“Pokemon Go” — the smash hit app from Niantic that powerfully combines augmented reality with the bottomless well of nostalgia for pokemon — is seeing its userbase drop faster than my respect for anyone who picked Bulbasaur as their starter pokemon. As was recently pointed out by Bloomberg, daily active users are down, as is overall engagement. And indeed, it’s hit the point in its release where the initial buzz has worn off, and the new normal of “Pokemon Go” is beginning to take shape.
SurveyMonkey Intelligence, a tool that draws from a large panel of smartphone and tablet users to determine the popularity and specific usage of mobile applications,1 has some additional stats on the game’s decline.
Fewer people are playing the game than after its release in the heady days of early July, when it seemed like all we could talk about was people finding corpses just as often as they found a Snorlax. That may be because the game can be somewhat tedious after the initial thrill; or because its creators tweaked the way to find nearby pokemon, and in doing so miffed some users; or because certain apps that make the game easier are now banned.
(In full disclosure, I should note I haven’t personally played — it’s more my speed to get electabuzz’d and stand outside of popular “Pokemon Go” gym locations and yell, “Yo, champ in making!” to all passersby on their phones.)
Downloads have been slowly dropping since the release, as we would expect, but since Aug. 14 there’s been a major drop in sign-ups.
Part of this decline in sign-ups might relate to the social nature of the game. The Pokemon series has always lived and died based on social participation, from trading and battling pokemon through Game Boy game-link cables to the scavenging social elements of “Pokemon Go.” A decline in widespread play could, thanks to the very nature of the game, lead to a decline in sign-ups.
And since launch, daily active users have leveled off. Sure, there’s a slight tick up on the weekends, but from its third weekend on, less than half of the app’s monthly users played in a given day. By last weekend, it leveled off at less than a third.
So with only around a third of monthly active users even playing on the weekends, maybe the recruiting power of “Hey, who wants to meet up and catch pokemon?” has finally run out. Users of “Pokemon Go” are vastly young and in cities: 89 percent live in urban areas rather than rural areas, and 44 percent are age 18-29. These aren’t exactly people with a dearth of other things to do.
Will the game bounce back? Will we go back to the kind of frenzy that’ll lead to some teenager trying to push a truck off of a pier to find Mew? Will people once again pretend their dad works at Niantic to convince people they know how to catch a Zapdos? Give it a couple weeks to find out if that 30 percent weekend participation rate is the floor, or if it’s just a checkpoint on the way further down.
In the U.S. men’s and women’s bikes are built differently, with women’s bikes lacking the bar that goes from the handlebar to just below the seat. The bar is a matter of tradition. According to Andrea at Bike City Recyclery, when women began riding bikes in the 1800s, they were required to wear heavy skirts. The low bar allowed them to mount the bikes “modestly” and was a space for their skirts to go. Back then, bikes also had “clothes-guards” that would keep women’s skirts from being caught up in the mechanics of the bike. This picture is from the 1890s:
Today most women riding a bike do not wear heavy skirts and clothes-guards are rare, but the low bar persists. This ad from 1971 assures parents that “girl bikes” can be converted to “boy bikes” and vice versa. The upper bar is purely “decorative,” but boys apparently must have it.
A popular 16-inch beginner’s bike. Top bar removes easily to convert it from a boy’s to a girl’s bike in minutes… The perfect first bike that’s built to last from child to child.
This goes to show how strongly we invest in purely symbolic gender differentiation. There is no need for a high bar and there is no need to differentiate bikes by gender in this way. We could do away with the bar distinction in the same way that we did away with the clothes-guard. But the bar is a highly visible signal that we are committed to a gender binary (men and women are “opposite” sexes). It is some men and the defenders of masculinity who are most opposed to this because collapsing the gender differentiation means collapsing a devalued category into a valued category. For individuals who embrace the valued category, this is a disaster. A male-coded bike frame is just one small way to preserve both the distinction and the hierarchy.
Originally posted in 2010.Lisa Wade, PhD is a professor at Occidental College. She is the author of American Hookup, a book about college sexual culture, and a textbook about gender. You can follow her on Twitter, Facebook, and Instagram.
The Serval, also called the "Giraffe Cat" because... kitty:
...is quickly losing its habitat, becoming part of the illegal pet trade, and decreasing in numbers in the wild. Let's keep these beauties thriving, so see what you can do to help by going here.
All kitties are good kitties.
Submitted by: (via Great Big Story)
From the Edinburgh Zoo's FB page: "On Monday morning, 22 August, His Majesty the King of Norway's Guard paid a very special visit to RZSS Edinburgh Zoo to bestow a unique honour upon our resident king penguin Sir Nils Olav III. Already a knight, the most famous king penguin in the world was given the new title of 'Brigadier Sir Nils Olav'." Congrats, Nils!
