Monday, January 28, 2013

R is for Ridiculous

It seemed like such a good idea.
I mean, it's been years since I finished grad school.   Why not brush up on my analytic skills by taking a free online class? 

And who knows!  Someone may have developed a new statistical technique that I could add to my nerdling tool box, making me even more mighty.

OMG.  I just had a flashback to grad school.  

There were 2 sets of students in my graduate statistics program: the curve busters and the rest of us. 

Of course, one would expect the best and brightest students from other countries to do well in statistics classes at Bowling Green State University.

But if they were so smart, why didn't they go to Harvard, huh?  Or Yale?    
 Why did they have to go bustin' curves in my classes? 

It would be like me taking a Body Jam class in stinkin' Asia!  Completely unfair.

As you can see, I'm over it.

Despite the frightening flashback, I decided to sign up for the class.  And I didn't even think twice when I read the part of the syllabus which said we would be using the R statistical programming language.  I had no idea what the R statistical programming language was, but it was irrelevant to me.

For you see, I am a SAS guru.  SAS is an acronym for Statistical Analysis Software.  SAS is THE statistical software in the world and has been since before Al Gore invented the internet. 

In fact, SAS is to statistical analysis as Kleenex is to facial tissues.  

So I would clearly be using SAS in my online data analysis class.

Imagine my shock when, in the first lesson, I was required to download R.  I politely asked the professor if I could "just use SAS". 

The answer was no.  Apparently we had to be reduced to the least common denominator of statistical analysis software.  Not all students have access to SAS, but they can all download R for free.  Swell.

Someone suggested that I purchase a very helpful book called "R for SAS and SPSS Users".  Thanks but no thanks.  Just how hard can R be? 

I decided to give it a try.

I think another analogy is in order here.  Say you want to take a knitting class.  You get into the class and discover that you have to first learn how raise Alpaca and shear them.  So what if you have a yarn shop down the street!  Fellow student Shanawaz Shaik may not.

I watched a video on R. 

OMG.  Maybe I should just learn Swahili. Or raise Alpaca.  Either option would be easier.

But I'm not a quitter.  I decided to look at the class forums to see if any other students were troubled by the concept of learning R. 

That's when I realized I was back in grad school again.  My fellow students included Rajesh Redhakrishn, Hardek Usesshi, and Mousumi Mukhherjee.  And about 50,000 other students from around the globe.

Stinkin' curve busters.   And R prodigies.

Forget it.  I'm out. 

I'm thinking of taking a cooking class instead. 

One that doesn't require me to first plant a garden. 

Friday, January 25, 2013

Multicollinearity Vs. the Mankini

She has reared her ugly head.   And Multicollinearity had the audacity to mess with the mankini.

Let me back up.  I was trying to find the perfect Valentine's Day gift for Dave.

I wanted to find something memorable.  Something that he could proudly show off at the neighborhood pool.  Or at one of Becca and Brendon's pool parties.  

And when I found The Smiffy Men's Borat Mankini Dress (in Green), I knew I had struck gold.

I checked out the reviews on and they were stellar:

"I bought this for myself, but after a few tries, I just didn't get used to it, so I gave it to my grandfather. It was an instant hit! All the people at the "home" love seeing papa parade around the place."
"Walking out to a cool, crisp morning in my mankini is refreshing. I can feel the wind course through my chest hair. I can feel the security of my manhood protected and comforted in the nice, soft material."

"I wear this over my Man bra, looks good together, it's the perfect combo."

OMG.  It sounded perfect!  I could hardly wait to see Dave model his mankini.

So, I was getting ready to add the  The Smiffy Men's Borat Mankini Dress (in Green) to my shopping cart when I noticed their other product suggestions:

-a Mankini Thong swimsuit, 
-a Leopard Print Mankini, 
-a Union Jack Mankini, and...

-a Nancy Goes Out With Her Sister Doll?

What a great idea!  I can get Dave a Smiffy Men's Borat Mankini Dress (in Green) AND a Nancy Goes Out With Her Sister Doll!

On second thought, perhaps the Amazon statisticians should tweak their next logical product model.  

Yes, it appears that my good friend Multicollinearity has struckAt the risk of sounding conceited, Amazon should have asked me to help them build their model.  (I am a stinkin' statistical genius after all.)  

