST

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Embedding Wikimedia URLs in WordPress August 26th, 2018, 10AM

Programming

I’ve had a stab at a WordPress plugin for embedding Wikimedia URLs: https://github.com/samwilson/embed-wikimedia

It’s of course just a draft and proof-of-concept and beta and rough at the moment. It only supports Wikipedia and Wikimedia Commons; I’m going to add Wikidata next, I think, and then Wikisource (although that will mostly be a reformatted version of the Wikidata one, because all relevant metadata about Wikisource items is in Wikidata).

I have no idea if it’s very useful. I mainly want it for Commons photos, and Wikisource books.

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Flattening going wrong August 25th, 2018, 4PM

Woodworking

Flattening stones is very satisfying, as the sounds changes towards the whole surface being true. I’ve got an annoying one though, that seems to be bowing out ever so slowly. I think it’s that I’m using two different grades of stone (two 1200 and one 800), and so they’re wearing at different rates. I suppose the real answer is that one should have three stones of each grade, and to only flatten like on like. Ah well. Maybe next wood show.

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Blogging and rolling August 20th, 2018, 5PM

Open content

Why don’t we just start blogging and rolling again? Why not go back to making content on my own, er leased, servers? It was never that hard to make a blog and it’s even easier now. Within a few minutes, good ‘ol Dreamhost (proud customer since 2001) and WordPress had me back up again. So I’m going to start cranking out blog posts again even if only two people read them. I’ll tell you, it’s much easier to write and read a blog post than a tweet storm.

— Mike Tatum, https://www.miketatum.com/2018/08/20/think/

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Start blogging and subscribing to each other's Atom feeds! August 20th, 2018, 5PM

Open content

How about if, instead of ditching Twitter for Mastodon, we all start blogging and subscribing to each other’s Atom feeds again instead? The original distributed social network could still work pretty well if we actually start using it

— Simon Willison

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re: Public art lost for future generations August 20th, 2018, 10AM

Woodworking

PUBLIC ART LOST FOR FUTURE GENERATIONS

By Roel Loopers August 20, 2018.

The initiative by the City of Fremantle and other local councils to introduce a percentage for the arts scheme has been good for WA artists and the public, but it comes with the risk that the lifespan of some of the artworks will be relatively short if they are attached to buildings.

Take the great Rick Vermey art within the LIV apartment building at Queen Victoria Street. Nowadays buildings are considered to last for about 50 years before being replaced by more modern structures, e.g. the Queensgate and Myer buidings at Kings Square. If the LIV buildings get demolished in 50 years that would also be the end of the Vermey artwork and that would be a real shame and a loss for future generations.

The same applies to the Loretta Grant artwork on top of the Quest Hotel in Pakenham Street and the round artwork on the building on the corner of Bannister and Pakenham streets by Tom Mueller.

The percentage for the arts scheme states that the requirement for a public art contribution can be waived by the City of Fremantle where the same value of artwork is incorporated in the development, clearly visible to the general public.

It worries me that many outstanding new artworks in Fremantle, created as percentage for the arts, will not be preserved because they are incorporated in a development and not free standing in the public realm. We have a duty to share our cultural riches with future generations!

https://freoview.wordpress.com/2018/08/20/public-art-lost-for-future-generations/

This is an interesting point about the short projected lifetimes of buildings. Fifty years doesn’t seem like a very long time to expect a building to last. But perhaps it does make sense: maybe the cost of building something to last 100 years (say) is more than twice the cost of building something twice? Or is it just a case of people now offsetting that cost onto people in the future?

I always feel sad when I see a building in Fremantle demolished. Not just demolished, but in the modern way of completely and utterly erasing its presence from the landscape: every skerrick of its fabric removed and the site raked clean and level. I know it’s easier to build new things that way, but it does seem to mean that there’s no accretion, no embedding of (small, incidental) bits of history in the places. Sometimes developers put an intentional relic in, like the weighbridge from the CSR refinery, but it just looks silly.

CSR memorial weighbridge
CSR memorial weighbridge (2018-04-14): The weighbridge deck set into the road on Colonial Gardens in Mosman Park.

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Embed Piwigo 0.3.0 August 15th, 2018, 5PM

Programming

Embed Piwigo now has a home on WordPress.org, and I’ve announced it on the Piwigo forum. And you’ll notice it’s got a new name! It seems that WordPress plugins aren’t allowed to begin with a trademark, so piwigo-embeds was pooh-poohed and embed-piwigo suggested instead.

Now I want to make sure the caching is okay, and figure out what the captions should contain. There might be other problems too.

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