Well this was cool to do.
What the colors represent:
- Red: states/provinces where I’ve not spent much time or seen very much.
- Amber: states/provinces where I’ve at least slept and seen some sights.
- Blue: states/provinces I’ve spent a lot of time in or seen a fair amount of.
- Green: states/provinces I’ve spent a great deal of time in on multiple visits.
I like how I’ve been all over the West Coast and the Great Lakes area, but very few other places (I went to Boston for that APS conference in May 2010; my grandparents used to live in St. Louis).
I also realized after making this that I’ve also been to Washington, D.C., but since that’s its own thing and not technically in a state, I decided to leave it as it is.
If you click here, you can make one of your own!
Some of the interesting ones to me:
- I pronounce “crayon” like “cran” (rhymes with “can”), which is the common pronunciation in Minnesota/Wisconsin/Michigan/that region.
- I pronounce “realtor” as “reel-uh-ter,” which is a little more common in the Midwest/upper south.
- I pronounce “roof,” “room,” “broom,” and “root” with the same vowel sound, which is very common in the south and New England.
- My “route” rhymes with “out” and that would probably get me beat up in New England, who strongly prefers that it rhyme with “hoot.”
- I say “garage sale” rather than “yard sale” or “rummage sale.” Garage sale is common in Tornado Alley.
I am once again in shock regarding how difficult seemingly small/simple things can be when handling things across the US/Canadian border.
I’ve posted this video before, but I’m posting it again to support my point (and because it’s pretty cool):
We’re practically conjoined twins. As such, some of the things one might think as difficult to accomplish on an “international” level (like, I don’t know, moving all your possessions + animals across the border in an unmarked white van with suspicious tinted windows*) are surprisingly easy and hassle-free.
Simpler things, like terminating a Canadian cell phone contract (even after waiting until the contract is up), take OMGWTFBBQ-levels of work.
Taxes? They’re kind of in-between. There’s really no way to explain that yes, I lived in Canada last year, but I lived in two different provinces AND I didn’t actually live there on December 31st because I had to go back to the States in October. So I just wrote a nice little note and stuck it in with my return. Hopefully they’ll get the info they need and not send Dudley Do-Right down to Arizona to get me.
…Though that WOULD be entertaining.
Also: “Dr. Binmidnildedindindin.” God I’m glad Metalocalypse is back.
*Yes, this is how I moved all my stuff up for grad school. Big white just-the-right-size-for-bags-of-illegal-substances van, half-drugged cat on a towel, nervous pair of Idahoans in the front seats. Went inside, showed them my passport and study permit, and we were on our way to Vancouver. Same thing happened going to Ontario.
As I was falling asleep last night I thought up another (dinky) analysis I could run on the Craigslist data.
Question of interest: what state(s) had the highest proportion of Craigslist personal ads compared to their total population? Easy little analysis, I know, but it’s a fun thing to look at.
So here we go!
This map shows a gradient from white to deep purple. States that are whiter have a lower proportion of Craigslist ads with respect to the total state population. States that are a deeper purple, therefore, have a HIGHER proportion of Craigslist ads with respect to the total state population.
The three states with the lowest proportion of Craigslist ads:
West Virginia (0.021%)
The three states with the highest proportion of Craigslist ads:
Washington, D.C. (1.055%)
And yes, I realize Alaska and Hawaii aren’t on this map (and weren’t on the original US of Craigslist post either). Sorry about that. I’d remedy that, but it’s late and I want to go read some fanfic before I go to sleep. Hawaii’s the same color as Nevada; Alaska’s the same color as Illinois.
Sweet Jesus crackers, it’s data time!
Over the past month I’ve been collecting data off of Craigslist; specifically, data from the Craigslist personals. This is mainly because statistics is my crack I like to flex my analytical muscles as often as possible and I’ve been in a data drought for far too long.
Anyway, enough blabbering. ONWARDS!
Data: Craigslist Personals from all 415 individual Craigslist listings* within the United States, divided into the four main categories:
WFW: women seeking women
WFM: women seeking men
MFW: men seeking women
MFM: men seeking men
The data were collected over a 13-day span (March 1 through March 13). I recorded the number of personals under each listing that were posted within the last 15 days of whatever day in the 13-day span on which I was doing the collecting. So keep in mind there might have been some post-Valentine’s Day angst-driven posts for some of the listings.
Results of interest:
1. (via extrapolation) Approximately how many Craigslist personal ads (in the United States) are posted yearly?
2. (via correlation) How highly correlated are the number of ads per state and the population of the state? In other words, do more populous states have more personal ads?
3. (via graphs) Where in the United States do homosexual personal ads (WFW, MFM) outnumber heterosexual personal ads (WFM, MFW), and vice-versa?
