# Blog

### Costa Rican Saints

One of the first things a traveller notices when going to Costa Rica is that almost every town or city is named after a Saint. Growing up in Costa Rica, I just assumed this was something true of all Latin American countries, a legacy of Spanish colonial times. California has San Jose, San Fransisco, etc. I thought it was like that from California to Argentina. After some travelling in Latin America I realised this was simply not true.
2017-08-18

### Bayesian Images

Graphs to accompany my poster presentation. The data set The generated data is plotted below: Metropolis Hastings Algorithm This visual explanation of the Metropolis Hastings algorithm shows the proposal and the true density along with the Metropolis Hastings step. It was inspired and adapted from code by Balazs Torok. Diagnostic Plots for Beta 2 via Gibbs Sampler Autocorrelation Plot The autocorrelations are negligable, suggesting good mixing. Running Means Plot The running means have settled. Three chain trace plot All three chains seem to be in the same place.
2017-05-22

### Thirteen hours in Rotterdam

Oscar Wilde once wrote: “Whenever a man does a thoroughly stupid thing, it is always from the noblest motives.” I bought a bus ticket from London to Rotterdam. I did this in order to save what effectively amounts to the price of a handful of beers in London prices. I needed to get to Budapest, and I already had a flight leaving from Rotterdam booked. I spent 8 excruciating hours on a bus from London Victoria to Rotterdam Centraal, to in Rotterdam at 5 am in a cold winter morning.
2017-01-11

### You are wasting your time with spreadsheets

This week I had an interesting conversation (as interesting as these conversations can get) about the use of spreadsheets in business. I am still a little bit surprised by how often they are used for things they are not really good for. Now, I don’t want to write about how there are better alternatives to spreadsheets. Instead, I’d like to illustrate how powerful non-spreadsheet tools are by describing a task I completed this week using R.
2016-11-13

### How to get your Facebook messages into R

It is a truism that we live in the information age, yet on a day to day basis we engage remarkably little with insights on the personal information we create. Sure, Netflix shows you films you want to see, Amazon offers books you want to buy and Facebook shows you pictures of cats with boobs or whatever it is you tend to click on, but explicit purpose of that is to get your money. What about using all that data to gain insights on who you are, who your friends are, what you tend to talk about?
2016-10-29

### Alphabetically inspired anecdotes from Cuba: 58 years after 1958

Aviacion de Cubana There was no toilet paper on the Russian-made Antonov 158 plane which took me and 15 other passengers to Havana. The Cuban state airline, Cubana de Aviacion, clearly does not need have to meet profitability targets. Even the dry sandwich they served tasted of an iron curtain. Not unlike the other living political museum of China, immigration and customs is relatively straightforward. If you had to guess the political system of a country based on the border control procedures you’d probably guess the United States is authoritarian.
2016-06-12

### How I made this website - tutorial

On when I first built this website
2016-04-20

### Boaz's Review of Books: Violence, elaborate lies and a literary journey through China and Africa

The books I finished reading recently that I thought might be interesting to comment upon were Steven Pinker’s The better Angels of Our Nature, Mo Yan’s Big Breast’s and Wide Hips, Kapuscinski’s The Shadow of the Sun, Robert Mazur’s Infiltrator and David Maurer’s Big Con . Steven Pinker, a psychologist at Harvard, wrote a (way too long) book to argue the world is becoming less, not more violent. What about ISIS, Ukraine, gang warfare and mass shootings?
2016-04-18