In December, I came across a guide to reproducible code in ecology and evolution published by the British Ecological Society. While my background is in physics research, I think the guide is incredibly useful for scientists of all disciplines. Reading through this guide also got me thinking about reproducibility in general and my own journey towards creating reproducible research. The British Ecological Society’s guide comes at a time when researchers across the various scientific disciplines are discussing the importance of reproducibility.

After seeing an announcement about it on R-Bloggers, I decided to test out the new xray package using the Titanic data set. The xray package provides a few functions for quickly getting a summary of anomalies and distributions of the variables in a data set. For anomalies, the anomalies() function outputs the number and percentage of NA’s, zeroes, empty strings, and infinities while also giving some useful information about distinct observations and variable class.

I am always interested in hearing about things that are incredibly influential to my friends. Considering how many books, video games, movies, TV shows, and other pieces of culture are created in a year it is easy to miss something. As such, here is a small list of video games that either came out in 2017 or that I played in 2017 that I think could be easily missed and are quite wonderful.

The other week I came across some work being done by Botnik and Botnik Studios to create strange new things with machine learning. The creation that caught my eye was a chapter for an entirely new Harry Potter book made using a predictive text algorithm like you might find attached to a cell phone keyboard. By training the algorithm on the text of Harry Potter they were able to produce new dialogue and narration that seemed like the original Harry Potter, but is completely new and bizarre.

A quick update on what is going on over at Patreon after the announcement last week of changes to their subscription methods and service fees. In a surprising reversal of position, Patreon has decided to not roll out their planned changes. This reversal will keep in place the current system while they find a way forward that allows Patreon to fix the problems that prompted the changes in the first place.