Scented candle reviews on Amazon and Covid-19

Prompted by a tweet about scented candles without smell and Covid-19, Kate Petrova plotted Amazon reviews for scented and unscented candles over time. Notice the downward trend for scented candles after the first confirmed case for Covid-19. Interesting if true. I’m imagining a bunch of people opening their new scented candles, taking a big whiff, and not smelling anything. What a jip. But I wonder if there are outside forces...

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Jobs of a data scientist

Roger Peng outlines four main roles of a data scientist: If you’re reading this and find yourself saying “I’m not an X” where X is either scientist, statistician, systems engineer, or politician, then chances are that is where you are weak at data science. I think a good data scientist has to have some skill in each of these domains in order to be able to complete the basic data...

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Leftover Turkey Flowchart

I roasted a turkey. There were a lot of leftovers. But my mom taught me to never waste. Read More

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Mapping 250,000 people

As we’ve talked about before, it can be hard to really understand the scale of big numbers. So when we hear that over 250,000 people died because of the coronavirus, it can be hard to conceptualize that number in our head. Lauren Tierney and Tim Meko for The Washington Post provide a point of comparison by highlighting counties that have have populations under 250,000. Whole counties, or whole clusters of...

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What to Call Your Distant Relative

When you have a big family, it's sometimes a challenge how everyone is related. So here are some charts to help you figure it out. Read More

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Fake faces created by AI and where this might be headed

It’s grown easier and easier to generate fake faces with AI. For The New York Times, Kashmir Hill and Jeremy White demonstrate the tech with a slick interactive. Quickly adjust age, eye, mood, and gender. All fake. It was only a few years ago when the idea seemed novel. One year later, there were guides (and warnings) for spotting fake faces. By 2019, there was a marketplace for fake faces...

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Where there are hospital staff shortages

Reporting for NPR, Sean McMinn and Selena Simmons-Duffins on staffing shortages: On data availability: This is the first time the federal agency has released this data, which includes limited reports going back to summer. The federal government consistently started collecting this data in July. After months of steadily trending upward, the number of hospitals reporting shortages crossed 1,000 this month and has stayed above since. The data, however, are still...

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Small gatherings can be dangerous too

A small gathering of 10 people or fewer can seem like a low-risk activity, and at the individual level, it’s lower risk than going to a big birthday party. But when a lot of people everywhere are gathering, small or large, the collective risk goes up. For FiveThirtyEight, Maggie Koerth and Elena Mejía illustrate the reasoning. The collective part is where many seem to get tripped up. “Flattening the curve”...

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Analysis of representation in crossword puzzles

For The Pudding, Michelle McGhee analyzed representation in crossword puzzles. Some crossword publications do better than others. As of December 2019, The USA Today puzzle is edited by Erik Agard, a 27-year old crossword champ who told me, “bringing some balance on the representation front is something I actively try to do.” A prominent crossword blogger called USA Today’s puzzle “the most interesting, innovative, and provocative daily crossword” out right...

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✚ Visualization Tools and Resources – November 2020 Roundup

Here's the good stuff for November. Read More

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