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Posts from the ‘Data’ Category

Happy And Sad Face


As a latest foray into lifelogging I’ve been playing with a tool called “Moodscope“, a lightweight daily quiz which tracks excursions into positive and negative moods.  It appears to be rooted in the established psychometric metric of the Positive and Negative Affect Schedule (PANAS).  In short, you take a short quiz, and get back a 0-100 score, with 50 being neutral, >50 being “positive affect” (er, “good mood”), <50 being “negative affect” (“bad mood”).   Faced with such a temptation, I couldn’t resist seeing if this was all hooey or if there would be signal in the noise…

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A Timeline of NASA Competitions

Pausing for a “work meets play” moment, thanks to stumbling across the cool interactive timeline tools at   To try out the new tool, I loaded up a database of NASA mission proposal competitions over the last 20 years, mostly in science and technology.   The dry run is available here.  (Or view a screencap here).


Last Slice of the Pie

Time for one last slice of the NASA pie, this time broken out state by state (following up on previous slices by Company, and by Field Center).   Again, all data are from NASA’s annual procurement reports, are inflation-adjusted to FY10 dollars, and are 3-year smoothed.  The embedded time-series begin in 1999 (reflecting a 1997-1999 average) and end in 2010 (thus, the data still only reflect the old Constellation program, and not the Obama administration’s requested new direction).

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Another slice of the NASA pie

Last week I sliced the NASA procurement history up based on its deployment through its ten field Centers.  Today, a slightly different take – tracking the end recipients.    Well, to a point … NASA’s official procurement data only tracks the “prime contractor” recipients of awards (whether technical primes or support service contractors).   In the actual aerospace industry, of course, the money then gets distributed through layers of subtier suppliers (subcontractors).   That said – even tracking the primes over time is interesting. Read more »


The Eye of The Storm

NASA enjoys the stablest budget in the Federal government.  Why then its continual state of disarray?

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A Year In The [Google] Life

Last week I shared some findings on how the new GoogleCorrelate tool uncovered the very sharp seasonality in searches for student internships (happily and coincidentally helping me out at work).   Search interest follows an extremely concentrated annual cycle, beginning during (or just after) winter break.   This of course begs the question of what topics are of most “peaked” interest for the remainder of the year… Read more »


Is the market really looking up for commercial space?

A while back I published a hard look at the optimistic launch demand estimates generated by FAA’s COMSTAC annual forecast.  This year’s forecast has just been released.    In addition to the forecast, the report has for many years included a valuable and underutilized source of information, which provides a more believable and fundamental basis for optimism in the commercial launch sector.   Read more »


Interns: On Your Mark, Get Set …

Want to attract the attention of the best summer interns?   Target your communications campaign to be ready on the first of the year.   It shouldn’t be a surprise that interest in internships follows an annual cycle with a peak in the late winter and spring … but what it is surprising is how sharply peaked this interest is. Read more »


Mapping Microloans

Mapping meets microlending, two of my favorite topics!   Having previously ranked the quality of Kiva microloan partners (and now, for several months, having used the rankings to steer my own loans), I thought I would do some quick and dirty visualization of the results.  As a bonus I’ve churned out some visualizations of worldwide Kiva lending, poverty rates, and the relative penetration of Kiva into the neediest countries in the world. Read more »



Another lifelogging experiment with GraphViz-based network mapping, this time on my library of books (sample size 356, managed with the excellent little Mac app Delicious Library 2, notable for its iSight-barcode-scanning magic, and no relation to the social bookmarking service). Read more »