One of my favorite volunteer activities in the city is walking dogs, usually pitbulls, for the Brooklyn Animal Resource Coalition in Williamsburg. You get some quality dog-time and get to see the scenic part of hipster-ville.
A great in-depth look by my ProPublica colleague Robin Fields into the dialysis industry. It was a field I was barely familiar with, as only about 400,000 Americans are on dialysis, but the entitlement as grown from $135 million to $20 billion annually, with mixed and depressing results.
I took this photo of a woman whose mother nearly bled to death after being improperly hooked up to a dialysis machine.
Good news for data-nerds everywhere. The 2.0 version of Google’s fantastic data-cleaning tool, Google Refine (formerly Gridworks), has been released. And they were nice enough to feature ProPublica’s Dollars for Docs as an example of a use-case. I talked briefly to BusinessJournalism.org about how I used Refine to put together the pharma top earners list.
It’s possible I could’ve done it using SQL queries and Ruby libraries. But I definitely would’ve missed a lot of matches, and probably overdosed on over-the-counter pharma-painkillers.