Roads IDS: An Introduction

This year my IDS was to re-design intersections (and places in general) in the Coquitlam area. Generally, these are already-congested intersections where I can easily see a better solution.

Before I post specific ideas, I figured I’d share the lens I’m redesigning these things through.

My Planning Philosophy

Generally, when I redesign an area, going for several objectives:

  • Promotion of walking, cycling, and transit as viable modes of transportation
    • Reducing dependence on cars
      • Minimizing square-footage dedicated to cars (road space, parking lots, driveways, etc.)
      • Reducing both speed limits (in some cases), and actual driven speeds
    • Making the walk and cycle more pleasant & safe
      • Aesthetic improvements (street trees, etc.)
      • Creating & emphasizing visible crosswalks, reducing crossing distance
  • Reducing the carbon footprint of the users and residents of the area
    • Reducing stopping & idle times at intersections (cars are most inefficient when they are decelerating to/accelerating from a stop)
    • Creation & maintenance of green spaces & parks
  • Place-making, making a neighborhood feel like a safe & unique place

As an added challenge for myself, I always try to design solutions that would require no additional right-of-way, although if necessary biting a chunk out of a parking lot would satisfy other objectives so I don’t mind too much.

I’ll be posting my ideas and drawings on this blog in the next few weeks, stay tuned!

Disclaimer: I am not a traffic engineer, an urban planner, or even remotely educated on this topic. I have no way of testing my theories (traffic simulation programs are expensive!), I’m just making guesses based on what’s worked elsewhere. I’m just a high schooler doing my project.

Follow: A First Look

On Friday, we played a tabletop RPG called Follow using the Colony scenario.

Being my first RPG in general, I was quite nervous and hesitant about it, and especially given the collaborative nature of Follow.

We began a campaign to establish a colony called New Lesbos, after the Greek island of Lesbos. This was set around the turn of the 31st century, when the scars of age-old divisions in society were still clearly visible.

In this game, each character needs a role and 2 motivations: what they want from the mission and what they want from a specific character (in my case Patrick’s character Neev). My character was Charity, a family homesteader who joined the mission along with her children to protect her Family Values, while seeking something more from her friendship with Neev.

In the first challenge of the game, our ship had just landed on this desolate wasteland where the closest thing to a spectacle was the occasional rough stone in the sand. Everyone on board was just beginning to realize how big of a task they had taken on, so I, together with one of Olivia’s characters (a counsellor named Patience), set about helping everyone, trying to raise the general morale.

After the long journey in the ship with nothing much more than porridge to eat at most meals, I provided some more substantial food, some fresh pastries and coffee, just like old times on Earth.

We didn’t get much further than that, although we had planned to have a ship of supplies go missing, and maybe some other challenges.

It was an interesting game, but it was very hard to get going. And besides that, it wasn’t my genre and I’d never played an RPG, much less one without a GM.

Apple Custard Pie Recipe

Having a lot of applesauce in the house because of an especially bountiful harvest of apples this year (250+ lbs), I decided to make an apple pie.

Now, maybe it was me reading the recipe (I tend to skim), or maybe it was the recipe itself, but once I made the pie dough, there was not enough left to put on top of the pie. Now, being the drama queen and perfectionist that I am, there was no way that I would make an apple pie without a top crust.


The pie crust before being rolled out

So, what was I to do? Well, what if I just replaced the pumpkin in a pumpkin pie with applesauce? And the rest is history


Based on It Doesn’t Taste Like Chicken‘s Easy Vegan Pumpkin Pie recipe

Prep time: 15min (filling only)
Baking time: 1hr


  • 2 cups (500mL) applesauce
  • 1/4 cup (60mL) maple syrup
  • 3/4 cup (180mL) almond milk (if using unsweetened, consider adding more sweetener to taste)
  • 1/8 cup (30mL) water
  • 2 to 3 ounces (60 to 90g) flour
  • 1 teaspoon (5mL) cinnamon
  • 1/2 teaspoon (2mL) nutmeg
  • 1 teaspoon (5mL) vanilla extract (optional)

For the crust ingredients and method, see here. (In the crust, I substituted shortening for coconut oil)


  1. Preheat oven to 350ºF (180ºC)
  2. Throw everything into a blender and blend until smooth
  3. Pour mixture into crust and bake for 1hr

That’s it! 🙂

The finished pie

The finished pie!

Tofu Scramble Recipe

Being half-vegan (don’t ask), I was asked to do an egg dish-replacement recipe for this assignment for Foods. So, here goes… (the full recipe is at the bottom)



Here I’ve just chopped up some tofu, an onion, and about 2/3 of a sweet bell pepper.


I put the tofu, onion, pepper, garlic and oregano in the pan with a bit of oil (I used garlic-infused olive oil, but any other cooking oil will do)


As you scramble the tofu, break it down into smaller pieces as you go.


