statistical ideas

what i learned today while tallying homestuck statistics:

Dave has no idea how to end a conversation. I mean, I knew he just never shut the fuck up, but i’m trying to tally the number of conversations and in acts 1-4, and dave has had like, 8, total. cause whenever someone else says goodbye he just keeps talking at them until they eventually come back instead of actually signing out of pesterchum like a normal person
NPC Roleplaying Sheet
This is a non-combat character sheet meant to facilitate the process of creating and keeping track of NPCs.

NPC Roleplaying Sheet (by luckpack)

“This is a non-combat character sheet meant to facilitate the process of creating and keeping track of NPCs.

I prefer giving each NPC it’s unique small sheet of paper instead of keeping them all crammed together in a notebook or something. Having a form with fillable blanks also makes it that much easier to create a large number of characters.

It’s about 10x15 cm, a quarter of the size of a regular A4 paper. Below are Google Drive download links. All PDFs have two pages; the first one is the front and the second one is the back. I used the player character sheet as reference to try to get it to be “official” looking.

[NPC Sheet]

[NPC Sheet, no lines]

[NPC Sheet, printer friendly]

[NPC Sheet, no lines & printer friendly]


  • All races age differently. I recommend finding or creating an “age by race” table for quick reference. I also recommend writing how mature the character is as well in case you forget how that specific race works. So for a halfling, for example, I might write “80, middle aged” instead of just the number alone. 
  • In the “Combat Statistics” field, the idea is to write the name of a creature in the MM or other book. The NPC will utilize these stats. So for example, if I have a Captain of the Guard character and I want him to be stronger than the average Guard (p. 347 MM) I might write down “Scout, p. 349 MM.” Humanoids don’t vary that much in strength, so for the majority of NPCs you could print out a couple of obvious stats (Commoner, Guard, Acolyte, Scout, etc) and refer to them as needed. This is much more practical than printing a combat sheet for every character, considering you have no idea who players might attempt to murder.”
Poe Party Word Count Statistics

I really love words, numbers, and Edgar Allan Poe’s Murder Mystery Dinner Party, so I’ve spent most of this weekend putting them together by analyzing the word counts of the Poe Party characters. Also I have no life. And I’m pretty sure no one cares. But just in case…

The (approximate) total word counts are as follows:

  1. Edgar: 2303
  2. Ernest: 1430
  3. Charlotte: 1422
  4. Lenore: 1180
  5. HG: 1015
  6. Oscar: 1014
  7. Eddie: 811
  8. Annabel: 708
  9. Constable Jim: 580
  10. George: 578
  11. Mary: 338
  12. Constable Jimmy: 328
  13. Emily: 218
  14. Fyodor: 189
  15. Anne: 185
  16. Krishanti: 165
  17. Louisa: 136
  18. Guy: 61
  19. Jane: 52
  20. Constable Wesley: 11

Note: Screams were never counted as words, but I wasn’t super consistent on how I counted some of the noises certain characters (cough, Oscar, cough) make that are sort of but not exactly words, or how I counted stammering (if someone - cough, HG, cough - says “I, I, I” should that count as 3 words? Or just one?), but I figure for all intents and purposes this is pretty close.  I did not count the Epilogue or any bonus videos, or the little Oscar bit after the credits.

The character who talks the most in each chapter is:

  • Chapter 1: Edgar
  • Chapter 2: Edgar
  • Chapter 3: Mary
  • Chapter 4: HG
  • Chapter 5: George
  • Chapter 6: Krishanti
  • Chapter 7: Edgar
  • Chapter 8: Constable Jim
  • Chapter 9: Edgar
  • Chapter 10: Charlotte
  • Chapter 11: Eddie

The characters’ word counts by chapter are tracked in the following super-hard-to-read graph:

So Eddie’s ridiculously long villain monologue means he talks almost twice as much in chapter 11 as anyone else does in a single chapter.

I felt like it was kind of unfair to compare the word counts of characters who died early on to those who survived to the end, so I also made this chart taking into account how many chapters each character appeared in:

Chapters in which a character appears only as a corpse (or fake corpse), or in a flashback from earlier that evening, do not count; chapters in which a character appears only as a ghost, or in a flashback from before that evening, do. Example: George counts as being in chapter 6 but not 7; Eddie counts as being in chapter 10 (even though he doesn’t say anything) but not 2 or 3; etc.

