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fun + Amusement

Dummer - Like Nothing Else / A Hummer Satire

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

Martin Krzywinski @MKrzywinski mkweb.bcgsc.ca
What's after worst? This. (Dummer. Like nothing else.)

The project was well received by The New York Times and very poorly by someone who felt sending me hate mail was a good idea. It was — I loved it.

Other Hummer satires include fuh2.com — there's some hope for us all.

The World's Most Popular Questions

What are the world's most popular questions? After all, what we know defines us as much as what we ask. So, let's look at who we are.

Using Google's autocomplete feature, which suggests the most similar searches to the one you have entered, I maintain a real-time compilation of the most common questions asked by millions of worldwide internet users.

This project (a) yields insight into the zeitgeist and (b) scares me. My reason for fright are questions such as these:

General Issues

How do people do extreme couponing?

Why can't I hold all these limes?

Why do I always feel like murdering everyone?

What's up with the World

Is the world really flat?

is the world being controlled by aliens?

Limits & Desires

What happens if I make a formal commitment to Satan?

Love & Heart

Why is my boyfriend so insecure?

Why is my girlfriend so emotional?


My head is full of pretty lumps.

Pain & Suffering

my elbow is dark and dry

why do I continue to hit myself with a hammer?

when does my head stop growing?

Sizes & Extremes

Who is the most powerful Jedi?

Where is the hardest part of your head?

Religion & Faith

Can Jesus microwave a burrito?

Can I pray with my eyes open?

Should I pray for a husband?

Neologisms - New Words, Much Needed

I like words. The pleasure of effectively using acerebral and defenestrate in the same sentence cannot be understated.

On occassion I found myself in a situation where no word fit, existing or that I know about. Instead of rushing to the dictionary, I decided to make up my own, such as inconversible (a statement without a logical converse), mystific (unexplainably wonderful), postpetizer (course ordered after dessert), prenopsis (a summary of something formulated before it was experienced), suscitate (breathe life into, for the first time), and others.

The current list of my neologisms is circos plot, compure, culturally inconversible, dependers, ee spammings, existangsty, fezday, hilbertonian, hive panel, hive plot, inconversible, metaomome, mystific, naytheism, naytheist, nes, neuroterror, neuroterrorism, newgrade, noward, nonposter, oldgrade, omome, omeomics, omicsophy, over, piddle, port knocking, postpetizer, pregratulate, prekfast, prenopsis, prepetizer, quinty, ratio hive, spammings, suscitate, unappropriate .

HDTR: High Dynamic Time Range Photography - Visualizing the Flow of Time

The HDTR method is a new approach to depicting the passage of time. High Dynamic Time Range (HDTR) images and are a composite of many photos taken over a long period of time, such as a day or even longer. Each part of the HDTR image is sampled from a different photo, either by column or row.

Martin Krzywinski @MKrzywinski mkweb.bcgsc.ca
An HDTR is generated from a set of time-lapse images. Here, a simple HDTR is created from 5 images taken at different times. From each image, a strip representing 20% of the image is extracted and the strips are blended to reduce banding artefacts. (hires)

For example, the left part of the HDTR image might show the scene from 7am and the very right from 8pm, capturing the variation in light across an entire day.

Martin Krzywinski @MKrzywinski mkweb.bcgsc.ca
An HDTR image shows the flow of time across a scene. Here the Vancouver skyline is shown from about 6pm (left) to 9pm (right). (Download)
news + thoughts

Neural network primer

Mon 06-02-2023

Nature is often hidden, sometimes overcome, seldom extinguished. —Francis Bacon

In the first of a series of columns about neural networks, we introduce them with an intuitive approach that draws from our discussion about logistic regression.

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

Simple neural networks are just a chain of linear regressions. And, although neural network models can get very complicated, their essence can be understood in terms of relatively basic principles.

We show how neural network components (neurons) can be arranged in the network and discuss the ideas of hidden layers. Using a simple data set we show how even a 3-neuron neural network can already model relatively complicated data patterns.

