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Frances Haugen
Google Knowledge Graph Product Manager
Google Knowledge Graph Product Manager


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A sobering statistic: [ In November 2014 ] "Democratic candidates in all of the races won by Republicans or Democrats got about 98.7 million votes. Republican candidates in those same races got 94.1 million." And yet, that worked out to 54 Republicans and 44 Democrats plus two independents, who hang out/vote with Democrats. (

So even though the Democrats got 4.9% more votes, the Republicans got ** 23% more seats ** - I am ashamed every time the Republicans say they got a mandate from the election.

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A couple of weeks ago some tree trimming occurred at Benjamin Staffin's place and while it did seriously open up his gorgeous view of the city, it left his back yard a mess - buried in several feet of branches.

Starting a couple days ago, I've had a craving to cut up all the branches and start gardening his yard, so I went out Friday and bought some garden gloves and and a pair of sheers. This morning, rising at the ludicrous hour of 6:30 AM (I didn't fall asleep till 3:30 - I've been having trouble sleeping lately), I started snipping apart the branches, and built up quite a pile by the time I quit an hour later. This was a huge victory for me, because I have no memory of having that much physical endurance in the last year - I appear to actually be on the mend!

This is a panoramic photo of the back yard after another hour's worth of work by Ben and twenty min by myself. It seems to be much crisper on G+ than fb - I think fb must be aggressively down sampling it.

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Want to see some magical data? When I was little, May Day (May 1) had a standard protocol: { 1 } Make May Baskets in school. { 2 } Go home. { 3 } Leave a May Basket on a neighbor's door step. { 4 } Ring door bell. { 5 } Run. (Fast. You're not supposed to get caught - no, really).

When I describe this to people who are from outside of Iowa, usually they just look at me weird. But where might they not look at me askance? Turns out search traffic for [ may baskets ] hints that May Day interest seems to be pretty binary - people are either into the May Day-ness or not. Capital of the May Basket? Omaha, Nebraska.

Also, hilariously, the Top 5 Search Queries that correlate with [ may baskets ] are:

1) may basket
2) breakfast pizza recipe
3) renewable fuels
4) breakfast pizza
5) maytag refrigerators

The [ renewable fuels ] and [ maytag refrigerators ] line up well with my experience of Iowa, so let's just blame Nebraska for those breakfast pizzas.

Google Trends:
Google Correlations:
Google Image Search - May Day Basket:

#MayDay     #BigData     #JoyOfData     #Iowa     #IsBetterThanNebraska     #StudyingTheHumanConditionThroughTheMediumOfTheInternet    

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Why not?

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First real rain of the season... at least there was a rainbow! :-)

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My manager showed up in our weekly 1:1 with this mash-up of hardware. Oh the dangers of getting the first Retina displays, only to be thrown back to the end of the queue when you need a replacement. :-(

He did though point out it in some ways highlights how thought through Apple's designs are, that they don't feel that awkward when thrown together field-medicine style.

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Knock out your lobsters/crabs with clove oil before you boil them - they'll taste better!

I really love lobster - I can still vividly remember the first time I had it when I was nine or ten years old - but the idea of listening to one thrash around in a pot of boiling water sounds like l'suck, and I feel guilty about it. 

This guy went through and methodically explored different ways of knocking out lobsters before you cook them (it makes them taste better!), and came to the conclusion that anesthetizing them with clove oil (via Whole Foods) works amazingly for lobsters and crabs. 

How to become a Seafood Anesthesiologist and Kill your 4th of July Lobster

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For the last 2.5 years, my best friend +Molly Trombley-McCann and her husband +Ransom Byers and I have been renovating a pair of houses in West Oakland near the West Oakland BART stop (it's San Francisco's Brooklyn). Our original purchase was of two houses on one piece of land, and the renovation of the front house has been dramatic to say the least. We ripped the entire house down to the studs, raised up the whole thing and poured a new foundation, and only in the last few months has the building started to look like a place we could live in. Here are some pictures from the freshly painted upper floor. The orange room is our future dining/living room, the blue room the kitchen, and the yellow room the upstairs bathroom. All of the rooms will be less colorful after either the wainscoting (dinning/bathrooms) or cabinets goes in (kitchen), all or which is white, but I love the colors even now with 2x as much color as there will eventually be.

The most exciting change this week was the spiral staircase was installed - we no longer have to walk outside around the entire house to get between floors! :-)

The photos of the stacks of wood are of the future floor for the upper floor - we're using reclaimed south east east asian tropical hardwood (originally from shipping crates) and the natural color variation is just phenomenal. I get all twitterpated thinking about the floor being installed! I promise to post more going forward!
2012-07-29 House Update (16 photos)
16 Photos - View album

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Amazing (only) gluten free Mexican food!

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When I was a kid, summer was the time of lighting. We'd stand on the giant expanse of asphalt that was considered "play equipment" and stare up at the sky as the huge cumulonimbus clouds would build and make bets about how bad the storm would be.

Now that I live in the San Francisco bay area, I almost never hear thunder. I wonder if global warming will bring the thunder storms back to me. Could it be that California is acquiring "seasons"? Hmmm?
San Franfrazzled: Once-in-a-lifetime picture of lightning striking iconic bridge

"They say that lightning never strikes twice, but this amazing photo proves otherwise.

An incredible eight bolts struck the Bay Bridge in San Francisco last night which was captured in this incredible shot by photographer +Phil McGrew who took the photo through the rain-soaked window of his apartment."

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