xikka

A collection of things I have made and things I find interesting.


The Bear and Strawberry Tree

Wednesday, 25th September 2019 ◆ Crazy Queen meets bad end: my new home (6)

After having first tasted living abroad during an Erasmus year in France, I have been longing to repeat the experience. The main attraction for me is to learn another language, but it's also exciting to be part of a different culture.

I worried that the roots of jobs, flats and friendships would grow,  tying us to London more and more strongly the longer we stayed. My partner was due to finish his PhD in the Summer and would be looking for the next stage in his life. I saw this as the perfect opportunity to move. We made the decision to move to Spain about half a year in advance, and it was a very exciting decision to make!

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Pitching in

Wednesday, 10th April 2019 ◆ Anything but the most common letter makes a sound (4)

Here is a snippet of me aaahing twice. What do you think their relative pitches are?

To me, the first sounds deeper than the second. However, according to a pitch detection app I downloaded, they are both the same pitch (roughly A2). Why is this?

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Taming of language

Tuesday, 5th March 2019 ◆ Strangely, I don't cry; AI used to find meaning (10)

I used to be a stickler for grammar, and an avid prescriptivist. I would get annoyed at signs proclaiming "5 items or less". I read Lynn Truss's Eats, Shoots and Leaves and was wholly on board: punctuation must be used correctly. I was the annoying person spouting: "I think you'll find it's 'you and I', not 'you and me'." If you were to ask me for a fruit salad, I would suggest a bowl of chopped tomatoes and cucumber.

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Small World

Monday, 25th February 2019 ◆ Boring me is replaced by key steward (6)

This weekend I participated in a game jam with some colleagues from work. Our theme was Small World, and each of the six of us took it in a completely different direction. We had a shooter, a puzzle game, a humerous concept, 3d tech demos, and from me, a digital board game. In terms of engines: Unity, Unreal, SDL and LibGDX were represented.

This is a pretty inefficient board, but I'll pretend I did an amazing job. You don't know the rules! 2 days of hard work

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Fake Comments

Sunday, 3rd February 2019 ◆ Unwanted maps returned (4)

Not long after I added a commenting system to my site, I felt oddly proud to discover I was getting spam comments. I made the commenting system from scratch, so I thought I would be safe, expecting that bots would specifically target blogspot or wordpress comment boxes (or other recognisable forms).

So, what feature of my comment system have the bots latched onto to realise it's for comments? On this page, I've embedded four comment forms (in addition to the real one), along with a counter on each to track how many times it's been submitted to. With luck, the bots will discover this page, try to submit to it and then we will be able to see which comment forms are the most popular.

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