Lighting Up Way back in the day, folks believed that smoking was not only cool but also completely safe. As Marcel Danesi states in his book Of Cigarettes, High Heels, and Other Interesting Things, Second Edition: An Introduction to Semiotics ...

In case you missed them, here are some articles from June of particular interest to R users. The FDA goes on the record that it's OK to use R for drug trials. A review of talks at the useR! 2012 conference. Using the negative binomial distribution to convert monthly fecundity into the chances of having a baby in a...

In previous posts I described how to input data stored on GitHub directly into R. You can do the same thing with source code stored on GitHub. Hadley Wickham has actually made the whole process easier by combining the getURL, textConnection, and source commands into one function: source_url. This is in his devtools...

The Actuary Puzzle 508 - Square numbers Author: Matt Malin From the puzzle pages of The Actuary June 2012, I attempt to solve the following, making use of R: This square contains exactly 21 smaller squares. Each of these smaller squares has sides of integer length, with no two smaller squares having sides of the same length. Can you find a solution for...

One of the great things about Twitter is that it’s a global conversation anyone can join anytime. Eavesdropping on the world, what what! Of course, it gets even better when you can mine all this chatter to study the way humans live and interact. For example, how do people in New York City differ from those in Silicon Valley? We...

Earlier this year I doodled a recipe for comparing the folk commonly followed by users of a couple of BBC programme hashtags (Social Media Interest Maps of Newsnight and BBCQT Twitterers). Prompted in part by a tweet from Michael Smethurst/@fantasticlife about generating an ESP map for UK politicians (something I’ve also doodled before – Sketching