weeknotes WK8

Last updated Nov 26 2023

Back after a (one year plus) hiatus!


I am slowly making an attempt at learning elementary Japanese. I don't have a concrete goal, and to be honest, I don't anticipate being able to read, write, or speak the language anytime soon. Instead, I'm treating this as an exercise in building some additional muscles in the brain.

And, it's been fun learning in a new way! I'm sure as a child I've experienced mnemonics, and now that I have the term down I do recall seeing a similar technique used in my kid's primary teachings.

I'm surprised by how effective it is in improving recall.

mnemonic hiragana chart

I'm in the news, mom!

I recently began tracking vehicular speeds (again) across my neighbourhood. Starting with my block and intention to move to others in order to build a slightly more comprehensive data set, which I anticipate will tell a story of sorts.

This work made it into our local news, where the pressure around city spend on ineffective trafficin calming measures is going up. Nice to see such investment from local journalists! See the article in The Coast.

Citizen software engineer and safety enthusiast Bartek Ciszkowski has been measuring the effectiveness of speed humps in his traffic-calmed community. He’s doing his data recording with Raspberry Pi computers-turned-speed cameras because he’s worried that using the 85% of drivers metric hides some real danger. “Additionally, we can see what is more problematic: There is plenty of opportunity to go faster than the posted speed limit. We see that 15% of vehicles are traveling over 47km/h, with some reaching variances as high as 60km/h. It is further concerning that we see typical speeds increase for L2R (Left to Right), as vehicles speed up the slope,” he writes of his most recent findings. As it turns out, adding a speed hump has had almost no effect on driver speed, and has not decreased the variation of those speeds. Or, in other words, the people who speed are still driving as fast as ever, even with the speed humps.