Jay Oh Day
@ndn database intern. @Illinois_Alma alum. Computer coding hula hooping investigative journalist
  • 10 Florida Thoughts

    1. #SWFL

    2. Mosquitos. Everywhere, Comin’ at me in all directions. In my clothes, when I’m not looking. 

    3. Birdsong. And color. But mostly, all the song. Melodic, rhythmic, blissful.

    4. U-turns. 

    5. Wildlife may take over human life again at some point. Ask me about bears sometime. 

    6. I should have taken Spanish. It’s time to learn Spanish. 

    7. I burn because I do not have the Florida color. Yet.

    8. Yards include sand and mango trees.

    9. Daily monsoons. Occasionally the storm feels powerful enough to make me actually scared. Powerful storms, but no threat of a tornado. 

    10. Despite the bugs and the heat, people welcomed me right away. The general experience I’ve had so far of Southwest Florida? Sweet, genuine, and delightful.

    Cheers, Florida, to two more months with you. (at least)

  • It isn’t all about data

    I was hired at Naples Daily News for the summer to help them dredge through databases and mine stories from the numbers. But it isn’t all about data. I’m lucky enough to cover other important parts of this beautiful Southwest Florida community, too. 

    Sometimes, though, I have trouble finding beauty in the news. 

    http://bit.ly/1rFBbWz 

    http://bit.ly/1pUFa2i

    http://bit.ly/1lTDLr6

    My editor stopped by my desk as I was preparing to leave Tuesday night and asked me to head over to Covered Wagon Trailer Park and RV Park. I would be back-up for a fellow reporter, Maryann Batlle, who was an amazing leader through this entire breaking news story.

    On top of this story, we had another team out covering the special election.

    And, we had several reporters and editors gone for the IRE conference out in California. 

    The newsroom needed me more than ever, and when journalism calls, I’ll always answer.

    Providing a public service in times of crisis like this, when two toddlers are missing, gives me strange sense of gratitude. It also humbles me.

    But what’s more? Covering this situation made me realize how difficult, trying and exhausting journalism can be. It reminds me that sometimes, doing journalism isn’t fun. 

    Overall, the job I have right now is a blast. I get to report on events in the community and help people understand government data that is otherwise (in its original form, anyway) indecipherable. 

    But Tuesday night wasn’t fun. 

    I’d been on the clock since 9:30 that morning, and the night stretched to nearly 11:00 before the younger brother was found, and we could all (the policemen, the firefighters, rescue teams and search patrols) close up shop. I was tired. I was hungry. I was dirty and I was sweaty. So were my fellow reporters. Worst of all, we only knew as much as the Sheriff’s Office could tell us, and there was nothing any of us could do except wait and hope for good news. 

    To feel so powerless in this situation clarified my job description and my mind. “I am powerless here, but I’m going to do all that I can to report this and get everything right for everyone out there that wants to find these kids, too.” When all else fails, do your job, Janelle. 

    I may have been tired, hungry, dirty and sweaty, but I knew I had nothing to complain about when two children were out there, dehydrated, scared and in danger.

    Every time a complaint about my own situation entered my mind, I pushed it out with the thought of those two little ones wandering the world. As clueless as we, the media, felt, I knew Caspian and Innocence felt much more clueless and much more scared. 

    Journalism isn’t always fun. But it is consistently rewarding, especially in situations like this, when the children are found and hopefully placed in a situation better than the one they wandered off from. 

    Edit: No, I was not out searching for the kids. I managed to get dirty and sweaty in the 50-foot radius of the media circus. The really tired and sweaty people were the 100-ish first responders who came out to search for the kids. Thankfully the Red Cross was on-scene to provide water and other sustenance. It took a community to find those children.  

  • Bear deaths

    It’s difficult to say whether this is the blog’s final transformation. It’s been a hooping blog and a cooking blog, but now I think it’s time for it to become a blog about the trials and tribulations of a beginning data journalist.

    Finishing my undergrad degree with a sudden fervor for data and using it to better my reporting came unexpectedly and all at once. Too many sleepless nights I remember wondering if a dataset existed or if I could even get it. Lots of times I’d drift off to sleep with the image of me working my dream job in a dream location with a dream team.

    All jokes and cheesiness aside, it happened. I’m the database intern for Naples Daily News and my first data story for the paper ran front-page and above the fold today. The map, available online through Tableau Public (god love ya, Tableau) is by far the best part. It wasn’t (that) easy, though. 

    I knew our idea was possible using Tableau but I hadn’t ever really used it to go with a story-I’d mostly just played around with it and plugged in random datasets to see what kind of graphics and maps it could make. But this time, I had a mission.

    In the past month or so in Collier County, we’ve had three bear-vehicle collisions. In two of them, three bears died. One of those three bears was a cub, and it just breaks my little heart. I love bears. They’re just so dang cute. 

    So, as heartbreaking as it was to write about bear deaths, it was also somewhat therapeutic to crunch that data and make the map and write the story. When my editor and I sat down and looked at the numbers, we found central Florida counties to be heaviest in bear-vehicle deaths. Counties such as Lake, Marion and Volusia all border or are within the Ocala National Forest. Similarly, Collier’s got the Big Cypress Reserve and is close to the Everglades. 

    As the article reads, we’ve got more people and more bears. The data proves it: more people, more bears, more people running into bears-quite literally. 

    The map came after receiving the data in an email, just copied and pasted into the email. Then it went into Excel, and many versions of Excel later (including using Tableau’s super handy Excel plug-in; thanks, Roberto) out came the pretty little dataset that powers the map.

    Bears win the #1 spot on my favorite animals list and always have since I can remember. I can’t imagine a more perfect story to come and find me during my first week. Now, let’s see what the second week brings. 