4. (via way-too-meticulous-digging-through-individual-listings) Are there any individual listings that can be considered “unnecessary” due to lack of posts? Are there any individual listings that should be further divided due to way too many posts?
Let’s do this!
1. Approximately how many Craigslist personal ads in the United States are posted yearly?
Within 15 days, there were a total of 297,141 personals posted. That’s almost .01% of the US population.
Assuming there’s a fairly uniform number of personals being posted year-round, that would be a total of 7,230,431 ads per year (about 2.3% of the US population). That’s a lot of Criagslistin’.
2. Do more populous states tend to have more personal ads?
This’ll probably end up as a “duh,” but it’s worth checking out. Maybe EVERYONE in Wyoming is posting because they can’t find one another, while everyone in Cali is shying away from personals because they’re so sick of being around people.
Food for thought.
Here’s a quick little graph just to give you the idea of the range we’re talking about here.
State with the fewest number of ads: North Dakota (201 ads in 15 days)
State with the most number of ads: California (46,016 ads in 15 days)
To check if there’s a correlation between state population and number of ads, I ranked the states by the number of ads and also by the population, then ran a Spearman rank correlation on the two rankings (non-parametric statistics FTW).
rsp = .837
That’s a pretty high correlation, I don’t care who you are. So yes, the higher a state’s population, the more ads they are likely to have on Craigslist. Durh.
3. Where in the United States do homosexual personal ads (WFW, MFM) outnumber heterosexual personal ads (WFM, MFW), and vice-versa?
This was an interesting one that didn’t quite turn out as I expected. For one, there were more ads in the MFM section than any of the other three sections for pretty much every single listing. This brought the total of the homosexual ads well above the total of heterosexual ads for most listings. That alone was surprising to me.
What’s even more surprising, though, is the pattern of homosexual- and heterosexual-dominated ads by state. Here’s a map that breaks the states down by the ratio of homosexual ads to heterosexual ads.
In order to make keying this thing easier, I centered the ratios at zero, where zero indicates a ratio of 1:1, negative values indicate a ratio of more than one heterosexual posting for every homosexual posting, and positive values indicate a ratio of more than one homosexual posting for every heterosexual posting. I color-coded the map by creating six intervals on either side of zero, with each interval increasingly more imbalanced (fewer/more homosexual postings per heterosexual posting). Therefore, the more intense the colors get, the more imbalanced that state is in terms of the ratio of homosexual to heterosexual postings. I’m dumb and lost the original ratios, but they ranged from .292:1 (.292 homosexual posts for every heterosexual post; South Dakota) to 3:1 (3 homosexual posts for every heterosexual post; Washington, D.C.). States that have more homosexual ads are a deeper red; states that have more heterosexual ads are a deeper blue. States that have a near 1:1 ratio are white.
Can any of you dudes see any sort of demographic that this pattern follows? I was thinking that maybe the ratios followed the red/blue states, but that doesn’t appear to be the case. I also thought that maybe it would vary by general geographic region, but that doesn’t appear to be the case either (except for the Northwest, which is pretty “neutral” overall). Interesting stuff.
4. Are there any individual listings that can be considered “unnecessary” due to lack of posts? Are there any individual listings that should be further divided due to way too many posts?
This wasn’t as tedious as I thought it’d be…just basically involved going back through the data for the individual listings to see if there were any that had HUGE amounts of ads or any that had virtually none.
Some points of interest:
The average number of ads posted per listing was exactly 716.
Pierre, SD had only three ads posted.
New York City had 23,122.
WFW had the fewest ads overall (7,923 for the whole country), while MFM had the most (191,753).
Cool stuff, eh?
*when I say “listing” I mean things like “Pullman/Moscow” under Washington’s state or “Rockford” under Illinois…all the individual cities/towns/regions. When I say “personal” or “personal ad” I mean things like “Good Man Wanted” under Tippecanoe’s WFW section or “SEXCAPADES” under Boulder’s MFM.
Things that are surprisingly easy to do:
- Withdraw from a Canadian university for medical reasons.
- Hire a company to pack all your apartment’s crap and haul it across the country for you.
- Love Coldplay’s new song Paradise. OH MY GOODNESS SO MUCH LOVE FIVE STARS FIVE STARS FIVE STARS.
Things that are surprisingly difficult to do:
- Cancel your Canadian credit card.
- Transfer Canadian funds to a US account.
- Terminate a Canadian cell phone contract.
- Send medical info from the US to Canada.
- Figure out how much money you’re getting for being a TA for part of a month.
- Doing all of the above in the exact appropriate order so that it all works out in the end.
Hooray stress! Perhaps today’s meme entry will alleviate anxiety.
