Posts Tagged ‘news’

30 Apr 2017

I’m starting a new blog site at I’m abandoning this WordPress site as it is; I don’t want to fuss with trying to move things.

Halloween 2016 count

31 Oct 2016

Here’s a graph of the numbers of trick-or-treat-ers we saw this evening, by time. 10 of the 25 kids arrived in one big group. (Compare this to our 2011 experience.)

Halloween 2016 count

A bit more on the fire

1 Mar 2013

The Daily Cardinal reports that there were no overhead sprinklers in the area of the fire yesterday. Fire fighters thought that sprinklers had gone off, but it was really a broken water pipe.

And there are no sprinklers in my office, either. I thought they were required, but I guess only in new construction.

There’s a short TV report (after a commercial) at the channel 15 site.

A graduate student interviewed said, “I have multiple copies of my data, but they’re all in that building.”

I hope we all learn from this: Off-site backups (at least with something like DropBox) are important.

There’s a fire in the building…

28 Feb 2013

I was at work this morning at 8am. At 8:45am I got a text asking what was going on in my building, with this picture:

Fire trucks at MSC

It was news to me.

At 8:55am we got an alert saying “Avoid 1300 Univ Ave. Fire and Police on scene for working fire.” Hey, I’m at 1300 University Avenue!

We could see out the window that there was a campus police officer preventing people from entering the building. But the fire alarm had never gone off.

At 9:05am I called the campus police to ask what was going on. They said all the alarms were supposed to go off. They asked me to leave the building. I did immediately, but afterwards I wished I’d brought my lunch and laptop with me.

Apparently no one was hurt, but there seems to be quite a mess. This is on the same floor as my office, not too far away:

Fire-related mess, 4th floor SMI

The fire seems to be around the corner from that shot, in the back-central part of the building. I peaked around the corner and saw a bunch of people standing around, but I was too shy to take a picture of them.

There are related articles in the Wisconsin State Journal and the Channel 3000 site.

Microsoft Office

30 Jan 2013

The New York Times has an article about how Microsoft will have users pay a yearly fee for MS Office, instead of buying it outright.

There’s some mention of competition from Google Docs. Why should one still use Microsoft Office? The brilliant Excel graphs!

As for Google, Mr. DelBene said it has not “in any way diminished demand” for Office because Microsoft’s applications are “just so far beyond the capabilities that are in those alternative products.” As an example, he cited a feature in Excel that analyzes a batch of numbers selected by a user and automatically recommends the best way to represent the data in a chart.

NIH to hire Associate Director for Data Science

15 Jan 2013

See the press release.

Eric Green, currently head of NHGRI, has been appointed the Acting Associate Director for Data Science.

Puzzling typo

27 Oct 2012

There’s a nice op-ed in the NY Times about the crazy conviction of seven Italian scientists for failure to warn about an unpredictable earthquake. But I spent quite a while puzzling over the following typo:

The third highlighted line should be in the middle of the fourth one, to give “…who allow flimsy buildings to be built…” I’m not sure how such an error can occur.

Here’s a PDF of the full article.

What, no coffee?

28 Sep 2012

I was at a CIDR Access Committee meeting in DC a few weeks ago. We review proposals for genotyping or sequencing by the Center for Inherited Disease Research, a service funded by several of the NIH institutes.

We had to buy our own coffee.

It’s silly to complain. There was a coffee shop across the hall from the meeting room, and the coffee there was suitable.

But isn’t it silly to pay airfare for a dozen people for a 3 hr meeting and then chintz on the snacks? Apparently it’s a new government rule. (I’d thought the rule was maybe instituted following the GSA’s Las Vegas party, but it predates that.)

Without coffee, grant reviewing does not seem to go as well.

Bottle filling station

24 Sep 2012

The Madison airport now has a bottle-filling machine, sort of like this:

Bottle filler/drinking fountains are being installed all over the UW-Madison campus, too.

I really love these things. All airports should have them.

Hilarious graph

11 Sep 2012

I read an interesting post on the NY Times site this morning, which said:

Analyzing data from the 2008 American National Election Study, we found no relationship between negative feelings toward African-Americans and opposition to government-provided health care among whites without college degrees. For college-educated whites, however, negative racial feelings were strongly associated with increased opposition to such reform. As the graph below shows, for whites without college degrees, feelings toward African-Americans are unrelated to whether respondents support or oppose government-provided health care. For college-educated whites, however, increases in negative feelings are associated with large increases in opposition to government-provided health care.

hilariously empty graph

They must be right; they have a graph!