this week i

found a way to avoid the impossibly long urls when copying links from google search results.

photographed rain.

plotted every inpatient prospective payment system hospital in the united states with r. also played around with county-level maps.
#code to create four county maps in r
map('county', interior=FALSE , fill = TRUE, col = palette() , lty=0 , resolution=0)
title("US County Map - All Colors")
map('county', interior=FALSE , fill = TRUE, col = rgb(seq(0,1,.1),seq(1,0,-.1),0) , lty=0 , resolution=0)
title("US County Map - Green to Red")
map('county','ohio', interior=FALSE , fill = TRUE, col = palette() , lty=0 , resolution=0)
title("Ohio County Map - All Colors")
map('county','ohio', interior=FALSE , fill = TRUE, col = rgb(seq(0,1,.1),seq(1,0,-.1),0) , lty=0 , resolution=0)
title("Ohio County Map - Green to Red")

used the r-help mailing list for the first time, second time. great to get assistance from hyper-intelligent people.. within a few hours.. for free. in other news, r can now export directly to multiple tabs in excel.

believe that, in light of the taliban paying unemployed young afghans $8 per attack, obama's strategy makes a lot of sense.

ate defective ice cream cones, then saw sofia talvik at the swedish embassy.

dropped by georgetown law school for an excellent panel on health reform, with dean judy feder, charles krauthammer, e.j. dionne, congressman lynch, and senator barrasso, m.d., + wolf blitzer moderating. a lot of squabbling over facts.

caught an 'artists in residence' show at the strathmore mansion.

saw cate blanchett play blanche dubois at the kennedy center for as many dollars as you can count on twenty five fingers. her redemption for benjamin button.

received my hp g71 laptop + windows 7. $720 w/ 17" screen, dual processor & 4gb ram. a 'best buy', consumer reports don't lie.

used to wonder how shazam works, until this article explained it.

invited my friend martha.. see some cuban guitar hero.

we chatted with geniuses

people-watched, dracula-watched

admired crystal chandeliers, grand pianos, folding chairs

enjoyed the tremendous cuban buffet + open bar

..oh and there was some music too.


this week i

found emacs speaks statistics (using emacs to run r commands) uncomfortable. former professors highly recommended it, not sure what i'm doing wrong? r commander interface slightly better, but still hunting..

geocoded hospital compare data using usc's batch-processing tool. hoping to examine clustering of some quality variables with kriging.

reconfigured our employer-level file into a 'employer health plan'-level file using one sql query (tutorial).

picked a favorite r function: jitter (before and after shots below). used to get a better idea of the density of numeric-yet-categorical variables when graphing.

touched up my lecture about where non-statisticians can find data for problem solving in public health. want to be my guinea pig?

have run 96 miles over six weeks. this streak won't last much longer, since working out while traveling is not my style.

feel good about health reform. giving the exchanges a fair chance, then using olympia snowe's trigger sounds like a plan.

think billboards are nothing more than legal vandalism.

cooked a cheese, tomato, and avocado omelet.

blended a smoothie for the first time in years, with new secret ingredient.

was bumped off a flight to nashville. apparently if you're not assigned a seat at purchase-time, that means you're on standby. note to self: don't hit the purchase button until you've chosen your seat on all flight legs.

saw hillary clinton in the national airport terminal, then this man on the subway.

called howard. consolation prize for no tennessee? baltimore, of course. a rough-around-the-edges city, with arm-wrestling challenges..

pick-up games

wine that admits mistakes
machine gun toters

and tots

killer birthdays

sinful buffets

overwhelming apartment views

yankees fans, bowling shoes..

ancient sports

more modern ones, still on crt

hope you hold onto that reputation, baltimore. more for me.


this week i

like putting vaccination risks into perspective.

helped a friend match up zip codes with urban/rural density codes.

received gourmet garlic for the season. 'italian purple' on the left, 'georgian fire' on the right. store-bought garlic tastes like wonderbread.

caught up with a friend over sticky rice.

shot pool at rocket bar.

went to sleep at 7pm monday, slept through my 5am alarm tuesday.


this week i

noted this hiccup cure.

have run sixty-four miles in the past four weeks.

remembered why rod stewart shouldn't have left the faces.

flew direct baltimore to detroit. think about that. overheard:

'my mother had a version of irish alzheimer's. she forgot everything but the grudges.'

'i always thought of myself as an honor's student. yes, your honor. no, your honor.'

'i have a spare one of those airplane oxygen masks. i like to wait until mid-flight when the guy next to me has gone to sleep, then put it on and nudge him real gentle till he wakes up.'

my good friend leila had finished half of her five year residency at detroit medical center, so i implored her to take a weekend off to show me the city. did i mention that she's a physician?
sampled fish jambalayas. octopus sushi a little tough.

found another great mid-western city-center farmer's market.

scoped out the old michigan theater..

..complete with parking lot attendants watching lcd flatscreen baseball by barrel-fire.

drove south to canada. south. to windsor, ontario. nothing there, except statues with makeshift monocles..

..and grapefruit-scented casino lavatory soap.

underground-partied in abandoned buildings..

..with innovative guitar picks.

heard a great band name idea: 'jenny mccarthy and the we-don't-vaccinate-our kids.'

late-night dined in coney island..

home to steady-armed servers..

..heels that double as vampire stakes..

..and genealogy disputes that pit brother against brother.

went to church in ann arbor, also had a religious experience at zola's. try the salmon omelet & moroccan coffee.

bumped into my other doctor friend, awori. apparently i know more physicians in michigan than all other states combined. by the way, those are my church clothes w/ holy headband.

couldn't categorize...

mid-city hula-hooping pedestrians, no explanation

ferocious feline mascots

structurally-impressive train stations..

..until zoom-in.

pastoral scenes reminiscent of baltimore


henry ford copycats

tanks + cranes > bulldozers + cranes

highest aluminum return rates in the nation


health insurers displaying awareness

ferris wheels

...and a boarded-up castle.

to re-iterate: a boarded-up castle.

..summary articles.

"on one side...runs a growing populist opposition to bailing out any more big companies...on the other side runs an equally powerful desire to stop a generation-long haemorrhaging of manufacturing jobs."