Won’t Someone Please Think of the Sushi?

A friend picked up the kids from the bus stop last night and I met up with them for dinner at the neighborhood sushi restaurant. See, they love sushi. Ducky is 5 and her favorite food is salmon roe, which she calls “bubbles.” She also loves some raw tuna. Chase is 8 and his first solid food, literally, was raw tuna, which he pulled off my plate and started gumming. Now, why I am talking about this. First, tuna is an apex predator. It eats everything…including things that eat other things. And tuna is so very fatty…that’s what makes it

Data Science for Restaurant Inspections

At work, we just did a really neat set of predictive models for restaurant inspections. This is all based on the work Chicago did for the analysis. We kinda/sorta split into different groups and did analyses for three cities (with links to reports): Raleigh, North Carolina, Syracuse, New York, and Denver, Colorado. Together, these three reports show different approaches and analyses we used in the three different cities, along with discussion of how we applied the Chicago work. More information is available from our GitHub page: GitHub – iscoe/restaurant_inspections: Predicting violations for restaurant inspections restaurant_inspections – Predicting violations for restaurant

Terrorism Policysplainer

As part of the ongoing national discussion about the events in Orlando, I noted on Facebook that the shooting may not be terrorism. And, rightly, someone asked a simple question: What are the alternatives to it being terrorism? Is it a hate crime? Almost 15 years after September 11th, it’s really hard for Americans to understand what is terrorism and what isn’t. The distinction is not so important in the aftermath, since terrorism and non-terrorism mass shootings are usually addressed the same way. Neutralize the perpetrator(s) and seek medical attention for the victims. We also address natural disasters in the

Expanding the Market Through Fear

There’s a good article in Vanity Fair about the scandal at Valeant, the pharmaceuticals maker. NPR has also covered this for those not interested in reading. http://www.vanityfair.com/news/2016/06/the-valeant-meltdown-and-wall-streets-major-drug-problem The part that has everyone up in arms has to do with their pricing strategy. The examples given are Syprine and Cuprimine, for treating Wilson’s disease: [F]or years, Merck, the big pharmaceutical giant, owned these drugs and sold them for a dollar a pill. And then Merck sold these two drugs to another firm, who then in turn sold them to Valeant, and Valeant began to hike the price of the drugs. Today

Cell Phones Still Don’t Cause Cancer

I was recently explaining to someone that cell phones do not cause cancer. Of course, then this study comes out last week saying otherwise. There’s a number of flaws with this study, starting with the fact it is not a study. Ars Technica has a great discussion of its problems here: Study that found cell phones cause cancer in rats is riddled with red flags Late last week, headlines blared that a new $25 million years-long US government study had finally found a clear connection between cellphone radiation and tumors in rats-striking fear in the hearts of gadget lovers worldwide.

Zika For the Rest of Us

We keep hearing about Zika virus, and in pregnant women, can cause microcephalic births. That’s pretty scary, but as a man who is not planning on having any children any time, I am not sure what this means to me. And Zika has been been confirmed in Maryland, so it’s getting closer. So I wanted to know what the symptoms are and, if you’re not pregnant, what the risks are. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) has a great website about Zika with a ton of information. But here’s the key details, the symptoms are generally influenza-like. And