October 29, 2009

Halloween Statistics Jokes

What's a ghost's favorite distribtuion?
-The Ber-ghoul-i distribution

When was Bayes happiest?
-In a prior life

How did theta dress up for halloween?
-He put a hat on

Why didn't null hypothesis win the costume contest?
-He got rejected.

How many houses did the geometric distribution go trick-or-treating at?
-He stopped at his first failure

That's mu's favorite candy bar?
- The x bar

Why did theta stop trick-or-treating after he got is first x?
- Because x was sufficient for theta.

How did the discrete distribution die?
- It was Poisson-ed

Why was the vampire angry when the waitress brought him a random sample?
- Because he had ordered statistics

Why did Dracula have trouble transforming into a bat?
- He forgot about the Jacobian

Why didn't the statiscian ask for pieces of candy from the standard normal distribution?
- He expected 0

Why did the twin zombies have a non-zero covariance?
- Because they're gore-related

Which author did the statiscian dress up as?
- MLE Dickinson

What estimator did the timid ghost use to haunt his house?
- Least Scares

Posted by Matthew at 10:39 PM | Comments (0)

April 15, 2008

Boing Boinged

Today i feel truly honored as one of my favorite web logs of all time, Boing Boing, actually posted my cupcake waltz video to their home page! This is amazing to me because Boing Boing is always opened as a tab in my browser and i constantly check it to see what's interesting around the internet. I often share links i find from that site with others so the fact they they choose to share mine means a lot to me.

One of the best parts of having more people see the video is the increase in the number of comments that it generates. I've enjoyed reading them all. There are comments on the YouTube page, the Boing Boing page, and also a Gawker page.

Posted by Matthew at 12:43 PM | Comments (0)

March 05, 2008

Office supply bouquet

It's a theatre tradition to present flowers to the people you know in the cast of a show. Well, the show i saw was called Secretaries and my friend played a secretary so i thought it would be appropriate to make some flowers out of office supplies. I made a rose-like bud out of post-it notes for one flower and i used colorful paperclips as petals on another. All the flowers were mounted to pencils and arranged in a mug.

Posted by Matthew at 04:37 PM | Comments (1)

March 03, 2008

Grad school grades

At home point during this first year of grad school my focus shifted from hoping to to well on an assignment to hoping that everyone else does worse. Now i'm just shooting to stay above the median.

Posted by Matthew at 07:24 PM | Comments (0)

February 26, 2008

Putting It Together

I was in the mood to work on a puzzle this weekend and Maria and Ann offered to help. I thought it might be fun to capture our progress on film, so i get up my camera to take time-lapse shots. The camera took one picture every minute and then i put them all together in iMovie. You can see the short film i call "Putting It Together" on YouTube although the image compression takes away a lot of the detail. It's slighly better on Facebook.

It took some work to actually get the camera in place. I quickly realized that i don't have very many tall things in my apartment. I ended up securing my camera to my large wooden battle spoon (large, as in 5 feet long) and then propped that up on one end on top of an open kitchen cabinet door and on the other end on top of a stack of cardboard boxes. I'm really surprised the whole thing didn't topple over at some point. I also can't believe that the battery in the camera lasted as long as it did. It took 538 pictures over the course of nearly 9 hours. I was up till 3:30 am finishing the puzzle.

puzzle camera rig

Posted by Matthew at 11:29 AM | Comments (0)

February 11, 2008

Cupcake Dance

As soon as i saw the stack of cupcakes made inedible by an over-dose of baking soda, i knew i wanted to do something special with them. Here is the result. It's a movie i call Cupcake Dance.

I had always wanted to make a stop motion animated movie and when i saw that iStopMotion was in the latest MacHeist bundle, i snapped it up. This was the perfect excuse to try it out. I hooked my computer up to my Nikon S200 to snap the images. In total there are 1019 still images in this video at 15 fames per second.

My set up was far from ideal. I didn't have a tripod so i set up some boxes i had lying around. On top of that i put a wire cooking rack so i could place my camera on top and have the USB cord run underneath. I had to put my keyboard in front of the computer so i could bridge between the camera and the software. I also don't have an AC adapter for my camera and the batter went out twice during the shoot. You can see the film jump because it was impossible to get things to line up again after i swapped out the battery. Below is a picture of my make-shift studio.

my make-shift stop motion studio

I'm really happy with how it turned out considering it my first ever animated film. I'd love to make more if only it didn't take so darn long. Most of my weekend was consumed with planning and creating a 1 minute of finished animation. But when i see stuff like My Paper Mind by Javan Ivey or The Human Flipbook i get inspired.

Posted by Matthew at 05:55 PM | Comments (1)

February 08, 2008


In this world, there are two kinds of cupcakes: those that are yummy, and those that have 2 tablespoons of baking soda rather than 2 teaspoons as indicated by the recipe. It's not too hard to tell the difference.

good cupcakes - bad cupcakes

Posted by Matthew at 11:11 PM | Comments (0)

January 21, 2008

Basic science seminar calendar

Every week i get a list of the upcoming UM Med School science seminars. Here are a few scheduled for this week:

  • Swi/Snf is required for Embryonic Stem Cell Lineage Commitment and Specification
  • Stories at the Ends: Cryo-Electron Microscopy of Microtubule Dynamic Instability and its Roles at the Kinetochore
  • The Role of Kisspeptins in the Neuroendocrine Regulation of Reproduction: Physiological and Developmental Implications
  • Exploring the DNA Damage Response by Phospho-Proteomic Analysis of ATM/ATR Substrates
  • Molecular Functions of the De-ubiquitinating Enzyme TRE17/USP6 in Human Neoplasia
  • Thyroid Hormone Stimulates Neuronal Development, Synapse Formation, and Ion Channel Gene Expression in the Cochlea
  • The Role of the Tyrosine Kinase JAK2 in Actions of Growth Hormone
  • Elephants in the Room: Porcine Torque Teno Virus and Implications for the Global Swine Industry
  • Nuclear Receptor PPAR-gamma in Osteoclastogenesis and Lactation
  • Role of Eicosanoids in Islet Function

I'm looking forward to the seminar about how to understand what the other seminars are about. Or maybe i need to find where the math seminars are.

Posted by Matthew at 12:06 PM | Comments (1)

January 15, 2008

Number five medical breakthough of 2007

Time magazine put together a list of the top 10 medical breakthroughs of 2007. Included as number 5 on the list is The discovery of new diabetes genes. Though the article is somewhat vague about the source of this accomplishment, part of research was conducted at the University of Michigan. The Fusion (Finland-United States Investigation of NIDDM Genetics) project is run by Dr. Michael Boehnke (who just happens to be my adviser). They identified new genes that were associated with Type 2 Diabetes though a genome-wide association study. I wish that all stories about scientific breakthroughs were more specific about who actually arrived at the result rather than just saying "scientists discovered that... ."

Posted by Matthew at 04:08 PM | Comments (1)

December 27, 2007

Christmas cookies 2007

I hope everyone had a nice holiday. Here is a quick peek at this year's batch of Crhistmas cookies.

christmas cookies

Posted by Matthew at 09:33 PM | Comments (1)