Welcome aboard the Gredelston Dot Cool.

If you’re reading this, then the world hasn’t exploded yet. Rejoice by reading my blogs.

Hugo Is Cool

If you browse my Github profile, you’ll find two or three embarrassing attempts at building a personal website. My first few drafts used Gatsby, a Node-based static site generator, and one was a homebrewed solution using Go’s httputil for a bespoke web server. The problem with my bespoke server is that it takes a lot of time and the final product is slapdash. The problem with Gatsby is that I suck at Node....

February 22, 2021 · 1 min

Meditation For Beginners

I have met a lot of people who want to start meditating, or who have tried but it “didn’t work” for them. All the self-help articles and magazine covers at Sprouts, and now even western science, say it’s supes important. But like any healthy habit, it can be hard to get started. Maybe even harder than most healthy habits, because they teach you in school how to run and to floss, but not how to meditate....

January 5, 2021 · 6 min

Memorizing the Oscar Best Picture Winners

This week I learned all the winners of the Academy Award for Best Picture, by year. It took me 5 days. Here’s how I did it. My tool: quizme I wrote a flashcard-style quizzing tool to help me learn, which I named quizme. It’s available on Github here. The basic structure is: The tool prompts you with a year (say, 1964). You respond with the title of the film that won the award in that year (My Fair Lady)....

February 24, 2020 · 5 min

Dungeon Riddles as Password Hints

When I run a game of D&D, I want my world to be believable. Monsters should dwell where they do for a reason; political unrest should have a social history; and each room in a dungeon should be used by its denizens. A cohesive world is more immersive to the players, and easier to improvise in as a DM. However, there is one facet of the game which I have always failed to fit into the narrative: Why on earth would any dungeon-dweller fill their home with riddles, complete with hints to the solver?...

June 9, 2019 · 3 min

Why I’m Switching from Evernote to Todoist

For the past 18 months, I have practiced the Getting Things Done (GTD) methodology, with Evernote as the de-facto home for my Next Action lists. I briefly experimented with a paper system, but I found that the portability of a digital system makes a big difference for me. In the name of iteration, today I am switching from Evernote to Todoist. Here’s why. Todoist is built for to-do lists, whereas Evernote is a general notetaking platform....

March 22, 2019 · 2 min

Recapping Mystery Hunt 2019, Part 3: My Puzzles

This is the final post in a series about MIT Mystery Hunt 2019. It is preceded by “Puzzlehunts: An Overview,” “Part 1: Story,” and “Part 2: Structure.” Spoilers ensue. This is the post that I’ve been waiting for so long to write: the one where I reveal to my friends and family the puzzles that I have been crafting for a year. There is no correct way to engage with these....

January 23, 2019 · 6 min

Recapping Mystery Hunt 2019, Part 2: Structure

This is a part of a series about MIT Mystery Hunt 2019. It is preceded by “Puzzlehunts: An Overview” and “Part 1: Story”, and proceeded by “Part 3: My Puzzles”. Spoilers ensue. Note: While I was on the team which wrote this year’s Mystery Hunt, I had very little impact on the overall structure. My efforts were focused on writing, testing, and laying out puzzles. Rounds == Holiday Towns Each round of this year’s Hunt represented one holiday town in the Holiday Forest from The Nightmare Before Christmas....

January 22, 2019 · 5 min

Recapping Mystery Hunt 2019, Part 1: Story

This is a part of a series about MIT Mystery Hunt 2019. It is preceded by “Puzzlehunts: An Overview,” and proceeded by “Part 2: Structure” and “Part 3: My Puzzles". Spoilers ensue. Note: While I was on the team which wrote this year’s Mystery Hunt, I had very little impact on the story. My efforts were focused on writing, testing, and laying out puzzles. Kickoff Some folks might prefer to watch the kickoff video....

January 22, 2019 · 4 min

Puzzlehunts: An Overview

This past weekend, nerds from all over flocked to Massachusetts to spend over fifty hours solving puzzles at MIT Mystery Hunt. I was a part of the team which ran this year’s Hunt, so my brain is full of thoughts about puzzles which I would like to share. Because puzzlehunts are a particularly niche form of entertainment, I want to offer an overview of the genre before delving into more specific topics....

January 22, 2019 · 5 min