Saturday, November 3, 2012

Data visualization of the day (looks silver to me)

(h/t I Love Charts)

"512 Paths to the White House" at NY Times
Oh, hey, weren't we just talking about how Obama has a better than 80% chance of winning re-election next week? No? It was about Nate Silver's personal life, right, sorry.

The NY Times (who are part of the liberal elite, the Illuminati, the Trilateral Commission and the Vatican cabals and also are affiliated with the gay Nate Silver, who is gay and therefore biased [although he predicted Taraji P. Henson over Penelope Cruz, so he can't be that gay], obviously) has an interactive visualization that plays out the electoral college results based on which candidate wins in 9 swing states.

I'm sure the people at Unskewed Polls will simply pick Romney as the winner for all 9 and enjoy the rest of their weekend. By the way, nothing conveys credibility like a professionally-designed website. And this is nothing like a professionally-designed website. It's like the Drudge Report but with COLORS and no consistent column layout. They are so not gay.
I am not linking to them, sorry

The Silver Age

(h/t John Voelcker via Twitter)

Nate Silver (as if you didn't already know)
Nate Silver is, according to 16-time Emmy winner Jon Stewart, the President of Statistics.

And I don't disagree.

Nate rose to fame first as a sports talking dude, then as a political polls talking dude through the power of Keith Olbermann. Keith from back before whatever the fuck turned Craig Kilborn into a total douche got to him too. That Keith also brought us Rachel Maddow, Chris Hayes and Eugene Robinson. I miss that Keith.

Anyway, if you didn't know how Nate became the President of Statistics, it started in 2008 (as far as I'm concerned) when he picked the Tampa Bay Rays over Liza Minelli for the American League tiara. That doesn't sound right. The American League sash? Purse? Pendant! The American League Pendant.

Close enough.

Anyway, the dude uses the power of math, in the form of multivariate statistical analyses, to assess politics. His current assessment of the Presidential race ("For Romney To Win, State Polls Must Be Statistically Biased") is that there is a better than 80% chance of Obama winning. This does not mean he's saying that Obama will win with 80% of the vote, just that the likelihood he will win is greater than 80%.

And I'm pretty sure he maintains an objective delivery of his results. He's not a pundit trying to tell candidates which topics or voter groups to focus on, he's just explaining the likelihood of various possible outcomes based on statistical models. No pieces of flair needed.

Or maybe I'm blind to it.

But if someone says something you don't want to hear, then OBVIOUSLY something is wrong, and it's probably the messenger, never the message. At least that's how Romney supporters are reacting to Nate's predictions.

It couldn't possibly be the case that, when you consider the electoral college and individual state polls, that Mittens isn't likely to win next Tuesday. There must be something wrong with Nate Silver. Something that will challenge his credibility. "He hates these cans!"

No, wait, I mean he's gay!

I know!!!

Me too.

Still, if you don't like what he is saying, that's a perfectly valid reason to dismiss it. I mean, it's totally not, and why the fuck isn't our country better than, but whatever, right? You can't be gay and objectively, credibly and accurately work with statistical models. 95% of my analyses all say "go suck a cock" which is weird, but if that's what the data tells you...

Anyway, Gawker has a great piece on the anti-Nate rhetoric here.
Nate Silver is a man of very small stature, a thin and effeminate man with a soft-sounding voice that sounds almost exactly like the “Mr. New Castrati” voice used by Rush Limbaugh on his program. In fact, Silver could easily be the poster child for the New Castrati in both image and sound. Nate Silver, like most liberal and leftist celebrities and favorites, might be of average intelligence but is surely not the genius he’s made out to be.-Dean Chambers of Unskewed Polls (which I hope for his sake is an elaborate performance piece about arrogance and stupidity and not some actual thing anyone takes seriously) 
The article calls Chambers the Meat Loaf of numbers, but that's totally unfair to Meat Loaf.

Here's Nate on the Daily Show from a couple of weeks ago. He's not as adorkable as my future ex-boyfriend Glenn Greenwald, but I'd do him. It's what the data tells me.

Song of the Day: "Silver Age"

Golden Age (left); Silver Age (right)
Earlier this week I said I'd be posting songs of the day from the 10 albums on the Mercury Prize short list, and I started with Alt-J.

And then like the next day the winner was announced.

And it was Alt-J.

I am super influential.

But now if I post the other 9 it would seem a lot like "here are the losers" which seems a little tacky. Not that I'm above doing that, just that Django Django hasn't wronged me (yet).

