As a lapsed academic scientist, I really appreciate the courage that Laskowski shows here in both retracting several papers and explaining what went wrong.

Science is built on trust. Trust that your experiments will work. Trust in your collaborators to pull their weight. But most importantly, trust that the data we so painstakingly collect are accurate and as representative of the real world as they can be. And so when I realized that I could no longer trust the data that I had reported in some of my papers, I did what I think is the only correct course of action. I retracted them.

A nice perk of the rental house is the much larger backyard. Certainly good for the dog.

We’re moving out for a big renovation. So, let the kids draw on the wall and smash it with a hammer.

Entering the chaos phase of moving

Busy feet

The release of the very good Fantastical is another opportunity to reflect on App Store pricing. I simultaneously support app developers asking for continuous income for good apps and appreciate everyone’s subscription fatigue. Seems like upgrade pricing from Apple would help

I’ve enjoyed the new The Joy of X podcast from Quanta Magazine with an episode on black holes and one on pure math. The focus is more on the scientists than the research, which I like.

Anyone else having trouble with the Siri watch face on WatchOS 6? It used to be pretty good at surfacing useful items. Now all I get are Breathe, News, and Weather tiles. All of the right data sources are enabled in settings.

I enjoyed reading this article on solitude in the woods and can particularly relate to:

this anxiety, which amounts to a sort of cost-benefit analysis of every passing moment, is a quintessentially modern predicament

Interrupting the usual feed content with a work announcement to say that I’m hiring. Anyone interested in cultivating a culture of evidence for transit decisions should take a look at this LinkedIn post for the Manager of Planning Analytics 🚉 🚃 🚌 🚲

Although difficult to choose, Death’s End by Cixin Liu is the best book of the trilogy. Incredibly imaginative and immense in scope with a hopeful end, despite some grim content. 📚

Some heavy snow flakes today

There was a raccoon in our office ceiling making all sorts of noise and commotion. As soon as the peanut butter trap was setup, the raccoon vanished. Must have been caught before and is wise to our tricks.

I upgraded from an iPhone 7 to 11. Now I’m back to having the best phone in the house, which is how it should be. I felt strange (jealous?) when my kids had better phones than me 😏

An interesting article on neurons being more complicated processors than originally thought: Neural Dendrites Reveal Their Computational Power - Quanta Magazine

After 13 years in our house, we’re starting a big renovation that requires moving out. I’m amazed (though shouldn’t be) at how cathartic it is to purge the accumulated junk. I hope that, as a family, we can be mindful about what we allow in, once the renovation is complete.

A good historical perspective on the Hubble constant: How they pinned a single, momentous number on the Universe

A good article on the importance of concentration: Playing chess is an essential life lesson in concentration

There are smiles under those scarves ⛷ ❄️

Our records management team is holding a “clean desk” contest to promote good practice.

Here’s my before image:

And, thanks to significant effort, the after:

Maybe I’ll get most improved? 😀

Brew coffee shortcut

Shorcuts in iOS is a great tool. Automating tasks significantly boosts productivity and some really impressive shortcuts have been created.

That said, it is often the smaller automations that add up over time to make a big difference. My most used one is also the simplest in my Shortcuts Library. I use it every morning when I make my coffee. All the shortcut does is set a timer for 60 seconds (my chosen brew time for the Aeropress) and logs 90mg of caffeine into the Health app.

All I need to do is groggily say “Hey Siri, brew coffee” and then patiently wait for a minute. Well, that plus boil the water and grind the beans.

Simple, right? But that’s the point. Even simple tasks can be automated and yield consistencies and productivity gains.

With the hope that some public accountability will help, I’m declaring a 30-day ban on my use of the following sentence phrasing:

Something, but something else

I write this phrase often, but it is a lazy construction (okay, that was the last one 😀)

I’ve listened to more Rush in the past few days than in the last several years. I regret neglecting their music and am glad to have them back

This Micro Monday I’d like to suggest @Dominikhoecht for a good mix of interesting photos, parenting observations, and geekery.

Something Deeply Hidden by Sean Carroll is the best kind of non-fiction: engagingly written, sophisticated enough to take the audience seriously, and about a fascinating topic 📚