Valentine Poems

Three days late, here are some poems in honor of Valentine’s Day.

I do not love you as if you were salt-rose, or topaz,
or the arrow of carnations the fire shoots off.
I love you as certain dark things are to be loved,
in secret, between the shadow and the soul.
I love you as the plant that never blooms
but carries in itself the light of hidden flowers;
thanks to your love a certain solid fragrance,
risen from the earth, lives darkly in my body.
I love you without knowing how, or when, or from where.
I love you straightforwardly, without complexities or pride;
so I love you because I know no other way
than this: where I does not exist, nor you,
so close that your hand on my chest is my hand,
so close that your eyes close as I fall asleep.

This was a poem by famous Chilean poet Pablo Neruda.

And here’s love and statistics.

You are perfect; I’d make no substitutions
You remind me of my favorite distributions
With a shape and a scale that I find reliable
You’re as comforting as a two parameter Weibull
When I ask you a question and hope you answer truly
You speak as clearly as a draw from a Bernoulli
Your love of adventure is most influential
Just like the constant hazard of an exponential.
With so many moments, all full of fun,
You always integrate perfectly to one.

(hat tip: Andrew Gelman)

Electoral Vote Predictors

There are so many sites predicting the results of the Presidential, Senate and House elections, some using statistical techniques, others their intuition. Here are some of my favorites.

Being a political junkie means I follow polls and electoral projections. Add to it the nerd factor and I love to see all sorts of prediction algorithms used to figure out the electoral votes for Obama and McCain.

The best such site is Pollster.com which is very comprehensive and now with their flash applications very customizable too. You can even embed their poll trend graphs on your own website. They use LOESS local regression to calculate the current vote share for the candidates.

In 2004, I discovered Electoral-Vote.com which is run by Andrew Tanenbaum who I knew because of his Computer Science textbooks.

Click for www.electoral-vote.com

I like the Princeton Election Consortium site because not only do they provide details of their methods but also their code.

FiveThirtyEight weights pollsters by reliability and also takes into account the demographics of each state for their projection.

RealClear Politics averages recent polls to arrive at their electoral map.

Andrea Moro uses statistical simulations to assign the winner for each state.

Finally, 3BlueDudes has a huge list of election projection websites.

5 Years of Blogging

It has been five years since I started blogging. Over time, my blogging has become more sporadic, but I plan to continue. So today here are some statistics about my weblog.

It was 5 years ago today that I made my first post on my blog which was then on Blogger. This post today is the 999th one I have made here and there have been 6,678 comments on these posts.

Number of Posts Every Year

According to Sitemeter, there have been about 950,000 visits and 1,410,000 page views of my weblog.

Since I have had a Google Analytics account since April 2006, I have collected some decent statistics pertaining to my weblog. Here are some of them (I am using the whole period from April 2006 to now for these stats).

The web pages on my site that have gotten the most page views since April 2006 are as follows:

  1. Week 20: Boy or Girl
  2. Arranged Marriage
  3. Women, Gays, Sex, Islam
  4. Blog main page
  5. Urdu/اردو
  6. Moth Smoke
  7. Marriage: Between Cousins
  8. My Home Page
  9. Commenters Looking for Marriage
  10. Week 21: Level 2 Diagnostic Ultrasound

So it seems like category and monthly archives do not get many visits while most visitors coming from search engines land straight on an individual post page.

The percentage of visitors to my weblog who use different web browsers is as follows:

Internet Explorer 80.0%
Firefox 15.4%
Safari 2.3%
Opera 1.2%

The most popular search terms for getting to my blog are (in no particular order, since I combined similar queries):

  • urdu sex stories
  • arranged marriages
  • level 2 ultrasound
  • procrastination
  • firefox sucks
  • harun yahya
  • am i having a boy or girl
  • gays sex
  • crvo
  • asylum in canada

This list mostly disappointed me.

The top 10 countries from which my blog received visits are:

  1. United States
  2. Pakistan
  3. United Kingdom
  4. Canada
  5. India
  6. Australia
  7. Iran
  8. United Arab Emirates
  9. Saudi Arabia
  10. Germany

Here is a world map with the countries I have had visitors from shown in red.

Visitor Countries Map

The list of more than 200 countries follows:

Continue reading “5 Years of Blogging”