Okay, this post is getting too long, but stay tuned for more charts and analysis coming soon!


anonymous asked:

I wanted to say that I love the posts you made about writing about siblings! Most of all when it comes to same gender siblings, very often in fiction I see the siblings having issues with each other or not getting along. Or the sibling is mostly absent during the story. I would love to see more of siblings being super close, I know some sets of sisters in my life who are super close like they are friends, and it is lovely to watchh. Why do authors tend to avoid close sibling relationships?

Thank you for your kind words! Siblings in stories are a huge passion for me, and close siblings in particular are relationships I want to see in more stories.

Unfortunately, the problem doesn’t stem from avoiding just close siblings but from avoiding close family as a whole. I don’t have any studies or papers examining the idea, no statistics I can report; what I do have are guesses based on observations and conversations with other writers about why they’re writing what they’re writing.

Myth: Main characters must have tragic backstories to be interesting.
Somehow, the idea that in order for a character to be interesting, their backstory has to be tragic has become an integral part to story-telling. Taking it one step further has been the growing idea that tragic = the loss of a person or persons close to them, and who closer than family? Family is an oasis of people who know where a character comes from and theoretically are hoping for the best for them. They’re the people who are supposed to accept a character entirely and are obligated to always love them. That loss writers are looking to capitalize on may be death, but it could also be those individuals rejecting the character, shredding that expectation of love. Having encountered plenty of folks in their own lives and others for whom those tenants and core qualities of family haven’t held up and the pain that comes from that, writers’ first thought when seeking out a tragic backstory often land in the alienation from or destruction of the character’s family. Destroying what may have been something happy for them creates tension and tragedy from which a character may find their drive for the story or send them to a state of being from which the writer wants to watch them grow. More to the point is that by destroying the family, the character’s background all of a sudden has a better ability to become fraught with mystery, the best, fastest way to make a character interesting.

What writers don’t take into account:
Writers must evaluate why they think their character has to have a tragic backstory. If it’s an interesting character they’re looking for–someone compelling that the audience is interested in getting to know–there are better, more compelling ways to do it than by destroying their family. If that’s is how a writer has chosen to hide the Family Secrets™, they perhaps need to rethink why that trope specifically is what their story hinges on and not on a thousand more believable reasons for the knowledge to be inaccessible. More importantly, writers must begin to realize that their character can still be tragic while retaining their family. Just because they’re close with their siblings doesn’t mean that the tragic thing that happened is negated by the joy they get out of being with, talking with, or in general interacting with their sibling. In fact, it might be an excellent relationship to use as a vehicle for the character’s growth.

Myth: Family members hold main characters back from their adventures.
Family is often thought of as this immovable stake in the ground of time and place. They are the constant in a character’s life, a place and people they can return to. They are the refuge, but also the people who have the character’s safety at heart. They’re more likely to ask characters not to go (for a variety of reasons including that the family needs their help at home, the family doesn’t want them to die, the family disagrees with the endeavor, etc.). Writers feel like if the character were close to their family, they might not actually get to participate in the story the writer has planned because they’d never leave those people behind or the family would never let them leave.

Additionally, family as a main character’s greatest weakness is absurdly common. They are the ones to be abducted or killed first by those looking to lure a character somewhere or inflict the most pain on a character or force a character to step their game up a notch. Because of this, writers remove family before the fray even happens, intending to strengthen their characters in the process and make them immovable themselves, unable to be coerced.

What writers don’t take into account:
Family doesn’t have to mean helpless. Give your familial characters some agency! Writing close siblings will actually give a character a huge strength in that they always know they have someone who has their back. If they let their sibling in on what’s going on and what they’re struggling with, that sibling has an opportunity to help. The idea that a character’s adventure and struggles must be kept secret from their family has fed into this–the “I don’t want to make them worry,” conundrum. It’s another situation that writers need to examine about their story and find out what’s stopping them from writing in these characters. If the answer is ever “because it’s easier,” the writer has a problem.

