this week i

finished & submitted my "using meps in r" article to the r journal.

noticed junichiro koizumi's party lost an election. he's still the best looking man on earth. and yes, that's the hair i'm going for.

checked out phillips after five. we paid the $12 admission and promptly ate $15 worth of cheese from the free light fare buffet.
prepared for friday night's redskins game with a special request at the museum's henna table. initially refused by the artist, my cursory knowledge of hindi apparently changed her mind. mein redskins logo temporary tattoo zaruri hai.

loved the mussels at agraria..

..everyone else had the chocolate-covered bacon.. heart attack at a time, please.

tailgated, laughed, cried at the redskins game. a 27-24 loss will do this to you when the score differential never exceeds seven..

..even if one pass costs fourteen.

celebrated huseyin's acceptance into the lse phd program in pharmaceutical policy by buying five dozen crabs at the maine ave market and acting real mature..

maybe the brits will teach him some manners

congratulations bud, now wipe that old bay off your face

attended the free virgin mobile concert..

..a parasailing, jetpack-wearing richard branson makes a party a party.

ate home-cooked bhutanese food with some friends.

cleaned the damn pond. surprised the raccoons haven't eaten these guys.


this week i

tried my hand at r graphics.

received my 7", $126 netbook. purchased after reading this ft review. the $100 laptop dream has become reality.

whitewater rafted in west virginia. (videos of other people)

rented a cabin..

..with six dudes and a toilet seat that wouldn't stay upright.

ate bonfire corn on the cob.

stared, decorated, stared some more.

felt superior.

experienced wildlife.

took in the state..
seinfeldian restaurant names

highway karting

emissions-standards loopholes

all-around bad-asses

wrapped up the amazing maps of meaning lecture series.

"what human beings like more than anything else is to be right."

"satan can step out of hell in one moment. he can admit that he was wrong."

"it was group guilt, class guilt that mattered to stalin. if your parents were rich, bourgeois, what was the probability that you were going to be a useful part of the workers' collective. it'd be easier to get rid of you."

"ptsd: if you relive it over and over and over again in your imagination, in as much detail as possible, you will get better faster and stay better longer."

"you can't tell the meaning of someone's life until the very end. that's why catholics believe salvation can always be attained."

"the real problem of life isn't so much what do you do when you're around things that you understand. the real problem of life is what do you do when you encounter something you can't conceptualize. and i think a good recent example of that is the bombing of the world trade towers, which people were compelled to watch that over and over and over and over. and if you ask someone 'well what is it that you're watching?' they would say, 'well i'm watching the world trade towers fall down', but then you might say, 'but why are you watching it over and over?' and they would say something like, 'i can't believe it. i can't believe it's happening.' and what does that mean? it means something like: whatever it is that's happening here - whatever's being blown apart - exceeds my ability to model. and as a consequence i have to expose myself to it again and again and again and again to try to understand what's falling, what's falling exactly. is it just the towers, is it twenty thousand people, is it the financial system of the us, is it the stability of the western world, is it the beginning of world war three? what is it exactly that you're looking at when something happens that you don't understand?"

"this is more true among elderly people. if their spouse dies, the probability that they'll die in the next year, say from a heart attack or something like that, increases substantially. why is that? it's because their conceptual framework was so dependent on the existence of their spouse - say someone they'd lived with for twenty five years - that the anxiety and uncertainty caused by their anomalous disappearance - their death - is so extreme that it sends their body into a physiological state that's basically unbearable and that does them in."

"when you start to understand what having your preconceptions rattled really means, then you also start to understand why people are so motivated to protect their ideological territory."



this week i

found our update of medicare supplemental coverage released. also good: saturday ft's lead article.

mistook alex trebek's voice for john kerry's voice.

enjoyed a friend's wedding..
check that henna

..picked my favorite exhibit.

apparently not the only one zooming in on the sword-gun.



baltimore, as always, delivers.

..except for their parking meters (my contribution).

repeat my conviction that these lectures are impossible without a pause button, but unbelievable with one.

