Replacing Dropbox Pro with Amazon Glacier, and other services

Recently I've started auditing my tech spending to save some money.  One of the things I decided to drop was my subscription to Dropbox Pro, costing me $99/yr for 100 GB.  (really 140, because they double your free-space with a pro account). Here's what I did. Photos: Amazon S3 Glacier Backup A big chunk of my data in dropbox was photos:...Read More

Reading/Writing to CSV in Matlab

When doing data analysis, many times your input will come in a .csv file, and you'll also want output in a .csv file.  Unfortunately, matlab's built-in csvread/csvwrite functions are exceptionally frustrating to use for anything than pure numeric input/output.  Luckily, writing your own code to read /csv files (especially with some knowledge of your desired input/output) is pretty easy. Reading...Read More

How to calculate the 100-year flood

There are a number of ways to calculate the 1 in 100 flood, some more complicated than others. This simple way does a great job of explaining the basics (and the shortcomings behind the metric).  First we start with historical data, and we need a good chunk of it. Since we're in Boulder I'm going to use the Boulder Creek @...Read More

About 100 year floods (and probabilities, and risk analysis)

I'm based in Boulder, and it's flooding.  Luckily, we're all fine here. Flooding is kind of a weird natural disaster.  First: It doesn't feel very threatening: It's just raining outside... a lot. But it does post some serious risks and deserves to be taken seriously. 100 year floods (Should be called: the 1% flood) [caption id="attachment_1348" align="alignright" width="300"] Near Boulder Creek...Read More

Understanding Heart Rate

So I just got a Garmin, mostly to record long rides on strava without killing my phone battery. But I'm also a bit interested in the Heart Rate data craze.  So far, everything i've found on heart rate training seems anecdotal at best: "Subtract your age from 220..."  That's about where I stop reading.  It seems like this formula is a good guess,...Read More

Tool of the Week: Using Google Forms for Research

I love google docs, it's an awesome way to collaborate on word processing files and spreadsheets, and have them available from anywhere.  I have a few google spreadsheets I use daily in the lab with calibration curves and other important info, but I wanted to talk about a less obvious google doc that i find invaluable: Google Forms.  You may have already heard...Read More