Gary Johnson doesn’t seem to be going anywhere. In recent elections, third-party candidates have tended to lose support as Election Day approaches. But the Libertarian Party presidential nominee and former New Mexico governor is holding steady in the polls, and we’ve reached a point in the race at which past third-party candidates had already started to see their support nose-dive.
Johnson is pulling in about 9 percent in the national polls, according to the FiveThirtyEight polls-only average. And his share in national polls has not fallen as we’ve gotten closer to the election. Indeed, Johnson’s support right now is higher than many other viable2 third-party candidates’ at a similar point in campaigns since 1948.
|CAMPAIGN||CANDIDATE||LATE SUMMER POLLING AVG.*||ELECTION RESULTS||DIFFERENCE|
Johnson is pulling in at least twice as much of the vote as Henry Wallace or Strom Thurmond was in late August 1948, as Ralph Nader was in 2000 and certainly as Johnson himself was four years ago. Perhaps even more impressive is that Johnson is polling right about where Ross Perot was in 1996, when Perot had a nationally known name after his strong 1992 run. That said, Johnson is nowhere near the success of that 1992 campaign: Perot was pulling in 20 percent as a hypothetical candidate after leaving the 1992 campaign in July but before re-entering the race in October.
And notice: Most third-party candidates didn’t lose that much support between late summer and Election Day. Besides John Anderson in 1980, no candidate ended up finishing more than 3 percentage points below where they were polling in late August. The average drop-off is about 2 percentage points. Anderson, meanwhile, was already fading at this point in the campaign. In Gallup’s polling, for example, his support peaked at 24 percent in early summer and by now had dropped by 10 percentage points.
The FiveThirtyEight polls-plus model is adjusting to Johnson’s staying power: It discounts third-party candidates’ support based on their tendency to lose steam down the stretch, but it’s grown less skeptical of Johnson as his polling numbers have held up. Johnson was projected to finish with 6.5 percent of the vote in mid-July when he was polling slightly higher than he is today. Now, the model is projecting that Johnson will win 7.1 percent of the national vote on Election Day. That’s 2 percentage points less than where the national polls have him at this point, which is pretty much exactly what we’d we expect considering the average 2-point drop-off for past third-party candidates.
Why is Johnson’s support proving more durable than past third-party candidates’? The most obvious answer is that Donald Trump and Hillary Clinton are extremely unpopular for major party presidential nominees; if third-party voters eventually settled on a major party nominee in past campaigns for fear of “wasting their vote,” they may be less willing to settle this year. (Of course, Johnson’s support may simply fade later than past third-party candidates.)
There is, however, some bad news for Johnson in his steady numbers: They’re not going up either. He’s showing no signs of reaching 15 percent in national polls, the threshold necessary to get into the debates. Still, if he ends up with 7 percent of the vote — as we’d expect based upon history and the current polls — the Libertarian Party will qualify for federal campaign funding in 2020, and Johnson will claim the highest share of the vote of any non-major party nominee in 20 years.
As a follow-up to my post Tuesday on how meteorologists handle significant uncertainty when a storm’s a-brewin’, I decided to get a few of my favorite meteorologists together for a chat focused on the current potential storm: 99L, which will be called Hermine if it ever coalesces enough to earn a name. Although this discussion took place Thursday, all the model scenarios discussed are still relevant as of Friday morning.
Disclaimer: Most everyone in this chat has a Ph.D. of some form in the atmospheric sciences (except me!), but they all speak on behalf of themselves. For official warnings and advisories, please consult the National Hurricane Center or your local National Weather Service office.
This discussion has been lightly edited for clarity and length.
Eric Holthaus: Hey all, I know many of you are very busy with 99L and/or are government and/or have responsibility to private sector, but I’d like to chat about we’re thinking on this storm, what the risks are, what’s most likely to happen, and what people should be doing right now to prepare.
My most pressing question: How do you avoid the temptation to look past the Florida landfall to what might happen in the Gulf? The latest models show the potential for catastrophe, especially considering Louisiana definitely does not need any more rain right now.
Michael Ventrice (meteorologist at the Weather Company Energy): I don’t think we are going to have a clear indication of that risk until we see the wind shear relax [note: too much wind shear, which is the change of wind speed or direction, can tilt developing tropical thunderstorms and tear them apart] on Friday or Saturday. … The models are going to have a hard time predicting the fate of 99L until there is an actual tropical depression.
