June 26, 2017


  • A map of 1.3 billion taxi trips in New York, taking advantage of the underappreciated principle that there’s no point having more detail than the screen can display.  Also, GPS error naturally gives an attractive glowing effect that you’d usually have to add in afterwards
  • “In the summer of 2015, Alexandra Franco got a letter in the mail from a company she had never heard of called AcurianHealth. The letter, addressed to Franco personally, invited her to participate in a study of people with psoriasis, a condition that causes dry, itchy patches on the skin.”  A story about creepy data-mining, from Gizmodo.
  • From Scientific American, graphics showing daily, weekly, yearly patterns in number of births.
  • From the New York Times: a new drug for muscular dystrophy. It costs about US$1 million per year, and the FDA is not really convinced it has an effect
  • It’s time for the NZ Garden Bird Survey, which means it’s time for me to recommend their questions and answers page for its attention to principles of experimental design.
  • “Death when it comes will have no sheep”. Last week it was hamster names; this week it’s proverbs. Look, save yourself some effort and just go directly to Janelle Shane’s blog rather than waiting for each post to go viral.
  • In Science, probability is more certain than you think.” Chad Orzel

Thomas Lumley (@tslumley) is Professor of Biostatistics at the University of Auckland. His research interests include semiparametric models, survey sampling, statistical computing, foundations of statistics, and whatever methodological problems his medical collaborators come up with. He also blogs at Biased and Inefficient See all posts by Thomas Lumley »