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Face sculptures using DNA from chewed gum

In her 2012 piece Stranger Visions, Heather Dewey-Hagborg used DNA found in public left in chewed gum, cigarette butts, and hair to construct estimated face busts.

Dater’s Index

By Emily McDowell, this recounting of dates initiated by the internet is funny.

DNA face estimation

Parabon NanoLabs is working on a service that provides face estimates using DNA found at crime scenes.

Best time to visit DMV

I think there are people who still go to the Department of Motor Vehicles without an appointment. Because who doesn't like a good session of waiting in line?

R site updated

The R site has a new face. It looked dated for years — maybe decades — so I'm glad it got a refresh (with further updates in the coming months I assume).

[Members Only] How to Make and Use Bar Charts in R

The chart type seems simple enough, but there sure are a lot of bad ones out there. Get yourself out of default mode.

Probably not a heat map

A heat map is a grid of numbers colored by value. I wrote a quick tutorial on how to make the now common statistical visualization.

Where to Find Jeopardy! Daily Doubles

Placement of Daily Double clues, from season 14 up to now. Watch them play out. Continue reading →

Madden ratings formula

In football video game Madden, NFL players are scored based on skill, which determines how they play in the game.

rvest: R package to scrape web data

Inspired by the Python libraries RoboBrowser and BeautifulSoup, the rvest package by Hadley Wickham helps you scrape web data via R in a similar way.

Spreadsheets for life

Planet Money goes back to a 1984 article by Steven Levy that discusses this new thing called a spreadsheet.

Texas hold ‘em win probabilities

Software engineer Chris Beaumont visualized the strength of opponent hands in Texas hold 'em, given any other hand.

Gambler’s perspective on sports team win probabilities

Michael Beuoy's win probability model plotted on FiveThirtyEight starts all NBA teams at a 50% chance of winning.

Every NBA team’s chances of winning, by game minute

Michael Beuoy made a win probability model for NBA teams and games, based on play-by-play data from 2000 to 2012.

Identifying cheaters in test results, a simple method

Jonathan Dushoff has had issues with students in his population biology class cheating on his exams. One year there was suspicious behavior, but Dushoff or the proctors weren't able to prove the students cheated as it happened.

Bayes’ theorem explained with LEGO bricks

Bayes' theorem is covered in introduction to statistics and probability courses, but I think a lot of people starting out don't understand it conceptually.

White House appoints first US Chief Data Scientist

Did you hear the news? The White House officially appointed DJ Patil as the federal government's first ever Chief Data Scientist.

A photo of everything touched, for 11 years

Artist Alberto Frigo took a picture of every object he used with his right hand for the past 11 years.

Top 1% earners versus bottom 90%

Quoctrung Bui for Planet Money plotted average income for the top one percent of earners against the average income of the bottom 90%, from 1920 to 2012.

[Members Only] Make an Interactive Map with Category Filters

Let readers focus on the regions they care about to make their own comparisons and conclusions. Continue reading →