Tuesday, December 30, 2014

Are the States that rejected Obamacare Medicaid expansion having a worse flu season?

The CDC released an interesting map of this years flu season showing that it appears to currently be pretty bad in the south.

As you can see the south appears to be particularly hard hit this year which made me wonder how this lines up with states who rejected medicaid expansion under the ACA.  My thesis is that if more people are covered by Medicaid you should see an increase in people getting flu vaccines, since they are now essentially free.

Here is a map I found of States that rejected the Medicaid expansion

I think this does line up a bit more than chance would suggest.  Sure there are plenty of other reasons that could explain the correlation here, but I think this does merit at least a bit more research.


A friend of mine did a little more research into this and posted this on my Facebook page 

Seemed interesting enough to look into. I pulled 18+ flu-vaccination rate data from the CDC (http://www.cdc.gov/.../rep.../reporti1314/reportii/index.htm) for 2012-2013. I used that year because California and Mississippi were missing data from the last several months of 2013-2014. The 27 states + DC that opted in had an average vaccination rate of 43.8%. The corresponding number for the 23 opt-out states was 41.8%. There is a lot of overlap in the confidence intervals, which isn't surprising given the sample sizes. Running a Mann-Whitney U test results in a U statistic of 248. Approximating with a normal distribution gives a one-sided p-value of 8.1%. So it's not overwhelming but there's some evidence that states that declined the Medicaid expansion had lower rates of flu vaccination.

Saturday, October 25, 2014

Fixing the "No TeX detected. Please install Tex before compiling." error for Rstudio on OS X

If you use RStudio on OS X you have probably seen the following error at least once

 No TeX installation detected. Please install TeX before compiling.

For some reason I have found it near impossible to google a answer for this one easily.  You usually find pages that go into a bit of detail about the issue, but no clear and easy answer on how to fix it.  Then if you do fix it, something will happen to your system that breaks the fix and you have to go searching all over again.  I am posting the fix here in the hopes that no one else will ever have to go through a frustrating search like I have had to do more times than I would like to admit.

I found the fix on an RStudio Support page (https://support.rstudio.com/hc/communities/public/questions/201410073-pdflatex-error-on-OSX)

Dave Dyer posted this

I had the same problem, and the following two symbolic links fixed it:
sudo ln -s /Library/TeX/Distributions/.DefaultTeX/Contents/Programs/texbin /usr/texbin
sudo ln -s /usr/texbin/pdflatex /usr/bin/pdflatex
Not sure that it matters, but I am using TeXShop, and didn't have to re-install anything.


Hopefully someone else will also find this useful

Friday, May 2, 2014

Soylent has shipped! The future of food is here!

Soylent has finally shipped!  For those of you who have already forgotten, Soylent is a nutritional drink that promises to be healthy, cheap, and simple yet provide everything the human body needs.

It was a bit of an internet sensation when it first was announced and was rather polarizing with some people loving the idea and wanting it immediately and others seeing is as a sign of everything that is wrong with humanity today.

Personally, I have always wanted something like this and have even experimented a bit with various nutritional drinks but they were just never cheap enough to be a viable food replacement.  I have ordered a two week supply of Soylent and will make sure to post my thoughts about it as soon as I get it.

For now here is a review from some lucky guy who already got his order

Sunday, April 6, 2014

An anti-consumerism song worth listening to, Macklemore x Ryan Lewis "WINGS" Official Music Video

I haven't been all that big a fan of Macklemore x Ryan Lewis and personally think their thriftshop song is an insult to anyone with the ability to hear.  Still the song "Same Love" was good and it is impressive to have a hip hop artist so publicly support gay marriage and equality.  Randomly I heard another song called "WINGS" on the radio and it might be the most anti-consumerism song I have heard on commercial radio, possibly ever.

I especially enjoyed the Phil Knight reference.  It is a really great song, please check it out.

Friday, April 4, 2014

Mass Incarceration in the US

By basically all accounts, the US criminal justice system is in need of major reform.  This is a great video about some of the issues we need to deal with.