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life (84)

Reflections on Shelter in Place

The view of the Richmond Bridge was exceptionally clear today. The picture is shot from a park up the hill. The link below has a map of the line of sight of this shot. https://photos.lewman.com/clean-air-in-sf-bay.html The clarity and setup helped congeal a few thoughts. The lack of airplanes overhead. The lack of traffic. The silence of the cable cars. How clear is the sky without airplane contrails. How empty the streets without all the cars.

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Plenty of Time to Read and Think

What I'm readingStudy finds that owning a car is bad for your health, https://www.treehugger.com/cars/chinese-study-finds-owning-car-bad-your-health.html. A natural experiment in health affects of car ownership.Stop Using Encrypted Email, https://latacora.micro.blog/2020/02/19/stop-using-encrypted.html. An opinionated piece with which I agree. I stopped using PGP/GPG years ago because it's just too insecure and leaks way too much information.Reverse engineering my router's firmware with binwalk, https://embeddedbits.org/reverse-engineering-router-firmware-with-binwalk/. I've not used binwalk, but used plenty of other tools over the years to reverse engineer binary…

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Positive side of COVID-19? More bikes.

Bicycle ridership is up, at least in New York City, https://grist.org/climate/coronavirus-has-caused-a-bicycling-boom-in-new-york-city/ In San Francisco, the rise in ridership was up after Better Market Street was implemented, https://www.citylab.com/transportation/2020/03/car-free-market-street-data-san-francisco-bus-bike-scooters/607711/ Vehicle traffic is down, https://www.usatoday.com/story/money/cars/2020/03/13/coronavirus-pandemic-cratering-road-traffic-these-us-cities/5041250002/ I suspect both trends will continue so long as we're in a state of emergency over COVID-19. On a personal note, it's very nice to ride around the city now as there are more bikes, but more noticeably, less auto traffic. #bicycle #eco…

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Readings on COVID-19

I take a longer term view on many things, this current COVID-19 is no different. Here are some sites to help learn and not succumb to emotions. By all means, admit your emotions and acknowledge they're real. I want to learn everything about a mass movement not because I think I'm smarter than the experts, but precisely because what an expert says rarely translates well to non-experts.Centers for Disease Control, https://www.cdc.gov/coronavirus/2019-ncov/index.htmlOur World in Data, https://ourworldindata.org/coronavirusNextStrain,…

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Planning for the future of San Francisco

In regards to my continued re-imagining of San Francisco, the Planning Department's report on Housing Affordability Strategies is available. A decent overview of the report is at https://sf.curbed.com/2020/3/9/21171492/housing-affordability-strategies-san-francisco-targets-planning-report. Who knew my interest in urban planning started ages ago with SimCity.

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Preparing for Pandemic

Back in university, I took an elective class in virology/immunology. The class setup was a bunch of graded lab work and a research paper. My paper was on the Herpes family of virii. While viruses fascinated me, what I learned most was how fast they can spread. As a child, I had chicken pox (Herpes Varicella zoster), so I was fascinated how strands of DNA could replicate and work to turn my body into a…

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Big Creek Falls Hike

On Christmas Day, we went for a hike to Big Creek Falls in Yosemite. It's an old trail, not maintained anymore, but supposedly a great destination. We confirmed its existence with Tom Bopp who new exactly where it was. He said with all of the other falls around, this one has fallen out of favor. That was enough to persuade us to see it before Christmas Dinner. Of course, we took photos and a GoPro.

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E-bikes are wildly popular in the Bay Area. Can they really replace cars?

https://www.sfchronicle.com/bayarea/article/E-bikes-are-wildly-popular-in-the-Bay-Area-Can-14966780.php In thinking about Singapore/San Francisco, a thought is to work towards personal car zero by promoting all bicycles, public transport, delivery trucks, etc. With the changes on Market Street and as the SF Chronicle article purport, the e-bike growth is occurring somewhat organically. In my own informal, non-scientific short-term memory, there are more bikes on the street with me. This is very likely due to confirmation bias, but I see bikes everywhere now. A…

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A New Thanksgiving Tradition

Growing up, Thanksgiving involved family, food, and repetition. Every year, the family would gather to make various kinds of pasta, "the gravy", and meatballs. We did this from scratch with flour, egg, water, grinding meat, stewing tomatoes, etc. It was two days of work, but well worth the meal on Thanksgiving. My grandmother would take a few days before the holiday to make a decadent chocolate cake, again from scratch. She generally followed a recipe…

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Abuse Victims are Rarely Perfect

A great piece on the imperfect victim in Katie Hill, https://www.bitchmedia.org/article/katie-hill-media-coverage-perfect-victim. Chanel Miller, http://www.chanel-miller.com/, is another example of a victim who doesn't fit some predetermined, bland stereotype of the perfect victim. In my own, very limited, experience with victims of abuse, they are rarely as perfect as the media and everyone want them to be. Everyone copes with trauma in different ways. We're all human. Evan Stark's book, Coercive Control, is a good place to…

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