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Added two more birds to the life list today, and also stopped with a crowd to admire this wood duck, a welcome respite from mandarin-duck fever.

Stephen boosted

leaving facebook 

Ouch. This one stings a little. "What if pizza shops were funded like Human Services nonprofits?"

Yet another example of "Black Mirror" showing us a bleak and dangerous future: Netflix just released an "interactive choose-your-own-adventure episode" of Black Mirror, which if you think about it for just a few seconds is actually just a video game with flawed game mechanics that can only be played on their closed, proprietary gaming platform.

Birding is weird because you can be really wrong and in-the-dark about some very simple things for a while before you learn what a species is, but then afterward it's obvious to you forever.

I dismissed this duck as a lightly-colored female mallard the day I saw it because I was super excited about the famous Central Park duck, but now I think I was (possibly very obviously) wrong. Anyone have ideas?

I mostly don’t talk to strangers, but the exception to that rule is when I’m out looking at birds.

Birding is a safe place to be a huge dork: I told one woman that someone said the owl was a great horned owl, and she responded “this IS the era of fake news I guess!”

A guy in a Central Park conservancy uniform had some very correct advice: “You always wanna follow the excited blue jays because that usually means there’s something else around.”

I was looking at the owl, and a man with a heavy Russian accent said he’d lived in NYC 30 years and never seen an owl. I said I’d been here 6 months. Without hesitation he said “you’re luckier than me by a factor of 60.” He did that math so fast, I was so impressed.

Glad we’re back so I can share my news: I saw four new birds today!

As a birder the best public service I can provide is to find an interesting bird in a tree in Central Park and then just stop and stare at it. Eventually people will just be curious about what I’m staring at and join me, then we can all talk about how great it is. Today, it’s a red-tailed hawk around 103rd and Central Park East.

The first movies were a few seconds long and had no sound, and now gifs are everywhere and are exactly the same thing, so it makes sense that people are rediscovering how hilarious and slick Buster Keaton was through the medium of gifs.

There was a time 17 years ago where I would spend hours a day on the Cloudmakers yahoo group unraveling the A.R.G. around the movie “A.I.”

There was a very short time five years ago when I had a google sheet about Pronunciation Book open on my computer at all times.

new york problems i guess 

Stephen boosted

For Gen-Z and younger millennials, there's actually a lot of social cachet attached to being an "influencer," i.e. hawking some brand's wares, i.e. selling out. According to that Atlantic article, it's now gone so far that people are *pretending* to sell out, to try to impress their friends or land sponsorships. For anyone from Gen X this would be downright baffling.

Tonight me and my Discord movie friends watched "Jingle All the Way" and "Brazil." I definitely forgot how good "Brazil" is. (I have nothing to say about "Jingle All the Way.")

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Friend Camp

The decentralized web is about trust. You should only join Friend Camp if you personally trust Darius Kazemi with your social media data. You probably only have that level of trust if we are IRL friends or have been internet friends for a long time. Generally speaking this is a small, closed community. In the end, Darius is the arbiter of what is allowed here. If you don't have a good idea of the kind of behavior that flies with Darius, again, you probably shouldn't join this instance. In the interest of specificity, we do have a code of conduct and privacy policy which you should read. Friend Camp features several modifications that were requested by our users. * you can log in via any subdomain, which means you can log in to multiple accounts in the same browser session (for example, log in once on and then as another user on * they are no longer called "toots", they are now "posts" * if you have a locked account and you get a follow request, a reminder appears under your "post" button (on normal Mastodon mobile it is otherwise buried in a sub-menu and you might not see it for a long time) * the emoji dropdown is a neutral smiley face instead of the cry-laughing smiley @mentions are rendered as "@user" for a Friend Camp user and "@user@domain" for remote users. This helps clear up when you follow two people who have the same username on different servers. * there is a "never ask me again" checkbox on the confirmation for clearing your notifications -- more info here * When an mp3 link is in a post, we also embed an inline mp3 player. git commit here * 500 characters of profile text git commit here, requested by @deerful Important Bit from the Privacy Docs: If you want decent privacy (the info doesn't leave this server), the only way to do that is to set your account to private, only accept friend requests from other users, and only ever @ mention other users. Once you start talking to people on other servers, all bets are off. Any private message you send to someone on another server could be looked at by the admin of a different server. This is kind of like email: if you are on a private email server, and you send an unencrypted email to a gmail account, congrats, Google now has the content of that email. But also, you do this every day, so, hey. The internet! Our beautiful icon is based on photo3idea_studio from, licensed CC 3.0 BY. It has been modified by!