Statistics with Stata

I do a fair amount of statistical analysis and for many years stuck with SAS, which was used for the majority of my coursework. Over the past year, I’ve made the switch to Stata, which has several key advantages:

  • It runs natively on my Mac, obviating the need for running VMWare Fusion.
  • It’s much easier to use, particularly with respect to viewing and editing data
  • It’s much faster to get to actually analyzing data (no need to put everything in the context of a “PROC” like SAS.
  • High quality graphics are much easier to generate (no more ODS).

The only disadvantage has been that I don’t know my way around Stata as well as I do SAS. However, I’ve begun to collect shortcuts and command listings. Since I expect others may be in the same situation as me, I’ve made a page summarizing useful information: Stata for Clinical Research. I hope to add to this over time.

Reeder for iPad is here

I’m a huge fan of Google Reader. I really can’t imagine keeping track of multiple websites without RSS, and Google Reader manages RSS across multiple computers. These days, much of my web reading has shifted to the iPhone and iPad. Reeder is a fantastically well done iPhone app that syncs with Google Reader, but until today there was no iPad version. It was a shame, because the iPad is such an ergonomic reading device. The long wait for Reeder for iPad is well worth it, as is the modest $4.99 fee. In the first few minutes of use, it has dramatically improved the usefulness of the iPad for me. If you use Google Reader, Reeder is a no-brainer. If you don’t use Google Reader, you really should.

Can a YouTube video change your life?

Yes, yes it can.

I’ve got a decent collection of t-shirts which find some use throughout the year. I’ve tried various ways of folding them, but I’ve never manage to reproduce the aesthetic of an obsessively-neat roommate in college. Never, that is, until now.

Yes, it’s not in English, but that doesn’t matter. It took me several attempts to get this method down, but once it “clicks”, be prepared for t-shirt nirvana. I actually look forward to the laundry. It’s that good.

A blog surge

My last post on this blog was over a month ago. Some have criticized me for “dithering” while my readers were desperate for new posts. Let me be clear: there was no material before me that could have reasonably been posted before this month. However, after much internal debate and consultation with my advisors, I have decided that what the internet needs is more posts on this blog. This blogging “surge” will begin immediately. As I have consistently said, it is my duty to inform the internet community of my opinions and thoughts, even when they are not what the internet wants to hear. My strategy will consist of three components:

1) More frequent posting: because a blog without posts cannot stand

2) More thoughtful posting: because posts without important content will just embolden the enemy (other blogs)

3) More pictures: because blog posts based on text alone cannot be as effective as a coordinated strategy.

Thank you for your understanding in these trying times.

Homeless Blogging

I’ve been MIA on this blog for a couple weeks now, but it’s not my fault. I’m homeless. No, it’s not the economy. In late July I finally bit the bullet and used the excuse of low mortgage rates to buy a house and move out of my a-little-too-cozy condo. The plan was to move in the weekend following the simultaneous sale/purchase. However, things didn’t work out that way.

The previous owners had left us with some lovely pinkish-purple carpeting that, while bringing me back to the 70s, clashed with my 2009 wardrobe (never mind that having a two-year-old dominating my life means that I haven’t actually bought any clothing this calendar year). So a few calls to New Lucky flooring (whom I highly recommend, by the way, if you are in the Boston area) and the carpets were promptly removed and the previously-disguised oak floorboards were restored to the polyurethane-coated greatness that was their destiny.

But you can’t just leave glorious floors surrounded by peeling, dated wallpaper. So next week the painters will descend upon my home and bestow upon it a brilliant color scheme that is being planned, with any luck, over the next few days. Hopefully, I won’t end up cowering in fear of commitment to color and end up painting each room a different shade of white (as my parents have done).

In the interim, I’m camped out in the parents’ attic, siphoning their Wifi when I can.