Alaskan Native American Archery

Having traveled a bit this year thru Alaska, I’ve taken note to photograph all archery equipment I see in the museums. I release these photos under Creative Commons 3.0 license.


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Best Practices creating PAO number system for memory training

So it has been a few weeks since finishing my PAO, many hours later I’ve got it up and running well. Speed is coming along. But now that I’m using it effectively, here are few things I’d wish I’d done differently.

To those coming behind me, who want to build their PAO, here is my advice:

  1. It is normal to struggle to build your 2 digit PAO. I had real trouble finding 100 people who were memorable and I had connection too. In the end when I was about 10 short, I just crammed 10 people that I kinda knew about into the PAO. That was a bad idea, connection seems to be key. You will be using this the rest of your life, take time to build out your PAO people.
  2. Using the Major system to pick the people was just…a waste. Now that I’m using it, I don’t pronounce anything in my head, I just image the PAO. The Major system did nothing for me but handicap the order that I put in people to the PAO. (I even saw someone using Major system for actions and object, which is an aweful idea, adding another burden to remember WHAT the P does and what O it does with with. Go with logical AO for the P) It does nothing for speed or recall. It kinda helped on memorizing it, but that was slow and ultimately overridden but another method, and I’ll address that in #3.
  3. I struggled for days memorizing it. But an hour after I read someone recommended putting it into a dedicated memory palace I did. But I had to make a big palace, 100 loci. I used a video game map, Once I walked thru it, BAM! They they all were, settled into their places within the hour. I’ll address optimizing this in #5.
  4. But I get ahead of myself. The P of PAO are going to be key for speed. I now wish I’d grouped them by decade. 0-10 should have been generics, ie. Astronaut, Doctor, Baker, Butler, Soldier. 10-19 Sports figures, 20-29 Ex girlfriends, 30-39 Star Wars people, 40-49 Harry Potter folks, 50-59 old college professors, etc… This should increase speed in using it. And also make it easier to use 1-40 for Cards, with 4 suits, Clubs, Diamonds, Hearts, Spades (by alpha) all clubs are generics, Diamonds sports figures, ex girlfriends are Hearts, etc. To make it extra fast take care on your memory palace layout.
  5. So when I’m recalling cards now, it is sometimes faster to pull by location. So if you make sure your first 41 locations (remember there is a 00 that goes before 01 where the card deck starts at Ace of Clubs) are grouped with each decade (suit) in a common area. Like 1 big room or 2 rooms with 5. Don’t put 21-23 in the same room with 18-20. Keep the breaks clean, isolate the decades (1-10, 11-20, 21-30, 31-40) cleanly in their own areas. Speed is key on cards and helps with numbers.
  6. Dedicate this memory palace to your PAO. Never reuse it. That will keep it clear of interference.
  7. Be logical on the AO. If you have a P of a Juggler (06), and you are remembering Bill Gates (King of Diamonds) juggling Han Solo’s Blaster, then you quickly remember the ‘A’ is the Juggler 06 and the ‘O’ is Han Solo. Don’t do something weird and have Juggler flying spaceship and Han solo tunneling in minecraft. You will have to do extra cross-tabling recall if you abandon logical actions.

And with that I’m done. I wish someone had given me this advice a month ago.

-mt


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Improved Celeste ripening. Jujube’s has fruit set.

July 4th – All the figs are doing well but the Violette de Bordeaux which is barely growing. At last count, I have 5 fig trees in the front, 4 in the backyard, 2 in pots, and 2 at work.

The Honey Jar Jujube finally set fruit this year, it has been in ground 2 winters. The Shanx Li and the Chico did not set fruit although they bloomed.

Violette de Bordeaux has been a slow grower for 3 years, even with irrigation.

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Roof waterproof coat done with pigment

Put on a pure coat of just portland cement, as I’ve seen it made to a paint consistancy of 1:1 portland to water. It is then painted over cement walls of cisterns to make them waterproof.
In this mix, I put in iron oxide to give it color.

Roof portland waterproof coat put on .


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Milestone reached! Shed Door Finished and Hung!

