Well, it’s a gloomy weekend here, but luckily I have a good book to curl up with, thanks to my fabulous younger brother.  I’ve mentioned Nate Silver’s 538 blog as one of my favorites for breaking down election/political statistics, and it turns out he has a new book out.  Before I could figure out if I wanted to buy it or not, it showed up at my door, courtesy of and my brother Tim.  Review to follow I’m sure.

Next, I set up a new email address for this blog, in case any of my wonderful readers should stumble across any studies you think would work well on this site.  My time has been a bit crunched post-baby, so I’d appreciate any interesting articles to spur more posting.  If you see one, feel free to send it to baddatabad at gmail dot com (or hit the email me button on my profile).

That’s it for now, have a lovely weekend!

Think I’ll have myself a beer

Well, I made it through the first work “week”, though not without getting on the wrong commuter rail on the way home and winding up quite a few miles away from anywhere familiar.  Did I mention I then got threatened by a 14 year old who seemed to think I was mildly out of line for being at the train stop when she wanted to smoke pot there with her friends?  Because I did.  Sigh*.

Given all that, this chart from the Economist seemed appropriate.

I like this graphic because it juxtaposes two interesting things….average wages and the price of alcohol.  I had no idea the Brits and Aussie’s were paying so much for their booze, but it’s interesting to see how well the developed world still comes out in this.

I did have to wonder whether this was average beer prices or lowest cost beer, and for what region.  I actually am allergic to beer, so I’m not sure if that $1.80 for 500 mL (17 oz or so) is accurate or common.  Seemed a bit low to me, but it’s likely because it’s part of a retail price for a six pack, not the bar prices I’ve seen.

Regardless, I was glad to see that if I needed to do some drinking, I’m apparently in the right country for it.

*In case you’re curious how I fared in this encounter with the Roslindale hooligans, the answer is strangely.  I was pretty over the top upset about the train thing (it was unmarked with a broken PA system so I couldn’t even correct my mistake quickly as they weren’t announcing any stops).  In my tired still post-partum hormonal state, I really couldn’t handle this child attempting to impress her friends, and ended up rolling my eyes at her and walking off with a “Fine, whatever”.  I think she was genuinely surprised by that response, couldn’t think of a comeback and then I was gone.  It occurred to me later that I had quite possibly just out teenagered a teenager.  

Ultimately, my very sweet husband came and found me, which was quite nice of him.

Odds and ends

A few good links from readers:

A good piece from the Assistant Village Idiot on zero points in graphs.  Especially in an election year, I’ve been seeing a lot of these graphs with deceptive scales.  Axes matter.

From Dubbahdee, a link entitled “The Most Dishonest thing Fox News Has Ever Done“.  I can’t say I watch Fox news (or any other network for that matter), but I’ll agree this was pretty darn deceptive.   In an attempt to show the worsening economy, they reported the official unemployment rate from 2009 with the “real’ unemployment rate from 2012…making it look like unemployment had doubled in the last three years.  Aren’t there enough real problems going on to keep them busy?

From my dear brother, Scientific America’s piece on the political candidates view on science/science policy. Disgustingly full of rhetoric, but interesting nevertheless.

Brief update

Leave it to xkcd to post a comic that perfectly describes my life right now.
Still trying to figure out when to blog, but his lordship seems to be sleeping in progressively longer bouts, so I may get some time back soon.
I’m feeling very motivated to post regularly again, as my brother let me know this morning that I have in fact made a difference in the world.  He’s currently an executive producer on a new film about poverty in America, and apparently felt one of the stats the filmmaker used was a bit fishy.  He looked up the source and felt it was a deceptive stat, and asked her not to use it.  Then he called me and told me about it.  I feel I’ve accomplished something here.
If your curious, the movie is here: