Using Google Maps APIv3 and Google Spreadsheets

Over the past few days, I’ve had the opportunity to learn some cool things that one can do with the Google Maps API v3. While working on a newly acquired project, I was faced with a unique (or maybe not so unique) situation demanding the need for a solution that allows users to submit location data, which is then automatically plotted on an embedded Google Map. This situation was unique in the sense that it needed to be purely based on Google features (for simplicity and user friendliness). Continue reading…

Soda Got You Down? Not So Fast!

A new research study (not yet published) sponsored by the NIH suggests that drinking sweetened beverages is associated with an increased risk of depression. Boasting a total sample size of 263,925 individuals ranging from 50 to 71 years old, the study began in 1995-1996 when researchers evaluated consumption of soda, tea, fruit punch and coffee. About 10 years later, the same individuals were asked whether or not they had been diagnosed with depression since 2000 (so beginning about 5 years after the study began). Continue reading…

The ‘No Flu-Freakout Zone’

Yes…it’s flu season, yes…it’s worse this year than previous years and yes…it even made it to epidemic status (which means it’s in higher numbers than expected). Yet watching the news in the past few days made me feel like this has turned into a zombie apocalypse rather than a cyclical event (albeit with higher infections than we’re used to). Am I the only one that thinks the media is doing a tremendous job at sensationalizing and over-hyping this? It may be a ratings-booster, but is it really worth freaking out over? Continue reading…

A Look at Gun Ownership and Firearm Death Rates

It’s been dubbed the second deadliest school shooting in US history, after the 2007 Virginia Tech incident. If you’ve been watching the news, you’re probably already an expert in this tragedy. As opposed to previous gun massacres, this time around, the media has done a pretty good job at focusing on recovery rather than presenting the gory, rating-bringing details. But as I surfed the different channels covering Sandy Hook Elementary (and there were plenty), listening to discussions about gun control, gun violence and the factors playing into these incidents, few (if any) news commentators gave hard facts about gun ownership or gun deaths. And so, the journey for knowledge started; knowledge which I share with you in the figures and tables below. As a side note, I do not own a gun, although I will one day purchase one for my protection and leisure. Continue reading…