Data to Viz

For data analysts using R, this is huge.  Find out how to generate the graph you need for the data you have with just a few clicks.

DataViz_poster_medium

Yes, you’ll find some fine print explaining that the site is not comprehensive.  BUT, it still has a trove of graph types and accompanying R and python code to generate them.

Tip from the R Bloggers

Update: from the O’Reilly Data Science Newsletter, I learn that the Data to Viz site has a CAVEATS page, showing many of the most common “worst practices” of data visualization, whether confusing, misleading, or downright deceptive.

Data-to-Viz-Simpsons

I’m not quite sure, though, why the site displays only 7 examples when I select the Top 10 filter ….

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Oh, Xmas Tree, Oh Xmas Tree

Many folks spend hours and a pile of cash to get the “perfect” Xmas tree.  Not me.

Some 20 years ago, the Mrs developed a liking for those fancy glass Xmas ornaments, so we promptly hit the after-Holiday sales and started a collection. Came the next Xmas, and we weren’t happy with how the ornaments clashed with any “natural” tree that was less than 12 feet tall. What to do? The next summer I shared a brainstorm with my Dad, an inveterate folk-art woodworker. Who immediately joined me in a project day to convert a large, leafless branch of manzanita into a take-down display tree. I shipped the completed tree from California (where manzanita is plentiful) home to Texas (where it is non-existent), and re-assembled the tree the following Xmas. Hung the growing collection of glass ornaments to achieve what the Mrs calls FABULOUSNESS.

ManzanitaXmasTree

Stark, leafless, twisted, and totally asymmetric. The tree is in its 19th year, and my wife–the sparkling ornament not on the tree–still loves it.

Oh Noes! Seawater to Volcanoes! and…

newpaper reporters who can’t divide or have any sense of proportion:

While also factoring in temperatures and pressures down below, the researchers concluded that 3 billion teragrams — or a billion kilograms — are being pulled down every million years.

volcano-eruption

Lemme see here: 3 billion (3×109) kilograms every million (106) years, works out to an astounding 3 thousand (3×103) kilograms per year.  Why, why, why, that’s enough water to fill up my swimming pool almost TWO times.  Every year.  PANIC! CRISIS! RUN AWAY!

Tip from Sarah Hoyt at the Instapundit, who does make even the most boring stuff sound interesting.

“I want to make this the best I can for them”

While the Man dithers in the aftermath of the Camp Fire, trying to get his sh*t togther, the Little Folks get it

I say “That seems like a thankless task.”

“Not at all,” she replies. “Not at all.”

“Really? Why the hell not?”

“Hey, I do this job every day in this store. It’s my assigned task and usually its okay but I only do it for the money because it gets really monotonous, meaningless.”

She’s a student, I perceive.

“But today those people really needed these clothes in this corner because of the price. And tomorrow more people like that will really need them too. And so I want to make this the best I can for them. So I’m going to put it all back on hangers and arrange them by size. It will be right by the morning. You better go. We’re closing. Thank you for coming in.”

Our-Savior-Lutheran-Church-in-Paradise

Straight from the (slightly toasted) horse’s mouth at American Digest.  Stop by and drop off a tip, so he can rebuild his life.

Feynman’s 4-Step Learning Process

Richard_feynman

From the man who showed up rocket scientists, a simple checklist:

  • pick a topic you want to understand and start studying it
  • pretend to teach your topic to a classroom*
  • go back to the books when you get stuck**
  • simplify and use analogies

Exactly the technique I use to “get smart” on lots of stuff I should know, but don’t.

Tip from Old Remus at the Woodpile Report (report #553).

*Pretend, hell!  Wiggle that topic into your course syllabus, and commit yourself to teaching it.  Nothing sharpens your studies like trying to create a coherent lecture.  Or two.  With a supporting homework assignment.  And quiz or exam questions.

**There are gurus out there, go talk to them.  I’m lucky to work at a university, where many are right down the hall.  I have yet to meet an expert unwilling to speak about his area of expertise.  Often at great, nay overwhelming, length.

To every thing, there is a season

Most of us are aware of the seasonal cycle of influenza outbreaks, which for Americans peak in the winter. In a new paper, Micaela Martinez, PhD, a scientist at the Columbia University Mailman School of Public Health, makes a case that all infectious diseases have a seasonal element. The “Pearl” article appears in the journal PLOS Pathogens. [my emphasis]

We all knew this, we just didn’t know we knew this.  Some folks are recognized as geniuses for explicating the obvious.  I’m look at you, Micaela Martinez.

CalendarOfEpidemics

Tip from Austin Bay writing at the Instatpundit,  who, like the BlogFather himself, can make even the most boring stuff sound interesting.