Jessica Duffin Wolfe

June 12, 2017

Victorian VR

Writing in Wired in 2015, Will Smith finds it disheartening that VR items in the Oculus Store are listed with “a comfort meter that purports to let potential customers know in advance how sick their purchase is going to make them.”

There’s something wonderfully Victorian about a sick-o-meter for stories. Surely some early novels catalog somewhere offered something similar, to warn impressionable young ladies of the “sensations” to which fiction might give rise.

Just as novels posed threats to the borders of bodies too, once upon a time, when the history of this moment in VR is written, these sorts of tips will be used to point out how general unease with the very notion of VR manifested itself physically. (Meanwhile, can’t wait for less sick-making VR experiences.)

Source: Stop Calling Google Cardboard’s 360-Degree Videos ‘VR’ | WIRED

March 10, 2015

Introducing Colour Story

Over the last few months I’ve been working with various clients to develop smart and beautiful interactive products. I’ve decided to give this business a name and a face. Say hello, Colour Story.

February 2, 2015

Most Powerful Feeling of 2014

Watching a Python script I wrote identify and assign keywords to 800 long articles over a few seconds.

January 21, 2015


Very charmed to find this “Boîte à Lire” in southwest France and more charmed still to see Margaret Atwood’s Lady Oracle inside.




October 2, 2014

Playing with Poetry Outside of Books

Lately I’ve been transferring a lot of files out of PDF into WordPress posts. The process results in huge numbers of textual errors that I’ve been cleaning up with massive batch search-and-replace on hundreds of files at once. Finding the error patterns, solving for them using regex, tinkering with bits of code—it’s all poetry.

Worrying about words can take you into the weird bowels of files and laptops and down strange and appealing avenues that seem far removed from John Donne and Sylvia Plath. If you like poetry, there are ways to play with it outside of books.

June 26, 2014

Why I (like loads of everyone else) loved The Goldfinch so much

Here’s an excerpt from my belated review, On Wanting The Goldfinch: Donna Tartt’s Book of Cravings, in The Toronto Review of Books:

As much as the initial disaster in The Goldfinch marks it as a pointedly post-9/11 story about New York, the novel is also portrait of a culture coming to terms with the souls it’s lost to the love of wealth, its collective Jamesian marriage for money. As Welty’s ring and the painting drive Theo through streets and among airports, the novel careens through its fascination with the value of expensive things and the passion to possess and be possessed—by objects, artworks, furniture, but also every little pill that comes one’s way. It’s no mistake that in his final year of journeying Theo is taking back the things he has strewn about, trying to atone by undoing the reckless circulation of objects he’s permitted. As much as The Goldfinch mirrors a city changed by 2001, the novel is also fable of New York post-2008. Like a moral tonic for the subprime age, Tartt’s study of wanting not what you cannot have but what you should not have seems eager to prove that Theo must reign in his desires in order to thrive and be happy.


Read the rest here.

May 21, 2014

More Brontë

A rigorous method for bibliomancy gets enforced in this scene from Mike Leigh’s Career Girls.

November 18, 2013

thistle copy

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