Ed Vallee (energy meteorologist at AccuWeather): In my opinion, the uncertainty is just too high. The storm hasn’t even formed yet. Would like to see some “ground truth” before moving past initial Florida impacts.
Eric Blake (meteorologist at the National Hurricane Center in Miami): It isn’t exactly like the storm is tearing it up yet or the model performance is stellar — that’s enough to make me wary of long term, not to mention that personal interests in South Florida keep my immediate focus here.
Ventrice: For track purposes, if we see a tropical cyclone form, 80 percent of our calibrated European Center for Medium-Range Weather Forecasts ensembles track it across Eric [Blake] in South Florida.
[Note: Many meteorologists consider the European Center for Medium-Range Weather Forecasts model to be the most accurate weather model in the world.]
Vallee: Right — how this thing interacts with Florida and the ridge to the north is still being worked out. The European model has been pretty solid in showing South Florida impact, but hasn’t been stellar beyond that for the reasons above.
Ventrice: But we saw something similar to this last year … with Erika. Eric [Blake] and I were talking about this on a private thread … Euro was too bullish with Erika last year, where the American Global Forecast System model was much weaker, and the GFS was a better predictor in that particular instance.
Vallee: Erika was a unique system with respect to Hispaniola interaction, too. Confidence will (hopefully) rise once it escapes the high shear environment and gets away from that island. Basic upper-air analysis points to a westward movement, but outlining potential track/intensity is difficult.
Matt Lanza (Houston-based energy-sector meteorologist and FiveThirtyEight contributor): Being in Texas and in energy, I can’t avoid the temptation … what happens beyond Florida matters more to me. So I’ve been trying to use sound meteorology and what I know works best to try and craft a message. Sometimes you have to make a Day Six-to-Seven forecast for a tropical system, but obviously what I’m telling people is laced with scenarios and caveats.
Vallee: What’s glaring to me is (despite relatively small strength/track differences) the Euro and the Euro ensemble [forecasts] have been steady for the last three days.
Lanza: A lot of times these things get framed as GFS [Global Forecast System, a U.S. predictive model] vs. European model battles … and they are, but it’s so much more complex than that. The models are constantly being tweaked and changed, as Mike points out, to (ideally) improve predictability. I think especially when you’re dealing with tropical entities in their initial stages, it becomes less Model A vs. Model B and more, “What does the meteorology and history suggest happens here?” This is where being a meteorologist and understanding the atmosphere (and, frankly, history too) is important, in my opinion.
Gina Eosco (senior social scientist at Eastern Research Group, focusing on weather and risk communication): From a “What should people do?” point of view, there are actions people can take well in advance of a storm. Buying batteries and canned goods, refilling prescriptions, checking flashlights, etc., are all actions people can take whether or not this storm strengthens in the Gulf. If nothing happens, then they are more prepared for the next one. The temptation should be to remind folks to check their hurricane preparedness kits, not to overhype the what-if scenarios. However, responsible discussion of the future potential of the storm increases transparency, which can lead to more public trust. This discussion is a perfect example of a scientific exchange that calmly points out the possibilities.
Holthaus: Why thank you, Gina!
Vallee: Yeah, analogs [note: using algorithms to find the closest match between the current weather pattern and past storms] and meteorology tend to get lost (especially nowadays, I feel) in the hysteria of social media and technology. But bottom line, especially given lack of formation: History/analogs should be at the forefront, in my opinion, similar to winter storms. We always hear, “Oh, this looks like the blizzard of ’96 based on analogs.” Similar approach should be done now, I think.
Holthaus: So, on that note, here’s what the analogs were showing as of midday Thursday:
Hurricane Betsy (1965) is the No. 1 analog, by this analysis. That’s probably pretty terrifying to folks in Louisiana right now.
Eosco: Fear-inducing, yes, maybe. I think it’s fair to share these types of analogs — but qualify them. Don’t purposely induce fear by showing it, but rather explain that “past history is one of the attributes used to make a forecast. This analog is one of the reasons why meteorologists are so concerned about the potential track of this storm. But past history doesn’t mean this will happen. It simply gives us cause for concern. It is also possible that it won’t hit land at all.”
Lanza: Yes … the idea that it could track toward Louisiana or the Central Gulf is a real issue. And given both their hurricane history and recent disastrous flooding, you have to be very careful how you discuss it. I think what Gina pointed out is important. Really, I think all you can do is be transparent, as open as realistically possible (without overdoing it), and encourage people to double-check their plans and disaster kits.
Vallee: While analogs are a great tool, think it’s important to reference track/intensity of said analogs. Tough to be transparent without hyping, but that’s what makes a good, communicative meteorologist.
