Letters from Somnolescent

 

January 1, 2021

Somnolescent’s 2020 Traffic Report

mariteaux

Happy New Year, everyone! Now that 2020’s over and I have a full year’s worth of data, I figured it’d be fun to look back at how we did as far as our Google rankings and traffic across our network goes. Of course, nothing here is especially mind-blowing as far as the numbers go, but fuck the numbers, it’s just curious to see what people are looking at. There’s lots of line graphs and pie charts too, if you like those. And…I might…


December 25, 2020

Two Years Glowing: 2020 in Review

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Things were much different around Somnolescent when I wrote 2019’s yearly recap. For one thing, I was stuck in a dirty bedroom in Ohio, but mostly, the group was still growing, still trying to sum together our edges. We were close, but still guarded. Emotions were high. We knew there was more to get out of the bulb.

And yeah, here we stand! Five days ago passed the two-year anniversary of Somnolescent. We’ve never been more confident, comfortable, productive, focused. We have someone new aboard. We’re constantly expanding our empire and exploring new ground–I even just took up drawing somehow!

While we’ve been mostly good about our monthly recap series this year, Christmas always marks the time to gather it all up and speed through it–and we still have a ton to get through. There’s art and philosophy buried in the pile too! It’ll be fun. Come celebrate!


Caby Chrimbas Update

caby

Quick Christmas update from the resident cabybaba here. It’s 9am and we’ve finished unwrapping presents, we’ve done all the Christmas morning calls and webcalls, and now I’m sat in my room with far too much chocolate, patiently waiting for lads to wake up in Somnol. Timezones and all that,,,,

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December 19, 2020

Borb rambles about 2020 & emotions

borb

It’s that time again! It’s time for me to vomit into a text block about my year and how it went and all that good stuff. It’s gonna be a bit of an emotional one so just heads up.

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November 30, 2020

11/30 – The Bulb’s Last Stand (of 2020!)

bulb

We’re getting real close to the end of 2020 here, lads, and suffice it to say, Somnolescent is going out with a bang. I mean, what don’t we have to show off? New sites, another story, things brewing for ages finally released, infrastructural improvements, blog posts! It’s a goddamn clearinghouse of material–that I will now recap for your pleasure.


November 21, 2020

Yerf, yerf, yerf

caby

I post once in a blue moon, but I finally have a new thing to talk about, so here I am! That thing is a little old art portal named Yerf.

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October 31, 2020

10/31 – The Somnolescent Incident

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As of writing this (at 11PM at night), another Halloween around here has come and gone. Indeed, we’re getting into that part of the year where the Somnolians want nothing more than to vibe. We’re well into holiday season, man! After this one, we’ve only got one more (likely beefy, just on my end, let alone everyone else’s…) recap before the big yearly one and a bit of a rest from us as a group. Gonna be lovely.

Still! Things happened this month, and that? Is what a recap is made of.


October 27, 2020

The Clever Feat of PNG Optimization

mariteaux

A neat old PNG logo I found on the official PNG site

I’ve become mildly obsessed with how compression algorithms of various stripes work over the past year. They really do make every bit of our modern computing existence work so smoothly, from gzipping packet data to speed up slow connections to storing vast archives of high quality music on flash drives the size of a ChapStick. Some simply rearrange the data in clever ways, and others take advantage of our weak eyes and ears to throw out 90% of what was once there–and we hardly notice.

Of the lot, the humble PNG is so ubiquitous, it might not even warrant mentioning. Every format has some magic up its sleeve, however, and in the case of PNG, the way they’re encoded usually makes it possible to shrink them after the fact to the tune of up to a few megabytes with no loss in quality. If you make sites, you might wanna take notes.

I recently decided to run a battery of tests to determine just how well PNG works, on what, and what optimizes the best. I’ll give you the rundown on how it works (in-depth but no math, no worries), and then I’ll give you some hard data and lovely charts to peek at, and finally, show you how to get smaller, lighter PNGs at home, no tricks, no catches.

Tags: art, technology,

October 2, 2020

10/2 – The Ballad of the Comeback Kids

bulb

This is a little more like it! With the weather cooling down (not here though, still 60s and 70s galore, guh), the Somnolians have been feeling vital again. borb and Caby are over their Art Fight fatigue, I’m back to writing after building that absurdly big Quake level (promise you’ll get to play it this year) and feeling damn good about it, and–what do you know? More Pennyverse! Much better recap than last month–let’s get into it.


September 24, 2020

Ranking Spotify’s Top 50 Songs Named “Undone”

mariteaux

Song titles are funny. They’re usually hardly unique, and tons of bands from all across the music spectrum have songs with the exact same title. Spotify’s search is an absolutely useless landfill for this stuff; the song you want will invariably be so unpopular that 200 other identically-titled songs (and in some cases, artists and albums) will come before the one you want. Lovely.

The inspiration for this one came about when I realized I actually know three different songs with the title “Undone”: the Failure song, the Weezer song, and the Josh Joplin song. When I checked through Spotify search, it turned out to be a very popular song name indeed.

So in short, I got curious enough to add the 50 most popular ones to a playlist, listen through, and rank them. I originally wanted to do every single song on the platform named “Undone”, but that’s just not feasible. Even the top 50 was a solid three hours worth of music, and has been hell to put together.

Alas, the Joplin track didn’t make the top 50; if it did, it would’ve probably ranked at #2. Nonetheless, we’ve got a lovely mix of yeehaw music, white girl piano pop, boppy electronica, acoustic torment, Backstreet Boys, and even a few artists who might not even exist. We’re starting at the bottom here, so apologies for the rampant negativity at first. It does get better. Here we go…

Tags: music,

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