this week i

resolve to try my local grocer. shuts at 8pm, unfortunately.

saw sara seager talk about exoplanets at nasm. she has her own subdomain at!

loafed around all weekend.

ran the data to update our medicare chart book.

wrote a program to simulate the (tremendous) variation in health insurance premiums in small employer group plans (2-25 employees).

was approved to study medically underserved areas in ahrq's data center.

prefer lyrics that admit they make no sense.

braided, cut my hair.

need to wash that mirror.

mailed it.

shut down my office. caught a bus to new york city.


this week i

published this issue brief to quantitatively explain the quality ratings that seniors rely on to choose a privatized medicare plan (medicare advantage) instead of traditional medicare. notice the difference between for-profit and non-profit.

published my sushi recipes on george's vegetarian cooking blog. notice my guest-blogger alias.

installed r's graphical user interface rkward on my windows 7 machine. intellisense. autocomplete. looking good so far.

helped danielle analyze uterine fibroid diagnoses and treatment in eight million records of national inpatient sample data.

like this r graphical manual, organized by visualization type rather than package.

brought my own beer to an evening of jazz at hr57.

enjoyed the all-you-can-eat "desserts from around the world" table at the phillips after five with geir.

saw the temptations and the four tops at strathmore. actually, since only one out of each original group is still alive, i suppose i just saw a temptation and a top. mark noted that since a second member of the four tops was the son of an original member, that counted for half a top. the coasters still my favorite doo wop.


this week i

warn you this post contains very graphic images/video of sheep death, preparation, consumption for the muslim festival celebrating abraham's willingness to sacrifice his son. if you can't stand the sight of blood, please do not continue reading.

like this mopping technique.

saw ahmadinejad's caravan. no shit.

wondered why downtown dakar looked like the world's largest petting zoo..

some sheep wanted other sheep dead

humans were happy to oblige

concluded my senegal odyssey on sacrifice fest day. think halloween trick-or-treating but with more formalwear and for chunks of mutton instead of candy..

step one: position a living sheep's throat over the nearest gutter. this works better if other family members snap pictures on their nokia mobile phones while you're feeling for the jugular.

step two: demand all bystandards take at least thirty pictures of you while draining your newly-dead livestock. hint: pepper the sheep blood with a hint of dog drool for an extra tang.

step three: drag the carcass through the neighborhood, shirts very optional.

step four: put on your finest dress and clean the fucking puddles of blood and gore out of the fucking sewer.

step five: start hacking, cooking..

step six: eat. share. repeat. by the way, that dog's name? bush.

step seven: when a group of adolescent females begin singing, dancing, clapping in the alley outside of your house, grab a severed sheepskull and scare the hell out of them. proceed to walk proudly into the sunset with said sheepskull in your grasp, and the rest of the sheep in your belly.


this week i

homestayed in dakar..

haven't done that in a while. like riding a bike.

made friends with the owner of a local bar..

..we caught a share-taxi north and

stayed in another home in st. louis..

don't think there's a working speedometer in this country.

saw senegalese college life.

walked a safari, because there are no lions..

..animals have it good here

basking in the shade

playing in the surf

doing whatever the hell nocturnal porcupine rodent creatures do

with so much room to stretch out and get comfortable

even the crabs will throw beach parties (zoom in)

animal unemployment rates are kept low,
thanks in part to the delicious carbonated beverage industry

exotic meals are only a well-timed pounce away

the chef never asks, "would you like flies with that?"
you don't have a choice.

and winged citizens enjoy all-you-can-eat crepes

..chocolate syrup only for paying customers..

the risk of injury is low,
because that solar-powered electric fence was the stupidest idea ever.

piggyback rides here are safe enough for the most overprotective of parents

overboard goats are quickly thrown a life preserver

and leashes are just fashion statements

strolled along the mauritanian border.

negotiated another ride south..

senegalese drivers exhibit the utmost professionalism
they are especially courteous when i reveal my nation of origin.
rather than as a beacon of liberty and freedom, people here associate america with that new car smell.

while others prefer a more outdoorsy scent

people risk life and limb to maintain their seatbelts.

stayed in home-compound #3 in a coastal town of 7,000..

our courteous hosts were part of a dance troupe

they invited us to a baptism..

..where i learned the origin of aretha franklin's inauguration hat.

ate family-style-to-the-extreme.


hard to worry about germs when the food is this good.

sorry, did you need a close up? this good.

or how about.. this good.

had enough? this good.

and just to save you some time, let me cram your french fries directly into the sandwich.
(it happened more than once.)
after eating..

found kindred souls. a nation as concerned with dental hygiene as i am..

..toothpicks and these tooth-cleaning sticks everywhere.. flossiraptors won instant converts.

if flossing were a religion,
my face would've been chiseled onto this sculpture by now.

had to be there.

think tourists who slink chains around their luggage in a country as safe as senegal ought to be denied entry at customs.

went to goree island, home of an ancient slave house.
bumped into this little tour group, on thanksgiving day no less. there has to be a funny name for turkish canadians akin to 'tofurkey'.. can-turkey?

didn't realize senegal had pioneered the fake palm tree cellphone tower.

the late-night watermelon vendor

the beverage cascade cooling system

the allahparazzi

the tigerspike shoe

the garmin gps satellite search failure, even though it worked in spain

the ultimate confidence in her wrapping abilities

the wolof word for yes pronounced 'wow!'

the outdoor furniture store

the untended city fire

perhaps related: the jewel-bead thong

..which i would rather be caught wearing than this shirt.

the koranic bullhorn

the powdered milk, nescafe, and horse-sized sugar block morning trio

the good cop bad shirt routine

the caption contest

the surprisingly comfortable chair

the alternative

the braidy bunch..

let them try on me. doesn't look good/takes a long time/hurts/isn't washable/...

.../impossible to balance anything on top of.

a better hairstyle

wonder if we should tax american tobacco companies' foreign profits more, because a pack costs less than 5¢ per cigarette right now.

slept by a fan.

agree with einstein. staying in the same place makes you age faster..

..also, on relativity: those bucket ice water baths will make me appreciate my next hot shower about ten billion times more.

read some reviews..

(1) the world's greatest newspaperman

(2) good news about the news business

(3) the real bonnie & clyde

(4) cambodian genocide trials
"many cambodians have grown so cynical about the tribunal that they hope for a different kind of punishment - that they will be reincarnated as bugs."

(5) honduran politics
"even if zelaya had acted unconstitutionally, he should have been brought before the courts, not thrown out of the country in his pyjamas."

(6) berlusconi ahmadinejad parallels

(7) iranian protest synopsis

(8) billionaire fluctuations
"the total net worth of the 100 richest americans fell 18 per cent, though they were still the wealthiest national group with $775b."

wondered about work being done on the bridge between linguistics and computer science. seems like a baby step into artificial intelligence research. shouldn't we have written the babel fish algorithm by now?