Monday, June 28, 2021

2 Years Ago Today - Route 66

This day two years ago Roma and I set out on Route 66 from Chicago to Los Angeles. With all that has happened since then, it seems like a lifetime ago. It was a fabulous trip with a fabulous group of fellow bikers from all over the world. Two weeks of Americana was fantastic - is is a great country and I'd love to go back and ride again. We thought it would be the first of many road trips, but we will have to wait until next year at the least. We still have Route 66 photos displaying on our Google Nest Hub in our kitchen - great memories!

Here we are picking up our bike - a Harley-Davidson Electra Glide!

Tuesday, June 22, 2021

25,000,000 YouTube Views

My YouTube Channel has passed a landmark figure on reaching 25,005,845 views yesterday. This is the total number of views since I set up the channel on 7th April, 2006. YouTube was just 13 months old (it was founded in February 2005) at the time and this was just before the Google takeover in October 2006. I could not then have anticipated that I would go on to be a YouTuber with 25M views and 57K subscribers.

The number of daily views on the channel has shown almost exact similar patterns over the years. For example, it is currently experiencing a seasonal summer downturn, with views expected to rise again in September. There has been a steady decline in the number of views over the past two years. I put this down to ageing videos (eg, How To... in Excel 2010), as well as a lot more competition. Videos concerning data analysis are now dominating the view counts - Simple Linear Regression has for the past three years been the most popular video. The United States still makes up most views (32%), with India next (14%), followed by the UK (8%), the Philippines (5%), and Canada (5%). Ireland is the 13th most popular location with just 1% of total views.

As always - I continue to be amazed that the Channel has grown so much. Of course, it is an extremely modest number of views and subscribers compared to real influencers. All of the videos are "How To..." educational Learning Objects - there are now 280 videos in the channel. I plan to add more to this by competing my series of Programming in R in the next couple of weeks, and producing a few more Statistics videos. However, there will be every little over the summer.

A huge THANK YOU to every viewer who has clicked on one of my videos - I am very grateful for your time and support. As I say at the end of every video: "I hope you found this video useful, thank you for your attention".

Monday, June 21, 2021

The Second Dose

Having received my first AstraZeneca vaccination at the Aviva Stadium on 25th March, 12 weeks and two days later I got my second jab at the Shoreline Leisure Centre in Greystones. It feels great to finally get it done and join the millions of people worldwide who are hopefully now fully immune to Covid 19. There was hardly any queue outside the centre. Inside I was processed quickly, and steered to the vaccination queue (which moved quickly) of about 40 people, by the always smiling and cheerful volunteers. The wonderful Brenda gave me the jab, and then I had the obligatory 15 minutes in Observation. It was all very calm and extremely efficient. Despite having heard about horrendous queues, I was in-and-out in under 40 minutes. The Shoreline Vaccination Team is brilliant! 

From the scientists who researched and created the vaccines, to the people who underwent clinical trials, to the likes of the HSE who managed and governed all of this, to the factory workers who bottled and shipped the vaccines, to the transport workers who shipped the vaccines all over the world, to the administrators who set up appointments and registered us all, to the IT folks who kept our systems working, to the people who invented SMS so that a simple text message with our appointments meant so much to us all, to the security people who help make the vaccination process safe, to the clinical leads at each centre, to the thousands of dedicated doctors/nurses/pharmacists/paramedics who are saving us all with a needle and a small drop of vaccine, and finally to the army of volunteers who manage the queues at the Mass Vaccination Centres: THANK YOU!

At the Shoreline Leisure Centre, Greystones.

Wednesday, June 16, 2021

100th Programming in R Video

Today sees the publication of the 100th video in my series of How To... Programme in R. This video is about the exciting topic of multicollinearity - which can be a problem when building Multiple Linear Regression models. Here's a useful definition:

The term multicollinearity was first used by Ragnar Frisch. It describes a perfect or exact relationship between the regression exploratory variables. Linear regression analysis assumes that there is no perfect exact relationship among exploratory variables. In regression analysis, when this assumption is violated, the problem of Multicollinearity occurs (Statistics Solutions).

I am coming to the end of this series of R videos as there are only a few small topics left from modules that I covered in my teaching days at NCI. I have mostly kept up publishing one video every working day since mid-January, but this will soon stop as I run out of ideas, and the summer is here!

The number of views for each video continues to be low - only a handful have exceeded 100 views. The most popular ones so far deal with Linear Regression, and the Chi-squared Test for Independence. I know there is a lot of competition on YouTube for videos about R programming - so it was always going to be a tough start to getting views. Nevertheless, I have enjoyed making the videos, even though the pressure to keep up the one-a-day schedule was often hard and at the last minute.