1. Review: A Short Hike (2019)

    Friday, January 01, 2021 By Alys S.Brooks

    Claire soars above her aunt's cabin

    Many games promise a world, and some even deliver1. A Short Hike definitely delivers, but its world is the size of a single (marvelous, gorgeous, detailed) island.

    You play as Claire, a bird who’s visiting her Aunt May, a park ranger. Claire’s expecting an important call but …

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  2. Job Shortages are the Norm

    Monday, August 24, 2020 By Alys S.Brooks

    Chart of the ratio of jobs to unemployed people, using three different
measures of unemployment.

    Since the pandemic began, there aren’t enough jobs to go around. You might be thinking that this is obvious, but many people either forget this fact or leave it out of their analysis. The graph above of the ratio of unemployed people to job openings actually shows that jobseekers …

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  3. Analyzing Wisconsin’s Record Midterm Turnout

    Friday, May 10, 2019 By Alys S.Brooks

    2018 was a high water mark for midterm voter turnout in Wisconsin — almost 60 percent turned out. While that’s still lower than most presidential elections, it’s the highest midterm since at least 1948.

    Turnout over time

    There’s a fairly big range between the highest turnout counties and the lowest ones …

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  4. What I dislike about Python

    Sunday, May 22, 2016 By Alys S.Brooks

    try: assert Python == great

    Python is my favorite programming language. It’s easy for beginners without limiting experts, it’s fun to use, and there’s a great community of people working on it. However, no language is perfect, and occasionally I get frustrated by its limits.

    Quite a few …

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  5. Todoist: The Unexplained Parts

    Monday, December 14, 2015 By Alys S.Brooks

    I keep track of tasks using Todoist, a cross-platform to-do list tool. It’s flexible without making simple things hard, which I appreciate1. For example, adding a task with a deadline and a tag is as simple as clicking the plus button and typing “Call landlord @telephone today”.

    Since …

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  6. Review: Melancholia (2014)

    Saturday, September 12, 2015 By Alys S.Brooks

    Note: minor spoilers for Melancholia.

    In movies, Apocalypse tends to be a gritty affair. Not in Melancholia. Lars von Trier’s film about two sisters’ last days on Earth is as composed and beautiful as a movie about apocalypse could be.

    In contrast to the shoestring special effects of a …

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  7. New medium, old trope

    Sunday, March 31, 2013 By Alys S.Brooks

    Anika's stuffed rabbit is stolen by a huge eagle early in the game.

    A common archetype in children’s fantasy is the lonely child escaping her ordinary life to explore a fantastic world. Examples include some of the most famous works of children’s literature: Alice in Wonderland, The Phantom Tollbooth, and The Wizard of Oz. The character braves various dangers, maybe saves …

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