Instead I am going with another track from the new Bob Mould album. Since I got on that big social network deal-y I have been Spotified, and Friday was Bob Mould day for me.

"Never too old to contain my rage"... Love it!

Song: "Silver Age"
Artist: Bob Mould

Friday, November 2, 2012

Christmas is coming

(h/t Erin)

If anyone's looking for a present for me, this is up at The Goodfoot.

And totally unrelated, but kinda, from Adam at work.

Our fate is in the hands of the people of Ohio...

(h/t Wonkette)

... We. Are. Fucked.

Song of the Day: "Ramada Inn"

New music from Neil Young & Crazy Horse. My uncle and aunt drove down to Miami for, I'm guessing a football game, and she was grooving on Neil Young on the drive down, so this is somewhat timely.

My little sister warned her not to let me know, but she probably doesn't know that I live a relatively classic rock-free existence, so I can handle for longer periods of time than I used to (or I just told her to turn off whatever she was listening to because I'm her bratty older brother). And this is new, so it's not even classic yet.

I'm still confused as to whether or not Neil Young sings "Horse With No Name" but we can discuss that later.

Song: "Ramada Inn"
Artist: Neil Young & Crazy Horse

Thursday, November 1, 2012

Monty is for Mittens

Song of the Day: "Tessellate"

Lefthanded Toons via Real Numeracy
Not to be confused with Tokyo Police Club's song of the same name (which I fucking love), this "Tessellate" is by ∆ (which is pronounced "Alt-J" the way !!! is pronounced "chk-chk-chk"). 

Their debut, An Awesome Wave, is nominated for this year's Mercury Prize and this post will kick off my attempt at recapping those via songs of the day.

And if you don't know what the word tessellate means, read a book.

Also there's a helpful illustration over on the right.

Since I typically get provolone cheese, I'm indifferent to whether or not Subway tessellates as a default (because provolone cheese slices are round before being cut in half, so the fit is not as precise as it would be with triangles). Life is imperfect, people, learn to cope. The wonderful employees of Subway are artists, not assembly line zombies!

Song: "Tessellate"
Artist: ∆

Quote of the day

(h/t Towleroad)
"My guess is, he wants to get ahead of it -- he doesn't want anybody to accuse him of not being on top of it or not paying attention or playing politics in the middle of it. He probably figured Sunday was a good day to do a press conference." -- Michael "Heckuvajob Brownie" Brown on Obama's response to That Bitch Sandy™
Former show horse judge turned FEMA Director Michael Brown who, despite, you know, EVERYTHING, actually has a job.

And, AND, he probably earns more than me.

He's a talk radio talking dude (it's like being a blogger but you don't have to know how to spell [altogether now: "which you don't"]) in Denver, and he had some radio talking ideas about how the emergency management over That Bitch Sandy™ was all wrong. And he should know.

Why would you go to all the trouble of closing the barn doors if the horses are all still in the barn? That makes no sense. They're right there. Why worry about the doors? The horses are right here.

Apparently Brown's theory is that by talking about the storm (editorial note: because the storm was no longer a hurricane and was not even a tropical storm [it was a post-tropical super storm, duh] when it made land, I'm applying the long-dormant name That Bitch Sandy™ to it) early (as in Sunday), when people might be able to prepare in an orderly manner, somehow Obama blew it.  Details here.

Brown said the day to have the press conference was Monday, not Sunday (like a socialist fascist tyrant wealth-distributing anti-colonial Kenyan). Dumbass.

FUN FACT: Obama also had a press conference on Monday too.

Good ideas: they don't have to be mutually exclusive.

Now is the perfect time for Weird Al to adapt John Mellencamp's "Jackie Brown" into "Michael Brown" (Is this your life Michael Brown, Poorly educated and forced to live on the poor side of town). Someone get him on that please.

Tuesday, October 30, 2012

Song of the Day: "Walkin' Down My Street"

(h/t Jeremy)

This track was sent around to my coworker peeps because the band, Nude Beach (yes, from Brooklyn), harnesses some of the exuberance of a young, non-racist, Elvis Costello. Which is a good thing. I'll even go so far as to waive Costello's more than 30-year old drunken ramblings (what WON'T happen in Columbus, Ohio?)--he probably had no idea that James Brown stopped a race riot in Boston anyway.

My only issue with this otherwise great track: no nudity, no beach. It reminds me of the classic Simpsons quote re: Naked Lunch but at least I can solve the problem this time. You're welcome.

Now that's a proper nude beach. But to keep my blog PG-rated, I did post pictures of Elvis Costello over the genitalia above. Let me know if you want the full monty, I'll send it over.

