How a software geek prepares for the holidays

I'm not really into traveling and eating with family at Thanksgiving, but what are the local restaurant alternatives? The list was a bit overwhelming, so I used SAS to help analyze my options... My holiday meal fall-back has always been the Waffle House - they're open 24/7, 365 days a […]

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Hey! Where have you been?!?

There's recently been a "States I've Visited" application going around on Facebook, where users create a map showing all the US states they've visited, and then post it on their page for their friends to see. I wondered if SAS could do a better job?... Here's a screen-capture of one […]

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Tracking Ebola: Using SAS bubble maps

In a previous blog post, I showed how to layer colored areas on a SAS map to show both countries, and the areas within countries that had cases of Ebola. But as the Ebola epidemic has spread, more data has become available, and in this blog I show how to […]

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How does Amazon deliver packages so quickly?

With Amazon Prime's 2-day shipping, I seldom go to physical stores any more. How do they deliver items so quickly? Let's analyze some data to find out... There are very few services/memberships that I truly feel like I'm getting "a good deal" for my money - and Amazon Prime is […]

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The taxman cometh - for Amazon.com!

Do you order things online, to avoid paying sales tax? Those "good old days" might be coming to an end soon... Here's a snapshot of my latest purchase from Amazon.com (a little something for the Talk Like a Pirate party I had on Sept 19): In the US, each of […]

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Shocking data about your electricity rate!

Did you know that different states charge different $$ rates for electricity? The graphs in this blog will let you easily compare your rate to the rates in other states ... Did you have a portable radio (aka "boombox") back in the 1980s? Do you remember how much it cost […]

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Does your county have a Mine-Resistant Ambush Protected vehicle?

There's been a lot of debate lately about whether it's good or bad for the local law enforcement agencies to receive military surplus items. The data has recently become available, but it is just a big long text list of almost a quarter million items. Therefore I thought I would […]

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Analyzing the Atlantic Coast Pipeline

Admit it - you were fascinated by the 3D pipes screensaver! How many CPU cycles did we let our machines burn up, drawing and re-drawing those silly pipes!?!  What was your personal favorite CPU-hungry screensaver? (let us know in a comment!) Well, speaking of pipes, the proposed Atlantic Coast Pipeline […]

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Will California dry up and fall off?

When the recent earthquake hit California, one of my friends commented that "California is so dry right now, I'm surprised it didn't just break off and fall into the ocean!" It got me wondering, just how bad and widespread is California's drought? I did a few Web searches and found lots […]

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Mapping 206 hospitals in 29 states!

If you're a really big company, with many locations around the country, how do you keep track of all that? ... With a great map, of course! I recently read a CNN article about the Community Health Systems network being hacked - exposing the names, Social Security numbers, physical addresses, birthdays […]

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