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

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.

Caught in the Draft

In December of 1969, the Selective Service held a lottery to determine the order in which young men would be called up for the Draft.  My number was a low 53, and that set the course for much of my adult life.  Turns out, the odds were against me.

DraftLotteryNumbers

draft-rank-by-month

  • Want to run more analyses? This article from the Journal of Statistics Education shows the way.

 

Paper or Plastic?

The Governor of Tennessee is fixin’ to stop the ban-plastic-shopping-bags nonsense in his state.  I’ve see this no-plastic crapola in several visits to Colorado, and it’s just a greenie smokescreen that allows grocery chains to charge an extra dime (per bag!) to squeeze the poor and sandbag out-of-towners.  No penguins, polar bears, or fuzzy bunnies are saved.

I visited a local Sprouts yesterday, where they showed how reasonable folks steer their customers away from plastic.  They offer the alternative of sturdy brown paper bags with attached handles, which make them much more useful at home.  And, when they do go into the trash, the ant and termites with decompose them completely.  Win-win-win.

Raised by wolves

Wyoming game warden Joe Pickett is back, reinstated, in C. J. Box’s latest thriller

CJBoxWolfPack

This one’s a breakneck thriller; a week of non-stop action that catches up Joe and nearly everyone around him.

C. J. Box is one of the few best-selling authors who is skeptical about overreach by the Federal authorities.  In a conversation between a game warden and two FBI agents, we get this

“Are you threatening me?” she [the game warden] asked.  She said it calmly but it felt like shout.

“We don’t threaten,” Pollock [an FBI agent] said. “We don’t need to.”

“We’re the FBI,” Sandburg said unnecessarily.

….

He said, “If you lie to us about anything, we can put you in federal prison.”

Pollock grinned.  He said, “have you heard of Martha Stewart? Scooter Libby?  Bernie Madoff?  Michael Flynn? All of them went down for lying to FBI agents.”

“You didn’t even take notes…”

“We don’t have to,” Sandburg said. “We heard you, If need be, we’ll write up what’s known as an FD-302.  What is that, you ask?  An FD-302 is a form that summarizes our conversation here and what our impression are of this exchange We’ll write up the fact that you lied to us.  The 302 will be the basis when we testify in court that you willfully withheld information from us that was easily verifiable.”

Box gets in another dig a bit later in the story

“Right now, as we speak,” she [a senior FBI official] continued, “the Department of Justice has indicted four of five Sinaloan-affiliated gangsters…It’s imperative you realize where we’re coming from and why we place such importance on the issue.”

Reed [the local sheriff] sniffed and said, “And here I thought you guys in DC spent all your time rigging presidential elections.”

Lots of good guys, bad guys, assholes, and really, really bad guys.  I don’t do spoilers, but some folks get just what they deserve.

 

The Cyberfascism Bulletin #1: Spring Break Edition

This is the first in a continuing series of “callouts” detailing the onslaught of the ubiquitous surveillance and behavioral influence state. Remember, whether the state seizes industry, or industry seizes the state, the result is still fascism.

BIG BIZ

BIG STATE

BIG ED

BIG MED

ANTI-SOCIAL MEDIA

Social media is pretty much a blight on society, a timewasting temptation to reveal way too much information that should be kept private. The rise of cyberbullying and online outrage mobs are symptoms of what I call the Cyber Sturmabteilung, the Internet incarnations of san-coulottes, lynch mobs, Red Guards, Khmer Rouge. The only way to win that game is to not play.

GOING DARK

 

A Happy Saturday

In a world of doom and gloom, a couple of bright spots appear:

  • Indefatigable theatre critic Terry Teachout gives us this delightful bit of wisdom

    “You were made for enjoyment, and the world was filled with things which you will enjoy, unless you are too proud to be pleased by them, or too grasping to care for what you cannot turn to other account than mere delight.”John Ruskin, The Stones of Venice