After nine seasons 76 million people tuned into watch the last episode of the TV Show Seinfeld. That episode was a profound middle finger to the audience of Seinfeld, basically telling every dedicated fan that after all those years the show was pointless. It was an extremely polarizing episode, some loved it, some hated it. But 76 million viewers! Do you ever wonder how they came up with that number? Did NBC have some magical way of tracking every TV with a wire or antenna that tuned in for the finale? No, they did not. Instead they used statistical sampling to come up with that number. This is how most ratings and viewership "estimates" work; a company like Nielsen polls a set of people who are representative of the total viewership, and then they multiply it out. If you sample 1000 people, which is supposed to represent a 100 million human beings, you’re going to multiply it by 100,000 to get your best guess at the actual number of viewers. This sort of estimation in statistical analysis is hugely important in understanding what’s going on today with numbers about viruses like the flu and the novel coronavirus.
Awhile back I wrote an article about visualizing my mortgage after my buddy Jon and I discussed buying a house on our podcast. Since then my wife and I have aggressively gone after our mortgage and I was happy to report (on Facebook) that at the end of June we made the final payment. I hesitated posting about this on Facebook (I don’t post often), but I was pretty proud and happy and wanted to share that joy. Yes, it was a brag and it was anything but humble, but sometimes you earn a little bit of that. :)
For close to a year now my friend Jon and I have been recording our podcast, Life with a Twist of Lemon. Jon and I have been friends for a long time, and he had been advocating for us to do a podcast for a while when I finally caved, contingent on one condition: I would do nothing. I knew if Jon was serious this wouldn’t be a problem, and we could simply replace one of our usual phone calls with a high-quality microphone and it wouldn’t be more time out of my day. To sweeten the deal, Jon suggested we use my name in the title. As if I could resist!
I’m a big fan of the Marvel Cinematic Universe. I don’t hesitate to get a baby sitter and see new releases in the theater and I’ve pretty much preordered every release (sans Guardians 2). I love the genre, but even more so I think the MCU represents some of the best movie writing of my lifetime. Consistently the MCU rolls out great content, so that even the worst MCU movie is still a great movie. Not even Star Wars can rival the consistent greatness of the MCU’s story telling.
Last night I released a new library to GitHub and npm called React PouchDB components. I'm excited to share this library, which started as an experiment to illustrate to my friend Jon how easy it could be to leverage PouchDB in React. After enough tooling around I suspected that the pieces could be extracted and shared more broadly.