Finally, 2 years 2 months later from pouring the foundation, I have finished the door and hung said door on the Shed of Requirement.  This glorious shed I’ve built from foundation up, assembled without power tools, carried stone by stone,  pound for pound 220 feet from the driveway to the site.  The door was supposed to open outwards, but due to geometry restrictions on Gothic doors, it couldn’t open. Not a design consideration I had on my list.  Nonetheless, the door now is hung and opens inwards. If it hits anything, it is a sign I have too much shit in the shed.  With the lifespan of the shed targeted at 200 years, the door is expected to be the first to require replacement in 20-40 years.  Now the shed isn’t done yet, there are many hours left to do.

The inside is a Catalan Vault roof, well, technically a hogbacked oblong dome. I had to attempt the hardest variant. Note, I can lay 7 tile per hour to make that roof.

Shed of Requirement now has a door! Stained cedar door made with hand forged nails cleated thru, and a handle I forged this summer at summer camp.

Stained cedar door I made with hand forged nails cleated thru, and a handle I forged this summer at summer camp.


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The Perch

Archery on posts

Some challenges resonate strongly within us. Sometimes for reasons even we do not know. It is simply part of our baggage we carry on this crazy train we call life. Sunday, at Archery class during summer camp, we were given a challenge to stand on a short pole or a tall pole and shoot as many arrows as possible without falling off…but only allowed to stand on one foot. Typically, people could stand 30-120 seconds, and the best record so far was only 3 arrows. When my time came, I was happy to play the game, as I have great balance. Everyone else had chosen the low perch, screw that, I went high out of pride and arrogance. Once I got up on the high perch, I’m really not sure what happened, it is like I blacked out in a way. I kicked in my Zen and hyper focused. Time dilated, and I had no sense of its passage. My eyes locked on a 2″ square of tree bark and my muscle memory took over, while my brain balanced. I remember my leg beginning to hurt and kicking in my old pain management mindset from 30 years ago. I was planted, that was my pole, I wasn’t leaving. I drew and shot, drew and shot, never looking down, never checking my nock, calling out which target I would hit next. I remember the instructor harassing me, but I was so tuned out and it didn’t get to me. I remember him sticking my arrows in the ground to my right to force me to contort down to the ground to get my next arrow, but I was in Zen and simply retrieved them pluck and grace. I wore that perch as the master and commander. My leg burned but I Zen-ed thru the pain and the searing, I was *not* going to falter, I was *not* going to fall. Apparently, I began to softly talk to myself. Someone thought I was quoting Lord of the Rings. I gave it my all. At some point the instructor refused to give me more arrows. I realized, I wasn’t going to fall off but if I didn’t get down I would collapse off. I voluntarily conceded my perch, and stepped down to Terra firma again. I ceremoniously bowed to the instructor, limped 15 feet away and collapsed down cross-legged. I began to shake and to cry from the intense emotional experience. I’m not sure why, but I believe it was me challenging me, and in the end I was weighed, measured, and found passing. My mettle is known. I was told I’d been on the post 9 minutes, shot 11 arrows, struck the target 10 times. To me, I had done something beautiful and bad-ass, and this time, there were witnesses.


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Why you should ignore most questions in the HFC Challenge

I like the HFC competition, for my own reasons. However, most forecasters don’t seem to understand the highly punative scoring system imposed upon them. They will cast a question thinking that because they understand the problem domain more than most, they should answer it. That is flat out wrong, worse, the HFC scoring system inadvertantly encourages casters to participate in more questions because the fewer in a question the more points they can earn. Yet, they don’t seem to process that is a double edge sword.

Lets look at the last few questions that were resoved (correctly, I will point out).
Here are the net points the forecasters got as a group

Paraguayan election -187
Syria strike -303
Cuba election -338
Baffin bay St Lawrence ice extent -305

Let me point out for those who think it is a dash, it is not, it is a negative sign. That is *negative* 187 points. As in, the ‘team Prescience’ would have been better off not forecasting it. At all. But there is an algorithm in the back that will heavily weight the forecasts of the high forecasters and ignore the low ones. So I will avoid discussing the entire team avoiding questions, instead lets look at picking the *right* questions.

