this week i

updated our analysis of seniors' budgets spent on healthcare.

spent the weekend at my father's, seen here proudly displaying the result of an as-seen-on-tv pineapple slicer.

recorded his two and a half hour-long oral history.  my biographer will have it easy.  now his will too.

think evaporation is a bizarro property of the universe.  also that water expands rather than contracts when turned to ice; other elements just don't do that.

watched mongol - kind of like batman begins, but for ghengis khan.  constant fighting on the central asian steppes.  over what?  population pressure, probably.  perpetual war between tribes has mostly gone extinct, but when we run out of resources, do we fall back into the spiral of deadly neighborhood feuds?

ate dishes from around the french-speaking world and listened to cape verdean music at the french embassy.  oh and bluegrass thursday, a helluvalotta fun.

have nothing if not health.

read my name is red, by nobel laureate orhan pamuk.  a master of perspective.

nay, i wouldn't have believed i could take anyone's life, even if i'd been told so moments before i murdered that fool; and thus, my offense at times recedes from me like a foreign galleon disappearing on the horizon

only imbeciles are innocent

to avoid disappointment in art, one mustn't treat it as a career

one morning, i awoke to find that a giant of a man-god protect him, he was as tall as a minaret with hands like a lion's claws-had climbed up onto this branch of mine and hidden beneath my lush leaves together with the aforementioned hoja and, excuse the expression, they were going at it like dogs in heat.  while the giant, whom i later realized was the devil, attended to his business with our hero, he was compassionately kissing his lovely ear and whispering into it, 'coffee is a sin, coffee is a vice...'  accordingly, those who believe in the harmful effects of coffee, believe not in the commandments of our good religion, but in the devil himself

painting is the silence of thought and the music of sight

envy is the prime emotion in life

if i didn't exist, however, no one would be able to distinguish a good artist from a bad one, and this would lead to chaos among the miniaturists; they'd all be at each other's throats.  so i haven't vanished.  i've entered the purse of the most talented and intelligent of miniaturists and made my way here

the cold, which was enough to make a fox shit copper, drove into my bones

we were two men in love with the same woman; he was in front of me and completely unaware of my presence as we walked through the turning and twisting streets of istanbul, climbing and descending, we traveled like brethren through deserted streets given over to battling packs of street dogs, passed burnt ruins where jinns loitered, mosque courtyards where angels reclined on domes to sleep, beside cypress trees murmuring to the souls of the dead, beyond the edges of snow-covered cemeteries crowded with ghosts, just out of sight of brigands strangling their victims, passed endless shops, stables, dervish houses, candle works, leather works and stone walls; and as we made ground, i felt i wasn't following him at all, but rather, i was imitating him

like our own eyes which reflect light like a mirror and absorb it like a well

from story to history, from history to legend

if i were to advise them that they could extend this period by drinking coffee, i know quite well that some, because it was satan speaking, would do the exact opposite and refuse coffee entirely, or worse yet, stand on their heads and try pouring it into their asses

satan slyly boarding noah's ark

in the cities of the european franks, women roam about exposing not only their faces, but also their brightly shining hair (after their necks, their most attractive feature), their arms, their beautiful throats, and even, if what i've heard is true, a portion of their gorgeous legs; as a result, the men of those cities walk about with great difficulty, embarrassed and in extreme pain, because, you see, their front sides are always erect and this fact naturally leads to the paralysis of their society.  undoubtedly, this is why each day the frank infidel surrenders another fortress to us ottomans


this week i

released my first package on cran.  this code allows r users to read an ascii file directly into r as a data frame, by parsing out a sas input syntax file.  so, for example, analyzing national health interview survey or ipums data has always required the purchase of sas, stata, or spss.  until now.

listened to the white freightliner blues, introduced by lyle lovett's new album, then found gillian welch's beautiful wail and steve earl's wild old tune.  they all rip your heart out, but in different ways.

averaged 350+ views per day on the first week of my new r statistical programming learning blog  plain fucking insane.

set the magic number at 720 views per day.  since 24 hours x 60 minutes = 1,440 minutes in a day divided by two minutes per twotorial, at 720 views per day, on average, someone would always be listening to my voice.  why?  what are your life goals?

refuse to join twitter, but thank them for the coverage anyway.  send me ideas for what you don't understand about r, please?

smartbiked.  and look like this nowadays.