Myth: The power of friendship is not the same as the power of siblings.
The power of friendship and love triumphing over the powers of evil and hatred is a theme nearly every story perpetuates, whether the writer intends to or not. In the same way that humans create categories and hierarchies of what’s more important or more worthy, they’ve also managed to create the idea that the relationship between friends and the relationship between siblings doesn’t hold the same amount or type of power. Love conquers all, right? But familial love doesn’t count because it’s a requirement between family members–it comes with being family. It’s not as authentic or impressive or whatever as love grown between unrelated individuals (whether platonic or romantic) because it’s perceived as being a “gimme,” something they don’t have to work for.

What writers don’t take into account:
I’m not sure writers have really, and I mean really, evaluated how hard it is to maintain a relationship with one’s siblings, let alone keeping it a good one. Seriously. When you’re growing up, you see each other all the time! You know what bothers them, and it’s actually mildly amusing to push those buttons and see them struggle with the reaction they want to have and the one they’re allowed to have because you’re family. You see each other succeed and do absolutely amazing things; you see what each other is capable of, but you also see them mess up and it’s easier to hold the grudge against them for it because they should have known better. As we become adults and move out on our own, ideas about what’s right and okay are expanded past what the family rules were, but those rules still linger and tinge our perceptions, even of each other, and maybe a style of living a sibling has grates on your nerves because that’s not how we were raised or whatever. Our schedules become so full that communication falls by the wayside and suddenly, five years down the line, you realize that this person you used to talk to all the time is a total stranger. Keeping that love and affection between siblings is hard work and it should never ever, ever be taken for granted. Unfortunately, it is. All the time.

Myth: Close siblings don’t have conflict and are therefore uninteresting.
Story is conflict, right? Events are happening that characters have to deal with, people with different ideas about right and wrong are blocking the way, friends are making dumb decisions, and family has chosen to never own up to the problem that runs in their veins. Writers have come under the assumption that close relationships that are healthy and benefit both characters can’t contribute to or create conflict and therefore are dead weight in the story. And no dead weight can survive to the final draft.

What writers don’t take into account:
Who says people in close relationships can’t have conflict? Who says siblings who love and support each other can’t support each other right into a bad plan? Who says close siblings can’t make dumb decisions? These are two separate characters who happen to have grown up together, which also means that while they can love and support each other, they can also see the flaws and dangerous leaps of logic they each make more easily than other people. They have plenty to contribute to conflict, including coming into conflict with each other. “Close” does not mean “perfect relationship.”

I’m sure there are other reasons, too, such as not having any experience and therefore not really thinking about it or not feeling confident in portraying that kind of relationship with accuracy. I think the biggest thing writers need to do is ask themselves why they think they couldn’t have a sibling in their story and evaluate their own reasons to see what’s holding them back. Understanding our excuses can help us better address them and face new challenges head on.

I hope this has given you some insight into the issue, Anon. Good luck! -Pear

0.24% of people who read one of my fics on Sunday left a comment. On Saturday it was 0.51%

Please, if you like a story you are reading, tell the writer. Even something as short as ‘thanks!’ from a guest account can mean the world to someone.

Horrible Finn Headcanon

Parents whose children are selected for service in the First Order receive notification 7 weeks, or one 1 month [using the Galactic Standard Calendar] prior to their next fertility cycle. They then have 3 months (21 weeks or 105 days) to submit proof of conception. From that point forward the First Order monitors their pregnancy while assuming all costs incurred during the prenatal period. It is considered an honour to be chosen.

Or so the First Order would have you believe.

In reality most people dread receiving the crimson communication, but the economic and social situation being what it is very few people have any choice in the matter. A few people are fortunate enough to have funds to buy their way out of conscription, or at the very least to ensure their child will be filtered through the command stream.

Finn’s parents are not so lucky.

They are also young, newly married and without children, so when they receive the communication, their hopes for starting a family are dashed. The First Order has claimed their first born and given their status there is nothing they can do about it. When Finn’s mother becomes pregnant, she resigns herself (and her child) to their fate. Something inside her dies.

Finn’s father is more pragmatic, though only because he’s seen what happens to people who refuse the First Order. Still, when Finn is born, both he and his wife fall instantly in love. They cannot bear to lose their only son.

So they run.

They’re not the first, though very few make it past the med centre’s front doors. Finn’s mother goes into labour prematurely at home, and so without informing the First Order, they know they have a 3 day window before their next prenatal appointment in which to disappear.

They avoid detection for 282 days, the better part of a Galactic Standard Year. During that time Finn’s mother sings to him, and cradles him, and teaches him the joy of human touch. At night, hidden under the stars, she tells him she loves him, and that everything will be okay.