I'm certainly not afraid of no MulticollinearityBRING IT ON, BITCH!

But truth be told, I was a bit disappointed in the suggestions.  I was hoping to see a Borat Mankini Dress for women.  

Dave's not the only one who likes to look good at the neighborhood pool.


Monday, January 21, 2013

The Tenacious Rodent

I have just discovered the most incredible beauty product.


Dr Fukuoka Sleeping Anti-Wrinkle Pad. 

You just wear it to bed and wake up with a more youthful appearance!

According to the advertisement on the Japan Trend Shop, the Dr Fukuoka Sleeping Anti-Wrinkle Pad is: 
"specially designed to be easy to wear and beaver away firming up your neck, and all with no discomfort to the sleeper. You will hardly notice it is there while you get your forty winks. But it is all right, and working tenaciously to improve your beauty."

Wait one minute.   

I do not want tenacious beavers firming up my neck while I'm sleeping.  And I don't know about you, but beavers tenaciously firming up my neck would be a discomfort to me, the sleeper.  HOW COULD I NOT NOTICE?  I would never be able to get my forty winks.  In fact, if beavers were attempting to firm up my neck while I was sleeping, I would be unlikely to get even 2 or 3 winks.   And what if they had rabies?!

Never mind.  

I just read the advertising again.  Apparently, "beaver" is not just a rodent.  It is a verb meaning to work very hard or industriously at something (usually followed by "away" ).  

How very embarrassing.  Please forgive my ignorance.

I've got work to do. I must beaver away on my vocabulary so I don't make any more egregious errors on my blog.   

And in terms of this amazing product, I must do some brain beavering, because Dr Fukuoka Sleeping Anti-Wrinkle Pad cost $61 plus $13 shipping and handling, a bit above my beauty budget.  It's apparently made of "stretchy elastomer".  

I wonder if they sell elastomer at the Dollar Store?

I beavered away on to learn that elastomer is just a fancy word for rubber.

But the more beavering I do in inspecting the Dr Fukuoka Sleeping Anti-Wrinkle Pad illustration, I see that the purpose of the elastomer is to keep your chin back while you sleep. 


Introducing the Nerdling Anti-Wrinkle Sleep System!

And it's free to all my readers.  My creative beavering has not only given you a more youthful appearance, it has saved you money.  

You're welcome.

Thursday, January 17, 2013

Stop Drop and Snorkel

I wish I'd thought of this first.  I'd be a zillionaire.

But the Toilet Snorkel was invented 40 years ago by an undisclosed innovator. 

Let's call him "Dr. Privy".

Apparently, there had been a rash of fires in high-rise hotels in the early 1980s.  Dr. Privy, being both an engineering and marketing genius (like myself), identified an unmet consumer need: to breathe while your hotel room is in flames.

The Toilet Snorkel is a quite simple device.  All you have to do is insert the breathing tube (figure 2 #21) through the water trap of the toilet in your hotel room.   The tube will (hypothetically) reach to fresh* air from a vent pipe connected to a sewer line of the toilet.  

(*The air may not be "fresh" in the literal sense.   It will not, however, be smoky.)

Once the tube is in place, stick the other end into your mouth (figure 2 #18) and begin to breathe.  If you start inhaling toilet water, you probably didn't push the tube far enough.  Stop breathing and push the tube deeper into the toilet.

If you are still inhaling toilet water, push the breathing tube even deeper into the toilet.

You should stop trying once your face is submerged in the toilet water.  The party's over at that point.

Unless you packed your Wine Rack Sports BraSimply attach the wine catheter to the Toilet Snorkel and breathe.  

And if that doesn't work?  

You could always stop drop and roll.

Saturday, January 12, 2013

Encompassing Beauty

I couldn't believe my eyes.  A beauty aid integrating the classic rock star tool of Geometry? 

It's true.  The engineering geniuses at the Japan Trend Shop realized that the compass' value could be enhanced exponentially by applying it to one of the most challenging  problems facing the world today: putting on eye makeup. 

Introducing the Futae Compass Eyelid Brush.  According to the advertising materials, this exciting new product "allows you to create the enhanced eyelid look accurately and easily."

