Scientists regard vegetative buffers as the most cost-effective and fair means of controlling polluted runoff from farms and developments; the Senate budget would have them repealed and would schedule the repeal of state requirements for buffers along the Neuse River, the Tar-Pamlico River, the Catawba River on December 31, 2019— even if no alternative is in place.
“This provision isn’t a tweak, it’s a sledgehammer,” said Molly Diggins, state director of the North Carolina Sierra Club in a statement. “It is as if the Senate has forgotten how important our waterways are for tourism, recreation, and drinking water.”
It’s not that the Republican Senate has forgotten about our waterways, it’s that they just don’t care.
In a bold move today, National Geographic Magazine has announced a rebranding effort. Purchased by 21st Century Fox, the new “Climate-Denial Geographic” is preparing its first issue detailing the wonders of capitalism, a new sponsored inquiry showing global-cooling, and why some species are being deprecated to encourage thriving populations of more robust, human-friendly species.
To promote the magazine, Glen Beck will be featuring CDG Writers and Real Scientists (TM) on his show. The guests will discuss the magazine and the importance of giving every viewpoint the same amount of media coverage.
For a limited time, CDG will offer a genuine alligator-hide display case for your bookshelf when you subscribe. Sales representatives were clear that the 13-Issue case will indeed have room for the much anticipated “A Very Colder Christmas” special issue. The case is styled to match a similar case offered with subscriptions to Answers in Genesis Magazine, and proceeds from the case will benefit the organization.
The Heritage Foundation called the new branding “…a win for scientific inquiry in the world today”, and speculators anticipate a doubling of profits from the previous quarter. Whether new subscribers will read the first issue, or just tweet photos of themselves holding the covers to run in the monthly Coal Roller of the Month column, remains to be seen.
First attempt at a satire news post. Here’s a link to a real article about this news.
Cars, trucks, busses, trains, and construction equipment. What does the future hold for these machines? Autonomous navigation and control. Most people would think this technology is far into the future, but the exciting (and perhaps daunting) prospect is that the technology is here and the advantages and disadvantages of it will be a reality sooner than you might think. Continue reading
One of my top favorite drummers is working on a new album that reinvisions Porcupine Tree tracks in a big-band style. I play along to Porcupine Tree often, and being a drummer with jazz and swing foundations really makes me excited to play along to these tracks. Very much looking forward to hearing it!
In April of last year, I decided it was time to come up with a better system of to-do’s than the sticky notes and self-emails I had been relying on. With new responsibilities at home and at work, and to-do lists piling up for all sorts of different tasks and side projects, I needed a system that would work for me to keep everything together.
Rather than invent something myself, I spent quite a bit of time researching different methods people use, and even interviewed friends and colleagues for their opinions. While interested in the idea of using something electronic (read: my iPhone), the Type-A personality in me was looking for something with check boxes that could be satisfyingly checked with a pen.
Enter the Bullet Journal. While crediting the many people that have used something similar before, Ryder Carroll presents a take on the Bullet Journal by presenting the concept through website and video tutorials. I made a concerted effort to give it a shot. I started at the beginning of April, 2014 and gave myself a few weeks to see if it would work for me. Weeks grew into months, which continued for the remainder of the year, and by December it was time to order a fresh journal for 2015.
For anyone looking for something similar, I highly recommend it. I think it’s enabled me to be much more effective at getting things done by providing an avenue to track goals for the day, week, and month. I started with the blank Moleskine Classic Large Squared and I like the flexibility this provides.
Below is a comparison picture of my 2014 journal and a new journal, showing how nine months of ink and emotion add significant thickness and weight. The outside shows it’s wear as well, but the binding is very much intact and continues to serve in an archival role on the bookshelf.
- Bullet Journal Tutorial
- Moleskine Classic Large (black, hardcover, squared)
- Pilot G2, .7mm Black (my current favorite pen)
As table top gaming is a hobby of mine, I’m always on the lookout for a new game to test out. I’ve played a few new table top games lately and I figured I would share my thoughts and do some reviews. Here’s the round up: Cards Against Humanity, Ticket to Ride, Glass Road.
I was passed along this article today, reporting on a sharp increase in pedestrian fatalities in Minnesota. In the StarTribune letter of the day yesterday, written by Michael D. Hoy, he questioned the conclusions of the reporter, showing that the fatalities fall in line with what is expected of normal fluctuations.
About two-thirds of the time, the statistic will lie within one standard deviation of the mean. This is what happened in the last 11 years. Two-thirds of the years had a death count between 33 and 45.
Also, about 95 percent of the time the statistic will lie within two standard deviations of the mean. Again, this is just about what happened. – Michael D. Hoy
It’s easy to look at collision fluctuations and be immediately concerned, but it’s important to remember that fluctuations can be random without any significant cause. That’s why it’s especially important to have good collision data collection methods in place when looking at collision rates and the safety of intersections. Sadly, most municipal resources are too scarce to spend a lot of time and effort on very involved collision reports.
If you’re a municipality or state agency focused on safety, you face a serious challenge everyday: with limited data, dollars, and man-hours available, how do you pick the most dangerous sites in your jurisdiction?
A background in statistics is always helpful, especially for researchers in this field. But for engineers who want to apply models everyday, there are plenty of methods already figured out for you to use. I highly recommend pursuing a graduate level course on highway safety like I did at NC State. Without delving into a statistics degree, you can pick up many effective methodologies to rank sites. Use them to your advantage and get the most efficient use out of precious tax-dollars while saving as many lives as you can!
It’s important to keep these things in mind:
Look at available data carefully. How long has the intersection been open? How much data do you have? Without enough historical data, it will be impossible to see any kind of trends.
Don’t revisit the same sites every year. Did you check the site last year? What were the findings? Unless the site has changed significantly, there’s no reason to check it again. There are tons of dangerous intersections that you haven’t investigated, get to those next.
Volume bias. Sites with the most collisions aren’t necessarily the most dangerous sites. Ranking sites by the number of collisions gives bias to the busiest intersections with the highest volumes. Similarly, sites at the bottom of the list may be dangerous, but have so few vehicles traveled on that they are skipped altogether.
An increase in collisions doesn’t imply a decrease in safety at the site. Especially in areas of high growth, increased collisions may just be because an increase in traffic. Check historical AADTs when you check historical traffic reports, and pick good comparison sites when comparing increases in collisions at one intersection with other intersections in your systems.
And try not to be overwhelmed by media.
News is always more interesting when there is a fright element, but there is no reason to believe that walking is any worse now than before.