this week i

was impressed by obama's debate at the republican house conference.

plan to start working through these lectures on statistical methods for sample surveys.

received a locks of love thank you postcard.
liked the setting, hated the english language acting of the love in the time of cholera movie.

concluded physician pay for performance calculations need to require p-values tighter than 95% confidence. would you tolerate a 10-20% fluctuation in your paycheck every year? also unimpressed by composite measures: they excuse an audience from taking the time to understand the science.

was snowed out of another nashville trip. back to the office to examine medicare beneficiaries' access to care over time instead.


this week i

donated to that orphanage. as usual, the onion nailed it. and here's a donation visualization.

built a profile of uninsured childless adults below 133% of poverty, compared them to the current medicaid population.

presented a poster on my r transition paper at the international conference on health policy statistics.

(click here to view)

celebrated sans reason with fellow health policy statisticians.

donned my best halo, updated a picture.

ate ethiopian at zed's. also: the chronological last line of pulp fiction? "zed's dead, baby. zed's dead."

want to be quoted on this: "to manufacture a need, and then to profit off of it. add that to the roots of all evil."

chilled out in baltimore with three of my amigos...

hauled invisible kegs.

ate mac, cheese, belgian chocolate..

and foie gras french fries.

made a night of it.

baltimore: where the streets are a scene out of scorsese's taxi driver..

where the moon is always over your shoulder..

and where sunrise means a hot chicken masala dumpling buffet.

watched some football with my dad..

..over shrimp pizza.


this week i

re-wrote our medically underserved area research plan to study health professional shortage areas instead. hrsa claims the data are more reliable.

think that the onion will always be america's finest news source (1) (2).

had an appointment with a physical therapist re: wrist pain. she pulled out a protractor - my hands can stretch 25 degrees further than the average person's. i've been instructed to wear wrist braces forever and always. beginning to sympathize with lampshade dogs.

have been reading this blog written by an american roman catholic priest & orphanage director in southwestern haiti for a long time now; his current posts are worth paying attention to.

migrated to google voice. solves the problem of having both a home and work number.

watched y tu mama tambien: fantastic storytelling. also avatar 3d: an eye-candy mishmash retelling of pocahontas, the matrix, and david v. goliath.

received my canon powershot g11. snapped the first thing in sight.


this week i

was a part of new york city.

read fates worth than death by kurt vonnegut. he calls it 'skyscraper national park'.

toured leonardo da vinci's workshop with max. the company much better than the exhibit.

ate like a king at good, calle ocho, and cafe moto. also: homemade sweet potato gnocchi at ben's.

enjoyed this comic visualization of gravity wells. and these birds in the subway stairwells. and google's excellent decision.

reviewed some probability distribution computations. i've always liked probabilities, but haven't had much of a chance to use them at work (and therefore learn them cold). in jared diamond's book, he mentions, "with a very high probability of being correct, i can predict that, of the next 1,000 babies born ... not fewer than 480 or more than 520 will be boys." using the binomial probability formula, one can calculate the probability that exactly 480 out of the next 1,000 babies will be boys (0.01134), then calculate the probability that exactly 481 out of the next 1,000 will be boys (0.01226), and repeat this calculation up until 520 - summing all of the results. of course, r does this much faster -

#probability that less than 480 of the next 1,000 babies will be boys
x <- pbinom( 479 , 1000 , 0.5 )
#probability that more than 520 of the next 1,000 babies will be boys
y <- 1 - pbinom( 520 , 1000 , 0.5 )
#probability that between 480 and 520 of the next 1,000 babies will be boys
1 - (x + y)

80.52% !

learned of the census bureau's statistical abstract project (since 1878) - (washington post summary).


this week i

traveled through four continents.

celebrated my 10,000th day on earth.

published my first paper. (helps sas, stata, and sudaan healthcare analysts transition to r.)

woke up in greek cyprus.

flew to egypt. museumed. discovered four thousand year old cairo chimps with true-to-life genitalia.

metroed to giza.

rode a horse to the pyramids.

watched the last sunset of the decade.

expected as much.

walked by the nile.

flew to amman, bused to the border, noted the jordanian prussian soldier gear.

hitchhiked to jerusalem, with..
neon cauliflower

and mountains of spice.

didn't negotiate hard, paid $35 for this.

saw the sights..

yasser araf-hats

why didn't i think of that-s

crossed the checkpoint.. ramallah..

and her uninhabited settlements.

and her ill-advised children's toys.
and her americana.

