Wiki Contributions


Elasticity also describes a feature that I've wanted my email inboxes to have, but never known the term for.

I would like messages to automatically archive after a certain duration, perhaps a week, if I haven't interacted with them. If a message matters, I'll read it, star/pin it, or both.

Attaining this kind of elasticity tends to be expensive, though -- one has to be aware of specifically wanting it (rather than the vaguer and more prevalent generalized dislike of an inelastic status quo), and also know what the particular elasticity is called to search usefully for whether someone has already built it, and also test+implement a potential solution or build it oneself.

Since the ROI of elasticity tends to be long-term and subtle, I often find it difficult to regard that bolus of elasticity-generating effort as worthwhile to do instead of other stuff in any particular moment, even when it'd obviously be useful in a more general sense.

I think you're probably joking, but it's also a fun idea to take seriously.

The biggest legal hurdle to this might be insurance. Any transporting ambulance has a lot of very tightly controlled drugs on board -- who would be responsible if an Ambolyft passenger stole some?

Anyways, I'm not convinced that this model (focusing on emergent transport) would represent an actual time savings for passengers. i assume that no delay to the ambulance is morally acceptable; tolerating emergency response delays in the name of profit would of course change this calculus significantly. Professional ambulance crews hang out at the station all day waiting for calls, so a hypothetical passenger would have to be hanging out at the exact station from which the ambulance is dispatched at the time the call arrives. This means the passenger would have to make their way to the station via other transport options, and then wait around for an unknowable duration until a call comes in that's going in their general direction.

However, the lights-and-sirens ambulances aren't the only ambulances on the road. Ambulances and helicopters also do non-emergent transports, moving patients from one facility to another. If a rider lived near a hospital that patients often have to be transported to from out of the area, they could potentially catch a ride out of that area on a now-empty vehicle that had brought a patient in. When a transport toward a facility is initiated, you have the entire travel time to get the ride buyer to the destination facility, or possibly even allow many prospective buyers to bid on seats for the vehicle's return trip.

Riders would probably have to be vetted, possibly background checked, to make sure they seemed unlikely to attempt to steal the drugs or harm the crew of the ambulance, but that might not be an insurmountable hurdle. There might even be a market for this kind of transport, perhaps among medical personnel scheduled for shifts at other facilities, or people who frequently visit a medical center for a short procedure and then need to return to an outlying area.

That's a new and interesting fact to me! My mental model of why the keys on instruments change their pitch is that moving the open holes in the tube changes the length of the tube, which changes the wavelength of sound that's emitted. In retrospect, this formulation doesn't actually fit well with my model of "sound comes out end of tube" at all, but does fit well with "topmost open body hole".

Modeling the sound as coming from the first open hole does suggest another reason that formally trained flautists might dislike vertical flutes, though: changing which hole is open would cause the apparent source of the sound to move along the body of the flute, so changing from "sounds like it's moving from side to side" to "sounds like it's moving up and down" might be jarring.

How would you efficiently damage the hearing of the player next to you if you weren't projecting most of your sound straight into their ear? (mostly joking)

Seriously though, at least in low brass, the direction that the bell points has an impact on how an instrument sounds to the audience. Tubas designed for use indoors tend to have bells which point upward, whereas tubas and sousas designed for use outdoors tend to point toward the audience. I would not be at all surprised to discover that flute tone is similarly variable based on whether you're pointing the thing at the room or at the floor.

I suspect that your question has a simpler answer, though, which you allude to in your post: The special heads are rare and expensive. They're uncommon, pricey, and do not clearly convey an immediate advantage. There's probably a learning curve to them, as Oural mentioned -- not only will the player have to rotate all their hand movements by 90 degrees to play a vertical flute, but the other body motions, changes to posture and breathing which subtly alter the sound of the instrument, have to follow suit as well.

I think to change this status quo, the most impactful thing to do would be to publish a free 3D printable vertical headjoint for whatever flute is most common in middle and high school bands/orchestras, and socialize the concept on platforms where high school and university music students are likely to see it. 3D printing is accessible enough, especially in academic settings, that it could capitalize on the "that's neat, I'd like to try it if I can get access to one" impression that a novel instrument tends to get from musicians. I think the collective feedback of a large group of intermediately skilled yet relatively adventurous musicians would show trends of how the vertical flute "really is".

Sadly, users would likely have to 3D print the entire head joint -- an adapter placed between the head joint and body of a existing flute would change the length of the instrument, and thus alter the pitch. However, 3D printing works ok for instrument parts which don't have to resonate too much -- it's been used for brass mouthpieces for awhile now, and can be comparable to other plastic mouthpieces if you finish the surface nicely.

