Why do we accept car control, but not gun control?
Today I want to talk about two pillars of the American cultural experience, cars and guns. If you think about it, they're really quite similar. Both can be very useful and fun if used properly. Both are very dangerous when used by people who are inexperienced, drunk, or mentally ill. Both are responsible for thousands of deaths in the United States every year. (30,470 firearm related deaths in 2010 source, 32,885 automobile deaths in 2010 source)
Yet, while cars are heavily regulated, any attempt to impose restrictions on who can buy guns, when and where they can ...more...
Installing matplotlib in a virtrualenv on Ubuntu
Just a short note to document some missing dependencies for anyone else trying to google the same problem I just had.
This first time it failed it couldn't find a file called ft2build.h. This was fixed by installing libfreetype6 and libfreetype6-dev.
After that it failed when it couldn't find png.h. This was fixed by installing libpng-dev
In summary, before running pip install run:
sudo apt-get install libfreetype6 libfreetype6-dev libpng-dev
and it should go off without a hitch. I assume these would be needed installing outside a virtualenv as well.more...
Please Help: Join The Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Statistics
Every day, on Twitter and Facebook and comment threads all across the Internet, thousands, if not millions of statistics are being cruelly mistreated. These helpless statistics are ripped away from their proper context and used to support or attack viewpoints they may have nothing to do with. Others are dropped into the middle of a hostile argument and then heartlessly neglected by their caretakers.
"What can I do? I am just an extremely limited sample size of one man or woman." you may be saying. Well, have no fear. By working together we can have a significant (p < 0.01 ...more...
How to stop SOPA: Don't build it.
I've been following the news about SOPA, the Stop Online Piracy Act, for the past couple of weeks. Yesterday there was an interesting development when 83 of the most prominent engineers responsible for creating the Internet signed an open letter voicing their opposition to SOPA. This in and of itself is hardly surprising. Since the law was introduced anyone with a shred of technical acumen has stated that a.) It will not work. The law will not hinder piracy. b.) It will be hugely detrimental to the normal operation of the Internet.
But, this made me think. If a ...more...
Google+ First Impressions
By hook and/or crook I managed to wangle an invitation to Google+ yesterday. After messing around with it a little, I really like what they've done and I think it has great potential.
The circles are clearly the defining feature. The ability to compartmentalize friends into different groups and share things with only certain groups (or combinations thereof) is what everyone has been wanting from social networking sites for a while now. I think they might have solved the dilemma everyone has faced when their boss or parents want to friend them. To be fair, I don't ...more...