My 2020 Voting Guide

Here is how I'm voting in 2020:I've received my ballot in the mail and completed it, then I've dropped it off at a Ballot Drop Box. You can find it at:, I will sign up for SMS updates on my ballot to confirm votes:Note: I'm not in city council district 4, so I can't vote for Nithya Raman, but if you are, DO. I strongly support her. I also strongly support Measure J. It's a vitally important reimagining of public safety that meets the demands of our time.ItemChoiceDifficultyReasonsCity of Los AngelesDistrict 10Mark Ridley-ThomasDifficultRidley-Thomas has been in charge for a long time while homelessness, housing shortages, and poor policing have worsened. Ridley-Thomas holds better positions than Yoo, and has been more forthright about them.Board of Trustees, Seat 1Andra HoffmanEasyDSA-EndorsedBoard of Trustees, Seat 3David VelaEa…

Quarantine Projects: Figurines, a Mobile, and a Novel

During the last ... three months? Four? Tony and I have produced a few things I want to highlight here (mostly to make them easier to share online).

First, I made a baby mobile and published the design process and full build plans online:
Arduino Baby Mobile (Marvel Inspired) []
Second, I made figurines of two characters from The Umbrella Academy, a comic book and TV show that returns to Netflix on July 31, and I wrote up a guide on how to make your own:
Custom Figurines: the Easiest Way to Model Your Favorite Characters [Instructables]
I've entered it in a contest on Instructables and I'm excited to see how it does.
Finally -- and best of all -- Tony has written an unlicensed prequel novel to The Umbrella Academy comic book and Netflix series:
The Ties That Bind, by A.E. McGinn You can also read it on Wattpad if you prefer, or download it as an e-book:

The Ties That Bind.azw3 The Ties That Bind.epubThe Ties That Bind.mobiThe Ties That Bind.pdf
I made the cover:

Covid-19 Dashboards and Data Resources

There is a lot of data on COVID-19's movement and direction. Below is a catalog of data tools to help us find data and see comparisons that help us understand what has happened and might happen next. There's a lot of information, so I've ranked each group starting with the links I consider most useful first.

If you'd like to volunteer to help provide supplies to Los Angeles, go to to volunteer or donate.

Los Angeles and California: LA County Dashboard [LA County] LA County’s map of cases by neighborhood district
Data | COVID-19: Keeping Los Angeles Safe [City of LA] A collection of stats and relevant data for city residents to make smart risk assessments California coronavirus cases: Tracking the outbreak [LA Times] Cumulative and new cases by CA metro areas [LA County DPH] A table of case counts by neighborhood district

US, nationally and by state: COVID-19 United States Cases by …

Radiatore: Best Pasta (Fuck you Tony)

Tony wrote a listicle of pasta shapes from worst to best (at my recommendation (you're welcome)). But when I finished reading it I was shocked to find the number-one champ totally ignored (#bernieblackout). When I pointed out this journalistic malpractice to Tony, he smirked that I can write my own damn article, and so I have. You're welcome, Tony, you plebeian garbage person.

Top 1 best pastas (in both ascending and descending order!)
#1: Radiatore
This bad-ass bitch marches to the beat of her own drum. Not some derivative of tube, radiatore (appropriately named after its resemblance to a radiator) has a lovely, fun texture that can be uniquely appreciated by both children and gourmets. It goes well with sauces thick and thin and is surprisingly easy to find in stores, unlike some of the more exotic shapes.

Here's to you, champ! Pasta-numero-uno!

A letter expressing disappointment with the NYTimes treatment of a sexual abuse accuser

After reading the NY Times' article about Tara Reade's accusation of sexual assault by Joe Biden in 1993 ("Examining Tara Reade’s Sexual Assault Allegation Against Joe Biden") I was appalled at the shameless use of so many tired tropes to defend Biden. Here is the letter I wrote to their editors:
Dear Editors,

I'm an avid and admiring reader, but found your article, "Examining Tara Reade’s Sexual Assault Allegation Against Joe Biden" slanted to an outrageous degree.

The headline story should be that Biden was accused of a sexual assault, and the surrounding facts are that the victim is credible and that Biden, the sole witness to her claim, denies her charge. His legislative record, the sexual misconduct of his political rival, the political leanings of his accuser, the character testimony by Biden's friends, the inability of the victim to furnish contemporaneous documents given to Senate leadership, or the lack of new allegations in the process…

A Response to A Weak Article on Futurism

My mom shared an article on Medium on which I had thoughts. I attempted to post it, but since Medium restricts new accounts from commenting I decided to post it here so I could at least share it with my mom.
The article was "How Tech Will Transform The World in 10 Years", and in it Katie Couric interviewed two futurists whose predictions I found lacking.
"Diamandis’ and Kotler’s answers are using generalities to mask what is legitimately a worryingly dark reality. A fear of the future is not limited to the people who don’t understand it. Firstly, the current, accelerating climate crisis is going to loom over the 21st century with the same footprint that WWII cast over the 20th. So any speculation on how we’ll live in the future that isn’t built around the centrality of climate change seems suspect.
Secondly, the authors appear oblivious to either the existence or the consequence of the gap between our technological and social development. A healthy society experiments a…

Data is Beautiful: A Cool Heatmap that uses my location data

Update:  Here's a heatmap of where I've been in Los Angeles over the last three years.  Credit to Luka1199 for the Github Repo:

A Map of My Travels in 2019

Travel in 2019.

Here is a map of places Google Places tracked me in 2019.

By the way, I strongly encourage everyone to request a summary like this.  We're all tracked constantly.  Most of us are tracked by our phones which log our GPS location, by our cell carrier, which logs the location of cell towers we connect to, and by our devices' WiFi connections.  Phones, laptops, ereaders, smart watches, and others can know our location by the WiFi networks that appear.  Reducing your trackability is an option, but I think a more practical and moderate one is to simply request a copy of the logs that these tech companies have.  I appreciate that Google sends me a monthly update, which often reminds me of activities that I hadn't thought of since they happened, reinforcing my memories of good times.  Consider checking your Google Place settings and requesting a monthly summary like this.