If you want eggs for breakfast and view them solely as fuel, why not boil and peel a batch once per week then have an egg or two straight from the fridge at the start of the day? 0 morning prep time. Similarly, if you pre-cook a bunch of bacon and pack it away into the freezer, it's a matter of seconds to microwave some hot bacon in the morning.

I find that US grocery stores often have frozen breakfast options -- I'm partial to the sandwiches with some cheese, some meat, and some egg on an English muffin or similar. They can take some experimentation to figure out how your microwave best reheats them, and can also be DIY'd if you'd rather spend the prep time to make a big batch every week or two and control what ingredients go in.

Instant oatmeal packets are a popular breakfast option here, and dumping a packet into a bowl with some boiling water is about as low-effort as cooking can get and still be cooking. Depending on what you're doing to make your porridge, you may find it lower-effort to prep it like overnight oats.

Did I say that?

I personally don't leave traps set, because realistically the person most likely to get hurt by them is myself, but plenty of people like me don't subscribe to that line of reasoning.

Anyways, the point I was trying to make was in the next level of abstraction up from the question of whether any particular house is trapped at any particular time -- it's the uncertainty of not knowing whether a given house is really safe to enter.

Answer by nimOct 02, 2022123

I hang out in disaster preparedness spaces elsewhere on the internet, and I've noticed that prepping for a single threat tends to correlate strongly with pursuing preparedness choices that don't make sense holistically, or that decrease one's quality of life when the disaster doesn't happen.

Instead, step back and look at all the things that might kill you. Heart disease, automotive accidents, house fires, natural disasters. Old age, polypharmacy, falls. Job risks. Look at all the things that might substantially drop your quality of life: Illness or injury, financial insolvency, social catastrophes such as ostracism or targeted harassment. Form a big picture of the impact each event would have if it happened, the likelihood of it happening to you, and how much control you have over the way the impact of the event plays out in your life.

Start preparing for disasters from most-likely to least-likely. The most-likely disasters are the easiest to reason about, because they are the most likely, and thus you've probably seen them happen to friends and family, even if they haven't happened to you personally yet. Prepare for job loss, illness, injury, power outage, sudden problems with your home like fire or plumbing emergencies.

Once you're feeling well prepared for things that actually do happen all the time, test your preps. Simulate a minor emergency, such as faking a power outage by shutting off the main breaker to your home for a weekend. See how it goes, and update your plans accordingly.

Then you can start considering less-likely events, such as nuclear disasters. You will probably find that by preparing for the specific things that actually happen to people every day, you've gotten into really good shape for riding out more major events, or combinations of events (combination injury + job loss, combination illness + fire, etc).

General preparedness also tends to be flexible. If you prioritize saving up the financial cushion to keep paying rent for 6 months if you lose your job, for instance, you could also spend that on a plane ticket to visit family in another part of the world if your local area seemed about to become uninhabitable.

The one thing I think everyone should do ASAP for nuclear preparedness is to own some potassium iodide. iosat is the standard recommendation in the US, and a single-adult regimen of it is a 14-dose pack in which each dose is 130mg of KI. Considering that you can get it over the counter and it's under $5 per adult if you buy it off-brand, I find it hard to justify choosing not to keep some around, just like it's hard to justify not having a fire extinguisher even if you hope you never use it. Do not supplement KI at radiation-protective doses without medical direction, such as instructions from a public health authority after a nuclear event... But if there is a nuclear event and people are being advised to take KI, the stuff may become almost impossible to get ahold of. Think 2020 and the toilet paper.

Whether you can do the joinery to your standards depends on what tools you have and how high your standards are.

If you don't mind just bolting the side rails to the post, you can skip all the joinery, but it will be less pretty. Structurally, any boards large enough to be aesthetically pleasing (2x4s and up, without too many knots) will have vastly excessive strength for lofting a kids' bed.

If your lumber for the side rails has knots, position them on the top side if possible. Knots are stronger than the rest of the wood under compression, but weaker under tension. The bottom side of a beam is under tension, while the top is under compression.

The angle iron is overkill; you would be fine with a 2x2 there. Nothing wrong with using it if you have it, and it technically saves a little space, but I think most people would just use wood.

Depending on how high the bed is lofted, you may want to consider some form of railing. Kids are great at falling out of beds. Most building codes have a section on bunk/loft bed railing specs hidden in them somewhere, and the code is a useful starting point for asking what mishap would have caused people to care enough to legislate each dimension.

