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Day: February 5, 2021

Sunflower Plots in R

Kenneth Tay takes a look at a sunflower plot:

sunflower plot is a type of scatterplot which tries to reduce overplotting. When there are multiple points that have the same (x, y) values, sunflower plots plot just one point there, but has little edges (or “petals”) coming out from the point to indicate how many points are really there.

My first thought on it is that it’s too busy and doesn’t do its job of portraying a mass of data points very well. When you have just a few observations, then yeah, it’s not too bad. But once you have any reasonable amount of density on the plot, it’s better to use jitter and transparency (as Kenneth points out). H/T R-bloggers

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Counting Open Lockers in R

Holger von Jouanne-Diedrich solves a riddle:

We are standing in front of 100 lockers arranged side by side, all of which are closed. One man has a bunch of keys with all 100 keys and will pass the lockers exactly a hundred times, opening or closing some of them.

On the first pass, he opens all the lockers. On the second pass, the man will go to every other locker and change its state. That means: If it is closed, it will be opened. If it is already open, it will be closed. In this case, he closes lockers 2, 4, 6… 98 and 100, because all doors were open before.

On the third pass, he changes the state of every third locker – that is, 3, 6, 9, … 96, 99. Closed doors are opened, open doors closed. In the fourth pass, every fourth locker is changed, at the fifth every fifth – and so on. At the last, the 100th, the man finally only changes the state of door number 100.

The question is: How many of the 100 compartments are open after the 100th pass?

Click through for one solution in R.

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Injecting a Tracer Token into Each Transactional Replication Publication

Steve Stedman has a script for us:

When working with SQL Server transactional replication, one of the common checks to see if things look healthy is to insert a tracer token into the replication data stream and see how long it takes to get to the subscribers.

This is a process that can be very tedious if you have multiple publications to check, as you need to go to the replication monitor, click on the publisher, then go to tracer tokens tab and insert a tracer token. Then wait to see the result. If you need to do this more than a couple times, you may be waiting for a while.

As a result, Steve has created a way to simplify this. Click through for that script.

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Scrolling Credits in Video Meetings

Rob Farley continues a thread:

The basic concept is that once you have a greenscreen application background in place, you can easily show text or drawings or whatever on the screen, superimposed over your webcam feed. I show how to do this in this post: Scott Hanselman also made a video about it at, and used the idea to make scrolling credits, which is a really neat idea that everyone loves.

Click through to see how it works.

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Long-Term Backups on Azure SQL Database

Arun Sirpal takes us through a fairly new feature in Azure SQL Database:

There is a new (ish) interface to looking and configuring backups for your Azure SQL Database. This can be found within the settings section of the SQL Server.

As you can see, by default we have 7 days retention to allow for PITR – Point In Time Recovery, anything longer you will need to setup long term retention.

Click through to see how to set this up.

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