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Back in 1997 the New England Lily Society (then, the New England Regional Lily Group) hosted the annual meeting and show of the North American Lily Society in Burlington, Massachusetts. Among other things, “we” (not me, but other then-members) designed and built a huge number of stem holders, which we have used for years ever since in our own shows. We’re hosting the show again in 2019, and may need more stem holders. I have a few (because otherwise they would have been thrown out as excess), and I thought I shold record and publish their dimensions. It turns out that for some of the larger trumpet-oriental crosses a larger base is needed, and the largest stems also inhale so much water (for respiration and/or bud opening) that a larger reservoir is necessary. But for most lilies these work great.

The stem holder has a wooden base and a removable stoppered PVC insert. The PVC is thin-walled (2mm), outer diameter appears to be 1-and-5/16 inches, length 11-and-5/8 inches. The base is stepped, with a 5-and-half inch square by 1-and-half-inch high bottom part (clearly cut from US “2-by-6”) and a 3-and-a-half by three-quarters top part (clearly cut from US “1-by-4”). The base has a central hole for the PVC to wedge into (pretty tightly, too) that is 1-and-a-half inches deep by 1-and-5/16 inches diameter.

New England Lily Society stem holder.

New Twitter Algorithms

November 5, 2017

My Twitter block list got unmanageably large, and blocktogether.org was not even able to remove blocks at any sort of a reasonable rate to help me fix it. So, I used my employer’s mighty-fine search engine to look for any Go packages for the Twitter API, and found Anaconda.
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I guess people think I am tedious on this subject (people on Facebook think I am tedious on this subject), but bike share is very safe. By design, it can count the number of trips. We’re pretty good at counting deaths, too. In over 100 million trips there have been two deaths. (Death #1)

On “normal” bicycles, we’d expect to see 20 deaths in that many trips. In cars, we’d expect to see 9 deaths in that many trips. Instead, two. (As a sanity check on those rates, Canadian statistics are similar.)

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The last time I did this, I had figures through 2011.
Now I have 2012, 2014 and 2105 (2013 seems to be missing).
Now in a Google spreadsheet, so you can look at the numbers directly and poke at the links if you want to see where the numbers came from.

In words — since 2009, each gallon of gasoline or diesel is taxed between 40 and 50 cents too low even if the only purpose of that tax is to pay for road construction and maintenance. Any other taxes (carbon, pollution, noise, congestion, health care) would be on top of that. This also does not include the maintenance or construction that we ought to be doing; this is just what is spent.

Totaled over all the fuel sold, each year since 2009 the annual shortfall totals somewhere between 75 and 100 billion dollars.

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This is a (very) rare work-related entry. I mostly work on the compiler for a programming language named “Go”, and one of the problems we face is if and how we should add “generics” to a future version of Go. I can’t possibly summarize easily for a non-technical reader, but the TLDR version is (1) lots of other languages have generics (2) we’re pretty sure they’re useful (3) but they come with associated costs and complexity and we’re not sure they’re worth it. Also, “generics” is not just a single thing, there’s several semantic variants and several ways to implement them (for example, erased versus dictionary-passing versus template-stamping). So our team is collecting example stories of how Go generics would be useful in various situations — the jargon term for this is “use case”. Here’s mine:

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Right Hook Videos

August 5, 2017

I was trying to explain to someone on Facebook that right hooks are a problem, and a problem caused by drivers, not by people riding bicycles. No dice, cyclists are jerks for yelling at drivers when this happens, and jerks for putting their license plates on the internet, thus spake the driver. But it was a lot of work to collect these videos (seriously Youtube, can I have a “search my videos” option?) so here they are:

https://vimeo.com/111294266

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Ndvz4ZJRoek

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=wNbvCgEBrLo

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=RnHfXaYcQ08

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=GZII3ImASVQ

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=PJ2pe3_KClU

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=LA3EQ4Q6avs

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=4C6jFk3uVm8

https://vimeo.com/111805880

I’ll just put these articles out here.
Note that we count overdose deaths per 100,000, Europe counts them per million.
Our best state in 2015, Nebraska, had 69 overdose deaths per million, or back of the pack for Europe. Portugal, with decriminalized drugs, had 3 per million.
Here’s the European stats referenced in that article.

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