..and her unfairly delicious sundaes.

turned south to sunday mass in bethlehem.

onward christian tourist-pilgrims.

baby jesus wuz here.

have a favorite palestinian t-shirt: "guns & moses" / favorite graffiti: "one wall two jails"

saw the dead sea, a failed historic site preservation attempt.

flew to new york city. worked from my remote office for a few days.

hope / resolve to travel while working remotely in the future. better to ease into a city, and stay connected to my career at the same time.

read a long way gone, a memoir written by a fellow graduate of oberlin who (nobody knew) had been a child soldier. worthwhile, but strangely edited: "this is your time to revenge the deaths of your families."

stopped reading karen armstrong's buddha halfway through. a mix of contextual history, religious philosophy, and physiological explanations, the author strays from her stated goal of biographing too often to maintain a captivating storyline.


this week i

crashed christmas dinner with dani's family in lebanon. notice my winged velociraptor kicking a soccerball t-shirt at the elaborate feast commemorating the birth of our lord and savior jesus christ.

in case you don't know dani: her family brings out the inappropriate dresser in me.


consumed a philadelphia cheesesteak in beirut. actually, amman was the ancient site of roman philadelphia. get with the program, arab sandwich vendors.

roasted chestnuts over an open fire.

should have expected..
wheelies being popped. recycling programs.

hmm what are those bullet hole-shaped holes in that building

yum calamari, just gimme a sec while i thrash your dinner against some rocks

megachurches next to megamosques

and megastores attempting to blend in with both

breathtaking peninsular views ironically blocked by cedar trees

beirut rocks

hopped over to visit huseyin and the turkish republic of northern cyprus.

not yet internationally recognized, this mountainside taunt flag can best be seen from the greek side's president's window.

a cushy assignment for un peacekeepers..

..for now.

climbed mountains.

saw beautiful kyrenia harbor.

had some family time..

and some fireside meat-crepes.

tailgated the prime minister.

saw the bottom of the mediterranean..

..and the easternmost point in the european union..

..and yes, it's true what they say. the easternmost point of the european union is (zoom in) a donkey preserve.

also experienced..

chocosandwiches & coffee

confusing combinations

craggy rocks

copyright violations

next to godliness

don't understand why anyone would leave.

read marvin harris' cows, pigs, wars, & witches..

it's okay to occasionally "threaten a fact with a theory."

"my favorite being the hindus who refuse to eat beef even though they're starving."

"during droughts and famines, farmers are severely tempted to kill or sell their livestock. those who succumb to this temptation will be unable to plow their fields."

"more calories go up in useless heat and smoke during a single day of traffic jams in the united states than is wasted by all the cows of india during an entire year."

"the divine prohibition against pork constituted a sound ecological strategy."

"by placing a premium upon maximizing the number of combat-ready adult males, warfare obliges primitive societies to limit their nurturance of females."

"the yanomami term for marriage translates as 'dragging something away' and divorce as 'throwing something away'."

"the yanomami have two words for hunger - one that denotes an empty stomach, while the other that denotes a full stomach that craves meat."

"the christian gospels fail to expound or even mention jesus' relationship to the jewish liberation struggle."

"the principal result of the witch hunt system was that the poor come to believe that they were being victimized by witches and devils instead of princes and popes...the witch mania was an integral part of the defense of that institutional structure."