Martin Krzywinski / Genome Sciences Center / mkweb.bcgsc.ca Martin Krzywinski / Genome Sciences Center / mkweb.bcgsc.ca - contact me Martin Krzywinski / Genome Sciences Center / mkweb.bcgsc.ca on Twitter Martin Krzywinski / Genome Sciences Center / mkweb.bcgsc.ca - Lumondo Photography Martin Krzywinski / Genome Sciences Center / mkweb.bcgsc.ca - Hilbertonians - Creatures on the Hilbert Curve
Poetry is just the evidence of life. If your life is burning well, poetry is just the ashLeonard Cohenwatch

satire: fun


Circos at British Library Beautiful Science exhibit—Feb 20–May 26


fun + amusement

Dummer — Like Nothing Else


The Hummer font is a slightly modified Antique Olive Nord. The Like Nothing Else tag line is Trade Gothic. Both have character widths increased to 110-120% and individually adjusted kerning. Get the Illustrator CS5 file for both logos.

Martin Krzywinski @MKrzywinski mkweb.bcgsc.ca
Hummer logo. (EPS, PNG)
Martin Krzywinski @MKrzywinski mkweb.bcgsc.ca
Dummer logo. (EPS, PNG)
Download high-resolution images.

This project might give you the impression that I don't like Hummers. You'd be right.

Martin Krzywinski @MKrzywinski mkweb.bcgsc.ca
It could be worse. But not by much. (zoom)
Martin Krzywinski @MKrzywinski mkweb.bcgsc.ca
It could be worse. But not by much. (zoom)
Martin Krzywinski @MKrzywinski mkweb.bcgsc.ca
It could be worse. But not by much. (zoom)

update

The Maurauder. Over 25,000 lb — five times what an H3 weighs. Enough said.

Martin Krzywinski @MKrzywinski mkweb.bcgsc.ca
There is always someone with a bigger one. (Manufacturer's page.)

Dummer - Like Nothing Else

Hummers are a cultural equivalent of a toxic warning label and have the same effect on me as bug spray on mosquitoes.

I am not the first one to satirize this automotive aberration, so there's some hope.

Martin Krzywinski @MKrzywinski mkweb.bcgsc.ca
Dummer. Like Nothing Else. (New York Times — Laugh Lines)

GM's advertisement images require no modification for the satire, which makes it all that much better.

Martin Krzywinski @MKrzywinski mkweb.bcgsc.ca
Dumb and Dumber. (New York Times — Laugh Lines)

I could have just as well used the Lincoln Navigator or Cadillac Escalade, but they don't embody the superlative like the Hummer.

The Hummer brand proved itself to be aesthetically, rationally and economically unsustainable and collapsed after a failed attempt to sell it to China. There continues to be a robust market for used Hummers. Let the farce continue.

I'm hated

It delights me that this project produced my first hate mail.

I want to meet Doug and give him a hug for adding another dimension to this project.

I'm loved

The images got picked up by the New York Times laughlines blog, which drew a couple of fan mails.

But neither made me feel as good as Doug's email.

Dummer Images

Dummer. Like nothing else. A pretty good Hummer satire. / Martin Krzywinski @MKrzywinski mkweb.bcgsc.ca
Dummer. Like nothing else. (zoom)
Dummer. Like nothing else. A pretty good Hummer satire. / Martin Krzywinski @MKrzywinski mkweb.bcgsc.ca
Dummer. Like nothing else. (zoom)
Dummer. Like nothing else. A pretty good Hummer satire. / Martin Krzywinski @MKrzywinski mkweb.bcgsc.ca
Dummer. Like nothing else. (zoom)
Dummer. Like nothing else. A pretty good Hummer satire. / Martin Krzywinski @MKrzywinski mkweb.bcgsc.ca
Dummer. Like nothing else. (zoom)
Dummer. Like nothing else. A pretty good Hummer satire. / Martin Krzywinski @MKrzywinski mkweb.bcgsc.ca
Dummer. Like nothing else. (zoom)
Dummer. Like nothing else. A pretty good Hummer satire. / Martin Krzywinski @MKrzywinski mkweb.bcgsc.ca
Dummer. Like nothing else. (zoom)
Dummer. Like nothing else. A pretty good Hummer satire. / Martin Krzywinski @MKrzywinski mkweb.bcgsc.ca
Dummer. Like nothing else. (zoom)
Dummer. Like nothing else. A pretty good Hummer satire. / Martin Krzywinski @MKrzywinski mkweb.bcgsc.ca
Dummer. Like nothing else. (zoom)
Dummer. Like nothing else. A pretty good Hummer satire. / Martin Krzywinski @MKrzywinski mkweb.bcgsc.ca
Dummer. Like nothing else. (zoom)

news + thoughts

Replication—Quality over Quantity

Tue 02-09-2014

It's fitting that the column published just before Labor day weekend is all about how to best allocate labor.

