Session Transcripts

A live transcription team captured the SRCCON sessions that were most conducive to a written record—about half the sessions, in all.

Lightning Talks

Session Facilitator(s): Kaeti Hinck, Alan Palazzolo

Day & Time: Thursday, 7-8pm

Room: Johnson


Hi, everybody! Whoo. Welcome to lightning talks. It’s the most categorically supportive talk you’ll ever attend. No pressure. Just have fun. So first up tonight we’ve got Steven.

This is all thrown together very quickly, so please bear with us. So for those who did propose a lightning talk you’re on the list. But for now this will be the order. This is the site where you proposed your thing.


Yes, we are an array based thing. Yeah, that’s it.

And we will give you a one-minute warning, which you’re one minute away from five minutes and then at five minutes, we will cut you off…. in a gentle but firm way. So first we have artisanal data from—is that Rich? Yeah. Leer we go.

Hi, everybody. So, I wanted to talk about creating ordered data because fortunately and unfortunately I’ve been spending the past several months doing this, and it is very exciting, it is very fun and it is also very tedious and it sucks a lot. But the end product is something that I am very proud of. I think a lot of the people that I work with are proud of. So I basically want to talk about the Washington Post data collection on 2015 fatal police shootings. So we started collecting this data at the beginning of this year. And I think the biggest challenge was determining what our universe would be. So obviously, you look at a case like Fredy Gray, the guy dies in police custody. He’s not in our database. We created our database largely because police shootings are—we’re in the cleanest universe we thought we could get. And on-duty police, I should note. So we looked at all the cases, including the ones that did not fall in our universe and we had cases where police—an off-duty police officer shouted at a guy at a barfight, should we count that as a police shooting? We had to answer that and we had to answer that for a lot of different scenarios. Did we have to count the one who went off shooting a guy at the scene? So I think the one big takeaway that I think you should take out of this is you need to define your universe early and you need to stick with it. It’s probably the hardest thing in the world to do. USA Today did a mass killings database. I was involved very early with that but not for a long time, and the hardest thing that they had to do was define what a “mass killing” was. I mean, is it more than one person gets killed at a single incidence? Is it five, is it ten?

And originally, when looking at mass shootings, I had argued that we should—anyone where four or more people were shot, not necessarily killed should be considered a mass shooting because there were some cases where there were ten people shot and no one died but why is that not a mass shooting?

So in creating your data, that is going to be your biggest point. Another area that you’re going to want to focus on is how much you want to collect on each of these cases because—so we’re already close to 500 fatal police shootings this year. And the hardest thing for us to at this point would be to go back and add a field for all of them. So what we had to do at the very beginning is defining what columns we wanted to collect and that’s not as easy as it sounds. Part of it was finding what we could get. If we were to track whether or not these things were justified. I think that most of them we won’t find out until next year. And a lot of them we won’t find out. But there were a lot of factors. Where did this happen? Did it happen in the street? Did it happen in someone’s home? Those were the things that we started collecting. And obviously, we started we could start collecting data on mental illness. The police tend to indicate when a person is mentally ill, family members, especially if someone is suffering from mental illness, maybe that’s the genesis of the shooting. So there are a lot of factors that are out there that we would have loved to collect but we would have gotten them on 10% of the cases and in reality, that is not a good amount for us. So you have to define your universe both what’s going to be in there, and what columns you want. There’s, I think those are the two most important things. On top of that, we have to vet all of this information repeatedly. Police shootings, especially, change from the initial shooting. So somebody might be armed when it’s first reported, a week later they’re not armed. Two weeks later, they might be armed, and they may not be armed. And so, we’ve had to continuously update various elements ever this database because it is an ever-changing world. So we—we focused on getting things right. If there’s a dispute we wanted to note that there was a dispute. We wanted to do follow-up reporting. We wanted to find out what was right. And the hardest thing about collecting this data is being accurate because we cannot vet 500 police shootings. It’s just—it’s impossible. And so we have to pick and choose and a lot of cases are clear cut and so we decided that we would stick with them and we would follow up if necessary, but a lot of these cases, you know, pretty early on.

