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Hilary Parker has contributed a lovely article to Significance, the magazine of the American Statistical Association and the Royal Statistical Society, on using R to set your Google calendar to mark the time of sunsets. Hilary details the process in the article, but the basic idea is to use the sunrise.set function from the StreamMetabolism package to calculate sunset times at future date, and then create an R function to write a file of calendar appointments which you can import into Google Calendar. (You can use a similar process to set up calendar events for anything you like — just adapt the R code accordingly.) Now that her phone buzzes to alert her to the upcoming sunset, Hilary has been able to capture some beautiful sunsets framed by the NYC skyline, like this one:

Photo credit: Hilary Parker

Hilary is a data analyst at Etsy, and writes interesting articles about R and statistics at her blog, Not So Standard Deviations. If — like Hilary — you use R at work, you should also check out her post, Writing an R package from scratch, which includes some great tips on organizing your R functions using personal packages. Hilary also has some great advice on testing R scripts for production use in her useR! 2014 poster, testdat: An R Package for Unit Testing of Tabular data.