Category Archives: Links

R on Twitter

This came via the “R Project for Statistical Computing” group on LinkedIn, but it definitely seems there is a hashtag for all occasions these days on Twitter.  Today it’s largely been connected with the election fallout in Iran on Twitter, with massive trending topics and a significant segment on the Channel 4 news devoted to it.

Getting back to things of a more academic bent, for those of us interested in R, posting those 140 character frustrations, hints, tips and questions – these can be aggregated with the #rstats hashtag allowing you to search Twitter traffic for statistical topics of interest with ease.

I seem to be spending a lot more time with my head in R these days, my “BioConductor Case Studies” book has just arrived, and the chunk of the day that wasn’t spent cursing a fritzed ext3 partition on an LVM volume, or installing our new monster machine was spent in R, answering questions from my Maths and Stats summer student.

Darwin Day – Direct links to the “In Our Time” Darwin podcasts

I’m terrible for keeping up with my podcasts, and only just got around to part one of the four part “In Our Time” Darwin podcasts from Radio 4 yesterday.  Consequently when I went around to get parts two, three and four – iTunes had no knowledge of them any more. I tried to find links from the IOT RSS feeds – but all the links to the audio had been removed.

This morning, poking around on the ‘Listen Again’ part of the site, I found the embedded Flash players that would allow me to listen to the podcasts in my browser.

I wanted them to listen to on the way to work however!

A bit of digging around through the HTML and subsequent XML playlists, I managed to find downloadable, transferable mp3 content.  Linked here for your listening pleasure:

Programme 1

Melvyn tells the story of Darwin’s early life in Shropshire and discusses the significance of the three years he spent at Cambridge, where his interests shifted from religion to natural science.

Programme 2

Darwin’s expedition aboard the Beagle in December 1831 and how his work during the voyage influenced and provided evidence for his theories.

Programme 3

How Darwin was eventually persuaded to publish On the Origin of Species in November 1859 and the book’s impact on fellow scientists and the general public.

Programme 4

Melvyn visits Darwin’s home at Down House in Kent. Despite ill health and the demands of his family, Darwin continued researching and publishing until his death in April 1882.

Happy timeshifting Darwin Day!

Words of wisdom from Slashdot

And that’s a rare enough concept, but this made me laugh

The suggestion in the discussion was that the best people to run a University email service was the CS dept:

Don’t. The CS department is interested in education and research. They may come up with an innovative solution and write a few papers about it – then abandon it, leaving it with poor documentation, a bad interface, hundreds of bugs, and idiosyncratic and non-standard elements.

IT is not CS. IT is a service.CS is a discipline. Asking the CS department to run the academic IT systems is like asking the English department to run the library. It’s a non-starter.

Eats, shoots and leaves

With grammar test applications currently exploding all over Facebook, their only purpose to be harvesting all your juicy personal data whilst you prove to your friends that aged 34 you really can tell the difference between “their, there and they’re”, it’s nice to come across a simple blog that holds up some of the greatest abuses of quotation marks ever seen (and doesn’t need to be sent to 10 of your friends in order to view it).

Enjoy them at The “Blog” of “Unnecessary” Quotations.

Get your Medline indexed papers on your Facebook page!

Finally, a useful application on Facebook! Simply add this application, check the papers that it spits back as being yours, press ‘ok’ and voila – your Facebook page now looks like a gaudy CV!  You can also add papers by PMID if it doesn’t pick up your entire publication output.

Originally spotted on ‘What You’re Doing is Rather Desperate‘ a blog title that I have always loved being a bioinformatician who has to deal with biologists!

PLoS Computational Biology : ‘Getting started in’

I notice that PLoS Computational Biology is publishing a series of ‘Getting Started in‘ articles for bioinformatics/computational biology.

“The aim of each article in the “Getting Started in…” series is to introduce the essentials: define the area and what it is about, highlight the debates and issues of relevance, and provide directions to the most relevant books, articles, or Web sites to find out more. The series will not include review articles or detailed tutorials; these are available in the Education section of the Journal. Rather, each “Getting Started in…” article will aim to be a cache of “go to” information for someone for whom the field is completely new.”

The first one is a neat little excursion into tiling array analysis for platforms such as Nimblegen et al., it is relatively brief, but supported by excellent references which people new to the field will find extremely useful.

Charlie Brooker on “The Enemies of Reason”

The ‘Screen Burn’ column in the Grauniad by Charlie Brooker is one of my favourite columns. Witty and acerbic he casts the same kind of eye over the televisual realm as I tend to. The write up here of the new C4 show “The Enemies of Reason” by Richard Dawkins is particularly amusing. I’ve been looking forward to this show for some weeks now, and this only whets my appetite more.

Choice quote (and there are many):

If I was made Emperor of All Media, I’d broadcast something akin to The Enemies Of Reason on every channel, every day, for 10 years. This is an urgent message that must be heard if we want to survive, as a species.