Two Family Dance Flyers

I'm going to be calling another family dance in a week, and Lily and Anna wanted to make flyers to advertise it. I wrote out a sheet with the key details they might want to include:

Lily wanted to do hers on the computer, and it ended up being primarily about learning Inkscape:

Sev, Sevteen, Sevty, Sevth

I don't like the number seven. Well, really the name of the number seven. All the other single digit numbers are single syllable, and seven has to go and take two. Seventy and seventeen have the same problem. What can we do?

I think the two main candidates are "sev" (dropping the second syllable) and "sen" (dropping the first coda and second onset). While I find "sen" slightly nicer on the tongue, I think "sev" is more promising because it feels like a better short form.

Offering Completion

One verbal approach I often find useful with little kids is to offer them the opportunity to complete a phrase. Compare:

Parent: It's time to brush teeth!

Toddler: I no want brush teef!


Parent: It's time to brush...

Toddler: Teef!

Circuit Board Ordering

Working first on my plucked electronic instrument and now my hardware whistle synthesizer I've been ordering custom circuit boards ("PCBs"). Once the design digitized in KiCad (tutorial), the timeline looks like:

Searching Magic Cards

I like playing Magic, except for the "it's designed to pump away your money" aspect. So I like formats where I can play with other people's cards a lot! My favorite is probably drafting from booster packs where someone else will keep all the cards, but yesterday Stevie brought over a Forgetful Fish-style deck he'd put together, and we played a couple times. The only creature in this format is the Dandan, a 4/1 blue creature with:

Dandan can't attack unless defending player controls an Island.

When you control no Islands, sacrifice Dandan.

One of the cards in Stevie's deck was Magical Hack, a blue instant with:

Change the text of target spell or permanent by replacing all instances of one basic land type with another.

It's role in the deck was primarily to kill Dandans, by replacing "Island" on an opponent's Dandan with any basic land type they don't have. But it got me wondering: does it happen that there are any textual uses of the six basic land types [1] that are not intended to be about a basic land? For example, if a card happened to use the word "forestall", perhaps you could do something fun with it?

Duckbill Masks Better?

Lai et al. just published a paper looking at how well various masks worked for keeping others from getting sick ("source control"). Their university press office summarized this as:

Study finds all masks effective, but 'duckbill' N95 masks far outperform others, suggests they should be the standard in high-risk settings

Now, I personally think duckbill masks are the best disposable masks: they're cheap, comfortable, fit me well, and are more breathable due to their larger area. Plus, as masks that manage to be unfashionable even by the standards of N95 masks, if they weren't better in non-fashion ways they wouldn't be on the market anymore. But the study didn't show that they're the best kind of N95, only that they do better than the other masks they tested, none of which were N95s.

The study compared five conditions: no mask, cloth mask, surgical mask, KN95, and (duckbill) N95. This isn't a study that can tell you anything about the differences between N95s!

To me the most interesting parts of the study were (a) they captured the viral RNA and measured viral load with qPCR instead of using bad proxies like particle count and (b) they found KN95s did way worse than you'd expect from their filtration efficiency:

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