Derry, A., Krzywinski, M & Altman, N. (2023) Points of significance: Neural network primer. Nature Methods 20.

Background reading

Lever, J., Krzywinski, M. & Altman, N. (2016) Points of significance: Logistic regression. Nature Methods 13:541–542.

Cell Genomics cover

Mon 16-01-2023

Our cover on the 11 January 2023 Cell Genomics issue depicts the process of determining the parent-of-origin using differential methylation of alleles at imprinted regions (iDMRs) is imagined as a circuit.

Designed in collaboration with with Carlos Urzua.

Martin Krzywinski @MKrzywinski mkweb.bcgsc.ca
Our Cell Genomics cover depicts parent-of-origin assignment as a circuit (volume 3, issue 1, 11 January 2023). (more)

Akbari, V. et al. Parent-of-origin detection and chromosome-scale haplotyping using long-read DNA methylation sequencing and Strand-seq (2023) Cell Genomics 3(1).

Browse my gallery of cover designs.

Martin Krzywinski @MKrzywinski mkweb.bcgsc.ca
A catalogue of my journal and magazine cover designs. (more)

Science Advances cover

Thu 05-01-2023

My cover design on the 6 January 2023 Science Advances issue depicts DNA sequencing read translation in high-dimensional space. The image showss 672 bases of sequencing barcodes generated by three different single-cell RNA sequencing platforms were encoded as oriented triangles on the faces of three 7-dimensional cubes.

More details about the design.

Martin Krzywinski @MKrzywinski mkweb.bcgsc.ca
My Science Advances cover that encodes sequence onto hypercubes (volume 9, issue 1, 6 January 2023). (more)

Kijima, Y. et al. A universal sequencing read interpreter (2023) Science Advances 9.

Browse my gallery of cover designs.

Martin Krzywinski @MKrzywinski mkweb.bcgsc.ca
A catalogue of my journal and magazine cover designs. (more)

Regression modeling of time-to-event data with censoring

Mon 21-11-2022

If you sit on the sofa for your entire life, you’re running a higher risk of getting heart disease and cancer. —Alex Honnold, American rock climber

In a follow-up to our Survival analysis — time-to-event data and censoring article, we look at how regression can be used to account for additional risk factors in survival analysis.

We explore accelerated failure time regression (AFTR) and the Cox Proportional Hazards model (Cox PH).

Martin Krzywinski @MKrzywinski mkweb.bcgsc.ca
Nature Methods Points of Significance column: Regression modeling of time-to-event data with censoring. (read)

Dey, T., Lipsitz, S.R., Cooper, Z., Trinh, Q., Krzywinski, M & Altman, N. (2022) Points of significance: Regression modeling of time-to-event data with censoring. Nature Methods 19.

Music video for Max Cooper's Ascent

Tue 25-10-2022

My 5-dimensional animation sets the visual stage for Max Cooper's Ascent from the album Unspoken Words. I have previously collaborated with Max on telling a story about infinity for his Yearning for the Infinite album.

I provide a walkthrough the video, describe the animation system I created to generate the frames, and show you all the keyframes

Martin Krzywinski @MKrzywinski mkweb.bcgsc.ca
Frame 4897 from the music video of Max Cooper's Asent.

The video recently premiered on YouTube.

Renders of the full scene are available as NFTs.

Gene Cultures exhibit — art at the MIT Museum

Tue 25-10-2022

I am more than my genome and my genome is more than me.

The MIT Museum reopened at its new location on 2nd October 2022. The new Gene Cultures exhibit featured my visualization of the human genome, which walks through the size and organization of the genome and some of the important structures.

Martin Krzywinski @MKrzywinski mkweb.bcgsc.ca
My art at the MIT Museum Gene Cultures exhibit tells shows the scale and structure of the human genome. Pay no attention to the pink chicken.

© 1999–2023 Martin Krzywinski | contact | Canada's Michael Smith Genome Sciences CentreBC Cancer Research CenterBC CancerPHSA