It isn’t.

When the First Order finds them, both of Finn’s parents are gunned down, killed. Finn is taken, assessed, and deemed suitable. He is integrated into the Stormtrooper program.

Starbucks Still Isn’t Listening

Dear Starbucks,

Here we are again. There’s a cyclical pattern happening and it rotates and comes back around, almost the same time every year.

This song isn’t a new one. Store Partners feel frustrated and then voice their concerns, much to the chagrin of corporate level brass, further articulating the vast disconnect between what it’s like to work in a store in any given city or area, and sitting in an office building.

It’s this disconnect that has consistently left Starbucks store partners at odds with their corporate and regional decision makers. From a difference to what maternity (and paternity) leave looks like between corporate and store level employees, to the mounting tasks stacking on top of a burnt out workforce, the divide only grows.

Starbucks Corporate ISN’T Listening Close Enough

That’s right. Despite the petitions, the media coverage, and the social media storm, the communication between store level partners and higher-ups widens. Recently it was reported that a CPO (Chief Partner Officer) was named in Lucy Helm. Hoping to better understand (and facilitate) why the partner experience differs from corporate statistics.

The idea of a Chief Partner Officer is a wonderful thing, no doubt. Starbucks nearly stands alone as a company in terms of trying to understand and work with their workforce. As someone who spoke up in 2016, the care I received was and continues to be beyond impressive. After everything died down, new wages were announced, a dramatic change in dress code, and a bonus. I had surmised and hoped that we were headed in the right direction.  Maybe we were.

What I see happening now is a workforce buckling under the weight of expectation and tasks. Mobile Order and Pay has fundamentally changed the game at Starbucks. A neighborhood cafe store (no drive-thru window) is now dealing with the impact of a different business model being introduced within an existing one, which is leading to slow death of the coffee house experience. Cafe stores are now becoming either physical drive-thrus or walk-up drive-thrus. What was once an atmosphere that was relaxing for customers has turned into a battle ground of ‘who’s order do we make first?’ or, ‘We don’t have enough time.’

There are stores that don’t feel the frustrations that many partners talk about, where Playbook (a deployment model) runs perfectly, in sync with Clean, Safe & Ready (a store cleanliness model), and there’s enough labor for everything to run smoothly. There are stores and partners who glide through expectation and change with ease. It must be noted. The frustrations that many partners feel day to day aren’t necessarily shared by all partners in all areas and stores of the company. It’s important not to lump everyone in together. Further, these conversations aren’t always about better pay, or more people. If you speak to some partners, that might be the first few words out of their mouth. The wage discussion cannot be dismissed either. The most successful coffee chain in the world cannot afford to pay its workforce enough to pay rent with the money they make. With tips disappearing from weekly earnings, earnings that partners depend on for food and gas, partners feel it from week to week.

Looks can be deceiving. A customer can walk into store that appears empty, and instead of a line of people, there are ten or more Mobile Orders being prepared for customers who don’t want to wait. Mobile Order and Pay is stealing every last drop of time to devote to in-store customers. At the heart of all of this is the disconnect.

The expectation that a Store Manager can succinctly attend their duties in the 10 hours of administrative time given to them every week further stresses an atmosphere where Partners feel like there’s never enough people on the floor at any given time. Store Managers shouldn’t be factored in to store labor allotment. Give that labor to another partner that can be physically on the floor at all times. Store Managers not only make schedules for three weeks, they hire and train, and re-train, and implement new guidelines, attend weekly or bi-monthly meetings, etc… All of this, expected on 10 hours a week of administration time. It’s not only not working, it’s affecting productivity, and the fear of retaliation keeps many of these managers from speaking their mind freely about what’s working and what isn’t.

The growing demands of Mobile Order and Pay further reveal a climate where partners struggle to attend to every customer need, the needs of the cafe and overall cleanliness in a way that benefits the customer, the store and corporate expectations. With the recent launch of North Star, which is essentially a pivot back to that customer experience, some partners will tell you that it feels like a slow drowning.

The reality is a complicated one. Corporate might view the partner as never being satisfied, always wanting more labor and better pay (which isn’t always the answer or the case). The flip side is, many partners feel the similarly, like what they do is never good enough, never fast enough, their smile not big enough, their ‘thank you’ not heartfelt enough.

