A bit of fun with R

July 25, 2011
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R isn’t just about serious things like model inference and prediction intervals and big analytics. Sometimes, R lets its hair down and just does weird and wonderful things because … well just because. For example, with a package from Paulo Sonego, it can display your favourite XKCD cartoon:

R isn’t just about serious things like model inference and prediction intervals and big analytics. Sometimes, R lets its hair down and just does weird and wonderful things because … well just because. For example, with a package from Paulo Sonego, it can display your favourite XKCD cartoon:

> install.packages("RXKCD", repos="http://R-Forge.R-project.org",type="source")
> searchXKCD("support")
num title
1 8 Red spiders
2 278 Black Hat Support
3 384 The Drake Equation
4 480 Spore
5 554 Not Enough Work
6 619 Supported Features
7 644 Surgery
8 745 Dyslexics
9 806 Tech Support
10 818 Illness
11 838 Incident
12 627 Tech Support Cheat Sheet
> getXKCD(806)

Tech_support

(Hmm, maybe that’s not so frivolous after all. The searchXKCD function was perfect for finding one of my favourite XKCD comics, and the source code for getXKCD is a great example of doing JSON queries from R and also of using raster images.)

Here’s another example of a bit of fun with R. Neil Gunther of Performance Dynamics shows us how to create a winking pink elephant with R:

Winking elephant

(Hmm, maybe that isn’t so frivolous after all. The code that generates that image is actually a really good example of doing complex arithmetic in R — the elephant is based on a Fourier transform generated by just 5 parameters — and also provides a good example of using the animation package to create animated GIFs in R.)

What other fun things do you use R for? Let us know in the comments.