Because it’s Friday: Kittens, beware Tufte

March 19, 2010 | David Smith

Edward Tufte has been a tireless promoter of good infographics, and he's even taken some controversial steps to rid the world of chartjunk. But now he's gone too far: Then again, this chart from the Wall Street Journal could lead anyone to felinicide: What's wrong with a simple bar chart, ... [Read more...]

In search of a random gamma variate…

March 16, 2010 | M. Parzakonis

One of the most common exersices given to Statistical Computing,Simulation or relevant classes is the generation of random numbers from a gamma distribution. At first this might seem straightforward in terms of the lifesaving relation that exponential and gamma random variables share. So, it’s easy to get a ... [Read more...]

Happy Anniversary NYC R Meetup

March 12, 2010 | Drew Conway

Today is the one year anniversary of the NYC R Statistical Meetup. Starting as a small group meeting in a crowded conference room, Josh Reich established the meetup as the premiere gathering of data geeks in the tri-state area. Over the past year we have had 10 meetups, and two more ... [Read more...]

The Economist reports on the information explosion

March 1, 2010 | David Smith

The current edition of The Economist includes a "special report on managing information", targeting the issue of the information explosion / data deluge / whatever you want to call it these days. It includes the usual attributes of the problem: data is being collected faster than we can store it, astronomers are ... [Read more...]

Because it’s Friday: Visualizing an email chain

February 26, 2010 | David Smith

We've all been there: someone sends an email to a mailing list with a Reply-To directing responses back to the mailing list. Before long, someone replies (unwittingly, to everyone) to ask to be taken of the list. And before long, the entire affair devolves into an endless cycle of requests ... [Read more...]

Because it’s Friday: Evolution in song

February 5, 2010 | David Smith

With thanks to my favourite science blog Bad Astronomy, the late great Carl Sagan sings again, this time on the topic of evolution. He's joined by autotuned Richard David Attenborough and Jane Goodall. Great stuff. Bad Astronomy: The Unbroken Thread [Read more...]

Because it’s Friday: The Internet is Made of Cats

January 22, 2010 | David Smith

Here's a fascinating video that looks at the exponential growth of broadband technology and network-based models ... uh ... who am I kidding? This video has nothing to do with R, statistics, or open-source. It's about cats. But it's funny. And it's Friday. (Some slightly NSFW language, but it's in a strong ... [Read more...]

Donate to the R Video Hosting Fund

January 17, 2010 | Drew Conway

Today I finished uploading a couple new talks to the growing repository of online presentations from the NYC R Statistical Meetup. Going forward, my plan is—whenever possible—to make all talks and presentation materials available online, in an effort to reach as wide an audience as possible. Our volunteer ... [Read more...]

Because it’s Friday: Gravity Wells

January 8, 2010 | David Smith

It's a little strange to see a web comic come up with such interesting visualizations, but xkcd has followed up on their movie timelines charts with this illustration of the gravitational attraction of the various bodies in the solar system. The gravitational force at the surface of the planet or ... [Read more...]

Because it’s Christmas: Microbe Mario

December 25, 2009 | David Smith

He's no Father Christmas, but he is dressed in festive red and green, and he's made of bacteria. This image, Mario, was submitted to the 2009 international Genetically Engineered Machine (iGEM) competition by Team Osaka from the nanobiology laboratories at the University of Osaka, Japan. They genetically engineered bacteria to express ... [Read more...]

Because it’s Friday: The decline of empires

December 18, 2009 | David Smith

Here's a neat visualization of the decline of the British, Spanish, Portugese and French empires from 1800 to present day. It's definitely more art than stats -- judging by the relative size of India and Australia I think the circles are scaled to area, not population -- but it definitely does ... [Read more...]
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