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Anatomy of an Analysis (Part 1)

A few weeks ago, the BBC News produced a list of the top 100 greatest American films based on input from critics from around the world. Here are the top ten films presented in rank order: Citizen Kane (Orson Welles, 1941) The Godfather (Francis Ford Coppola, 1972) Vertigo (Alfred Hitchcock, …

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Jon Stewart on Misinformation

I just finished watching Jon Stewart’s final episode of The Daily Show and I was glad see that his parting speech addressed the topic of misinformation (aka: bullshit) and how to recognize it. The following is a rough transcript: TRANSCRIPT: Jon Stewart delivers speech on “Bulls–t” during his final episode …

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Snow Days and the Flow of Information

Mood music for this post: Snow Day by Trip Shakespeare Friday was another snow day here in Wisconsin and I found it interesting to see how this piece of information wound its way through the various layers of the community. (For the uninitiated, a snow day is a weather-related closing …

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Data Literacy 101: What is Data?

Whenever the topic of data comes up at meetings or informal conversations it doesn’t take long for people’s eyes to glaze over. The subject is usually considered so complex and esoteric that only a few technically-minded geeks find value in the details. This easy dismissal of data is a real …

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A 12-Year-Old’s Take on Data and Analysis

I asked my daughter what she thought data was last night. Her text to me at 11:45 pm: Okay, so you asked me what data was at the motorcycle thing today and at first, I didn’t really think about that much I just said an answer if what I thought …

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Who’s Your Filter? (Nate Silver Edition)

“There are two ways to be fooled. One is to believe what isn’t true; the other is to refuse to believe what is true.” ~ Søren Kierkegaard Back in 2010, I wrote a short post about some of the problems associated with getting all of your news and information from …

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Most Popular Word Roots in U.S. Place Names

My family visited Washington D.C. last year for Spring Break and, during our 12-hour drive, I remember noticing a subtle change in the names of the cities and towns we were passing through. In the beginning, the place names had a familiar mid-western flavor; one that mixed Native American origins …