That’s most of what I had to say. I’m going to note that I can’t tell you exactly when this is going to happen. But in the coming, probably week or so, we intend to release a large portion of our data. Not everything. A lot of our—we have a lot of flags in the data that are being used internally for reporting. That might not be as reliable. But at least points us in the right direction…

[Phone Ringing ]

That’s time.

[Applause ]

Is that someone’s ringtone?

The end.

Did you guys hear that on that one?

I didn’t. All right. Next up is Becky Bowers doing 20 or more signs within a news-nerd household.

It is slightly more than 20. The more obsessive amount you can count or try. I’m having such an amazing day today and the way that I know is that I have more than 600 on red work emails. It’s amazing. Unread work emails. so you’re all going to have things to contribute, feel free to keep it going on Twitter. So in our house, I’m Becky Bowers, by the way. I’m a—at the New York Times. The only reason he’s not here this year is ‘cause it’s Supreme Court season. Doing some cool stuff right now. But in our house, much more contentious than housework or spending time on those marital issues. It’s like web metrics. This is how Jeremy feels about pageviews and I don’t agree. I find them useful. It also doesn’t matter how awful hackers is, because someone could be me. Like wants to watch it at least twice a year. You know, also, like, the papers. I tend to learn about dinner plans on dinner for about 5,000. In the Jones’ household, relationship bonding occurs over mutual R code debugging. But the language of Agile sneaks into everything like birthday party planning is getting a little crazy so we had to kill some features. And at least one conversation a week starts with, “Did you see that thing in my LYCRA?” So this thing came from one of you, the first thing that happens, right, it’s not that—it’s awesome. It’s like wait. I see this in a mirror. Who else has recipe on GitHub?

No, that’s only a Bowers thing.

Also that’s true. It could be only in our house. Also recipe on GitHub. Psych, Subreddit. You don’t know whose phone is going. When news breaks everyone has news orders but the dinner conversation that you’re having is probably going to show up on someone’s website soon, or in five years in the case of the SCOTUS stuff that happened today. This might have come from that guy over there whose kids knows how to fly drones and they do tech support with those grandparents. Mapping. In our household there’s always more laptops than people. Devices, maybe not so many. Well, many, many. This also came from someone else in the room, background check all the things, right? Yes. And if there are at least public records that is related to a public decision that is being pulled. And a lot of meaningful conversations happen via chat even if you both happen to be sitting on a couch side by side. It happens. It’s happened.


[Laughter ]

That would be my now 3-year-old. Her name is Amelia, by the way.



Good for you.

[We’re not really into Rose right now]. Give her a break because this is not responsive, which was my first complaint.

Maggie told me that this is the case in your house too, right? We also have, like, all of NICAR T-shirts. Also I love the one that Scott Klein was rocking today. Totally retro.

It was three years ago.

Uh, what—exactly. There are apparently other households where there are knockout-dragdowns over charts.

One minute.

Including maps that should be charts. This is a common conversation. Also human journalism should not be journalism. Please more bots. But also just how to make them more awesome. Yay! Thanks, everybody.

[Applause ]

Thank you, Becky.

So up next we have Derek. Are you here today?

I’m here.

Do you need…?

He’s running.

So you all need to get your computers out if you have OS X or Linux. Get them out. All right. Quiet down. This is serious business.

Probably going to the command line.

So we are going to learn as I. Vim is an editor we’re going to don’t it in five minutes. You might say I’m crazy. You’re crazy. First thing you need to do is open up your terminal. Second thing that you need to do is type what I type. Type and press enter. Type my name, D-E-R-E-K, nothing happens, that’s pretty weird. Now type Yvonne’s name. Y-V-O-N-N-E. You don’t see anything, that’s weird. Now type Millie’s name. M-I-L-L-I-E, what happened there? So Vim has something called insertion mode and it’s different from the normal kind of mode, which is movie mode, or normal mode. But insertion mode is like a text editor. So now type insert twice. And now type, “When I was a boy, I wanted to be a train.” Dash Max Barry, Machine Man. Now type insert. Now this is movement mode. This is default mode movement mode is like Vim because movement mode is like learning a great piece of music for the tenth time. Every time you learn something new.