Chain of Command

Typically, if a partner has an issue or a concern, and they want to be heard, they are persuaded to speak to their store manager, who then voices that concern to the district manager, and then to a regional manager, and so on, and so forth.

By the time this concern reaches the corporate structure, it’s been watered down, smoothed over and sanitized. The issues that partners deal with in terms of their day to day stresses aren’t being properly reported to corporate because there is a system of fear in place where employees and managers are afraid to deliver bad news, or just be honest with the reality of what’s happening. This fear of honesty from local and regional leadership then creates an environment where the partner doesn’t feel heard. When you don’t feel heard, or listened to, you feel like you don’t matter. I know, personally for Starbucks, that’s not what they want. They want to believe that their partners matter, and their opinions count.

A recent poll conducted by outlined that,

“75 percent of the Starbucks workers polled by said their stores were not staffed to meet the goals of North Star. Eighty-nine percent of respondents said staffing levels were still a problem in their stores in the past three months, and 62 percent said their ability to deliver the best customer service possible decreased during that time.”
(taken from The New York Times)

Starbucks Corporate response was this…

“All of our metrics show we are moving in the opposite direction of what the survey claims,” Starbucks spokesman Reggie Borges said.
(taken from The New York Times)

The corporate answer is both telling and tinged with a bit of an inadvertent insult. The divide between what the numbers say, and what actual living, breathing employees are saying is concerning. With the launch of North Star, some partners felt like much of the pressure was on them to right the ship, in terms of failing customer satisfaction. ‘It’s our way, or the highway’ is the feeling that some partners felt. Again, I don’t believe it was the intention of Starbucks Corporate to make their store workforce feel like they were the problem. As with many issues in Starbucks, it was a communication breakdown. As much as store partners are feeling the stress of mounting tasks, amid complicated drink rollouts, Store Managers are saddled with trying to balance their productivity in terms of being a business owner, getting three weeks of schedules made, giving time off and vacations and leave, amid weekly meetings, and conference calls.

What further impacts this are last minute announcements of new promotions, complicated drink events that last a few days, and the list grows.


If Starbucks is going to find unity or common ground with their employees who work in their stores, the playing field has to be leveled. There has to be a sense of fearlessness when it comes to offering feedback as to what’s working and what isn’t. It’s that simple. A Chief Partner Officer, however a good beginning, isn’t the full answer, especially when that partner is culled from the corporate structure. There’s little trust there. Trust is paramount. Partners are more apt to being honest with someone who’s survived the ranks of being a barista or a shift supervisor, then a corporate tribute.

The decline of same store sales, as outlined in the last quarterly earnings report is a symptom of several issues, customer engagement, partner satisfaction, and the ever-changing retail landscape. As a company, Starbucks has to grow the business, and it has to keep up with the demand of shoppers so as to ensure growing profits.

When you call your employees ‘Partners’, there’s a suggestion that you see them as equals, co-workers on a shared journey in a wonderful company unlike any other. For many store partners, baristas, shift supervisors and managers, it’s something they want to believe in and get behind. We want to do well, we want to perform well. All we are asking for is better communication, communication that cuts through the bureaucratic red tape so that we can be heard honestly, without being censored or sanitized. As much as these Partner Open Forums are appreciated, much of the time, they come off like self-congratulatory events, as opposed to workshops where partners feel the freedom to talk about hot button issues (without fear) that effect us every day.

Communication HAS to change. That is the only way forward.

I believe that Starbucks is unlike any other corporation in that it authentically seeks to always do better, to be better. Too often large conglomerates are painted as the enemy, looking to use and mis-use the little guy, and sometimes that’s been the case.

It’s not the case with Starbucks.

Jaime M Prater

there’s so much incredible alchemy in FMA that I forget it’s not … actually …. that common a thing in canon…..

like, there’s a whole large city that can’t tell alchemy from miracles and then everyone praises the State Alchemists for doing Impossible Cool Stuff and then once the main plot starts rolling alchemy just becomes a part of it

but I bet you that practically no one outside the cities has seen Cool Alchemy and that people who did that kind of stuff were either seen as miracle workers or creepy sketchbags

at least in Amestris

The idle threats capitalists make toward the idea of abolishing property rights – can I take your computer, can I burn down your house, etc – imply that people would do these things without a strict system of property rights. Which is the same kind of argument statists use against the idea of abolishing the state – that society will fall into violent chaos without a central authority to lay down the law.