A note to my new Roddy Frame fan peeps

Make sure you friend me on the Facebook or hit me up on Twitter (@jonesrich) or email me (jonesrich at gmail dot com) because I'm eager to keep in touch with Steven and Brian (who provided hours of conversation as we waited on the doors to open), and Christine (who I didn't roofie) and Pam but I'm not having a lot of luck finding them directly via Fbook. I guess I need more practice.

Meanwhile, a few more Roddy pics and some additional photos of Paisley Abbey:
I took this, no flash on camera

Security guard took this--I think that's ___ (I'm bad
with names) who didn't get a picture with Roddy!
I think this is partial credit for that!

Here are some exterior shots of the Abbey. In the grand scheme of things 850 years isn't that old, but if this were in the states they would have razed in decades ago for a strip mall, I'm fairly certain.

And a final few pictures from the interior of the Abbey. It's a shame that camera didn't have a flash but luckily the series of tubes offers this.

Baptismal or christening fount
I didn't see what else was inscribed on the fount above, but as I peruse the inter-tubez now, it's entirely possible that "suffer" is the only word on it.

Although from what I read, baptism pairs suffering with healing, so maybe there was something a little more "glass half full" on the other side.

It's not quite Starbucks-levels of ubiquity

Paisley Scotland

But when you consider that I ran across more Claire's Boutiques (4 in total, only 2 of which I got pictures of) than I did McDonald's and Burger King locations, I'm a little impressed.

The pecking order, at least in terms of ubiquity, as I recall it:

  • Starbucks
  • Subway
  • Claire's Boutique
  • Burger King
  • McDonald's (which is silly since I was in Scotland and, hello, McDonald's, Scottish)
Native retailer Tesco outpaced everything but Starbucks, but then Starbucks doesn't have any natural predators in Caledonia.


Monday, October 29, 2012

Scenes from my Saturday night

Luckily some of my new friends posted some videos which I'll repost here. He opened with a lovely version of "Stray":

I was probably most excited that he did "Spanish Horses" and "Black Lucia" from Dreamland, and said he'd recently been in touch with Ryuichi Sakamato about another their doing another collaboration. He was worried about tackling "Spanish Horses" (that's some serious guitar work) but I told him he'd do fine and I was right (I was front row center, so I know he heard me), but that's been edited out.

You can hear him acknowledge me as the dude from Oregon here:

Paisley Abbey
"majestic" says I
The venue, an 850-year old abbey, was majestic. In fact, I'd have been intimidated by it, but fortunately for all of us, no one was there to see me perform.

The town of Paisley (filled with junkies and "ugly people," or so the barista at the airport Starbucks warned me).

Paisley also has a special place in the post-punk music scene of Scotland, which Roddy explains here (and does one of my favorite of his solo tracks)--and that includes the first Aztec Camera gig, opening for The Teardrop Explodes and, since I know them, that makes me old:

Hopefully more pics and stories tomorrow, but for now, bed time.

Sunday, October 28, 2012

Song of the Day: "Backseat Driver"

One of my favorite things about being overseas is the exposure to new music. Tonight I got my first taste of Sabrina Starke on MTNL (whatever that is). I am writing this on Sunday night but setting it up (I think) to post Monday morning. Let's see how this works...

Song: "Backseat Driver"
Artist: Sabrina Starke

So this happened

Me and Bobby McGee Roddy
Here's what you need to know so far: amazing show, front row center seat, met some amazing and interesting people who I hope to figure out how to get in touch with (via the Facingbooks) and didn't make a fool of myself when I met Rod.

And also no one in Scotland knows who he is or The Blue Nile or Trashcan Sinatras.

But Twin Atlantic sold out 2 nights at Barrowlands.

Time to leave for Hamsterdam.

Song of the Day: "Live Your Life"

My post-Roddy morning is somewhat chaotic. Can't organize pics or videos but I can at least post this lovely track I tagged via Shazam waiting for Skyfall to start yesterday morning.

I don't know anything about Yuna except that the name sounds like a euphemism for a vagina. But that's technically not anything ABOUT Yuna, just my reaction to her name. Those seldom count as facts (even when I sound authoritative when saying them).

For all I know Yuna is slang for something else altogether, like a skateboard or a soft drink.

My trip to Amsterdam might be the scenic route, adding a stop in London first because KLM likes to oversell and I can trade 3 hours for 150 euros. I should probably check the exchange rate before I confirm.

Song: "Live Your Life"
Artist: Yuna