Think about back when you listened to Taylor Swift. And you need an O, H. In Vim, H is back. Now hold L. In Vim, L is forward. Now press K, that’s up. And press J, that’s down. Now, press O, and that’s—on the next line, start typing, and now press enter. And now type, “Why listen to Nickelback when you can listen to Taylor Swift,” period, escape. Now, there are a few other ways you can move around in Vim. You can move by the word by pressing B, back, back, back, back, back, or forward by words by pressing W, forward, forward, forward, back, back, back. You can go forward by typing A, and now I want you to type brussels sprouts, all in caps. Period and escape. Now press U, undo that. No one likes brussels sprouts. Now I want you to type O again and I want you to type, “I will not bribe Principal Skinner.” Now press escape, now type 20, period. Now I want you again to type dash NOT. Now that it’s search. What that does it searches for that term inside of your text editor, or you can call it a buffer, that’s what Vim calls it. You type N again, and it goes down to the next word. And you type capital N and it will go back to the preview. Now the thing that it doesn’t do is it doesn’t highlight anything. That’s weird. But we can change that. Just type colon, set, space, hlsearch, just like that and now you can see the highlights. Pretty cool, right? Pretty cool! Now even if you want to save this text because we’ve done a lot of work today. So you hit save, colon, w, and you put desktop, so you can find it really easily next time you want to use this text file. And now, you can quit. That’s how you use Vim, guys.

[Applause ]

Awesome. Next unis Matt White talking about all he’s learned from flying airplanes, I believe. You need the whiteboard or anything?

Nope. I’m good. It’s sort of appropriate that I’m following a determination of Vim because I want to talk about death.

[Laughter ]

So a lot of you I know, I’m Matt Waite. I’m a professor at the University of Nebraska and a lot of you I have met have said, “Oh, oh—you’re the drone guy!” So I do have a passive little fascination with small flying robots. That has led me to some really weird places lately and I started a drone lab in 2011 to try to figure out how journalists can use, small drones, UAS’s, UAB’s, whatever shit you want to call them—”flying” work for me. Because I believe they have a value. I believe they have a First Amendment value. I believe as journalists we can do a lot with them. But in order to do that. In order to teach students to do that and in order to teach them as a part of my job, I had to go through regulatory hell. It started us with having having the—to go do a story about the drought and we get a nasty letter from the FAA. You need permission from us. Go get what’s called a certificate of authorization. I said okay, can we please get one? And they said no. Okay, why? Because the government only gives permission to people who are doing aeronautics research or fulfilling a government function. They did not think that journalism or journalism fingers were aeronautics research were fulfilling a government function. Which part of me was like okay, fair. The First Amendment says yeah, okay, take care o take your government and here you go. But the other part of me went, “Shit, that means that we have one other option. The one other option is let’s get a commercial license.” I can bore you to death about the details of a commercial license, if you wish if anyone is having trouble sleeping, please come find me, illustrate put you out. But that commercial license, though, requires yes to be a manned pilot. I have to learn how to drive a Cessna, in order to learn how to drive a 3-pound hunk of plastic that any one of you can fly around your yard right now. So that’s what I’m doing this summer, I’m learning how to fly a Cessna, a 152 and a skycatcher. I have an instructor in that probably has stared death in the face she probably doesn’t know what it is anymore. We get out than runway and she says okay you’re going to take the airplane off. And I say, “What?” And she floored the throttle. And I learned then, while I’m completely freaking out that once you get up to a certain speed if you just pull ever so gently, a Cessna will just fly off the runway and you’re gone and you’re in the air I’m freaking out all the time and I’m scared to freakin’ death. And we come back and she says you’re going to land the airplane and I say, no, you’re going to land the airplane and I’m going to watch. We’ll do this again. Fast forward, I have about ten, 11 hours in the airplane. And we do our first cross-country flight. And that means I had flied to another airport, like, 15 miles away. Don’t get a little crazy with the cross-country. We went to a making sure down. It’s small, it’s narrow, it’s short. You gotta get to the end of the runway, or stop or get to the end of it or end up in a cornfield. That’s bad but the problem with landing on a narrow runway you learn because it’s narrow, your field of vision is kind of messed with. Your depth permission is messed with. When you’re landing an airplane, you’re trying to bring it down as slowly and gently as possible but you’re trying to point at the runway. Your flight instructor just says, just aim it at the runway and just fly into it. And I say, no, we’re not doing that many we’re just going to gently kiss it at the top. So I’m aiming at it. We’re—which go down and what happens when you’re death perception is messed with, you pull up a little early. You’re supposed to flare up right at the end and you land and it’s nice and pretty when you do it back like this, too high, you drop like a stone, you hit the runway and you bounce… and if things are bad, like, you really hit hard, you bounce again. And again, and again, and again. And when that happens your flight instructor goes, go round, go round go around. Knew I’ve watched an online video about how to go “around” at this point, which does not prepare you to go around. What you do to go around is you floor it. You’re supposed to keep your rudders controlled. So your plane doesn’t start veering all over the runway. You pull back on the stick and you get out of there. You’re supposed to gently let down the flaps as you’re going up and you’ll get away. What did I do? I floored it, I forgot the rudders, I dropped the therapies completely down, the plane starts flying this way and I’m not ashamed to admit, I mean I started going, help me, help me, help me, help me. I’m listening to the tail of the airplane dragging on the ground… and I’m freaking the fuck out! And we get in the air and she says, “That wasn’t bad.” What does this have to do with flying drones? Absolutely nothing! Thank you.

