Blog Rants & ramblings
written on 21 Dec 2020
Datasette is great software and is easy to use. It lets me can focus on building up a database and gives me a searchable web UI and an API for my data. But the defaults aren't always sufficient for deploying to Heroku. For example, I ran into an SQL timeout error pretty quickly.
written on 17 Sep 2020
Corporate campaign contributions are legalized bribery for elected officials. While necessary, transparency isn't enough to combat this type of corruption.
written on 17 Apr 2020
New York City is a wonderful, terrible, amazing, horrendous place. And for the last five years it has been my home. But it won't be as of next Monday because we're up and moving to Sacramento, CA; why and how is a whole other post (or at least it could be). As a sort of "farewell to all that", thought I'd try to do some data visualizations that illustrate part of my life here.
written on 15 Feb 2020
Elections in the U.S. are weird. So many of them aren't measured in the number of people who vote for a candidate but instead are measured in how many points a campaign can score.
written on 22 May 2018
The subways here in NYC, run by the MTA, are routinely and rightly criticized for their lack of ADA compliance and accessibility. The system does have some, though nowhere near enough, elevators which sometimes go out of service, wreaking havoc on some folks' commutes. The MTA posts elevator outages to their website along with the time the elevator will return to service. But how good of a guide are these estimates?
written on 24 Jan 2018
I went searching for the Trump statement calling for a “complete and total shutdown” of Muslim immigration to America the other day and I was a bit dismayed by what I found. It certainly is not hard to find articles that cite a single line of the statement, or a few lines of it. It also is not super hard to find a video of Supreme Leader Cheeto Bandito himself reading a line or two from the statement.
written on 29 Nov 2017
Scraping web pages is a messy, error prone, and brittle method to go about getting some data of the internet, but sometimes it is all you have. I have written a few scrapers and have always wondered what a good scraper set up might look like. In an attempt to scrape as many Gothamist articles as I could while the was site down, I came up with a solution that I really liked using Docker, Node, and open source.
written on 02 Mar 2015
I don't mean a bad word as in we should say it in hushed tones around children. I mean it is truly a poorly interpreted and even more poorly used word.
written on 02 Dec 2014
Over the past few weeks I’ve found myself in a frustrating situation: 30,000 feet above the ground in a comfortable window seat, attempting to do some D3 visualizations of data returned by an HTTP API and, crucially, not having an internet connection. So obviously, I could’ve solved the problem by ponying up $30 a flight to make slow and unreliable requests over in-flight wifi. Gross.