Monthly Archives: July 2009

data request

It is happening again. Lawyers who don’t know anything about data analysis make a request (often an official open records request) for information from agencies. Because I have gotten a reputation for analyzing public data and making it reveal previously-unseen patterns and I’m part of the commission¬† or board or task force, they ask me […]

it’s nine o’clock: do you know what your citations say?

Folks with an interest in the sociology of science and knowledge may have noticed this little gem that appeared in BMJ. It’s an article by Steven Greenberg titled, “How citation distortions create unfounded authority: analysis of a citation network.” The abstract, in somewhat abridged form, is nothing if not intriguing:

what shouldn’t i miss?

Of course, the scatterplot party. But other than that. What’s going to be big this year at ASA? What shouldn’t I miss? Anything I should definitely go to? I always feel like there’s something I’m missing at these conferences – exciting panels, throw downs at a particular business meeting, etc. Any guidance is appreciated.

looking for a roommate at asa?

One of my grad students is looking for a roommate at ASA. I know it’s not the most exciting use of scatterplot, but hey, why not? ASA Roommate wanted, $55 I booked a room through priceline at the Hyatt Fisherman’s Wharf hotel for Saturday and Sunday nights of ASA.¬† It’s right by the waterfront and […]

miracles of genetics

Robert Gibbs, White House press secretary: “If I had some DNA, it wouldn’t assuage those who don’t believe he was born here.” Where you were born is in your genome. Who knew?

police report

Lots of folks are already on this, but I wanted to post about¬† the police report for the arrest of Henry “Skip” Gates in Cambridge the other day. Here’s a copy of the police report on the arrest of Gates for disorderly conduct which was posted by BigSole whom I got to from Field Negro. […]

factual question about going to trial

There are some criminologists among the scatterplotters. Can you help? In my county, my analysis of court records showed that in a recent year only 31 of 2663 (1.2%) criminal cases involving at least one felony charge went to trial, and only 11 of 5306 misdemeanor cases (0.2%) went to trial. For the cases involving […]

stata 11: the early review

I was gone this weekend, and Stata 11 was waiting for me upon my return. Early impression: in defiance of the law of diminishing returns to higher version numbers, this is a major upgrade, perhaps comparable to if Stata had skipped version 9 and gone straight from 8 to 10. 1. For people interested in […]

cal state

The trustees of Cal State just approved a 20% tuition increase, fast on the heels of a 10% increase in May. The tuition not stands at $4,026 a year – not including books, room, board, etc. This is a modest sum compared to what folks at Universities like my own pay. But then again, the […]

campaign finance reform never looked so good.

So while cruising the old interwebs recently I ran across an exciting new political website. I refer, of course, to SarahPAC, the political action committee of Sarah Palin. Yes, that Sarah Palin. Feel free to flinch. In any case, it more or less looks like the typical PAC page except for one little thing. Now, […]

they need to make one of these for professors

If you haven’t seen That Mitchell and Webb Look, you should. They have a series of skits on shopping, going to dinner, and church. They all have the same basic structure. All are hilarious. They should make one for teachers. The church one is my favorite.

the book crisis

The acquisitions editor for my upcoming books at one of the premier university presses, with a major and prestigious sociology list, reports that he’s not coming to ASA, for the first time in who knows how long: I am afraid we will not be attending the ASA this August. This will be the first time […]

enforcing immigration policy

As I mentioned in a previous post, there is a concern in my area about ICE (immigration) raids and about the sheriff’s policy of telling ICE about possible illegal immigrants. Stated policy is to send ICE the name and birth date of any non-citizen who has been arrested and is processed into the jail, regardless […]

i can see we need to discuss the meaning of the term ‘gene pool’ again.

This one is so weird I’m not sure I quite believe it, but there’s a source for it and everything: A woman is suing an Egyptian hotel claiming her daughter got pregnant – from using the swimming pool. Magdalena Kwiatkowska’s 13-year-old returned to Poland from their holiday expecting a baby. Magdalena believes the teenager conceived […]

one scoop of my book, with tina topping, please!

The ASA conference will be an extravaganza of awesome, what with the blog party, the blog baseball game, and the fabulous sociology people everywhere. But wait! There is even more still. For those particularly hard-core conference-goers, who will stretch their visit to San Francisco well beyond the bounds of the conference dates, please consider attending […]


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