[Applause ]

Thanks for that. Next up we have Brian talking about Charles and mobile stuff.


And awesomeness.

So I’m not going to talk about death but I’m going to do something equally stupid and show you how to hack our apps. Please, please don’t tell people I just doing this. And I’m also going to call this running at the conference with scissors. We all know the world in the web that if you open up the network thing, you can see what’s kind of happening under the hood between you and the server. So for example, if I refresh this page, I can see that this simple removal page has a lot going on back and forth with the serve and it’s a way that, like, the data nerds have long learned we can go to map sites and scrape the sites, find out what JSON proxies and what data’s actually there that we can then scrape and pull and do fun thing on our own. In the world of mobile apps, you can’t just open up the inspector to see what’s happening. So you have to get in the middle of it and find out what’s happening with the apps so that’s where the Charles proxy comes in place. It’s a freeish thing in that it’s free if you don’t mind the harassment every 30 days to remind you to pay for it. But otherwise you can spend the 60 bucks and get the thing and what it is, it’s a little proxy you can put on your laptop and you then connect your laptop and you essentially are now doing what’s called a manual rolling attack where you’re now intercepting everything that’s coming in the web app so we use it, if you’re hitting the ad server correctly or using your analytics correctly. But you can also find out to see if somebody else has the app. What data are they getting, where are they getting that data? So if I open up Charles proxy, I’m recording everything that’s happening on my phone and here’s where the live demo’s coming into place. So I’m going to open up my cooking app and you can see everything that it is trying to do. Hopefully this will work. One bar. C’mon little buddy. Right over there, it was just like, “Yes!” It was just cruising. So now you can see, this is the embarrassing part so please don’t go to this. We should be using HSTS, and so you should be able to see the data. And so you can see a lot of our data here. Here are our images. And you can get the and I am saying play with them. There’s some booze down here somewhere. I think we’ll probably have one of my recipes. So here’s some recipes coming in from CloudFront and everything else. I can open up the BuzzFeed app and look at what they’re doing. I can open up any app and see what’s going on so just like the inspector, Charles proxy, it’s a way to find out what’s going on under the hood. That’s it.


[Applause ]

Or for airing out your laundry.

Next up is Emma. Is Emma here? Yes.

This might be tonight’s most important lightning talk. It’s about snacks.

These are old slides also. Ignore.

This is good? Okay. So I like food and I don’t like being at the office for a really long time and I like to eat while I’m at the office and not eat shitty food so that’s kind of my game plan for that. Most of us eat like there is this. This is pretty standard. There’s, like, your beer food group, your coffee, your pizza, and down at the end, your hard liquor. Birthday party leftovers. Free booze in the office. Coworker’s baking experiments. This is actually one of mine. Election night pizza. This also might be mine. These are all, like, real food from real places over the last few years. So I know it’s real. So I was at FP, he found free bacon and I totally ate some because it was free. We didn’t know where it came from and we didn’t really care where it came from because it was really nicely cut and free. So, like, that’s not great for us to be living on. So I have three kinds of, like, main things, right? Put a lot of food in your desk. We don’t need to put, like, folders in your drawers. There should be food in your drawers. Pack like actual lunches and probably some shit to put in your desk to make it a little bit easier if you actually don’t have access to a kitchen or a cafeteria.