Holthaus: Of course, in the spirit of transparency, no model so far is explicitly calling for a Category 4 landfall in Louisiana like Betsy. In fact, most models keep this a tropical storm for the next five days or so.
John Morales (chief meteorologist at WTVJ NBC-6 in Miami): Let me briefly jump into this discussion to say that I don’t see 99L being similar to Erika. Erika’s core was torn up between western Hispaniola and eastern Cuba’s topography. 99L’s core circulation (for what it’s worth) remains over water and will enter bathtub water temps soon. If the shear relaxes, there’s a wide spectrum of possibilities. As Eric [Holthaus] just shared in the intensity plots, that includes anything from depression to Category 5 in the Gulf.
Holthaus: You guys, I started this discussion hoping to be reassured. But now we’re talking about a major hurricane possibly hitting Louisiana. Obviously the Louisiana flooding earlier this month comes to mind, and 99L will probably be a big rainmaker wherever it hits. The Hurricane Weather Research and Forecast model is showing spots in South Florida could get more than 12 inches of rain.
Vallee: I think a lot stems from how 99L develops for rainfall totals, but yes, if this were to aim toward the Gulf Coast, it’s certainly not good for Louisiana. Big “if,” of course.
Also of note re: HWRF, Brad Panovich tweeted a good graphic regarding its error. I find that especially true before the Hurricane Hunter aircraft identify a true low-level circulation, and a tropical depression or tropical storm officially forms.
Holthaus: Yes, wow, so HWRF is really only accurate about three days out. I’ll keep that in mind.
Morales: The South Florida Water Management District has begun lowering water levels from mid Broward through Miami-Dade counties in preparation for storm rains.
Holthaus: That’s good. Obviously, emergency managers in South Florida are in (or very near) go-time mode right now. The storm is supposed to hit on Sunday. They can’t, and don’t, wait on an official designation from the National Hurricane Center before preparing for all possibilities, including a hurricane landfall.
Morales: Last thought: Can’t wait for the change in NWS/NHC rules that will allow watches and warnings before a system is baptized. Would’ve been helpful this time around.
Lanza: Only thing I’d say is just to remind people to try not to get too much heartburn over every zig and zag they see shared by people/media regarding the models. Some situations, you simply don’t know where things are going to end up, and you just have to be prepared to act over a broad area with a plan. Hurricanes are a part of life here, and this won’t be the last storm we get. Be aware, and have a plan.
Eosco: I echo this. Stay hurricane strong by preparing before a storm. One last comment is that social media is a wonderful place to have a dialogue, but we must remember that it is part of a public sphere. The scientific community should discuss all of this, but give care to how it is discussed. Don’t overhype. When the next big one does hit, we want folks to listen. We must maintain a tone of openness and transparency without hyping and inducing fear. Stay calm, be prepared, and be thankful we have so many great experts gauging our hurricane risk. =)
Vallee: Yep, agree with everyone else here. Thanks for the opportunity, Eric.
It’s getting good traction, but I’m going to borrow the band blog to mention this now: if you have an iOS device (iPhone, iPad, etc), then go to Software Update and update it right now.
Seriously, update now, it’s a bad one. Actually, it’s three bugs, each of which is very bad, but they’re all fixed at once.
Right now, I’m trying to decide whether I should print stuff out and bring it with me or put it all in Gdocs and access it from my phone. I think printing is likely the wiser course because wifi is erratic in the building where I’ll be and because, that way, the nutritionist can keep a copy and won’t be trying to read on my phone. I’m mainly hesitating because it’ll be about fifteen pages.
I will leave for my appointment in about an hour and a half. I’m hoping to take the bus, but I’m not entirely sure that I’ll end up doing that. I’ll certainly take the bus home, though, because that’s a lot easier than taking it there. Right now, I know I should pack a lunch given that it’ll be well past lunchtime when I get home, even if everything runs on time. I’m just having trouble finding the energy to do it.
I have three different ideas for the pinch hit I’m doing. One is almost certainly too long to work. The other two probably won’t be, though, and I can’t decide between them. I’m still at the point of jotting down notes and questions as I try to come up with a starting point for either story. I think both of the options will require canon research, so I can’t decide based on that.
All three of us went out together yesterday while the cleaning lady was here. We went to the library, we dropped off my winter coat for dry cleaning, and we did the grocery shopping. Cordelia was more willing to go along with all of this than she would be normally. I’m not actually sure why.
Scott made turkey burgers last night. I think we’ve got leftovers enough not to need to cook for the next week— turkey burgers, potatoes, beans, and chicken. We just need vegetables.