"This "compass" has a brush, support and grip design so that you can apply make-up to your eyelid in a super efficient and convenient way". 

Wow! For just $59 (plus $14 shipping and handling), I could get my very own Futae Compass Eyelid Brush!

But why would I need to do that when the Dollar Store sells compasses? 

My friend Becca agreed to be my guinea pig model, as I tested the product. But first things first. All good scientists know that you have to measure first and cut twice or something like that. 

Relax, Becca. You have to learn to trust me

There was nothing to it.  I inserted the eye shadow brush into the compass (where the pencil would usually go). I then centered the compass on Becca's cheek, as illustrated above.

But Becca refused to keep her eyes opened. She thought I was going to poke her eye out or something. What a wimp. 

So I had to revert to Plan B, centering the compass on Becca's forehead and approaching her (closed) eyes from the North.

It worked stunningly.  (And, I have to agree with Becca.  It was safer.)

Then I had my scathingly brilliant idea. 

If this technique worked for eye shadow, what about lipstick? 

I centered the compass on Becca's forehead to apply the lipstick to her bottom lip. Then I moved it to her chin to paint her top lip(As you can see, a basic aptitude for Geometry is necessary to successfully utilize this makeup technique.)  

And sure enough, it worked perfectly!

Well, maybe I could use a little practice here. 

Now, one could argue that it would be more efficient to apply eye shadow and lipstick without the compass.

 I guess I would have to agree. 

But it wouldn't be nearly as much fun.

Saturday, January 5, 2013

Jewelry Genius at Work

I know my husband is oblivious, but how could he not notice my earrings?   

You have to be unconscious to miss them!

I walked past him again.  I even bobbled my head. No reaction.  

I suppose expecting a complement was irrational.  But, darn it! I made them with my own two hands.  They are the fruit of my loins, birthed by my own creative juices.  I wanted them to be admired by someone (besides myself).

Linda already told me what she thought of my Barbie Head Earrings"They're stupid," she said.

But she's a teenager.  What does she know?  Her sense of style is in its infancy. 

My Barbie Head Earrings are not only fashion forward and trendy, they demonstrate diversity.  I know I was taking a risk when I selected the mismatched Barbie Heads.

But that's what fashion geniuses do.  They take chances.

I couldn't stand it any longer.

"Dave, do you like my new earrings?  I made them myself."

"What a shock," he responded.   

Isn't he hysterical?

But he's a guy.  What does he know?  

Then I remembered someone else in the house who would appreciate my Barbie Head Earrings.  Someone who is very fashion forward and has an excellent sense of style.

And guess what?  He loved them.

He said they reminded him of an old girlfriend.

Tuesday, January 1, 2013

The Untold Stories

I was an innocent victim.
I fell asleep watching What Not To Wear and wake up watching...what the heck is that?  Maggots oozing out from between the fingers of a baby?

What am I watching?

The scene changes to a hospital room where a witch doctor is doing an exorcism on some woman's liver.

Oh.  I get it.  I must be watching Untold Stories of the E.R.!

I saw this show a few years ago.

In that episode, a man had fallen from a hot air balloon or something, onto a tree limb. He walk into the ER with a 3 foot jagged branch sticking out of both sides of his neck. The untold doctors and nurses somehow managed to save his life.

They interviewed the doctor who treated him. "He's not out of the woods yet," he said.

With a straight face.

Clearly the show reenacts the untold stories.   And, at the risk of sounding like a theatre snob, I don't think the "tree in neck" actor was very good.

Come on!  If I had a tree hanging out of my neck, I'd look more like this:

Or this.

Just for fun, I did some research about other episodes of Untold Stories of the E.R.  Oh how I wish I'd seen the "eyeball popping out of the socket" episode. Or the man with the live catfish in his throat.  And the camping stove stuck to some guy's penis?  The nude man who fell on a cactus? 

Now that's entertainment.

OMG.  I just had a scathingly brilliant idea.  I should go on Untold Stories of the E.R.!  They could reenact my saran wrap accident!

Who am I kidding?  It's all about ratings.   My saran wrap accident wasn't nearly exciting enough for Untold Stories of the E.R..

Unless I enhanced it.

Maybe if I cut my jugular on a box of saran wrap.  While riding my unicycle!

I think I need an agent.