Vending machines. Bad and sad. So these are things that I sometimes have come in the past come to my desk. Soup, not the ramen noodles like you get from white people grocery stores. Like Shin Ramyun, it comes in a red package. But like, it—it’s like—it’s in the drawer. And no one’s ever going to eat this and emergency chocolate. If you give that person a chocolate, it’s so much better. Okay, so if you have access to a clean, clean office freezer, that does not have weird things in it. Potstickers, frozen lasagna or edamame, just put your name on it so your coworkers don’t eat them. So this is what I have in my desk—like, the dorm-style kitchen I made. A large bowl that you can put in the microwave, a mug, a small one of those plastic strainers, a good knife that’s not, like, super, super nice but also not super, super shitty. We bought one from this weird grocery store in Hawaii that we cut fruit with and I keep that in my desk. Spoon, fork, chopsticks. These are all dollar store type of things, right? French press. At the office I used to have a Keurig and it was awful. Then they ran out of Keurig cups. Which is the lowest part of awful—like, subawful. So you should just buy a French press or something other means of like whatever for coffee.

So I also have purchased a, like, an actual water heater for this. I conned an editor at my old job to get a panini press for us and also making sure that we always have bread and cheese so that, like, you could always, at the very minimum, have a grilled cheese sandwich, you cannot, however, try an egg on a George Foreman grill because they are slanted and you will just watch your egg slide to that floor. So that’s like a pro tip. No eggs on sliding heating elements. So tiny lunch sized Crock-Pot for your desk and the really cheap single-smoothie blender but don’t put a lot of difficult things in to blend in them because it’s a friggin’ 12-dollar blender. So are the things. So if you do eat meat, roast a chicken because you can do a lot of things with chickens. Chop up your vegetables, blah, blah, blah, make large amounts of things. You can make rice, quinoa, whatever the hell. Pack your lunch. And the worst thing is pack your lunch in the morning. Blah, blah, blah, blah. Anyway, lazy kid lunches is what I call them.

Bring vegetables and you put them on the panini press and you have lunch. It’s amazing. Grilled cheese. Who’s had a grilled cheese when they were sad, dead, and hate their coworkers? And desk ramen is way cooler if you have an egg and you have the boiler thing and you have a strainer. Use your hot water to make some edamame. That’s the thing. You can blend. And then, seriously, the power of emergency chocolate, right? Like, most of us are in jobs where we’re asked to do things that we don’t want to do. If you give them chocolate they’re way more likely to do things that they’re not likely to do when hungover. So that’s it.

I might want to put some of those recipes on GitHub.

Next up we have Jordan.

My clock hasn’t started yet.

I think I should be able to run back and forth.

Well, I might be just dropping, throwing things all over the place. So I’m going to be talking to you about how I got suckered into an 888 kilometer race. That’s really fucking far even for an ultra runner like me. If you don’t know the metric system well, that’s about 552 miles and the reason that I’m calling this “Infinitus” is because that—is because I failed. I got injured at 377 miles. For everyone that wants to do a math, that’s about a 68%. That’s about a D+. Not that bad, but that’s as much I got in Infinitus as well. But I know what you’re thinking. This shit is bananas! It’s totally bananas. Yes, it is. And that is totally the point. If you know anything about running, you know that there’s a lot of those two things involved in running, especially the longer that you go and the reason that I did this and the reason I got suckered into this was because I was trying to find limits, my personal limit. So I started doing marathons and then doing 100 miles which sounds totally batshit crazy, right? And I didn’t fail at that. And I said, why not go farther but the for a thing about this distance is it’s so out-there-batshit-crazy that failure is the expectation. I didn’t have a reason to expect failure. But the failure was the expectation so you know what? It’s cool. So here’s what I learned. My approach to doing this. This is a jar. A pretty ugly jar. Here’s a fly trapped inside the jar and it’s, “How do I get out of this friggin’ jar?” I can just fly against the glass again and again and again until I break the glass and I get out. So, is that going to work?