Scott and I watched one and a half Marx Brothers movies last night, and the two of us also watched an episode from season one of The Flash with Cordelia. I’m finding that I have a lot of trouble getting myself to focus on the Marx Brothers stuff. Scott’s enjoying it a lot because he watched those movies repeatedly in the early days of VHS. I don’t think we’re going to finish all five movies before I have to return this set. I can’t currently renew it, and I don’t think that’s going to change before Monday.
One month ago, my enthusiasm for this little mobile game prompted me to start this community. Who knew so much could come out of encouraging me to take long walks to hatch eggs? (No, seriously, that was my gateway into the game. Not the catching. Not the collecting. Not the gym battles. It was to see what my eggs would hatch.)
Fandom has changed quite a bit over the past several years, so I'm glad to see that there are still people on DW who remain interested in communities. Let's build something great, okay? ^^v
Anyway! On to this week's headlines...
• Along with the update ealier this week, there are multiple reports that pokémon nests have changed again. Some have changed back to what they were before the last change. Some have changed to something else entirely. And some have not changed at all! Given that this is the second rotation, I would assume that this is going to be an ongoing thing.
• Please remember that there is a time and place to play PokeGo. Do not play while you're driving. Do not play while you're at work. (Unless your job requires/allows it. Then knock yourself out!) But especially don't play PokeGo if you're a Prime Minister attending a national security meeting that's broadcast live. Oops. (source)
• Milwaukee County Parks have sent a letter to Niantic saying that they need a permit to spawn pokémon in their parks. Um. (source)
• Along those lines, an Illinois State Representative has introduced "Pidgey's Law," a bill that would protect vulnerable sites by forcing game developers to remove locations. (source)
What's been going on in your neck of the woods?
'If you’ve ever seen the trio of plays “The Norman Conquests”—three plays set at the same time in different rooms—that's the kind of thing. NEW AVENGERS is happening in the next room of the House of Ideas, and we get to see what happens behind the scenes of a major crossover while the rest of the Marvel Universe is busy. How come no villains ever time any crimes or schemes to occur during these big hero-on-hero battles, people ask? Well, they did. And here it is.' -- Al Ewing
( Read more... )
I figured, I'm stronger now, I can push farther, I'm going for the gate. We got through security and found that our gate was the furthest from where we were, but in for a dime in for a dollar, off I pushed. I made it to the gate, a very long way, under my own steam but my arms were screaming and I was really puffed out. Even so, I headed straight over to the desk to alert them to the fact that I was there, needed early boarding, that the chair was mine, all the stuff that I do.
The woman at the gate, very nicely, indicated that she hadn't got the computer up and to wait for a moment. I was glad of the moment so I could catch my breath and organize my thoughts. As soon as she looked up ready to assist a woman blasted over to where we were and began speaking to her about seats and her children and what she needed. The clerk said, "This gentleman was here first let me serve him and I'll get right to you."
The woman looked at me and said, I shit you not, "He doesn't matter, he can wait. We need help now. I am not seated with my children, I want to be seated with them. They are 10 and 12 and we need to be together."
The clerk said, "I will be right with you, but this gentleman was here first, I'll serve him and be right with you."
The woman began speaking again saying, "He ..."
I then burst in and said, "... don't say it. Really. Don't. Say. It."
She glanced at me, saw that I had been angered by her behaviour and by her statement that I didn't matter. In her silence, I said, "If you'd asked me if you could go ahead because of your concern, I would have said yes, but now I'm going ahead, not to spite you but to make a statement that I matter too."
I spoke to the clerk, clarified everything and then rolled over to Joe.
The pain that had been in my arms from the pushing now competed with the social pain of being 'someone that doesn't matter."
This wasn't the end of it. On the other end in Toronto, I was being helped to get to the luggage area by someone who'd met the plane to assist me. He had pushed for the elevator and when it came a fellow rushed ahead of us, almost smashing the foot pedals on my chair, and got in the elevator first. The guy pushing me, a guy really aware of disability issues, said, "I think what I've really learned in doing this job is that no one thinks that the time and the needs of people with disabilities really matter in comparison to their own. It's shocked me."
I said, "It no longer shocks me."
How is it that people so firmly understand their own importance that they don't recognize the importance of others?
The past few days, wild turkeys have been passing through my yard. They're so strange and delightful.
I've had Jetpack Blues in my head all week, which makes me want to rewatch Pacific Rim since pennyplainknits told me about Pete's Mako Mori tweet. It also means I've been randomly sing-shouting I REMEMBER.
Maybe that's a sign. Hi, guys! I remember!