Winry being the cutest little dork when it comes to automail

(Source: goodoldmoon, via meajoraswrath)

darvinasafo:

Darren Hunt of Utah

The murder of young Black Men by police continues.

(via cypsiman2)

How Memorizing “$19.05” Can Help You Outsmart the MTA

iquantny:

We’ve all been there.  The train is coming into the station, and you grab your MetroCard and quickly try and swipe it at a turnstile.  

"Please Swipe Again".  "Please Swipe Again".  "Insufficient Fare".

The last two words are killer.  You think to yourself “I swear I had a balance on this card”.   You go and check the card out and you see you have “$2.45”.  Yes, you need $2.50 to ride the subway, and you have $2.45 on your MetroCard.  Sure enough you miss that train all because of that nickel. 

How did you end up in that situation any way?   It turns out the MTA has designed it that way.  Imagine how many tourists come to NYC and leave with balances that never get used.  Imagine how many people lose metro cards with those balances that never get used.  And even if it gets used on a later refill, the MTA gets to collect the cash earlier this way!  Win win for them, right?  

But now, with some simple math, you can fight back!  

First, let’s see how the MTA tricks you out of your money earlier than you might want to release it to them.

When you are buying a MetroCard, you can get a 5% bonus if your purchase is big enough.  So you get the following screen early on in the purchase process: 

image

If you click the button on the left, they just got you.  Your card will have $9.45 on it, meaning you will get 3 rides and end up with $1.95.  That is a great deal for the MTA.  They get all the money from every rider who does that, and they get the interest on that until you refill again and repeat the cycle.  

Let’s say you don’t take the bait.  You click MetroCard.  Then you get this screen with three new short cuts:

image

Three quick options.  But wait a minute.  One button leaves you with the same $9.45 card, and gives a remainder of $1.95 after just three uses. The next one is even more frustrating: you end up with a $19.95 card, leaving a remainder after 7 uses of $2.45!   That’s right, the nickel we were talking about earlier.  The last option does not leave you much better off.   You’ll get a $40.95 card, which leads to $0.95 on your card after you use 16 rides.  So all three buttons presented leave quite a bit of “insufficient fare” on the card. 

So how do you fight back  Well, click “Other Amounts” and type your own values: 

image

and remember these three magic numbers:   $9.55, $19.05 and $38.10. That’s right. Never use the short cuts.  Just type in one of those numbers.  

Once you do, you’ll see your excess balances nearly vanish once you apply the 5% bonuses: 

image

Buy a $19.00 card?  $2.45 left on card after use.  Buy a $19.05 card?  No balance left after use!  Magic.  But what if you want a $10.00 MetroCard? There is literally no way to buy one because of the 5% bonus and the fact that all payments need to be divisible by a nickel.  Your options are to pay $9.50 to get a $9.98 card after bonus, or pay $9.55 to get a $10.03 card after bonus.   Once again, you literally can’t buy a $10 metro card from a machine. 

If you absolutely don’t want any left over money, you really only have three choices of payments below $40, as seen in the table below: 

image

If the pennies bother you, then maybe memorize these three numbers: $11.90, $19.05, $30.95.

So if the MTA really cares, what can they do to fix this?

Well here at I Quant NY, I’ve been hard at work coming up with a proposed software change.  After much thought, check out this before and after: 

Before:

image

After:

image

Not a big change you say?  Echm.  That’s right.  If they really wanted to fix the issue, they could ask “How much do you want on your MetroCard” instead of “How much do you want to pay”.  But don’t count on those changes coming to a MetroCard Vending Machine near you anytime soon, given how lucrative the current set up is.   

Which means it’s up to you.  Write down the three numbers, $9.55, $19.05 and $38.10 or pick just the one that matches your buying habits best.  You could even write it on the back of your Metrocard if you can figure out how to get ink to stay on it.  (There’s a reason they are so shiny.)

A side note: one reason that the MTA may do this is to make paying with cash easier. It would be a nightmare to dispense change if cash buyers used this technique.  But that does not explain why they can’t update the credit card only machines or all other machines if they first ask if you are using cash or credit.  And of course unlimited card buyers avoid this all together.  Also, this does not include the $1 fee associated with new metro cards. 

So in closing, Math is useful.  And luckily, you don’t have to be Einstein to outsmart the MTA.  Plus, guess what year Einstein handed in his dissertation…  You guessed it.  1905.  

For the latest I Quant NY data analysis of this great city, sign up for my Mailing List (about one post a week), Follow me on Facebook or Follow me on Twitter.  I tell stories with data.

