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(The Lack of) Methodological Problems in High-Rise Syndrome Cat Studies February 27th, 2015

There’s a popular fact that gets thrown around a lot: cats can survive falling from great heights, and actually survive more often when dropped from a greater height (above seven stories). There’s also a popular rebuttal to this: the study which came to this conclusion was only looking at cats that came into the emergency room, ...

Pre-writing for National Novel Writing Month 2014, Part 3 September 28th, 2014

Note: I plan on publishing this as it’s written through fictionpress.com or some other platform, so if you want to be surprised, this is your cue to leave. Characterization I have occasional problems with keeping characterization consistent, especially if I don’t start with a clear idea in my head about who they are. This is an attempt to ...

Pre-writing for National Novel Writing Month 2014, Part 2 September 26th, 2014

Note: I plan on publishing this as it’s written through fictionpress.com or some other platform, so if you want to be surprised, this is your cue to leave. Magic I love magic, mostly because I love things that break the universe in various ways. Magic is a fairly difficult thing to get right though. Sanderson’s first law of ...

Pre-writing for National Novel Writing Month 2014, Part 1 September 09th, 2014

I’ve done National Novel Writing Month for the past few years, which results in a lot of writing but not much that’s usable. I’m totally fine with that, since writing is a muscle that you have to build up over time, and this coming November I plan to take the challenge again. In the hopes ...

Charting Advantage and Disadvantage in D&D 5th Edition July 16th, 2014

There are a lot of things that I really like about 5th edition, and one of those things is advantage and disadvantage. In D&D, the primary conflict resolution mechanic is the rolling of a twenty-sided die. Roll the d20, and see if you hit some target number. Modifiers to that roll (and to the target ...

Odds of surviving unconsciousness in D&D 5th Edition July 04th, 2014

So the new edition of D&D came out today, or at least the Basic Rules, which is more than enough to begin actually playing. When you get hit for enough damage to knock you down to 0 hp, you need to make death saving throws. If you roll a 20, you are back to 1hp If you ...

State of My Various Writing Projects, Pt. 2 May 21st, 2014

That this subject needs a part two is surely proof something – either self-doubt or my inability to stay engaged with something for very long. Here are the other things sitting in my various Google Docs folders: The Time Detectives I love time travel. It’s one of my favorite fictional concepts. The elevator pitch is that in ...

State of My Various Writing Projects May 17th, 2014

I like to write, but I have a problem with starting new projects and not finishing them. It’s not that I lose interest, it’s more that I write and write until my head gets all turned around and I have no idea whether what I’ve just written is any good. Sometimes I’ll know just how ...

Just What the Heck is Non-Monotonicity? February 20th, 2012

I am still working on the remaining analysis of Duluth municipal elections – hold your horses! – but I thought that as a breather I would talk about something that comes up a lot when people are talking about switching over to instant-runoff voting. Normally I would use the term ranked-choice voting, which it the ...

Would Ranked-Choice Voting Make a Difference in Duluth Municipal Elections? Part 2 February 19th, 2012

Last time I looked at single-winner elections, this time I will be looking at the multi-seat elections. Note that what’s actually being proposed is more properly called “single transferable vote”, but I’ll be calling it ranked-choice voting in order to maintain consistency. The multi-winner version does rely on ranking choices, so it’s not a total ...

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