Once the tofu begins to release liquid, increase the temperature until it all cooks off.


Here it is, done in the pan, and then below, plated.


It’s a bit small for two people, but as I was just looking for a snack at the time, two servings works just fine.



  • 1 300g package of soft tofu
  • 1 small onion
  • 1/2 of a bell pepper
  • 1 clove minced garlic
  • 1 tsp oregano


  1. Dice the onion and pepper into 1/2-inch pieces and the tofu into 1/4-inch pieces
  2. Heat some cooking oil (I used garlic-infused olive oil) in a large frying pan over medium-high heat
  3. Put all ingredients into the pan at once, and begin scrambling, breaking the tofu up into smaller pieces as you go
  4. Once the tofu begins to let out water, raise the temperature a bit to cook it off, making sure to turn it back down again once water has cooked off
  5. Serve with some ketchup or mango-chili chutney (my personal favourite sauces on almost anything) and enjoy!

BTW, follow my foods insta

Conlang Update #2: Gluing Words

Alright, so another update on the conlang.

So far, I’ve created for the Nopti language:

  • Phonotactic rules (which dictate how sounds can merge into syllables; English’s phonotactic rules are fairly loose, contrast with Japanese where the whole language could be written with less than 50 syllabic characters e.g. Katakana or Hirigana)
  • Most of the grammar structure
  • Around 70 individual morphemes, each which has several meanings based on the declaration prefix, or ma-shun, used (and also context)
  • The basics around three dialects, which each differ from Standard Nopti (which is primarily what will be seen on the blog and these updates)
  • A writing system, more details to come.

So, phonotactic rules.

First off, in standard Nopti, there are 11 consonants and 10 vowels (of which some are monopthongs, or single vowel sounds, and some are dipthongs, or two vowels in one sound).


Letter IPA symbol Example Type
ng /ŋ/ sing nasal
n /n/ nigh nasal
m /m/ my nasal
t /t/ tie stop
k /k/ cry stop
p /p/ pry stop
h /h/ high fricative
sh /ʃ/ shy fricative
f /f/ fie fricative
ts /ts/ tsunami affricate
pf /pf/ Drumpf affricate


Letter IPA symbol Example Type
a /aː/ bra or Bahn monopthong
o /ɒː/ pod monopthong
i /iː/ seed monopthong
u /uː/ food monopthong
ia /jaː/ like german “Ja dipthong
io /jɒː/ yop dipthong
iu /juː/ you dipthong
ua /waː/ voila dipthong
uo /wɒː/ doo-wop dipthong
ui /wiː/ Whee!” dipthong

So, a syllable in Nopti is structured according to these basic rules:

  • Consonant + vowel + optional consonant or dipthong vowel + optional consonant
  • Consonant clusters are not permitted
  • The final consonant cannot be an affricate, /h/, or /f/
  • If the initial consonant is a nasal, the final consonant cannot be the same as the initial

Seems pretty easy for an English speaker to pronounce, right? Well, notice that the first consonant in the alphabet, ng, is allowed to be at the beginning of a syllable. This may be challenging for many speakers, as it violates one of the basic (and for that matter one of the only) rules of English phonotactics, but with some practice, you should be able to get it.

On to grammar structure.

A sentence is formed according to the order Verb, Subject, Object. This is similar to Irish and Hawaiian, and if English were this way, the sentence I have a dog would be Have I a dog.

As already mentioned, each morpheme has several meanings, depending on what declaration prefix is used. In this way, we can also combine declarations to create other words. For example, take the word for clean (with the root word prefix ma), ma-kuo.

Its verb form would be tsu-kuo, but we could also take the natural, animate noun declaration, tsia, and attach it to the beginning, making the word together (tsia-tsu-kuo) mean cleaner.

I should also mention at this point that in this language there is no difference between definite and indefinite nouns; it should be obvious from context.

When two or more verbs combine, we just string them together. For example, I said that I had them would translate to tsu-iong-tsu-sha-fo tsan-ti tsua-ki-hok.

Syllable by syllable, that sentence means: (verb say verb have past_tense) (natural_animate_noun 1st_person_pronoun) (unnatural_inanimate_noun 3rd_person_pronoun plural_2).

As for the dialects,

I’ve mentioned that Nopti is spoken on Nopfa, a fairly large island, which is is split into four main geographic regions.

The southern Noppu region is temperate, warmed by the south winds and bountiful in their harvests. The northern Noptin region is isolated from the rest of the island by mountains, and the regional dialect here is quite distinct from Standard Nopti. On the west coast of the island live the Nopfuk people, where the oceans provide their means.

The east is home to Nop-huing-hosh City, centred around the bay and port there. Sheltered by neighboring islands from most storms, the bay serves as a deep-water harbour for trade with neighboring islands, and more recently the wider world. This is where the Standard dialect is spoken by locals, however people from across the island live and work in the city, as many jobs can be found there.

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