Category Archives: Uncategorized

Fascinating – “denying death its sting”

I helped eight people end their lives. By the time you read this, I’ll have ended mine

I realize this is a controversial topic but it’s hard to argue with this kind of sentiment: “The poet Susan Musgrave, who knew Al well, wrote of his final months: ‘Al looked at death the same way he has always looked at life—right between the eyes.'”

I’ve saved this for about half a year to share, I think it’s too good of a story not to.

Tabs March 2016

Well the time has come to clean up tabs.  If I bookmark them I’ll never see them again, so I might as well share them.
So again I looked at microdata from the American Time Use Survey from 2014, which asked thousands of people what they did during a 24-hour period. I used the data to simulate a single day for 1,000 Americans representative of the population — to the minute.

More specifically, I tabulated transition probabilities for one activity to the other, such as from work to traveling, for every minute of the day. That provided 1,440 transition matrices, which let me model a day as a time-varying Markov chain. The simulations below come from this model, and it’s kind of mesmerizing.


Take a second look at these.  Amazing.

Rob Gonsalves

Man quits job after visiting Burning Man, spends 10 yea


Sure, skip around especially the intro, but if you’re into speed these boats are something else.  Never seen it from this perspective before!


Full of interesting tidbits:

Love this story, especially details like the black gloves.

Milky Way tracking.

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Does this…. work?

I dunno about best in the world, but this kitchen does have some pretty killer features that aren’t obvious at first:

Reddit title was “Smearing time like butter.” Not even going to try to improve that.  Takes a little while to get really into it.


1938 Cost of Living

Interesting, right?  But take a look at these figures compared to 2013 values.  First post contains the same prices adjusted to 2013 dollars, the next one (by cbartlett) adds actual 2013 prices of those same items, and the third normalizes the values to average (median) income.

Know your rights

For Oregon:

If you are approached by state or local police and you are NOT driving a car …

Your Rights

  • You do not have to stop unless ordered by the police to stop.
  • Unless you are ordered to stop, you may leave at any time, but you should ask the police whether you are free to leave.
  • You do not have to answer police questions without a lawyer present. You can tell the police that you want to speak to a lawyer before answering any questions.
  • You may refuse to provide your Social Security number to the police.
  • You may be required to show your green card if it is your only form of identification and you are being detained or arrested for a crime.
  • The police will ask you to identify yourself. It is not illegal in Oregon to refuse to identify yourself; but you should never give the police false identification information.
  • You do not have to consent to any search and/or seizure. If the police threaten to get a warrant, you may tell them to get one. The police may be able to detain you until they obtain a warrant.
  • If the police search you without a warrant, do not resist, simply inform them that you are not consenting.
  • You do not have to leave the vicinity of the stop with the police unless you have been arrested.
  • If any property is taken from you by the police, you have a right to request a receipt.

Police Authority

  • Police can order you to stop if they reasonably suspect that you have committed or are about to commit a crime.
  • Police can also stop you if they have reasonable grounds to believe that you have committed a violation. Police may detain you until they establish your identity.
  • If the stop is for a crime, you may be detained for a reasonable period of time. If you are not a US citizen and you are detained or arrested for a crime, the police may ask you to show your immigration papers.
  • Police may ask for consent to search or inquire about the presence of weapons. The police may pat your clothing down for weapons, without consent, if they have reason to believe that you are presently carrying a weapon.


  • You should be polite to the police at all times. Anything you say can be used against you.
  • It is a crime to give the police false information about your identity.
  • If you are not a US citizen, under federal law you are required to carry immigration documents at all times.
  • You may ask the police for their names and badge numbers. You may also request business cards.
  • In many situations the police do not have to advise you of “Miranda” rights in order to use your statements in court.