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I missed this when it was announced back on September 29, but R won a 2014 Bossie Award for best open-source big-data tools from InfoWorld (see entry number 5):

It's Christmas Day, and I wanted to take this opportunity to send a hearty Seasons Greetings to all of our readers. Our CEO Dave Rich also wishes our customers, partners and friends Happy Holidays and A Happy & Prosperous 2015. We've had a great year and I hope you have too.

Last month, the Philae lander touched down on comet Churyumov–Gerasimenko. In the process, the lander and the orbiting Rosetta probe captured detailed data on the geometry of the comet, which the ESA published as a shape file. You can use the rgl package to visualize and explore such shape files quite simply as follows:

by Andrie de Vries

Way back, in 2010, David Smith referred to an article in the New York times about puzzles and other unintuitive results in statistics, including the famous Monty Hall problem.

Every year since her inauguration in 1952, Queen Elizabeth II has delivered a Christmas Broadcast to her subjects. Dominic Nyhuis used R to analyze the transcripts of the speeches, and found some interesting trends in speech length and words used. Here, for example, are word clouds of the speeches from the first half (1962-1976) and second half (1977-2001) of ER2's reign.

Regular readers of this blog know that I love optical illusions, and I recently found the most (literally!) mind-boggling one I've seen yet. This is not a spiral:

Johns Hopkins Biostatistics Professor (and presenter of Data Analysis at Coursera) Jeff Leek has published his list of awesome things other people did in 2014. It's well worth following the links in his 38 entries, where you'll find a wealth of useful resources in teaching, statistics, data science, and data visualization.

by Joseph Rickert

Revolution Analytics's 2015 R User Group Support Program (RevoRUGS) begins today. Last year we provided financial support to 51 groups worldwide. That works out to be about one third of the total number of R active user groups listed in our Local User Group Directory.

R User Groups Supported by Revolution Analytics in 2014

The R Foundation, the Austria-based non-profit founded in 2003 to oversee the R Project, recently held leadership elections and added some new members. The new R Foundation Board is: 

by Matt Sundquist
co-founder of Plotly

R, Plotly, and ggplot2 let you make, share, and collaborate on beautiful, interactive plots online. Let's see what we can do with the topographic data from Auckland's Maunga Whau Volcano that comes with R.

Copy and paste this R code to make your first plot. The basic idea is: use ggplot2 code, add py$ggplotly() to call the Plotly API, and make an interactive, web-based plot for sharing and collaboration.