Replication is used to decrease the impact of variability from parts of the experiment that contribute noise. For example, we might measure data from more than one mouse to attempt to generalize over all mice.

Martin Krzywinski @MKrzywinski mkweb.bcgsc.ca
Nature Methods Points of Significance column: Replication. (read)

It's important to distinguish technical replicates, which attempt to capture the noise in our measuring apparatus, from biological replicates, which capture biological variation. The former give us no information about biological variation and cannot be used to directly make biological inferences. To do so is to commit pseudoreplication. Technical replicates are useful to reduce the noise so that we have a better chance to detect a biologically meaningful signal.

Blainey, P., Krzywinski, M. & Altman, N. (2014) Points of Significance: Replication Nature Methods 11:879-880.

Background reading

Krzywinski, M. & Altman, N. (2014) Points of Significance: Analysis of variance (ANOVA) and blocking Nature Methods 11:699-700.

Krzywinski, M. & Altman, N. (2014) Points of Significance: Designing Comparative Experiments Nature Methods 11:597-598.

...more about the Points of Significance column

Monkeys on a Hilbert Curve—Scientific American Graphic

Tue 19-08-2014

I was commissioned by Scientific American to create an information graphic that showed how our genomes are more similar to those of the chimp and bonobo than to the gorilla.

I had about 5 x 5 inches of print space to work with. For 4 genomes? No problem. Bring out the Hilbert curve!

Martin Krzywinski @MKrzywinski mkweb.bcgsc.ca
Our genomes are much more similar to the chimp and bonobo than to the gorilla. And, we're practically still Denisovans. (details)

To accompany the piece, I will be posting to the Scientific American blog about the process of creating the figure. And to emphasize that the genome is not a blueprint!

As part of this project, I created some Hilbert curve art pieces. And while exploring, found thousands of Hilbertonians!

Happy Pi Approximation Day— π, roughly speaking 10,000 times

Wed 13-08-2014

Celebrate Pi Approximation Day (July 22nd) with the art of arm waving. This year I take the first 10,000 most accurate approximations (m/n, m=1..10,000) and look at their accuracy.

Martin Krzywinski @MKrzywinski mkweb.bcgsc.ca
Accuracy of the first 10,000 m/n approximations of Pi. (details)

I turned to the spiral again after applying it to stack stacked ring plots of frequency distributions in Pi for the 2014 Pi Day.

Martin Krzywinski @MKrzywinski mkweb.bcgsc.ca
Frequency distribution of digits of Pi in groups of 4 up to digit 4,988. (details)

Analysis of Variance (ANOVA) and Blocking—Accounting for Variability in Multi-factor Experiments

Mon 07-07-2014

Our 10th Points of Significance column! Continuing with our previous discussion about comparative experiments, we introduce ANOVA and blocking. Although this column appears to introduce two new concepts (ANOVA and blocking), you've seen both before, though under a different guise.

Martin Krzywinski @MKrzywinski mkweb.bcgsc.ca
Nature Methods Points of Significance column: Analysis of variance (ANOVA) and blocking. (read)

If you know the t-test you've already applied analysis of variance (ANOVA), though you probably didn't realize it. In ANOVA we ask whether the variation within our samples is compatible with the variation between our samples (sample means). If the samples don't all have the same mean then we expect the latter to be larger. The ANOVA test statistic (F) assigns significance to the ratio of these two quantities. When we only have two-samples and apply the t-test, t2 = F.

ANOVA naturally incorporates and partitions sources of variation—the effects of variables on the system are determined based on the amount of variation they contribute to the total variation in the data. If this contribution is large, we say that the variation can be "explained" by the variable and infer an effect.

We discuss how data collection can be organized using a randomized complete block design to account for sources of uncertainty in the experiment. This process is called blocking because we are blocking the variation from a known source of uncertainty from interfering with our measurements. You've already seen blocking in the paired t-test example, in which the subject (or experimental unit) was the block.

We've worked hard to bring you 20 pages of statistics primers (though it feels more like 200!). The column is taking a month off in August, as we shrink our error bars.

Krzywinski, M. & Altman, N. (2014) Points of Significance: Analysis of Variance (ANOVA) and Blocking Nature Methods 11:699-700.

Background reading

Krzywinski, M. & Altman, N. (2014) Points of Significance: Designing Comparative Experiments Nature Methods 11:597-598.

Krzywinski, M. & Altman, N. (2014) Points of Significance: Comparing Samples — Part I — t-tests Nature Methods 11:215-216.

Krzywinski, M. & Altman, N. (2013) Points of Significance: Significance, P values and t-tests Nature Methods 10:1041-1042.

...more about the Points of Significance column