No. Hell no. The fly’s going to end up dead and, like, shaking on the bottom of the jar, which is what happened to me. So basically, here’s what happened. So every day I would go out. I would have to run about 55 miles a day to make my goal which is what I would do for about a week but something would break. Either I would not be eating enough or I would totally fail and come in, like, broken and hobbling into the home base of the race and I would figure out how to fix this problem because you have to go again the next day so without eating. It was like chugging dance of Ensure. Okay, solved that problem. Wash, rinse, and repeat. Except there was no washing because we got really, really smelly. And then the next day we would go out and another major, major problem would arise. I would come in bordering on heatstroke. Eat and ice cream until you can run again at night. So you do that over and over. Until finally I broke for good, which is okay. I got an injury at about mile 377, which is great. It was actually the best thing that ever happened to me, let me tell you. Because I was so stupid and so focused on this number that I missed the big picture. I didn’t realize that that wasn’t at all what the race was about. It was actually about these ten crazy people who somehow were stupid enough to toe the start line with me. So it wasn’t me alone in this jar. It was it was like there were a bunch of other crazy flies in here and once we actually realized that, we could do, you know, the Finding Nemo thing—”swim together!” We can all start going against the jar at the same time and knock it over and break it and fly forever. That did not happen. One of us actually finished the race out of ten but this thing that was previously impossible somehow became now probable. Not likely, still unlikely but still within the realm of possibility. So my challenge to you is pick something crazy impossible that you will know that you will fail at and do it because it will be liberating. For the first, you know, seven days, it may be like The Hunger Games, there’s someone back there like, “Cue the storm!” Launching lightning and thunder at you at your darkest moment but suddenly it will become an episode of Dr. Who and you’ll realize that everyone is brilliant and can help each other in their own way even if you don’t all survive until the very end. Thank you.

Thank you.

Next up is Heather.

Hey, I like your ringtone.

Here you go.

Thank you. So it’s no secret that we news nerds like our food, as Becky Bowers pointed out earlier that we get to a point where we have entire spreadsheets of wine that we drink. I want to talk about one very specific revered food and that is pie. Pie charts are bad, pie is good. You should know how to make pie crust, okay? This is not a hard thing so I’m here to demystify this for you.

So what is the secret ingredient to successful pie crust? There are a couple of them. People will tell you that it is love. The secret to any baked good is love—aww! These people are liars! This is not the secret. Love is warm and fuzzy, and warmth is the enemy of your pie crusts! Do you know what the secret is? The secret ingredient is? It’s attitude! This is why this is every time I make pie crust, I start out like this. You have this. And if you have this, you have already won. You can taste the victory, I know you can.

So step one: You have your attitude. Step two: You need your recipe. And then you need your ingredients. So what is the best recipe out there. There’s a lot of debate about this? Some people swear by vodka pie crust recipes because vodka evaporates and it creates air bubbles and that’s a bunch of bullshit.

Some people swear by rolling out the dough a certain way, or preparing out the dough a certain way. The point of the matter is it doesn’t really matter what your recipe is; your successful pie crust recipe is the one that you learned how to make pie crust with. This is the one that I use from Submitten Kitchen. I’ve been using this for years and it comes out perfect every time. And so I think this is the ultimate pry crust recipe but like I said, any recipe that works for you will work. Now, there is a very important point here where it says “very cold.” Your butter must be ice cold. You need the ice water in your veins to make good pie crust. If it’s not cold, it’s not going to be flaky. And you want your pie crust to be flaky.

This picture is a lie. You do not put your butter on the counter. When you assemble your ingredients, this is not how you do it. You’ll see a number of recipes that tell you to get all your ingredients together—don’t believe them! You also have to measure correctly. This is very, very important. If you get your cups out, I will smack you. You use a scale, damn it!

Do it right and you won’t be sorry. This is a scale. Buy one. Now, the reason for that is flour and sugar and things like that compact over time. So one cup of flour can be a different number of grams depending on how you measure it. If you have too much flour in your dough, bad things will happen. You’re going to end up with a thick, deep-dish pie and nobody wants that. Mix your dry ingredients together and then find a place in your freezer to stick it for a few minutes in between the 12 pounds of cheddar cheese I have and the stalagmites of humidity on the top of my freezer.