celebrated amir's birthday at karaoke.

saw the last reef 3d, who knew sea slugs were so pretty.  not me.

read the three worlds of captain john smith - enslaved by the ottomans, kept a colony alive in america, then spent the rest of his life writing about it.  undistilled academic research, not yet a story for a broader audience.  and..

disney screwed up pocahontas (she was a young child when she quote unquote saved his life)

 ..and old maps are fantastic.

preferring voluntary death to the refinements of turkish legal retribution, john smith dressed himself in charatza's brother's clothes, stuffed the corpse under some straw, filled his knapsack, shut the barn doors, mounted the brother's horse, and galloped off into the waste

the colonists still 'would rather starve and rot with idleness, than be persuaded to do anything for their own relief without constraint.'  so wrote john smith

john smith, diminutive warrior from the battlefields of turk and tatar, was admitted to the august presence of the autocrat of tidewater virginia

trade ensued, and soon the english had acquired bear meat, venison, bearskins, fish, bows, arrows, clubs, and shields - the last-mentioned apparently of basketwork

smith's rebellion against london dogma was in obedience to the need for survival

rats are not native to america

better it is to make a decent profit out of what you have, than everlastingly dream of alchemy


this week i

launched my r statistical programming tutorials website.  videos explaining one concept, two minute maximum.  you have always wanted to learn statistical programming. now is your chance.  tell everyone.

got picked up by the revolution analytics blog.  david smith describes my work a lot better than i do.  also joined the r-bloggers network.

aim to semi-replicate khan academy videos, but for the short attention span of a computer programmer.  and salman khan's ted talk shouldn't be missed.

e-mailed emma: "i am having dinner with bill frist on thursday how is mogadishu" ..and final report: both excellent.

strive for a razor wit and cuddly everything else.

watched it happened one night.  78 years old, one of only three movies to win all five.

ate late night krispy kreme.

attended physics is phun at u.m.d.  gives you hope for humanity that so many people have nothing they'd rather be doing on friday night.

saw buddha and frida.

read gawande's complications.  even more than his other books, he's just rambling.  he's perfected a calm, omniscient voice, so it's enjoyable to read.  but don't expect a thesis beyond: medicine is hard.

'wow, that must hurt,' i blurted out idiotically

conscious learning becomes unconscious knowledge, and you cannot say precisely how

among the most provocative stimuli for space sickness in astronauts is simply seeing another astronaut float by upside down, which can produce a sudden, nauseating perception that you are the one who is upside down

'an autopsy?'..'hasn't she been through enough?'


this week i

work hard to remain ever-skeptical of tradition.

created some works of r.

converted to a standing desk.

invested fifteen minutes in shakespearean pulp fiction.  best line: "we should have broadswords"  no, wait, best line: "have he the semblance of a harlot?"

donated to girard college at dad's request.  my father's education and my current paychecks both the products of philanthropy.

watched chungking express, two magically silly love stories in a cinematographer's playground.  and look: a grown man resting against a fish tank, pining, and combing his life-sized stuffed animal?

consider climate change the revenge of the titanic.


read stiff, surely the best book about corpses that there will ever be.

kindly, dying southerners willed their bodies for the betterment of science, only to end up as practice runs for nose jobs?

he must mangle the living if he has not operated on the dead

a rice grain mosh pit

in exchange for a price break in the cost of embalming and other mortuary services, customers agree to let students practice on their loved ones.  like getting a $5 haircut at the vidal sassoon academy, sort of, sort of not

john cavanaugh calls down that there's pizza upstairs, and the three of us, deb, matt mason, and i, leave the dead man by himself.  it feels a little rude.

seventy-three percent of flight 800's passengers had serious aortic tears

here is the secret to surviving one of these crashes: be male.  in a 1970 civil aeromedical institute study of three crashes involving emergency evacuations, the most prominent factor influencing survival was gender (followed closely by proximity to exit).  adult males were by far the most likely to get out alive.  why?  presumably because they pushed everyone else out of the way.

you put your hand on your heart and you picture something pulsing slightly but basically still, like a hand on a desktop tapping morse code.  this thing is going wild in alien life form that's just won a pontiac on the price is right.

druggists in the middle ages sold menstrual blood as maid's zenith and prettied it up with rosewater

it wasn't until about 1920..that the average patient with the average illness seeing the average physician came off better for the encounter