Last updated Sunday, 2 November 2014 — 12:33am

The proprietor of this website is Nicholas Tam, who in the past issued his dispatches here from a series of provisional headquarters in western Canada and the south of England. I like to say my present whereabouts are unknown.

My formal education is in computer science and English literature, which I owe to the University of Alberta, and the history and philosophy of science, for which I am indebted to the friendly department and museum at the University of Cambridge. These credentials serve mainly as an expedient cover story for the staggering proportion of time I concurrently devoted to my other lives as a jazz pianist, a player of strategy games, and, so long ago it hardly matters now, a <table>-tag veteran of Web 1.0.

Ask me about competitive Scrabble, formalist criticism, the Great American Songbook, the history of artificial intelligence, Hollywood cinema of the Golden Age, illustrations of Alice in Wonderland, independent animation, magic squares, Nintendo music, P versus NP, potato-based snacks, science in anglophone literature since the Second World War, the StarCraft subculture, and tea. I do not have all the answers but in every case I can show you where to find them.

We endorse Todd Sieling’s Slow Blog Manifesto, arguably in excess.


Dedicated stalkers can find me on Twitter under the handle @Nicholas_Tam. I also retain a minimal presence on Facebook, but please do not contact me there if we are not personally acquainted; I identify my account here solely to avoid confusion with my Australian doppelgänger. (Notice the underscore in my Twitter handle. That is the Australian’s fault.)

Electronic mail is preferred for private enquiries. Please consult the column to the right. I do not respond to all requests.

Readers conducting opposition research will kindly note I have never held a membership in any political party.


Ntuple Indemnity is the third incarnation of a journal that has continuously resided on the public Internet since July 2003. Its original incarnation, entitled Nick’s Café Canadien, commenced operation as a testbed for experimental website code on the University of Alberta servers and was published with the aid of Blogger, back then a service for pushing content directly to external sites via FTP. Its scope was predominantly local and before long its purpose was superseded by the ascent of walled-garden social networks.

In August 2007, Nick’s Café Canadien relocated from the university servers to its present lodgings at www.nicholastam.ca and relaunched with a new design, built on WordPress, that has since remained principally unchanged. In this era the content of the site diverged from its original medley of scattered notes on commercial cinema, Scrabble tournament records, and impersonal vendettas to serve as a practice pad for more thoroughly considered pieces directed at a general audience but too unwieldy to be published anywhere reputable. The most substantial initiative in this second incarnation of the site was a weekly book review that ran from June 2008 to September 2009, while the most popular single post by some distance was an essay on fantasy cartography that is probably what you are looking for if you arrived here via the one known citation of this space in an academic publication, found in Stefan Ekman’s Here Be Dragons: Exploring Fantasy Maps and Settings.

The present title was instated in November 2014 in preparation for a resumption of activity after an unintended absence of three years, for which the proprietor blames Twitter.

The typeface in the masthead is Nueva Standard Condensed. The body text is set in Alegreya.