Low-Friction MBTA Predictions

This has not been a good week for the MBTA:
  • The Red, Orange, and Blue lines are running Saturday schedules on weekdays (news coverage) until they are able to hire and train more dispatchers.

  • The Orange and Green lines (again) were suspended after problems with the ongoing demolition of a parking garage above Haymarket Station.

  • The new Orange and Red Line cars were pulled from service (again), this time for a battery issue.

  • And, bonus, while the event was at the end of May, the MBTA released information this week about Red Line cars that rolled out of the Braintree yard, onto the mainline tracks and through the station.

Despite all of this, my wait times have gone down by >2x:

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Limits of Bodily Autonomy

Bodily autonomy is a strong consideration in favor of both abortion and optional vaccination. Because it is not the only consideration, however, many of us are in favor of abortion for anyone who wants one while also seeing some cases in which we favor mandatory vaccination. I've recently seen posts from friends supporting the right to abortion, such as shares of screenshots of this tweet:

If you don't accept that bodily autonomy is an essential unconditional liberty, it's a waste of time talking to you at all. No other liberties survive without that one, more fundamental than property rights: if you don't own yourself absolutely, you own nothing.

@ScavengerEthic

In some ways this is similar to the use of the slogan 'my body, my choice', but I don't think people generally interpret short phrases as a complete argument; a slogan often draws attention to a major consideration without claiming it's decisive. In this case, however, people are sharing statements that do claim to be a full argument, and make the case for abortion in a way that also makes the case against vaccination requirements.

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Child Contracting

The kids came to me with a contract dispute: they disagreed about what the deal had been. After some talking, and hearing what they each thought they'd agreed to, it turned out that the contract wasn't just metaphorical:

"Anna rents the living room from Lily in exchange for Lily's use of bedroom. And Lily will do free cleaning."

It turned out that Anna signed it after hearing a rough paraphrase. I told Lily that she would need to read any future contracts aloud, word for word, before Anna signed. I also explained about interpretation against the drafter, and how Lily should be careful to avoid ambiguity in writing down agreements.

I'm not sure what "free cleaning" means here? Generally they both do very little cleaning, free or otherwise.

Cleaning up this evening I came across a second contract:

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House Phone

Until recently, houses had phones. Anyone could place a call out, and whoever was there could answer an incoming call. With cell phones there's much less reason to have house phones, and since moving out of my parents' house I haven't lived anywhere that had one. This seems to work fine for adults, but what about kids?

Our oldest is getting to where they could be home alone for short times, and it would be good if they had a way to contact us. We'll already use the walkie-talkies for short walks within a block or two, but they don't reach farther than that. Using the eeepc to message us would work, but is low bandwidth and I don't always notice Slack notifications. I decided to set up something like a house phone.

They do make products along these lines, but I didn't like any of them and I did have an old Android phone. I ordered a mount for it, plugged in on our charging shelf, and set it up with shortcut buttons for calling both of us:

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Hydrophobic Glasses Coating Review

Several years ago I wrote one of my most controversial posts, Don't Clean Your Glasses. If I keep wearing dusty glasses I find I stop noticing the dust, and then I save the time of washing and drying. I'm embarrassed to admit it, however, but I do now clean my glasses.

In June 2020 I got a new pair of glasses, and this time I got them with a "Super Hydrophobic" coating. This has two main effects:

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Evaluating a Corsi-Rosenthal Filter Cube

When I wrote about testing my ceiling air purifier prototype, two common questions were:

  • Where is your control group?
  • How does this compare to a Corsi-Rosenthal filter cube?

Several rounds of testing and one worn out particle meter later, I have answers for you! First, the bottom line:

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