It does a great job of showing how property rights and government are connected.

Okay is anyone else obsessed with coming up with keys for color coding notes? Before every semester I get so excited to buy new notebooks, look through the textbook, and figure out what information I’ll need to stand out in my notes the most. I think it eases my mind because when I color code I remember the colors so I can narrow down what I really need and summarize ideas. It also helps when I’m reviewing for exams, instead of having to review every single detail, everything I need is already broken down! It’s different for every subject though. For example, in psychology my key included statistics, definitions, main ideas. For literature, my key included literary devices, themes, key quotes, etc.

anonymous asked:

I could stay right here or dissapear and nobodied even notice at all

I can assure you that’s not true.
I don’t know you, I don’t think. You’re on anon… so it’s hard to say.
But statistically the idea that no one would miss you is ludicrous.
Your followers here? They’d miss you.
Your friends? They’d miss you.
Your family? They’d miss you, they’d wonder what they could’ve done. Everyone would wonder how they could’ve helped you believe that you’re worth so much more than you think you are.
Humans are so social. We notice when someone who was there suddenly isn’t. We say to ourselves “no. They’re supposed to be there.” We grieve and deny and think of all the things we wished we’d have said to get them to stay here with us just one more day.

You’d be missed, anon.

People don’t just forget about each other.

I would like to recommend checking out @stayherewithus, @warm-suggestions, @reasonsnottokillmyselftoday, and @tastefullyoffensive. That last ones just funny and cute, but sometimes a distraction is better.

Are you safe? Is there someone in your life you can talk to through more than the internet? A friend or parent? I’m on mobile so it’s more difficult to look up hotlines… but it may help to hear someone’s voice.
If you have done something to yourself already please get to an emergency room ASAP. Please. I have, quite literally, almost died. It was terrifying and I learned that day that lots of people, even from unlikely places, would have missed me if I’d have stayed upstairs. That’s a long story for another day, but even my ex came and visited me in critical care. That hit me hard. People you’d never have expected would miss you, anon. They would.
Please stay here with us. And if you can , please tell someone who can hug you and care for you. If these feelings persist, consider doing what’s in your power to see a doctor. We are worth more than what our broken brains want us to believe. I struggle too, believe it or not. But I am worth more than what my brain will ever let me believe.
I hope this helps, even a little. I hope that you look at the stars and reflect on how we’re made of star stuff and look at your body and feel wonderfully made. I hope that in six months you sit in a coffee shop and inhale the scent deeply, that you taste every drop. I hope that you put on your favorite shirt and that you hear the best joke of your life and you laugh, randomly, while driving because it’s just that funny. I hope so much for you, anon. Please stay here with us.

PS I just saw that there was maybe a part before this but I’m not sure if there are two of you or if you’re the same person twice? Please let me know.

Huevember Day 22

New villain idea: The Statistical Slasher

A do-badder who’s M.O. is that they want to codify crime statistics into immutable fact. If “a murder in the US happens every 54 minutes”, their goal is to orchestrate a killing on that schedule to ensure anomalous results never threaten their precious, statistically significant worldview.

By the way, it’s 7:26 p.m….

god when i was like a sophomore in high school and had no idea about statistics, i was in a debate round where i had a really solid piece of empirical evidence on my side, and my opponent (who was probably my age and also had no idea about statistics) could only come up with the question “but what was the standard of deviation on that evidence???” and when i was like, what the fuck does that mean, i’ve never heard of that, he started being like “she doesnt’ even know what the standard of deviation is, her evidence is WORTHLESS!!!” and repeated that for like…the whole rest of the round. blew my mind when i actually took stats and learned that it’s “standard deviation” and i realized how little sense that question actually made and what a complete dumbass this kid actually was

Just because you can watch half-nude women on afternoon television or gay men kissing on the streets of nearly any major city does not mean America is free, as complacent liberals might think, much less too free, as conservatives often suggest. Just because most dissidents are left alone doesn’t mean there is no police state, for that would be convenient indeed for the police statists: the idea that people ought not complain so long as they have the right to do so.
—  Anthony Gregory, America Is Fascist