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Alex Eylar is an artist from Oakland, California who recreates classic scenes from movies using Lego. (You can find his work here and on flickr.) For a Friday afternoon puzzle, here are 10 of his movie scenes -- can you identify them all? Answers at the end, after the break.

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Earlier this week, Revolution Analytics' Joe Rickert gave a webinar Introduction to R for Data Mining. You can watch the replay below:

 

On June 29, the Royal Statistical Society will host six hours of presentations about R, under the banner "To R, or not to R, that is the question". Speakers include R Core member Prof Uwe Ligges, Dr Wayne Jones (from Shell UK), and Dr Peter Nash (from Imperial College London), among others. 

You've probably heard of the Birthday Paradox: it only takes a small gathering of people before it's quite likely that two of them share the same birthday. You can solve the problem analytically or with simulation, but usually in either case simplifying assumptions are made (no-one born on February 29, for example). Joe Rickert uses Revolution R Enterprise 6 to investigate whether these assumptions make a difference, and finds evidence for a "Summer Baby Boom" along the way. - Ed.

What's the connection between the 1972 Blue Marble photograph of the Earth, the Facebook Social Network graph, and Big Data?

Starting around 2:30PM Pacific time, you can watch a live stream of Venus crossing the face of the Sun:

 

The stream comes courtesy of Vanderbilt University, which coincidentally is also the host of next week's useR! R community conference. Thanks again, Vanderbilt!

Revolution Analytics is proud to announce the latest update to our enhanced, production-grade distribution of R, Revolution R Enterprise. This update expands the range of supported computation platforms, adds new Big Data predictive models, and updates to the latest stable release of open source R (2.14.2), which improves performance of the R interpreter by about 30%.

Following the announcement of the US Government Big Data Initiative, I was asked to write a small article about applications of R in government. The article has just appeared in Government Security News (and I believe will appear in their daily newsletter tomorrow). In the article, I highlighted several R applications that been highlighted here in the blog:

It's been confirmed: the Andromeda Galaxy is heading right for us (well, our galaxy). You can see a great animation of the interaction from NASA. Don't panic though: Andromeda won't reach the Milky Way for 4 billion years, and it'll take another couple of billion years after that for things to settle down as the galaxies merge. NASA also created a similation of how the night sky will change over those 6 billion years:

Patrick Burns, author of the excellent R Inferno, gave a presentation about R at the Cambridge R User Group this week. (Revolution Analytics is a proud sponsor of CambR.) I wasn't at the presentation myself, but Pat always gives a great talk, and he's generously provided his s