Bonnie Eisenman bio photo

Bonnie Eisenman

Software engineer, author, knitter, Esperantist. Member of NYC Resistor and author of Learning React Native.

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What I did last week

  • Finished a scarf. First experiment in colorwork, complete.

  • Started a hat. It has goats! I’m really excited about having learned how to do stranded colorwork, can you tell? (There is so much jargon associated with multi-colored knitting, I’m still learning it.)

  • Rebecca Fiebrink hosted a workshop on Wekinator and now I’m pondering how to use it in my own projects.

  • Went to FACETS. I was only able to make it to part of the conference, but it was still a thought-provoking experience.

  • Got my hands on some Feather HUZZAH boards to experiment with.

  • Started planning a soldering class.


Do the thing. Do it a lot. No, don’t “practice”. “Practice” sounds rote and repetitive; even reading the word makes me feel pre-emptively bored. Just do it. Find an excuse to do it. Any excuse. You want to write embarrassing fanfiction? Do it. You want to make four-chords pop songs? Do it. You don’t need to do something high-brow or rigorous or chosen from a careful gradient of boring beginner exercises. You just need to something.

Many deaf people have significant reading problems. Written content, e.g. on internet pages, is therefore not fully accessible for them. Embodied agents have the potential to communicate in the native language of this cultural group: sign language. However, state-of-the-art systems have limited comprehensibility and standard evaluation methods are missing. In this paper, we present methods and discuss challenges for the creation and evaluation of a signing avatar.

I always think I want: “If you could make anything, what would it be?” as my modus operandi… When really: this is a question much bigger than me…and it could crush me if I let it.

To tackle that vastness, this is what worked for me: solve for it backwards. What is missing that only I can see? Then: what subset of that will probably be lost without this opportunity?