A bit of fun with R

July 22, 2011
By

[This article was first published on Revolutions, and kindly contributed to R-bloggers]. (You can report issue about the content on this page here)
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R isn't just about serious things like model inference and prediction intervals and big analytics. Sometimes, R lets its hair down and just does weird and wonderful things because … well just because. For example, with a package from Paulo Sonego, it can display your favourite XKCD cartoon:

> install.packages("RXKCD", repos="http://R-Forge.R-project.org",type="source")
> searchXKCD("support")
   num                    title
1    8              Red spiders
2  278        Black Hat Support
3  384       The Drake Equation
4  480                    Spore
5  554          Not Enough Work
6  619       Supported Features
7  644                  Surgery
8  745                Dyslexics
9  806             Tech Support
10 818                  Illness
11 838                 Incident
12 627 Tech Support Cheat Sheet
> getXKCD(806)

Tech_support

(Hmm, maybe that's not so frivolous after all. The searchXKCD function was perfect for finding one of my favourite XKCD comics, and the source code for getXKCD is a great example of doing JSON queries from R and also of using raster images.)

Here's another example of a bit of fun with R. Neil Gunther of Performance Dynamics shows us how to create a winking pink elephant with R:

Winking elephant

(Hmm, maybe that isn't so frivolous after all. The code that generates that image is actually a really good example of doing complex arithmetic in R — the elephant is based on a Fourier transform generated by just 5 parameters — and also provides a good example of using the animation package to create animated GIFs in R.)

What other fun things do you use R for? Let us know in the comments.

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