If you are wanting to get a high score then lets look at some math. For example the Baffin Bay Ice problem. I got the high score…of 0 points. In fact 13 of us did. The low score got -106. So from a game theory perspective, we risked -106 for achieving 0. That is stupidity.

Another question, the Colorado party Paraguyan question. It started out about 80/20. Top score got only 6 points, the worst got -79. What does that tell you? That you need to be about 13x more confident before you enter a question if it is above 80 or below 20. I could make a heuristic here and say you need to take the percentage ratio 80:20=4 and multiply that by 3 (=12x) to get how much more confident you know more about this question than anybody else. That is, if their is very little variance amongst the casts, so if everyone is in the same range, like 80/20, 82/18, 78/22 then there is low variance.

If high uncertainty reigns. And there are 70/30 and 50/50 and 20/80 and other casts all over the place, then you will be able to win more points as the median estimates will be farther off from your estimate. Like with the Material conflicts in Occupied Palestine question. Almost 1/2 the scores were positive and 1/2 negative, so a favorable question to participate in if you have a small advantage with your judgment.

Conclusions – Triage the new questions carefully. Avoid getting into a question for emotional reasons, or because you know more about it than the average dude at a party.
Avoid questions where there seems to be a consensus in the answer. Unless you really, really, know a shitload more than everyone else *and* you can avoid your own hedgehog bias. You have much to lose and little to gain. On the flip side, if there is chaos amongst the casts, then you can enter the fray with a slight advantage.


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Catalan Vault half way done for roof

Oh my, this Catalan vault is quite the project.  I knew it would be labor intensive, but I had no idea the issues I’d have on the corners. Should have stuck with a barrel vault.  Guastavino, I am not.  Overall, there is about a 40-45% rise, so close to a perfect hemisphere of 50%.  Spanning 11 feet with a 4.5 foot rise.

 

Vault halfway done

The scaffolding is up and usable, but needs some plywood decks on it.

Scaffolding a little shaky but safe. The guidework is out of true 10 rows up, I have to fix that this week.

The corners are so labor intensive, 3-4 tiles must be modified for each corner per row.

Tools seen: water sprayer to get the receiving tiles wet. Giant pretzel container that keeps the plaster of paris dry overnight. Blue mixing container for plaster of paris.

Back of the shed with just a stucco cover

I figure 40 more manhours then I have to put on the coping stones around the shed, and then design a glorious Gothic door.

Found a very detailed plan of how catalan vaults were built in Great Britain, including tips and tricks that I really wish I knew before I started. If anyone out there wants to try their hand, follow this advice:

Construction of Catalan Vaults Thesis

Lessons I’ll be applying:

  1. Cover working edge with tarp to keep it moister
  2. With Satillo tile, like AAC, they have to be very damp to get a good bond.
  3. Do 3 courses at once to see the curvature, and because the course below will already be moist

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Honey house walls clad

So this weekend, the mason and I finished the outside walls. 3 of them, actually, as the back wall won’t be clad.

Keystone will be redone. Stone flattened and redone.

Front of house clad, the keystone over the door has carving.

Side with mosaic “ML” for McLaura


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Shed roof making progress

So the roof is up to 6 courses, with 5 having a second ply mortared on.

Roof up to 6 courses, from doorway now has gothic shape.

The corners continued to be a bitch until I realized I need to slope them in faster than the roof walls, because they need to get to the center faster as they have farther to travel.  Hence the nearby tiles are sloped in as I approach each corner. Now that that’s understood, I think I can make faster headway and get a row done and 2plyed in  2.5 hours. So maybe 3 courses a day 2-plyed completed?

The cross beams are going to be floor support for 2nd floor.

 

 

The sawhorse scaffold is now too low. The plan is to put in the rafter storage floor and use that as a scaffold.

 

 

Uphill side of roof shows the 2ply construction

You can see my guides aren’t that great, but I’m keeping a reasonable straight line for the roof sides.


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