A scary, but important, conversation on the Making Sense podcast about the threat of nuclear weapons

Different watch faces for work and home

watchOS 7 has some interesting new features for enhancing and sharing watch faces. After an initial explosion of developing many special purpose watch faces, I’ve settled on two: one for work and another for home.

Both watch faces use the Modular design with the date on the top left, time on the top right, and Messages on the bottom right. I like keeping the faces mostly the same for consistency and muscle memory.

My work watch face than adds the Fantastical complication right in the centre, since I often need to know which meeting I’m about to be late for. Reminders is on the bottom left and Mail in the bottom centre. I have this face set to white to not cause too much distraction.

My home watch face swaps in Now Playing in the centre, since I’m often listening to music or podcasts. And I have Activity in the bottom centre. This face is in orange, mostly to distinguish it from the work watch face.

Surprisingly, I’ve found this distinction between a work and home watch face even more important in quarantine. Switching from one face to another really helps enforce the transition between work and non-work when everything is all done at home.

The watch face that I’d really like to use is the Siri watch face. This one is supposed to intelligently expose information based on my habits. Sounds great, but almost never actually works.

I added a HomePod to the newly renovated house. The sound quality is definitely as good as advertised and I appreciate the Apple Music integration 🎶. Siri has worked just fine for me so far, though I only really use it for reminders and calendar events.

Our Home Renovation Is Complete!

We’re very excited to move back home

Owen had his virtual grade 6 graduation with PJs on the bottom half

Decision-Making in a Time of Crisis is a good article on the danger of confusing bad outcomes with bad decisions. As advocated in the article, scenario planning is a useful tool for making decisions with uncertainty

I’m really enjoying these unapologetically nerdy posts on the logistics and tactics of Middle Earth armies.

The Last Emperox by John Scalzi is great fun and a fitting end to the trilogy 📚

We’ve compared our predictions of the 2019 🇨🇦 election to the actual votes. Overall, we were within 5% with no obvious geographical biases, though we did slightly overestimate support for the NDP at the expense of the Liberals. I think we’re on to something good here!

I don’t remember being so organized on Wednesday 😀✅

Happy birthday to my favourite son!

Photosynthesis is a pretty elaborate game with more strategy than you might expect from trees ☀️🌲

There’s sure to be a good caper behind this busted safe in the middle of the woods

Happy birthday to my favourite daughter!

Lucy couldn’t quite manage the last burpee challenge in today’s One Academy Collision class

My favourite gym has a charity event on Saturday supporting Nellie’s Shelter for women & children. If you’re new to One Academy, your first class if free! So, a great chance to get a good workout & support an important cause

I’m really enjoying these Biggest Ideas in the Universe videos from Sean Carroll. Sufficiently nerdy to be interesting without getting too detailed.

Lots of good 90s music nostalgia on this Incomparable episode

China Miéville’s Perdido Street Station is intensely creative and very entertaining 📚

A big thanks to Brie and Paul for the homemade masks!

I'm not analyzing COVID data, though I'm impressed with Ontario's open data

I’m neither an epidemiologist nor a medical doctor. So, no one wants to see my amateur disease modelling.

That said, I’ve complained in the past about Ontario’s open data practices. So, I was very impressed with the usefulness of the data the Province is providing for COVID: a straightforward csv file that is regularly updated from a stable URL.

Using the data is easy. Here’s an example of creating a table of daily counts and cumulative totals:

data_source <- "[data.ontario.ca/dataset/f...](https://data.ontario.ca/dataset/f4112442-bdc8-45d2-be3c-12efae72fb27/resource/455fd63b-603d-4608-8216-7d8647f43350/download/conposcovidloc.csv)"
covid_data <- read_csv(data_source) %>% 
  select(ACCURATE_EPISODE_DATE) %>% 
  rename(date = ACCURATE_EPISODE_DATE) %>% 
  group_by(date) %>% 
  summarise(daily_count = n()) %>% 
  mutate(cumulative_count = cumsum(daily_count))

From there we can make some simple plots to get a sense of how the case load is changing.

And, I’ll leave it at that, at least for public posting 🤓

Apple’s Mobility Trends tool is intriguing. Curious to see that transit declines early, quickly, and the most. Makes sense, I suppose, given that transit users are in close proximity.

What is Real by Adam Becker is a great book on the measurement problem in quantum physics. Becker writes very clearly about the actual physics of the problem and the fascinating history. Such a clear example of how science is a human endeavour with politics and personalities 🔭📚

Simple brew tea shortcut

Since I’m mostly stuck inside these days, I find I’m drinking more tea than usual. So, as a modification of my brew coffee shortcut, I’ve created a brew tea shortcut.

This one is slightly more complicated, since I want to do different things depending on if the tea is caffeinated or not.

We start by making this choice:

Then, if we choose caffeine, we log this to the Health app:

Uncaffeinated tea counts as water (at least for me):

And, then, regardless of the type of tea, we set a timer for 7 minutes:

Running this one requires more interactions with Siri, since she’ll ask which type we want. We can either reply by voice or by pressing the option we want on the screen.

A small change to my quarantine home office with large ergonomic impacts: I’ve added a Lamicall iPad stand. Much better and more flexible positioning of the iPad with this simple device.