Who’s ready to EXPLORE?


From: New York Daily News <nydailynews@mkt.nydailynews.com>
Subject: Who’s ready to EXPLORE? Find your new favorite destination here
Date: June 30, 2020

New York Daily News logoimage of magazine cover with 2 conventionally attractive people sunning on the deck of a sailboat, entitled "EXPLORE FLORIDA & The Caribbean"__________

Who isn’t ready to EXPLORE FLORIDA? Just ignore this wrongly titled graph from today’s New York Times:  

mislabeled chart that actually shows the number of new virus cases per million residents since March 15, not the "last seven days," in four populous states: NY soaring to 3k+ in mid-April then crashing to around 200 on June 28; and California, Texas and Florida rising slowly to between 200 to 500 until early June, then soaring to 1,000+, with Florida skyrocketing to 2,000+ in the past two weeks.By The New York Times

What this graphic actually shows is the number of new virus cases per million residents in four states since March 15, 2020, not the “last seven days,” with Florida skyrocketing over the last two weeks from less than 500 cases to over 2,000. But either way, it’s just more FAKE NEWS from LOSERS!

So that’s an enthusiastic YES from me! I am 100% ready to explore closed theme parks and crowded beaches! And where else could I better explore over-capacity hospitals and ICUs with ventilator shortages? Not to mention the Millions of Maskless MAGA Minions? OMG I LOVE CULTURAL ANTHROPOLOGY.

Sunday’s edition of Last Week Tonight with John Oliver captured some of Palm Beach County’s citizens sharing their… um, interesting thoughts on wearing masks. But this only entices me to want to explore more! More Florida counties! More Maskless MAGA Minions!


What’s that? Oh, right, I totally forgot I could explore the Caribbean instead! In fact, I totally forgot I already have a safe destination: I will only go to my own home on my own private Caribbean island! OBVIOUSLY.

Of course my staff will have to quarantine themselves there for two weeks before my arrival, but that’s hardly an inconvenience (to me) as long as they bring their own food this time and stay the fuck out of my wine vault George (yes I know it was you). Just as the cover of that EXPLORE FLORIDA & The Caribbean magazine depicts, my partner and I will be napping and sunning ourselves on the bow of my sailing yacht while the crew navigates us safely to the shores of Iris Island, while keeping us well-fed and very well-cocktailed during our languorous journey.

Gotta run! I need to order my crew to get quarantining on my yacht right away: we set sail in two weeks!

the megayacht EOS approaching "Iris Island"Picture of my boat Eos approaching Iris Island
taken by George (one of my butlers,
whose last name I forget).


  1. invivoMark says

    The “last seven days” in the NYT graph refers to the fact that each data point is an average of the cases on that day plus the preceding six days. This is useful because when visualized as each individual day, the data look a lot less smooth (largely a result of day-to-day variation in reporting patterns, particularly with strong drops over the weekends), which makes it more difficult to see long-term patterns.

    The graph title could be misleading if you don’t know what it represents, but it isn’t a misprint.

    *pushes glasses firmly up bridge of nose*

  2. blf says

    Just buzz the place in your flying saucer, and roam using a Tripod (disguised as a giant three-legged death-ray shooting squirrel?). Sealed spacesuit highly recommended (as the original Tripod owners discovered); also avoids having to bother with sunscreen or worry about sharks, alligators, mosquitoes, or rethugicans.

  3. robert79 says

    @1 “The graph title could be misleading if you don’t know what it represents, but it isn’t a misprint.”

    As someone who teaches data science… NO, just NO… any student of mine who came up with that horrific argument would just automatically fail…

    “last seven days” does not mean “seven day moving average” (or moving sum), and no one who understood what they were plotting would write it like that. The title of any data visualization should be understandable and unambiguous.

    In the case of a plot in a major newspaper, its even more horrible, since it’s likely most readers won’t notice the disparity between the title and the x-axis and will certainly draw wrong conclusions.

  4. invivoMark says


    Come on, you can’t really expect a small indie news company like The New York Times to be able to hire someone with a data science background to check their facts and figures, can you? In THIS economy?


    In fairness to NYT, I’ve made plenty of graphics showing complicated data using sloppy labels. In fairness to myself, I clean my stuff up long before it makes it anywhere near a publishable format.