One minute.

Oh, my gosh. Watering two. Let’s talk about fat! I like butter! Some people will swear by lard. It doesn’t matter! Lard scares me. One more secret weapon. Your butter must be frozen. You want one of these things. You will grate your butter. People will tell you to cube it, and refrigerator it, that’s no good. For comparison there’s frozen butter versus—put it all together. Mix it up. You want it to be kind of lumpy because visible butter chunks means you will have visible flakiness. If your hands get greasy, your dough is too warm. Put it back in the fridge. If your hands get sticky, your dough is too wet, you screwed up. Throw it out, try again. It should look something like this. Wrap it in saran wrap, throw it in your fridge for at least an hour—better two. Wait, wait. Roll it out, don’t overflour it don’t underflour it. Every two times you roll it out, turn it around, this will keep it from sticking. And if you need to, roll it around the pin. Stick it in this fridge, make it cold. Then bake it, eat it, make pie, go forth!

That was very animated. Sarah, you are up next.


Hello. So I’m talking about the map in the middle, the square map. Now I know very little about maps. I decided to call this an equal area dammer’s map. I think that’s how you pronounce it. So that’s what I’m calling it now. This is a normal map of the United States. This is an equal area dammersers map.

a business used this map. It’s The Guardian. Look at it fall! Look—many of them! More maps! So fun. Best of all, thanks to our buddies at Corks and David. We have a bunch of them in different shapes. I got a little jealous and I was like, I want one. And so I made one. No, that’s not it. So I made one using data that’s a little iffy, it’s fun about it’s about exercise. California exercises, that’s no surprise there. And then we got an email from our cartographers, saying, let’s talk about these maps. We started out with these maps. And so I get out and had a conversation with them. And later I came down to my desk and wanted to bash my head against the desk. It was a rough conversation. It took a while: Two hours. So let’s see what we have here. So I went to them, and I said, “Hey, you’re making a map but it’s not really a map so don’t do that. Bad idea.” I said okay, it’s a table. Think of it as a table, except that it’s just a visual presentation. That’s good. A table. Well, it’s hard to find your state in this map. And I said that’s okay ‘cause it’s hard to find your state in a table.

[Laughter ]

But this particular idea, well, I said, okay, it’s misleading, and I said, “Have you looked at a map?” It’s misleading too! It’s huge. So two different colors, you can count them both. Don’t use it for data, we’re ducting, you know, based on our minimum wage it’s below $7, and below $9 and do that, you can’t do that because you can’t count the colors so once you put it in colors, aren’t you bucketing? Isn’t that the same thing? It’s like no, you can do that but you can’t do that in a normal map. I don’t know. It’s the same thing. Either way, you’re doing it in buckets so that didn’t work out so well. So again we did this on a graph. This might be a better way of doing it if you have actual data. Nice bar chart, two lose any detail, you don’t lose anything. Except… let’s just try something here. Wait I can’t find my state. Oh, wait, oh, look, I can see all my states now. Local, it’s so great. I can mouse over, I can put it on a table. I like that one. Okay, so I want a table. Lots of categories… right, mobile. Also, widgets. You put these into an article and look, a little map with a nice little review. Also good. Okay. So they said well, if there is something to a map, let’s just map it., you know, a real map. I said no. I think you guys know what that means. It’s not. Okay. Where do we go? They want me to go next. I need to skip ahead. So all states are equal, I said. Use these when you don’t care that one state has more people in it. You don’t care that one state is bigger. All states are equal. In the congress and Senate, all states are equal, two people per state, that should work. Okay, they agreed on that one a little bit. But then they said, it’s hard to find your state. So I said, too bad. Then they said it’s inconsistent, it’s unfamiliar and I said that’s too bad because people will get familiar with it and eventually, we’ll get consistent because well, right now, it’s kind of hard to find your state. They said keep moving around.


Florida. Okay, yeah, so here’s the other thing. It’s not really geography. You’re noticing a pattern here. It’s not really geography. What is Florida doing, what is Texas doing? A lot of states are going there. It’s not a map; it’s a table. So you get the point of it also we should put the data wherever it matches and they said you shouldn’t put it here, they said no you shouldn’t do it, just put it in a real map. And I said no, we’re not doing that. I said we’re putting it in a table and I said no table is stupid because you can’t use it on mobile. And this thing on for two hours. So I have no idea what to do now. So you guys have any ideas, let me know, but in the meantime, we should all agree on one layout to begin with. So that I need to figure out.

