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There's more to Iowa than just today's presidential primary. Last month, the Central Iowa R User Group hosted Dr. Max Kuhn, Director of Non-Clinical Statistics at Pfizer Global R&D, via video-chat to present on Applied Predictive Modeling with R.

When I used to play pinball competitively, people would always express surprise that pinball was actually a competitive game. It's not just about randomly bouncing balls: there's quite a lot of skill in the nudging and, especially, controlling the balls using the flippers. If you've tried to play a game or two at the local bar and been frustrated by the ball going anywhere except where you want it to go, here are a few tricks to help you with your game:


Like many modern cities, New York offers a public pick-up/drop-off bicycle service (called Citi Bikes). Subscribing City Bike members can grab a bike from almost 500 stations scattered around the city, hop on and ride to their destination, and drop the bike at a nearby station.

by Joseph Rickert

Quite a few times over the past few years I have highlighted presentations posted by R user groups on their websites and recommended these sites as a source for interesting material, but I have never thought to see what the user groups were doing on GitHub. As you might expect, many people who make presentations at R user group meetings make their code available on GitHub. However as best as I can tell, only a few R user groups are maintaining GitHub sites under the user group name.

Astronomer and budding data scientist Julia Silge has been using R for less than a year, but based on the posts using R on her blog has already become very proficient at using R to analyze some interesting data sets.

The American Community Survey, conducted by the US Census Bureau, collects data from around 3.5 million households each year in order to estimate various demographic statistics of the US population, including appliances installed in the home, languages spoken, work experience and much more (here's the complete data dictionary).

If you've ever taken the Tube in London (or indeed the subway in any big city) during rush hour, you'll probably have found yourself in a swarm of people at the base of a long escalator. And Heaven forfend you break the cardinal rule: if you're not walking up the escalator on the left side, you'd better be standing on the right (or expect some severe tutting behind you).

A quick heads-up that I'll be presenting a live webinar on Thursday January 28, Introduction to Microsoft R Open. If you know anyone that should get to know R and/or Microsoft R Open, send 'em along. Here's the abstract: