On Mastodon

It’s been fascinating to watch recent events in the social media sphere, and even more fascinating to start working with Mastodon. There’s something about independent, open-source platforms that attracts me to see how they compare to their more centralized, commercial counterparts.

There are some interesting differences with Mastodon that set itself apart from services such as Twitter, and I’ll admit those differences tend to make it a hell of an onboarding challenge. There’s no central instance of it, so you can make an account on any of the federated Mastodon services out there and still will be able to connect to the broader whole. This means you can choose a server that most closely aligns with your own personal community needs. Each instance can have its own content policies. You’re also able to migrate from one instance to another freely, which is handy if the instance you were on somehow drifts away from what you consider to be acceptable.

It’s neat and it’s new, a bit complicated to get yourself set up but maybe it will replace something like Twitter. At the very least it could help to improve the social media situation through some thoughtful principles.

If you’d like to check me out on Mastodon, feel free to use the link below. If you decide to join up, follow away.


COVID-19: The Why and How of Hand Washing

By now you’ve all heard it a million times: washing your hands can help prevent the spread of illnesses. Since I’ve been living with YouTube running on my second monitor I’ve ran across a couple of great videos explaining why this works, and a fun video from Alton Brown that explains the simplicity of how to do it right.

The first up is from Vox, and honestly I didn’t realize the chemistry of how soap work against viruses. It’s fun to learn new things.

Second, here’s Alton Brown explaining how to wash your hands, in the ways only Alton Brown can. 🙂

COVID-19: Sharing Entertainment

Being stuck at home in self-isolation has been an interesting experience so far. One week in, I’ve had to adapt to working from home, something which my dogs have come to absolutely adore.

Need something to help you pass the time? I figured it might be an interesting idea to share some of the things that I’ve been doing to occupy my time and keep me entertained. Other than my collection of movies and Netflix, as well as reading books, I’ve leaned pretty heavily into YouTube and Twitch. The following are some of my regular haunts on those services.

YouTube is an endless cavalcade of content. Here are some of the channels that have kept me busy:

  • Linus Tech Tips – If you’re a tech geek in any way shape or form you’re probably already subscribed to LTT. If not, you really should be.
  • Gamers Nexus – If you prefer a more low level view of computer and gaming tech, GN is the channel for you.
  • Bon Appetit – The antics of the staff of the test kitchen always make me smile. Brad’s It’s Alive series is a riot, and Claire’s Gourmet Makes series might have you trying to make homemade versions of your favorite snacks.
  • JayzTwoCents – Jayz always has an interesting perspective on computer and gaming tech, and lately has been renovating his own gamer cave at at home.

There’s a lot of Twitch channels around, but here are some of the ones I have on regular rotation:

  • Hungry – 24/7 cooking shows! There’s a nice mix of old and new, and different cooking styles that there’s always something on worth watching.
  • Giant Bomb – The GB crew are working from home, and doing a lot of game streaming these days. Tune in to watch a great variety of game streaming.
  • OuterHeaven – If you like Metal Gear games this is the channel for you. The group live streams the entire series of games.

For books, I’ve finally got around to starting up Altered Carbon and I have to say that so far it’s significantly better than the show. There’s much more depth to the story and characters, which obviously a book will be able to communicate better anyway.

I’m really curious what other sources of entertainment folks are using. Do you have any channel recommendations to share, perhaps some good books or shows to binge? Feel free to comment below!

Stay safe everyone!