Pick a Name at Random

Found a cool new tool useful in simulating data sets: the Random Name Generator.  What a great way to fake up some data!  I’ve been using it in a course that includes survey sampling.

RandomNameGenerator

Advertisements

Jeez, it’s like it’s all a giant scam or something

Michael Moore has turned his documentary gaze towards alternative energy, and–surprise, surprise!–found that it’s not the Save the Planet Panacea everyone says it is.

“It turned out the wakeup call was about our own side,” [Moore’s film director] Gibbs said in a phone interview. “It was kind of crushing to discover that the things I believed in weren’t real, first of all, and then to discover not only are the solar panels and wind turbines not going to save us … but (also) that there is this whole dark side of the corporate money … It dawned on me that these technologies were just another profit center.”

Alternative energy critics have been saying the stuff for years.  Mikey, you’re late to the party.

College is Vastly Overrated

Charles Cook thinks College Does Not Make You a Better Person.

In a 1780 letter to Abigail, John Adams wrote that he “must study Politicks and War that my sons may have liberty to study Mathematicks and Philosophy,” while his “sons ought to study Mathematicks and Philosophy, Geography, natural History, Naval Architecture, navigation, Commerce and Agriculture, in order to give their Children a right to study Painting, Poetry, Musick, Architecture, Statuary, Tapestry and Porcelaine.” There is a great deal in this observation, and, within the context of late-18th-century, mid-revolutionary America, Adams’s assessment was spot-on. Nevertheless, were his words to be taken literally, such a progression would eventually create a society without any food.

I think he’s on to something.

The Urban Chicken Sicken Movement

Salmonella anyone?  Looks like the country’s largest source of salmonella infections comes from personal poultry.


From tainted pre-cut melons to pig-ear dog treats, there’s been a slew of recalls this year due to outbreaks of salmonella infections. Yet by far the biggest source of the bacteria hasn’t involved a recall at all. It stems from backyard flocks, the growing trend of raising chickens and other poultry for eggs and companionship.

What kind of sick-pup lightweight keeps chickens for companionship?  Eggs, meat, compost, manure, bug control, and a back-up alarm clock, OK.  But companionship?  That’s some kind of seriously anti-social tic.

Especially troubling is nearly a quarter, or 24%, of the illnesses involve kids. This year, there are “156 children under the age of five that have come into contact with poultry and gotten sick,” Nichols said. “Young kids are more likely to kiss, cuddle or snuggle with poultry and then may not wash their hands as thoroughly,” she explained.

Jeez, what disgusting dirty child abusers!  Anyone who’s watched chickens scratch and eat knows they’re the original Dirty Birds, and keeps their kids from using them as cuddly playtoys.  Amazing to see such backwoods trash behavior pop up in folks who ought to know better.

Spicing Up the Kitchen

Ellen Bennett is the Marie Kondo of kitchen organization.  She has lots of clever ideas, my favorite one is this:

ellen-bennett-spice-drawer
I’m only two dozen bottles away from my own personal Spicetopia!

I found a good quick-drying paint marker at my favorite art supply store yesterday, and started labeling.  It works!

Update (30 July 2019):  Two caveats: (1) them little bottles ain’t cheap, so it’ll take a while to put together a nice set like those in the picture, and (2) if you’re labeling a glass container destined for the refrigerator, make the label long enough to completely wrap around and stick to itself, else condensation will eventually slide the label right off.

Dust Yourself Off

Phylagen, a San Francisco biotech company, has developed a technique for tracking previous locations of objects based on the composition of dust the object has collected.

In another experiment, the sampling technology allowed researchers to determine where a person had walked within 1 kilometer in San Francisco, because of the microbes picked up by their shoes.

Right now, this technique is proposed for use in tracking manufacturing locations in supply chains.  If it’s successful, expect it to be used first in forensics, and then in ubiquitous “backwards” location tracking for behavior profiling.

Oh, great.  Now, in addition to fresh clothes and a good scrub in the shower, I need to swap/brush/scrub my shoes to keep the snoops of the world at bay.