big data and violence prevention

Thanks to a post in Fast Company’s Design blog, the Google Ngram Viewer came to my attention today. In brief, it’s an online phrase-usage graphing tool which chards yearly count of letter combos, words, or phrases across a database of more than 5 million books published between 1500 and 2008 which Google has digitized. Out of curiosity – and since it’s Sexual Assault Awareness Month (SAAM), I ran the terms “rape, sexual assault, domestic violence, and violence prevention” through it; the results are interesting: A…

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Moments

In celebration of the Oscars this weekend, an approximate “Top Ten list” of my favorite movie moments; it should be noted, we’re not talking favorite films necessarily – although some on my Top Ten list are represented here – rather those singular moments. In some cases the moments are scenes, in others just a single shot. [Note: when I originally wrote this post, I had links to almost every item listed here; apparently most of these have been taken down (damn copyright laws); I’ve tried…

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Again…

So, it has happened again. And once again America will celebrate its macabre parade: the repeated images of grieving families and shocked onlookers; the headlines and special report segments across newspapers, TV, and cable; the questioning of “why?”, “how could this happen?”, and the brazen attempts by news media – as well as legislators and politicians (is there a difference?) – to convey grief but steer clear of taking a substantive stance on the presence of guns in our communities. First, yes, again it was a…

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today

Today is election day. We have struggled through months of robo-calls, commercials, numbers, polls. That ends today. This morning, we wake to a world still embroiled in war, recovering from natural catastrophes, and with the culture still entrenched in misogyny, racism, homophobia, and able-ism. But today is election day. And we awaken, as Americans, to the privilege and the power of joining our voices together in a collective expression of our intent to have a say in our destiny. Certain people like to espouse that…

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“Black” Friday…

How like an addict we all appear, promoting “Black Friday” like some sick joke; it is transparent, a desperate plea, a junkie strung out on the thing he thinks will take the pain away. It is sold to us as inevitable. It is not. Do not let them fool you. You were born naked and perfect. You do not need stuff. And stuff does not speak love for you to those you hold dear. This consumption is our common affliction, and the larger issues —…

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“It’s a floor wax!” “No, it’s a dessert topping!”

Why I use Scrivener for Project Management and You Should Too! If you’re a writer who has geek-like tendencies, it’s highly likely you’ve already encountered Scrivener; if for some reason you have not, get thee to Literature & Latte and give it a whirl. It is single-handedly the best writing tool a computer user can have – a statement that holds even more water now that the developer is on the verge of releasing a Windows version (currently still in beta)[UPDATE – the Windows version…

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Craft…

Via Tumblr – Lapham’s Quarterly to be more specific – I got wind of Mike Rowe’s testimony before the U.S. Senate Committee on Commerce, Science and Transportation. Mr. Rowe is the host of Dirty Jobs on The Discovery Channel – a show I rarely get to see since it’s on cable, which I don’t have; nevertheless, it caught my eye and I spent some time reading it because it eerily coincides with a book I’m currently (finally) reading – Shop Class as Soulcraft: An Inquiry Into…

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Hardcore…

Well, where were we?… I know. I’ve been neglectful. Or, the modern equivalent – busier than I care to describe; I’m sorry I’ve let the blog slip; it won’t happen again; all those other web sites meant nothing to me, etc. etc… As a way of mending bridges, getting back on track, etc. – allow me to share something I stumbled upon that I think epitomizes the power of the web – if not computers in general. First, go over to Forbes (yes, Forbes) and…

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the ‘Pad

Yep, I did it. I bit the bullet. I became an early adopter. I got an iPad. Early this morning (well, early for a Saturday), I got up, went out to East Towne, walked in to Best Buy and – after cradling one in my hands for the better part of twenty minutes – I plunked down my hard earned do-re-mi (along with a BB gift card left over from Xmas which I had yet to use). I was very good. I managed to put…

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pilgrimage

[Warning: this will not be a fun post. Sorry.] It’s hard to believe that it’s been five years. Today, I will make my annual pilgrimage down county highway M to lay flowers on the very spot where we lost Sam, age eighteen, in a senseless car accident, on March 15, 2005. When I was there last year, pieces of the automobile could still be seen lying in the grass. Sam was the only son of my supervisor, coworker, and good friend. She was singlehandedly raising…

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