Past posts include finding and fixing the most profitable fire hydrant in NYC, showing that the Health Department is inflating grades or looking at gender and Citibike.

Ben Wellington is a Visiting Assistant Professor in The City & Regional Planning Program at Pratt Institute in Brooklyn, where he focuses  on NYC Open Data.  He holds a Ph.D. in Computer Science from NYU.

Update (9/8/2014):

Some have pointed out that this may not be intentional.  Yes, it could be the case that even though the MTA takes in about $50 million dollars a year in unredeemed excess balances that no one ever noticed this.   I don’t have any idea where these decisions come from, so I am not in a place to point fingers with any proof.  But, intentional or not, the buttons are tricking people out of their money.  If it really is unintentional, I’d be thrilled because it won’t be long until the problem is fixed given all the attention this post has gotten.  So let’s hope all the people who say the MTA did not do this intentionally are correct.  I can think of no better way to be proven wrong. 

Update2 (9/8/2014):

MTA Responds!  Read more here

(via glompcat)

(Source: yewrose, via azuresquirrel)

get to know me meme: ten female characters ♦ joan watson

↳ “My point is that the only thing that anyone can predict about people with a 100 percent certainty is that they’ll change, and anyone who thinks otherwise is kidding themselves.”

(Source: potter-weasley, via sandwichocracy)

dynastylnoire:

diegueno:


On August 28, Miguel went to his restaurant. It was just another normal workday. ICE showed up to his workplace with a list of names, and his name was on the list. Four years ago an unscrupulous scammer told him he could fix his immigration status if he went back to Tijuana, Mexico. When he arrived to Tijuana, Miguel found out that this was a scam and he had to cross back to the U.S. to continue providing for his family. On that trip back he was stopped by an immigration officer and was issued a court date. Since he had three children that needed him at home, and bringing in money, Miguel decided that showing up to that court date, where he would likely be deported, was not an option. Since he didn’t show up, he was issued a deportation order.
Miguel is an exemplary community member. He has never had any issues with the law, and he has cared for his kids. His youngest son, Javier (16) still depends on his father’s financial support. With the mother out of the picture, Miguel needs to stay in the U.S. to continue supporting his son.
Today Miguel, his family and his community asks you to please take part in preventing this unjust separation to occur. After over a decade of living and working in the U.S., Miguel belongs here, in his home. Please take a moment to sign this petition and share with your networks. Our community must stand strong in solidarity when law abiding community members like Miguel are ripped away.

(via Take Action | United We Dream)


booooooooooooooooooooooost

dynastylnoire:

diegueno:

On August 28, Miguel went to his restaurant. It was just another normal workday. ICE showed up to his workplace with a list of names, and his name was on the list. Four years ago an unscrupulous scammer told him he could fix his immigration status if he went back to Tijuana, Mexico. When he arrived to Tijuana, Miguel found out that this was a scam and he had to cross back to the U.S. to continue providing for his family. On that trip back he was stopped by an immigration officer and was issued a court date. Since he had three children that needed him at home, and bringing in money, Miguel decided that showing up to that court date, where he would likely be deported, was not an option. Since he didn’t show up, he was issued a deportation order.

Miguel is an exemplary community member. He has never had any issues with the law, and he has cared for his kids. His youngest son, Javier (16) still depends on his father’s financial support. With the mother out of the picture, Miguel needs to stay in the U.S. to continue supporting his son.

Today Miguel, his family and his community asks you to please take part in preventing this unjust separation to occur. After over a decade of living and working in the U.S., Miguel belongs here, in his home. Please take a moment to sign this petition and share with your networks. Our community must stand strong in solidarity when law abiding community members like Miguel are ripped away.

booooooooooooooooooooooost

(via cypsiman2)

In the first pic, Fate and Arf don’t know what to expect from these new people in their lives and are understandably super uptight. But in the second pic, after six months, Fate is very much at ease, and even mirrors Lindy’s mannerisms. 

cypsiman2 replied to your post: cypsiman2 said:Princess TutuYou a…

This makes me imagine how preciously adorable Ahiru would have been if she’d been drawn chubby or something.

Chubby Ahiru would be so precious! 

Tags: cypsiman2

titaniavs:

ace-enjolras:

I don’t think writers realize that “strong female character” means “well written female character” and not “female character who punches stuff and shoots stuff”

bravo

(via cypsiman2)

cypsiman2 said: Princess Tutu

You are terrible! While I wouldn’t say I hate them, I’m not overly fond of the uniform, skinny character designs.