  • veganmovement2012:

If You’ve Ever Eaten Pizza Before, This Will Blow Your Mind (Maybe Literally)
I love pizza! It’s one of my top favorite foods next to kale and cake. And I know I’m not the only one that loves it, either. Recently, the USDA conducted a study which revealed the enormous amount of pizza we consume in the United States. American consumption of cheese increased by nearly 30% in 10 years because the dairy industry is spending big bucks to promote pizza and partner with big chains like Dominos. Congress even voted to declare pizza a vegetable in the school lunch program. The government wants us to eat pizza – a lot of it. But there’s a lot going on behind closed doors that nobody wants us to know or talk about, and it all starts with the ingredients.
When I started researching pizza ingredients, one thing became abundantly clear. Pizza restaurants did not like the questions I was asking.
Continue… http://foodbabe.com/2014/03/23/if-youve-ever-eaten-pizza-before-this-will-blow-your-mind/
  • veganmovement2012:

    If You’ve Ever Eaten Pizza Before, This Will Blow Your Mind (Maybe Literally)

    I love pizza! It’s one of my top favorite foods next to kale and cake. And I know I’m not the only one that loves it, either. Recently, the USDA conducted a study which revealed the enormous amount of pizza we consume in the United States. American consumption of cheese increased by nearly 30% in 10 years because the dairy industry is spending big bucks to promote pizza and partner with big chains like Dominos. Congress even voted to declare pizza a vegetable in the school lunch program. The government wants us to eat pizza – a lot of it. But there’s a lot going on behind closed doors that nobody wants us to know or talk about, and it all starts with the ingredients.

    When I started researching pizza ingredients, one thing became abundantly clear. Pizza restaurants did not like the questions I was asking.

    Continue… http://foodbabe.com/2014/03/23/if-youve-ever-eaten-pizza-before-this-will-blow-your-mind/

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  • brooklynmutt:

The computer Bill Clinton used to send the first-ever presidential email - @lauraolin
h/t @HeyVeronica
  • brooklynmutt:

    The computer Bill Clinton used to send the first-ever presidential email - @lauraolin

    h/t @HeyVeronica

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  • fastcodesign:

    fastcompany:

    This Generic Brand Video Is The Greatest Thing About The Absolute Worst In Advertising

    Stock footage brand Dissolve puts its product to good use to call out lazy marketers peddling empty ideas. 

    image

    "See how this guy in a lab coat holds up a beaker? That means we do research."

    (via brooklynmutt)

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  • jayohday:

    me: WTF is Konami?

    guy friend: this thing from Street Fighter; a cheat code maybe?

    I even played that game, but I don’t remember that. Just another example of coding being a dude’s world. More on this later.

    Update 3/27/14: here’s the “more on this later” -

    It’s difficult to discuss this…

    Had to re-blog so this got re-posted in its full glory.

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  • Konami

    me: WTF is Konami?

    guy friend: this thing from Street Fighter; a cheat code maybe?

    I even played that game, but I don’t remember that. Just another example of coding being a dude’s world. More on this later. 

    Update 3/27/14: here’s the “more on this later” - 

    It’s difficult to discuss this issue because what causes the “shut-out” of females in computer coding are subtle and sometimes non-noticeable issues, such as this Konami code example. 

    Sure, I’m confident that there are ladies out there who know what the Konami code is and how to work it. But for the majority of us, video games were and still are a dude’s world. And I don’t say that because most of them are focused on “boy” subjects; lately, FPS (first-person shooter) games have been all the rage. I don’t think they’re gender-specific, necessarily, but most of the main characters in video games are dudes.

    We studied this a lot in my race and gender technology class last semester. There are no scientific evidence or studies to prove it yet, but the dude culture of video games bled over into the world of programming and coding. After all, if ladies weren’t encouraged to “wonk” around on video games as children, why would we suddenly start wonking around on computers as adults?

    (well, ‘cause sometimes we fall in love with data journalism, you see, but that’s another story…)

    Anyway, I hope this dude culture and the world of “brogrammers” doesn’t last long. It won’t, anyway, not if I can help it.

    Peace love and Python <3

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  • The calm before the storm

    Maybe it’s a strange cycle in tandem with mother nature; I feel relaxed and at ease just before entering a rather wild job market, and the end of winter (er, maybe) means the beginning of tornado season in Illinois. 

    Although there’s a chance (and a pretty good one) that I’ll stay in the Midwest, I won’t be in Illinois anymore. Eventually I want to branch out in every direction and live in every part of this country; California, Florida, Washington, and of course New York. 

    Perhaps the calm comes from my recognition of this exciting time in my life. I’m watching others around me take advantage of opportunities and I feel that the right one is coming soon. I feel good about everything, finally, and I feel like I know what I’m doing. 

    20 hours of classwork; everyone says, “you’re crazy.” And when I talk about it, I’m sure I sound like I’m bragging about it. It is my life right now, though, and I’m okay with it. Nearly everything I’m doing in my classes will benefit me in the future and in my career.

    I think college demands a lot of time and energy from students, especially considering the expectations of college graduates and the expectations college graduates have about themselves. I don’t think I’m the only college grad who feels like she must be successful because she went to college. 

    I’m not sure if I’ll be as awesomely successful as I thought I would be immediately in the months after college, but I guess good things come to those who wait, right? It’s just that telling stories, practicing solid data journalism, making photos, designing graphics, investigating, and finding issues with catch-22 solutions for society that I can explain using all of the above…it all takes so much time, and so much time to learn how to do it all together, and it takes even more time to learn how to do it all together and better. And as a team.

    Maybe it’s too much, people say. Maybe you ought to have lower expectations, someone once said. But you know, I just don’t think that’s living an excellent life.

    I just don’t. So I guess there’s no option but to keep pressing on. Back to NodeXL…