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An update to the ggplot2 "grammar of graphics" package for R is now available on CRAN. This version introduces "Themes" for ggplot2 charts, and makes it possible to define and re-use your own preferences for title fonts and sizes, tick marks, grid color, etc. The system is heirarchically defined, so for example you can choose a font and have it affect just the main title, or every font in the chart.

It all started off as a simple question from Scott Chamberlain on Twitter:

Apparently I'm late to the table with with Psy's Gangnam Style, but now that I've seen it I can't get it this infectious Korea-pop out of my head:


Makes me want to visit Seoul again (and Andrew Sullivan has more on the local nods). I'm sure I'll be listening to this more over the long weekend (while the blog takes a break on Monday). Hope you enjoy yours!

For the last decade or so, the go-to software for Bayesian statisticians has been BUGS (and later the open-source incarnation, OpenBugs, or JAGS).

It's a wonderful thing when people make interesting data sets available to the public. When Thomas Jones wrote a paper in Econometrics about the growth of US retail giant Walmart, he made the data he collected about every Walmart store opening in history (location and date) available to the public. Since then, several people have used different techniques to visualize the data. 

You've probably heard (or seen in TV shows) how the unique pattern of rifling in a gunbarrel generates forensic evidence: microscopic scoring on the bullets left at the scene of the crime can be linked to the shooter by matching the marks to the firearm.

The most recent edition of the Revolution Newsletter is out. The news section is below, and you can read the full August edition (with highlights from this blog and community events) online. You can subscribe to the Revolution Newsletter to get it monthly via email. used the R language and data from the National Snow and Ice Data Center to create this chart showing the extent of Arctic sea-ice in each year since satellite observations began in 1978, and the current extent of ice coverage (in red).

Two significant R community milestones were achieved over the weekend.

Anyone who has dogs knows that they can get into a mighty amount of mischief. But I'd never have guessed all the different types of mischief that dogs can get into, until I came across the Dog Shaming website. Here you'll find pictures of guilty-looking dogs (and a few cats) with notes describing their nefarious deeds, like "I locked myself in the car. They had to call a locksmith", and "I hid meat in the couch". I'm glad our dogs aren't the only ones with shameful behaviour!