30-Day Meme – Day 22: Your deepest fear.
Haha, nope, no stress relief. I’m afraid of failure. Failure defined on my own terms. I’d go into more detail but I’m getting really
distracted by the slot machines behind me (I’m stuck in the Las Vegas International Airport for four more hours) and I’m super tired of traveling, so I’m just going to leave things off here.
So during a study break this afternoon I took a casual little jaunt over to Craigslist to see what those in Vancouver were most recently ranting about. For whatever reason I decided to scroll down the page rather than click the little “Canada” link at the top, and I noticed that a few of the US states had only one little sublisting beneath them (Wyoming, for example).
This got me to wondering: does the way Craigslist create its state listings reflect the uniformity of those states’ population distributions? In other words, for example, if a state only has cities listed as opposed to large areas like “western Wisconsin,” does that reflect the fact that the state has its population “clustered” into small areas and not uniformly distributed throughout the state?
Now of course you know me and you know how I do things, so this wasn’t going to be some simple analysis in which I would merely count up the listings or something and do a rank ordered map thing.
It has to be more complicated than that.
So without further ado, here’s what I did:
First I decided to take a look at the sublistings and rank them in order of size. It turns out that there are listings that range from as large as the entire state itself down to just regular cities. Here’s what I’ve got:
- Area (e.g., “northwest CT,” “heartland Florida”)
- Pair of cities (e.g., “Moscow/Pullman”)
Theory: the more uniformly a state’s population is “spread out” in the state, the more likely there will be larger area listings for that state (e.g., just the state listed, or just areas and counties). The less uniformly a state’s population, the more likely that there will be a lot of smaller area listings (like a lot of cities and pairs of cities) rather than large area listings.
Of course, there is the overall population to consider—for example, Wyoming just has “Wyoming” listed ‘cause nobody lives there. But there are slightly more populous states that also have just the state listed. Similarly, there are also slightly more populous states that just have a few cities listed, thus indicating that the small populations of these states are clustered into areas and not uniformly spread out.
So here’s how I quantified “uniformness”—I gave every city listed under every state a value of 1. I then gave ever pair of cities, county, area, and state listed values of .8, .6, .4, and .2, respectively. I then, for every state, summed these numbers and divided by the number of listings. This way, the more uniformly a state’s population is spread out, the closer this final number will be to zero (or .2, rather, because that’s the value I assigned to “state”), and the more clustered the population, the closer this number will be to 1.
If I could find some reference to compare this to I would, but I can’t find one, sorry.
Holy crap, it’s a blog not posted at 1 AM!
So while I was doing research today (read: “as R was working hard running my code and I was just sitting there”), I decided to see if I could draw the US and all the continental states from memory. First I made a sketch to see if I could even get close, then I made an actual drawing with ink so you could see all my little screw ups (aka, the entire eastern seaboard).
Rough sketch = epic fail.
Apparently, in my mind, the Midwest is an even bigger expanse of nothing than it is in real life, the Great Lakes are a palm tree, West Virginia is a scribble, and New England is experiencing severe continental drift along the state border lines.
So I tried again, using just my rough sketch for reference, and I think this is substantially better:
The proportions (and some locations) really start to suck east of the Mississippi River, but at least I didn’t miss anything. Indiana and Ohio look crappy ‘cause I screwed up that general area and just went with it. The rest look crappy ‘cause I don’t know what they look like…in particular, I couldn’t for the life of me remember how the hell West Virginia is shaped, so I just kinda threw it on there where there was a gap in the states yet and called it good. Hahaha, Wisconsin is so deformed, but I got the Great Lakes right (edit: I also just realized I forgot to put the tail on the “g” so it looks like I wrote “Lake Michican.” You’d be surprised how often I forget to complete letters before moving on to the next one. Or maybe you wouldn’t, it is me, after all).
I’d try to draw Canada, but pfft. I know the names of the provinces and territories, I know where BC, Saskatchewan, and Nova Scotia are, but that’s about the extent of my Canadian geography knowledge.
I also have no idea when it was the last time I looked at a US map, Canadian map…or a map of anything aside from the bus routes, for that matter.
So there you go.
Conclusion: I like square states.
Ah, United States, I’ve MISSED YOU.
Milk does not cost an obscene amount and I can get a crappy sandwich at a gas station for under $8. It’s not raining incessantly and there are fat guys everywhere. America…FUCK YEAH!
So I finally took a break from calculus today to check my email. Got a $16,000 scholarship for next year and some check waiting for me for $1,000. I have NO IDEA why I’m getting this random check, but I’m not going to complain.
And I just might buy a guitar with part of it. Damn you, Sean.
Today’s song: The Champions by Era