Friday, November 13, 2015

Another Blog Transition

For the latest from brian, visit

It's 2015 and I'm up for posting new content about myself. But Alicia's sold me on Wordpress (it just looks so much sexier!) and I'm sick of splitting my content between work and casual. No one wants to visit two blogs by one guy.

So head over to for the most current blog about me. This blog (my professional one) has transitioned to the blogger hosted address

See ya there?

Friday, December 26, 2014

Escher's Hand with Reflecting Sphere

Check out this link from 

The creator unprojected Escher's "Hand with Reflecting Sphere" onto a 3D environment, then put the ball in the center as a demo for three.js. I don't know about you, but that's the kind of thing any career needs - little bit of creativity, little bit of math, and a lot of awesome.

Saturday, October 4, 2014

Visualizing Gender Break Out by Profession

538 used Census data to show the gender breakout by profession. Very good! Let me excerpt the most important parts:

The patterns are pretty obvious to me, which is the sign of a good info-graphic. To anticipate a few of your questions:

  • Yes, drillers of earth is the most awesome job you've ever heard of.
  • A boilermaker fabricates steel plates
  • Turns out that @BeckerMN is part of the 2.3% 

Saturday, July 19, 2014

Geek vs. Nerd

I disagree with how often the terms "nerd" and "geek" are self-applied, but I have to appreciate a good study of their difference when I see one.

Burr Settles defines the difference:
"The distinction is that geeks are fans of their subjects, and nerds are practitioners of them."
...then uses Twitter data to back his assertion up by calculating the "point-wise mutual information" of nerd and geek with other words to illuminate what Twitter thinks is "geeky" or "nerdy".

"Moving up the vertical axis, words become more geeky (“#music” → “#gadget” → “#cosplay”), and moving left to right they become more nerdy (“education” → “grammar” → “neuroscience”). Words along the diagonal are similarly geeky and nerdy, including social (“#awkward”, “weirdo”), mainstream tech (“#computers”, “#microsoft”), and sci-fi/fantasy terms (“doctorwho,” “#thehobbit”)." 

 Find the full article on the Slackpropagation blog - definitely click through to read more of his conclusions.

Saturday, May 10, 2014

Life in Weeks

Had a decent visualization of life forwarded today:

Be warned, the second half of the article gets a little preachy and motivational. But the grid view of weeks in a typical human's life is awesome:

Source: What But Why

I'm marveling at the simplicity. The KISS principle in action, I'd say.

Saturday, April 19, 2014

Fantastic Report

Ars Technica recently posted a study on PC Game Sales:

Right now, I can tell you that about 37 percent of the roughly 781 million games registered to various Steam accounts haven’t even been loaded a single time. I can tell you that Steam users have put an aggregate of about 3.8 billion hours into Dota 2.

Essentially, they found a way to systematically sample the profile pages of all Steam users, scraping games in library + hours played:

[We] scrape through more than a 100,000 pages a day. Using our knowledge of the Steam Community ID structure (and some light PHP/MySQL coding), we’ve been conducting what amounts to a rolling, randomized poll of the Steam user universe for about two months now. 
Just exactly the kind of thing I enjoy. The article goes on to describe their findings, the risks, and key insights their data scraping provides. I know I'll be bookmarking it as a guideline for my next project - both at work and in my personal "futzing" around.

Tuesday, October 15, 2013


Just a quick note to brag, Target's been holding a Data Visualization challenge. They provide the data, you go and make with the pretty and insightful. My team? Top 4 of 17 submissions. We're presenting at the big event tomorrow.

As a result, I'm pretty high on data-viz right now, feeling like a pro. Then I stumble upon something like this:

Man, it has everything. It's interactive in all the right ways. The scatter plot is the perfect way to display the gender differences and the sorting buttons at the bottom are the icing on the cake. 

Oh well, I'll keep tryin' and aspirin'.