Yes, we are at the last one.

Oh, my God. Here we go.

Definitely not the least. So Norma. Yes, you were here last year.

I’m going to move this around a little bit. This is Vim, by the way.

She always wants brownie points from Derek.

Browny points given.

I just gotta make it a little bit smaller.

You’re not taking my time away, are you?

I think we’re… scroll down. Okay.

No biggie. So look.

Hold on.


Okay, you’re sitting way over there.

All right, so I know the whole reason you guys came here and sat through all those boring talks is because you wanted to learn some steno, right?

[Applause ]

I’m going to give you a little bit of a crash course. Five minute crash course on steno. So yeah, so you know, in a nutshell. System of phonetics—system of shorthand based on phonetics, it’s another whole language. We’re writing in code. The first question everybody always asks is: Where are the letters on the keys? Here they are for you. It really doesn’t help to know that they’re there. After the first month when you’re learning steno, it’s good to know that there’s an S and a K and a W and an R. But it really doesn’t matter because you’re writing them in chords and you’re writing them—Derek knows what we’re talking about.

I really don’t. I really don’t.

Anyways. So… yeah. On the bottom—I’ll just tell you what, you know, on the bottom row you’ve got an S, and a K, and a W, and an R, those are some consonants on the left-hand side. In the middle we have some vowels. A, O, E, and U. Notice there’s no I. So how do you write an I? Show them, Mirabai. Do you see it in the steno?

I don’t know if you can watch the patterns as she’s writing. But anyway. So we stroke them together to make things, you know, when you’re first learning on the right-hand side, you have an R and a B, and a G, and an S so you can, in the beginning, you write words like “sob” and “swab” and “war” and you can make a J out of all those letters on the left. And you can make—you can spell “jar,” and “jaw,” and “jaws,” and “Jews” and “juice.” And hang onto your seats now, we’re getting advanced now, a two stroke word, Jarvis. Oh, I caught her!


Watch this, Warsaw.

Here’s when it starts to get tricky, homonyms. Sore and soar.


Now that you know how to do steno, just pay attention. I bet you can see the patterns as Mirabai’s writing, not typing. Please don’t say typing. So there’s a whole bunch of frequently asked questions. How long does it take to learn?

I don’t know. Like 18 months if you’re supernatural brilliant like Stan who taught himself steno from the start, which just blows my mind, I don’t know. And then it’s like the outer edge is apparently infinity. The person is making a post that says, "I've been doing this for six years and I can't pass a test at 140 words a minute." My response, not very encouraging is, "Go home, you're drunk. This is not the thing for you." Which leads to the question: How fast do we write? Fast. I'm certified for 240. Most days in medical school I'm writing 250 to 300 words a minute for four hours straight. Mirabai is certified for what? Stan is like 3 million or something. You know...

He’s—he’s training right now for a competition that’s coming up at the end of July, Mirabai’s also going to be taking part in that competition. I’m going to be, like, happy to be the cheerleader, rah-rah things. So yesterday we were walking around the sculpture garden at the Walker and it came to mind—a depressed realization that I finished steno school before those two were born. Like, I just can’t even. Hey, you know, and like fax machines. Were coming into vogue. S TAN: And yet you still say, “Instagram that shit!”

So I’m still cool. I still got it. A little bit longer anyway. So that’s what I’m talking and they’re working tonight. Anyway, I think I’m sort of out of time, so yeah, wanted to make a plug for Mirabai’s project, which is the Open Steno Project.

The Open Steno Project., please. Go look at it. It’s very cool. She’s amazing.

STAN: Anyone can learn it for free.

So come talk to us more if you want to know more about this fun stuff. It’s really great.

[ Applause ]

[Well Deserved Accolades]

Let’s give one more hand for all of our presenters today.

[ Applause ]

And especially it’s awesome because none of them had time prepare.

Thanks for hanging around for the lightning talks!

[ Applause ]

Now you can explore some other room.