Imaginary Text


Using Pandoc and Typst to Produce PDFs

My last post on Typst for a bit, I promise. This is an attempt to do a basic tutorial on producing nice PDFs from markdown, using Pandoc and Typst.

More on Typst

More adventures in open-source typesetting with Typst. This time: typesetting an actual book, with open-source tools. Plus: ghosts, dandies, and beheaded queens!

Pumping the Heat

I want to sing a bit of praise for our heatpump. It’s two years since we’ve had it, and I was reflecting today on how much I appreciate its quiet, stable service to our home. People wonder whether these things will do the trick, so here I offer up my experience.

Carol Twombly: A Review

In honour of International Women’s Day, a review of Nancy Stock-Allen’s excellent biography of type designer Carol Twombly, whose career spanned the whole first period of digital typography.

Text Processing Techniques & Traditions

This coming June, at the DHSI, I’m renewing my course: Text Processing Techniques and Traditions – or, Why the History of Computing Matters to DH. In which we zoom in on the continuities between print culture and modern computing, rather than seeing these as distinct lineages separated by a conceptual break. While re-writing the course, I wrote a short reflection on what it’s about.

Playing with Typst

I have been playing with Typst, a new, open-source typesetting tool that replaces LaTeX and also plays very nicely with modern digital publishing pipelines. In this post I offer some potted history and some reflections on why it might matter.

Visualizing the Weather

To satisfy my obsession with the weather, I made a little Javascript visualization of Environment Canada’s weather data: it creates a nice chart summarizing temperatures and precipitation over a year. Here’s the write-up.

Forgotten Albums: Keep Your Silver Shined

I thought I’d have a go at some music criticism after listening to this album for the first time in about a decade. Keep Your Silver Shined is Virginia-based folksinger Devon Sproule’s third studio album, from 2007. I was very much enamoured of it when it was new, and listening to it again now I find it’s not only held up, but has even improved with changing contexts.

Revisiting Mellon's Public Knowledge

The Mellon Foundation invited me to their “all-projects” meeting in New York this fall, bringing together the Public Knowledge program’s grantees to report out briefly on their work on scholarly communications and digital monographs.

The Trip

An old friend and I did a road trip around the Olympic Peninsula and talked of many things.

Writing and Thinking

Why write? A long and winding rant exploring the idea of writing in our day and age, with views on LLMs, the humanities, the fediverse, and various other things.

About Aldus@SFU

This fall I’m on sabbatical and it’s time for me to talk about one of my major projects this coming year: the digital remediation of SFU’s world-class collection of 15th- and 16th-century editions from the press of Aldus Manutius, the foremost publisher of the Italian renaissance.

Gluten-free Bread 2023

For Labour Day, I offer my well-evolved gluten-free bread recipe. I’ve been making (and tweaking) this weekly since 2020, and it’s pretty damn good now: a blend of oats, buckwheat, tapioca, and sorghum, held together with psyllium husk. All good ingredients, good for you, and entirely yummy.

La Belle Époque

On the occasion of—well, on the occasion of a bunch of things, but for starters—learning of Penguin’s publication (in 2002) of a new translation of Marcel Proust’s In Search of Lost Time, I began reading Proust, for real, this year.

Ailanthus Rising

Tree of Heaven. Ghetto Palm. Ailanthus altissima. It turns out I’ve been living under, and around, these notorious and beautiful trees for years. Recently I learned to see them, and to appreciate their incredible determination to survive, no matter how hostile the ground.

All I Need to Know about DH I Learned in a MOO

I was recently asked about what led me to the Digital Humanities in the first place? I realized the serious answer to that question is MOOing, back in the 90s. It’s not something I’ve thought much about in recent years, but I thought it was worth writing about now. Part one of at least two…

Bicycle Infrastructure and the Culture Wars

Mekka Okerke asked, “Do bicycles create empathy? Or do people that care about other people, tend to care about bikes?” An interesting question, but to answer it, we need to address the depth of car culture today.

Deploying to Reclaim via Git

It took some brain-numbing trial and error trying to get the remote git repo on my Reclaim server to become the deployment site folder on my website build locally, so that then I could build this site directly into it and have that be the actual site for deployment.

Static Site Trials

Welcome to my new blog. This is built using Eleventy, using as simple and low-tech an approach I could muster: markdown content, a handful of templates, and a simple git push direct to my webserver (at Reclaim Hosting, natch).