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While I'm pleased with the outcome of yesterday's election in political terms, I'm equally thrilled about the victory for Data Science versus "gut instinct", "philosophy" and "fundamentals".

In response to last week's post on the rapidly increasing ideology of the US Republican Party, Mike Lawrence suggested another way of looking at the DW-NOMINATE ideology data. Rather than simply looking at boxplots of the congress scores by party over time, we could fit a smooth curve to get a better sense of the trends over time.

An orrery is a mechanical device that models the motion of the moon and planets. This being the age of the Internet, we no longer need complicated gears, levers and cranks to simulate such motion: we can use Flash and simulate it on the Web:


I had a great time presenting my new webinar yesterday, thanks to everyone who attended "The Rise of Data Science in the Age of Big Data Analytics" and especially those who submitted questions. Sorry I didn't have time to get to them all, but feel free to ask here in the comments.

The Washington Post has an interactive graphic showing the rate at which the US presidential candidates Barack Obama and Mitt Romney have visited the various states for campaign rallies and fundraisers. Here's how it looks today:

As the clean-up continues on the eastern seaboard, I wanted to follow up on Monday's post on tracking Hurricane Sandy with Open Data with a couple of other R-based data applications spawned by the storm.

Tim Gasper (Product Manager at Big Data platform Infochimps) has an informative article at TechCrunch that provides an overview of five open-source technologies trending now for Big Data applications. They are:

Hurricane Sandy is shaping up to be a major, and very dangerous, meteorological event for the US's East coast. Naturally, everyone is looking for the latest information and forecasts. Fortunately, the wealth of public meteorological data available on the open web, combined with real-time on-the-ground updates via social media, means that an ecosystem of on-line apps is now available providing all the up-to-date information you need.

It's almost All Hallow's Eve, and in the it's tradition in many places here in the States to decorate houses with "spooky" decorations. Some homeowners take the process to extremes — to both delight and chagrin of neighbours — such as with this light show in Leesburg, Virginia set to the Korean pop hit Gangnam Style: