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Well hello again. It’s time for another weekly episode / edition of the…


What’s new this week?

Out of time

8 or 9

This week, I recorded some voice-over for the next video, Top 99 Ways To Make Sand. And I’ve been exploring how to time it.

As you might imagine, there’s a lot of repetition in the video. I repeatedly announce the names of various different types of sands. 99 Sands. So there’s a lot of repetition in the video. I have to say “sandpond sand” and “cellpond sand” and “dreamberd sand” and so on, for all the different types of sand. All 99 Sands.

As usual, most edits and cuts happen ‘in time’ to the music. Video clips change to the beat. My spoken words happen in between bars.

However… it’s not quite as simple as making the cuts and beats and words happen at the same time (the same time).

If they happen at the exact same time, it doesn’t feel right. It feels like the three parts clash, and they get in each other’s way. Instead, I try to make the different elements ‘lead’ and ‘follow’ one another. For example, the music’s beat could happen first, which is followed closely by the cut, which is followed closely by the voice. This usually feels nicer. It feels like a three-part step, a kind of pitter-patter. More of a multi-part “ka-blam” feeling and less of a single “crash”.

Changing time


The fun part is that I can change this ordering and timing throughout the video to create different sensations. If the image comes before the sound, it feels more energetic. If the sound comes before the image, it feels more lazy. And if this ordering changes gradually over time, it can almost feel like movement. I typically like to increase the delay over time, to make it feel like you’re ‘drifting off’ into a deep sleep or something. And I like to end with the different elements close together, which feels like some sort of resolution, or a tight-nit machine.

I use different approaches in different videos too. Define was largely in sync with the music, and stayed mostly in-time with a fairly consistent pattern. I wanted it to feel like a monotonous mechanical machine, with a certain looming inevitability, like it was moving towards you non-stop. Arrows, on the other hand, was very loose and sloppily out-of-time. I wanted it to feel ‘all over the place’ to match the messiness of exploration and creativity.

In the Top 99 Sands, I’ve been exploring different ways of timing things. I want it to have a combination of both approaches, as it’s the finale of the trilogy. Some parts are very on-beat, and some parts are very off-beat, and I’ve been trying to use that to craft the up-and-down pacing of the overall video. Because if I didn’t, it would be very boring, just 99 Sands one after the other.

Bits in progress


I’ve been writing up my work on Seet, an experimental tool that lets you see the program that you’re programming. As part of the write-up, I’ve been making the case that spatial computing already lets you see your program, and that we should try to bring the benefit to more traditional programming (sometimes known as sentential programming).

I’ve also been doing some background research and reading on my Arroost submission for LIVE, and it’s taken me down a Laurie Spiegel rabbit hole. She’s amazing!

I recorded another future of coding podcast episode! This one’s about millions of pigs.

I’ve been making more experiments for the tadi lab, including a facetious parody of Bret Victor’s Dead Fish demo, which you can try at

I ordered (and received) a couple of costume pieces that I’ll need for the Top 99 video. I was looking through my storyboard plans… and I realised that I probably needed a few spare props, just in case I needed to do a few takes. I’ve got everything I need now!

Thank you for your patience, and thank you for your continued support. Welcome to everyone who joined this week. There’s quite a few of you! And welcome back to all the old-timers. I look forward to sharing more in the coming weeks, including what the Top 99 video is actually about. Until then, whatever you’re doing, wherever you are… I hope you have a great week.

Days since tode fell asleep: 487
Days since bot went missing: 452
Days since berd flew away: 115