I Dream of Artificial Crickets & Weather Data

I read a quote the other day: never go to sleep without asking your subconscious something. I’ve been doing this for a few nights now and am happy to report the results are remarkable. Last night my ask was to figure out how to get unstuck for the next episode of UTC.

I had a dream about crickets and the weather and it all snapped into place. I woke up, got further inspiration from the Critical Engineering Manifesto, and made this in about two hours:


The program allows you to select a weather station. It then grabs the temperature via the weather.gov API, runs that through Dolbear’s Law, and lets you hear how fast crickets at that station might be chirping.

I love the idea of remotely experiencing temperature via something other than a number (i.e. 72°) or color (i.e. red). There is also something I can’t quite put my finger on… Perhaps related to simulating crickets in places where they shouldn’t be? And during seasons when they might normally be dormant?

Download the Max patch here.

An Unorthodox Protocol for Casting a Meaningful Vote

From Greg Graffin’s Punk Manifesto:

  1. Determine whether you care about the general well-being of society (If you do not, skip to step 7, if you do, continue on)
  2. Determine whether you are a privileged citizen (If you are not, then proceed to step number 6, if you are, read steps 3, 4, and 5 only)
  3. Examine not how well you will fare if a given issue is voted into law, but how poorly the under-privileged will suffer (no matter which laws pass a vote or who is voted into office, you will probably always still be better off than the people you fear you’ll become, namely the under-privileged).
  4. Create an ideological balance-sheet that details how much better you will fare, as a percentage of your current comfort level, versus how much worse the under-privileged will drop in their current comfort level (for instance, as a very banal example, a mere 2% drop in your current income, could provide a tremendous relative rise in an under-privileged household’s income).
  5. Vote for the issue or candidate that promises to balance the disparity between the privileged and the under-privileged classes, even if it doesn’t make you richer or if it provides a small compromise in your day-to-day comfort.
  6. Vote for the issue or the candidate who will make your life better.
  7. Abstain from voting.

The Lost Roll

I can’t believe it has been six years since I shot film. I used to go out just about every week. I forgot how much I enjoyed it. Each roll became something of a time capsule and, like my tattoos, helped me move through time.

Years ago, I used to work in the photo department at Sam’s Club so I had easy access to developing and processing my own film. Not to mention I was going to Columbia College Chicago and had access to a fantastic dark room.

I have a confession to make: after leaving that job and graduating, I would just get my film developed at Walgreens. Eeep.

And now that I think about it, I simply stopped shooting when Walgreens got rid of their onsite C41 machines. Honestly, the thought of mailing my film terrified me, so I just stopped altogether.

Anyhow, I’ve been aware of this undeveloped roll in for years and the thought of it became too much to bear. I found thedarkroom.com, faced my fears (if it is lost in the mail, it is no different than staying in my fridge forever), and sent it in.

The scans just came back and I feel like I’ve unlocked a time capsule. This roll contains my usual adventures in Chicago, plus travels to San Francisco and Tennessee. This is back when Sage had her head shaved! Here are some highlights.

San Francisco


Sage in Dinosaur Ribcage

The Road


I also found dozen unshot rolls…