"if a society deviates from a viewpoint sufficiently, it dooms itself to annihilation."

"merely as a consequence of the progression of time, the presuppositions on which any state are founded tend to become less and less relevant."

"the deluge myth is almost universally disseminated; it is documented in all the continents."

"there's the sleep that punctuates periods of consciousness, and there's the great sleep at the end of life which is characterized by the complete cessation of consciousness."

"that's what a garden is: it's nature given form by culture."

"hindu philosophers say, as their churches and cathedrals are covered in erotic drawings, if you can't get past the erotic drawings, that's the domain that you should still inhabit."

"it's very difficult to be transcendent and enlightened when you see someone who's sick lying in a ditch."

"human beings are the only creatures that seem to live at odds with their own experience, and it's not so unreasonable suppose that it's our dawning capacity for self-consciousness that put us into that position."

"that's exactly what happens to you when you grow up. if you're reasonably socialized and properly looked after, then your curiosity gets the better of you and you keep going out into the world until what your parents have established for you is no longer sufficient for you. and as a consequence of that movement out into the world, you find out all sorts of things characteristic of your own life that not only your parents can't precisely explain to you, but even the broader formal structures of your culture have a very difficult time handling. and when you finally do encounter such realities and allow their effect on you to fully manifest itself, well then you're finally independent and you no longer can return home. but from that point forward you're also burdened, as adam is burdened when he loses his paradisal un-self-consciousness, with the full revelation of what it means to be limited and alive."


this week i

analyzed a four-year pooled meps sample using r. r is the free, open-source statistical programming language that will eventually gain the largest market share. for many reasons.

scrutinized the cahps-based medicare advantage plan ratings to learn about how satisfaction differs in different types of plans.

investigated health spending among patients with different chronic diseases, split out by age groups, to learn which diseases get more costly as you get older and which don't. wouldn't you like to know. semi-inspired by this new obesity study.

settled into my new home.

find it amazing that starbucks spends more on employee [health] benefits than coffee.

suspect chinese restaurants intentionally misspell words to appear more authentic.

listened again and again. joe cocker, as usual, covers better than the original (ignore the video).

continued watching the maps of meaning lecture series, rare intelligence.

"the hero is always born at the time of maximal crisis."

"out of the unknown we mine new information."

"archaic people externalized [emotions] and gave them the status of the modern world, the deities have moved inside of us and become psychological forces."

"mice will not mate with mice that have rh blood factors that are likely to produce unfit offspring."

"one of the things mythology is quite clear about is you never win a final battle with evil. it's a permanent property of the world."

"he who would rule must hear and be deaf, see and be blind."

"to encounter fear, then to master it, then to extract out something of value."

"it's the space inside a pot that makes the pot worthwhile."

"it's not just sex and aggression that gets regulated, it's also playfulness and creativity and spontaneity."

"the world is always coming to an end, because what you think now is not good enough for the next second. that's the apocalypse and it's always upon us."

don't understand how anyone could've sat through these lectures. i pause them at least ten times in order to understand what the fuck is going on.


this week i

released a health reform paper about variation in health risk across industries among american workers. this google reader feed will alert you whenever i publish something new, in case you love awesome papers or are bored.

tinkered with medicare advantage comparison data. i hope your socks are on tight.

threw a final rooftop sushi party. wasabi guacamole a big hit.

will miss the view.

flawless picked the ripe ones.

let others do the dirty work.

moved: smaller, more expensive place, but a seven minute walk to work. expected to find a dolly in the new building, surprised to find this shopping cart instead. more surprised at the superiority of shopping cars to dollies when moving.

booked my flight to amman: christmas in palestine.
will try this new jetlag strategy.

vote this the best song ever of the week.

watched the first maps of meaning psychology lecture. this guy is brilliant.
"the eradication of old systems of mythological belief leaves a vacuum."
"if you let the old gods die, the probability that blood would flood the land was virtually 100%."