This is the website of Abulsme Noibatno Itramne (also known as Sam Minter). Comments here or emails to me at abulsme@abulsme.com are encouraged... or follow me on Twitter as @abulsme.

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Secret Project Done: Wiki of the Day podcasts

I just finished a secret project! It is THREE brand new podcasts I am officially launching as of right now. I hope you will check them out!

These are quite a bit different than Curmudgeon’s Corner, the podcast I have done with Ivan Bou since 2007 where we talk about current events each week. That podcast will continue as always. (If you aren’t already listening to that, you should of course check it out too!)

Instead, these are short quick hit podcasts. Little bursts of knowledge to enlighten your day. Just a few minutes long each. Often shorter than 2 minutes long in fact. The podcasts consist of the summaries of Wikipedia articles. Each of the three choose which articles to highlight in a bit different way. Because it is just the summaries, not the whole articles, they are quick digestible chunks of information.

I of course don’t have the time or consistency to create three podcast episodes every day, even 2 minute podcasts. So the trick here is that these are fully automated podcasts. There will be new episodes every day, even if I am super busy and swamped with other things. Now that things are all set up, they will (hopefully) just run on auto-pilot unless I decide I need or want to change something.

The idea for these had been percolating in my head for a couple months, and a little over two weeks ago I pulled the trigger and started working on it an hour here and an hour there as I had time. Basically, the daily topics are chosen from Wikipedia APIs or RSS feeds, I pull the content from Wikipedia using another API, then I generate the actual audio for the podcast using Amazon Polly and assemble the Podcast RSS feeds. I also set up a website… wikioftheday.com… that dynamically shows the most recent episodes of each Podcast, gives easy access to old episodes, and has a detail page for each episode with the text of the episode script. I did most of this with PHP since I’m pretty familiar with that, with a few Unix shell bits where that was more convenient.

It was fun to do, and I hope at least a few people will find the actual podcasts interesting too. Go to wikioftheday.com and you can check them all out and listen to a few of the episodes that have been produced so far. There are just a handful so far, but there will be new ones every day!

They are indeed read by computerized voices… a bunch of different ones episode to episode for variety… but that technology has come a long way in the last few years, and they are actually pretty decent to listen to.

I’ve started to submit the three podcasts to the directories for this sort of thing, but it will take awhile for them to start actually showing up when you search for them in your podcast player of choice. So for the moment if you want to subscribe, you’ll have to tell your podcast player app to subscribe manually using the link to the feeds. Below are descriptions of the three podcast along with the feed links. Please subscribe! And listen!

For each of the three, I exclude articles with no summaries or really short summaries. I exclude “articles” that are just lists, disambiguation pages (which John Smith did you want to know about?), and other pages of that type. I also have each of the three podcasts set to not repeat the same article within 100 days, even if it comes up again in the source feed. Stuff like that.

Anyway, please check them out, and subscribe if you enjoy them! And let me know what you think of them! :-)

Oh… and tell your friends about them too!

I appreciate it!

Curmudgeon’s Corner: Weird Things Happening

This week on Curmudgeon’s Corner Sam and Ivan talk about Election 2016 of course. But first some bits about Mike the headless chicken, the comments on Sam’s Election Graphs site, stamp prices, Hey Siri, and a movie Sam watched. When they do get to the election they cover Trump’s shutout in Colorado, Trump’s general malpractice in delegate wrangling, the odds of a contested convention, the accusations of cheating in both parties, and much more!

Click below to listen or subscribe… then let us know your own thoughts!

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Recorded 2016-04-14

Length this week – 1:20:15

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Show Details:

  • (0:00:41-0:22:29) But First
    • Ivan in his Car
    • Mike the Headless Chicken
    • Election Graphs Comments
    • Stamp Prices
    • Facebook Bots
    • Hey Siri
    • Movie: Mississippi Burning (1988)
  • (0:23:08-1:00:14) Election 2016
    • Trump shutout in Colorado
    • Delegate wrangling malpractice
    • Contested Convention Scenarios
    • Ryan saying no… Again
    • Odds of Trump getting majority
    • Trump Trends
    • Cruz wooing delegates
  • (1:00:53-1:19:55) Election 2016 Continued
    • Cheating? Stealing? Unfair? Rigged?
    • Sanders “contesting” the convention
    • Sanders attempts to woo superdelegates
    • Edit wars on Wikipedia Superdelegate list
    • Denial from Trump and Sanders people
    • What Sanders and Trump didn’t do
    • When is New York again?
    • Thoughtful Trump people wanted

The King’s Speech

Released: 2010 Sep 6
Watched: 2011 Jan 17

OK, this movie I remember.  Brandy and I did one of our not all that often trips to actually see something in the theater.

Bottom line, I loved it.

It of course won a bunch of awards too.

I like this sort of historical “based on a true story” type of movie though.  They are never exactly true to the history of course, as things are changed for dramatic effect and all.  So what do I do as soon as I get home from the movie?

That’s right, I spend the next several hours reading Wikipedia pages about the characters in the movie, and that moved on to related events and people, and so on, and so on, and so on.

Anyway, great story about a king with a speech impediment and how he overcomes it to make a critical speech at the beginning of World War II.

And now, while writing this post, I find myself once again reading Wikipedia articles, so I should stop and move on.

But hey, if you haven’t seen this yet, and like this sort of historical drama, go rent or buy it or whatnot now.  K?

Trying to Remember

In the latest Curmudgeon’s Corner…

Sam and Ivan talk about:

  • Stupid Scanner Tricks
  • Healthcare Debate
  • KSM in NYC
  • Wikipedia
  • Climate Change Leaks

Just click to listen now:

[wpaudio url=”http://www.abulsme.com/CurmudgeonsCorner/CC20091123.mp3″ text=”Recorded 23 Nov 2009″]

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