As to the actual joint you're proposing, it would be very pretty if executed with consistent tolerances. You could hide the fasteners by putting your screws through the post into the side and foot pieces from the inside of the structure. However, the tongue and notch thing you've drawn at the connection between the side rails isn't actually doing anything for you structurally as long as both rails are secured to the post.

Unless you have access to pretty good tools, it will be hard to cut the post accurately into the shape you've drawn. You could get the same shape of post by putting together several smaller pieces of dimensional lumber instead: two 2x2s and a 2x4, or a 2x2, a 2x4, and a 2x6. Try cutting the shape you want from scrap lumber with the tools you have and see if it'll work, before you commit to trying it in your real lumber.

I tried this in part, and I think I'll try it more completely next time I'm on a plane or in some other liminal sort of waiting space with cycles to spare.

I noticed that in exercise 3, the strategies which I'd rejected were primarily destructive. I happened to observe a pen, and while I did take the cap off to look at both the cap and the body in exercise 1, I didn't disassemble the body (it's friction-fit together so disassembly would potentially destroy it, mar the plastic, etc). The main unused techniques on my list for determining the properties of the materials it was made from would harm the materials: Bite it, scratch it, try to bend it, try to mark it with things to see what sticks, expose it to heat to see what it does, etc.

I happen to sew and draft my own clothing patterns, and there's a parallel here to how one might take the pattern from a garment. You can kind of, sort of copy the pattern with the garment intact, but to get a really deep understanding of how it's put together, one of the best things to do is take it apart seam by seam. The details of which seams are enclosed within which other seams reveals information about the order in which the garment was put together that would otherwise be hidden. Destroying the seams holding a lining to the garment can be the only way to expose what interfacing and construction techniques were used in the outer layers, and so forth.

After disassembly, the pile of cloth pieces and knowledge is different from the garment it started as. If I'd fully disassembled my pen, the puddle of ink and pile of metal and plastic bits would meaningfully differ from the original pen, although the disassembly would have yielded information that I couldn't get without it.

I feel cautious of performing this kind of disassembly on concepts that I like and want more of, lest I invite the "love isn't real, it's just a bunch of chemical reactions" type of philosophical failure mode. There's almost certainly a set of guard rails to abstract disassembly, just as there is to concrete disassembly. With a concrete item, I know intuitively which operations are reversible and which are not -- I know I can take the cap off the pen and put the cap back on and it'll still be the same pen, whereas if I dump all the ink out and disassemble the ball point nib, it'll become a meaningfully different thing, a formerly useful pen.

This intuition about physical objects comes from having broken some throughout my life, and having had to replace them. Do others feel an intuition for where to stop in disassembling abstract concepts? Do you have theories on how you developed that intuition?

I'd speculate that by starting this conversation here, you may also gain a second interesting data set, this time about the impact of real-name vs pseudonymous identity. Discussing eating one's own boogers is near the sweet spot of socially taboo yet objectively probably-not-too-harmful behaviors -- as long as one washes one's hands afterward, it's unlikely to harm anyone but the person doing it.

You touch on the difference between picking the nose vs eating the boogers briefly, when commenting on how eating boogers which had been extracted from the nose with some implement other than a finger seems more repulsive than eating those extracted with a finger. From this (and personal experience), I would suggest an additional hypothesis to investigate: Picking the nose is advantageous because it cleans the nose effectively, and whether or not one eats the result is immaterial to the effect.

Ingesting one's own bodily secretions is gross if you think too hard about it, but also pretty ordinary. If you have a nose bleed and some blood drips down the back of the throat, it gets swallowed. If you chew on your lip and a small piece of dead skin comes off, you probably swallow it rather than spitting it out. If I get a small wound on my hand, I'll reflexively stick it right into my mouth, despite knowing that this behavior technically increases the risk of infection slightly. And this isn't to even start on swallowing mucous from the nose by drawing it to the back of the throat at moments when it's infeasible to blow one's nose. We eat stuff that was recently part of our bodies all the time in various ways, and it's only gross if you think too hard about it. This is to say that maybe eating boogers is just a convenient way to clean a finger after picking the nose with it, and the benefits/detriments of the habit are primarily related to our noses having evolved with the implicit expectation that they'd be excavated with a finger whenever necessary.

So for any scent perception based experiment around nose picking, it seems important to add a control of "pick the nose but do not eat it". I'd personally guess that the difference between pick-and-eat versus pick-and-discard would be negligible.

Load More