Weekly roundup January 23 - 29

Note: I plan to migrate this blog to a different service in the next week. If all goes to plan it should be seamless, but it is computer/internet related so fingers crossed.


Honeymoon In North Korea Frontier

Why Ikea's flatpack refugee shelter won design of the year The Guardian

María Eugenia Vidal and the “Other” Buenos Aires Americas Quarterly

The Economist Really Doesn’t Understand Toronto Transit Torontoist

Weekly roundup January 16 - 22


Soft(ware) Skills Data Carpentry

If landlords can profit, homes must be great investments, right? Market Urbanism

Oh no… It really looks like Justin Trudeau truly, deeply believes all those silly Liberal myths National Post

What Oxfam’s misleading stat gets wrong about inequality Fusion

Weekly roundup January 9 - 15


In 1967, change in Canada could no longer be stopped The Globe and Mail

Hill for the Data Scientist: an xkcd Story

No More Odebrechts: Three Steps to Reduce Graft in Latin America Americas Quarterly


[tweet https://twitter.com/webmz_/status/818110868214992897]

[tweet https://twitter.com/johnparkerex/status/820420794761220096]

Weekly roundup January 2 - 8


Nearly in Ruins: The Church Where Sages Dreamed of a Modern Brazil The New York Times

Justin Trudeau’s vacation with the Aga Khan proves the details matter National Post
^ This is really important. Influence comes in all forms and perception of conflicts of interest is as important as actual conflicts of interest.

Jagger's Theorem Econometrics Beat


[tweet https://twitter.com/sarugetchuu/status/817021544786460672]

[tweet https://twitter.com/SenseiSmokes/status/747051410320134144]

Transit Use 2016

I have kept track of all the times I used transit since 2014. This only includes transit on the TTC, which is most of all my transit use. In 2016, I took 161 rides. These are counted in the way the TTC would charge for rides, so when I have a day pass a “ride” is counted whenever I would need to tap my Presto card or deposit a token. (If only they would have two-hour transfers, and I would use it much more often.) I have used fewer and fewer tokens as the year progressed and Presto readers appeared on more vehicles and at all the subway stations.

ddply(data16, "media", summarise, TotRides = sum(rides), TotCost = sum(cost))
##                media TotRides TotCost
## 1           Day Pass        6   12.00
## 2  Day Pass (Shared)       65   94.38
## 3               Free        2    0.00
## 4             Presto       64  176.80
## 5 Presto + token (2)       14   40.40
## 6              Token       10   26.10

My rides were paid for using: Day Passes (71), Tokens (17), Presto (71), and other (2). The Day Pass rides were generally quite cheap because the passes were used on weekends and shared with Heather.

Unsurprisingly, I used the TTC most on Saturdays when Day Passes can be shared. I walk to/from work every day so only use the TTC when I have to go somewhere outside my acceptable walking distance. I am not sure what acceptable walking distance is as it changes depending on the day/weather/time.

Total rides each month do not tell me much except that I was out a lot in April, and used transit more as the year progressed.

Year over year

Splitting my day of week out by month for the past three years shows that variation in my transit use.

## Joining by: DOW, month, years

annual_summary <- data_tot %>%
  group_by(as.factor(years)) %>%
  summarise(Annual_Cost = sum(cost), 
            Annual_Rides = sum(rides), 
            Cost_Per_Ride = round(Annual_Cost / Annual_Rides, 2))
names(annual_summary)[1] = "Year"

## # A tibble: 3 × 4
##     Year Annual_Cost Annual_Rides Cost_Per_Ride
##   <fctr>       <dbl>        <int>         <dbl>
## 1   2014      379.70          206          1.84
## 2   2015      369.30          175          2.11
## 3   2016      349.68          161          2.17

So you can see over the past three years, I have been using the TTC a bit less each year. The average cost per trip is creeping upward, and is above the TTC’s average cost per fare of $2.00.

Weekly roundup December 26 - January 1


Downtown street corner had a storied history Toronto Star

We could use some politically correct street names (just not too many) National Post

With its golden age gone, the Toronto Zoo reinvents itself as a scientific institution National Post

"The democratization of nerdiness" Edmonton Journal

The simple secrets to happiness Maclean's

How to Hide $400 Million New York Times Magazine


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Year in Review 2016

2016: Year in Review

It seems that 2016 is about to come to a close and, as one does, I look back at many of those things that happened. The biggest thing I did was selling my car, which is still my largest single purchase. It was great to see it drive away with the new owner, who was really happy to have found something in good condition for a price he could pay. I was happy to no longer have to pay for the parking spot, upkeep and insurance for a car I used about once a month.

I did more travel than usual this year. For pleasure, Heather and I went to a resort in Mexico, to Nova Scotia/Cape Breton and to Montreal, and for work I went to Panama twice, to Manchester, UK twice and to Montreal once. Our travel to Mexico and Nova Scotia was related to weddings of our friends. However, in Nova Scotia, we drove all the way to the other end to spend a couple days in Cape Breton, which was great.

I baked some things:

  • cheddar bacon biscuits,
  • ham and cheese buns,
  • milk bread, and
  • rye bread/spelt-rye bread.

I read a bunch of good books (see my goodreads page)

I contributed to the Open Street Map through Missing Maps tasks, HOT tasks and random additions to Brazil. See where I have been mapping and zoom in to see the areas in more detail.

My favorite photos that I took: Shadow landing

Landing in Panama

London 3

Landing in London

Underlit bench

Bench lighting in Manchester