The time I biked 50 miles.

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Notes

  • I wore a mask the whole ride.
  • The most that I’ve biked in one go over the past 12 months is ~10 miles (which I do 6 out of the 7 days a week, with weekly mileage ~60miles) as I primarily use my wheels for commuting
  • The terrain was relatively flat, but there were some climbs peppered in
  • I don’t clip in. There was a lot of street riding. My bike is 6 years old. I had no fuel (beyond one apple). Excited to hopefully properly do this again soon.

The Open Road

On January 1, 2021, I biked 50 miles for the first time in my life. …


How to get into the holiday spirit? Do some math!

The Twelve Days of Christmas is a Christmas carol that lists out items that a (supposed) lover is purchasing for his love.

The earliest version of the song appeared in a kid’s book titled, Mirth With-out Mischief in 1780. However, the version that we are most familiar with was established by Frederic Austin in 1909.

The gifts are as follows:

  • One partridge in a pear tree
  • Two Turtle doves
  • Three French hens
  • Four calling birds
  • Five gold rings
  • Six geese a-laying
  • Seven swans a-swimming
  • Eight maids a-milking
  • Nine ladies dancing
  • Ten lords…


Spotify Wrapped is making the rounds at the end of this very *insert preferred adjective here* year. Everyone shares their top artists and songs of the year, and we rejoice in the gift that music gives us.

But, can music actually be a predictor of our moods? And if it can predict our moods, does it somehow reflect the stock market?

Do America’s Top Music Choices predict market returns?

None of this is market analysis or investment advice, and should not be interpreted as such. …


Subscribe to Lea’s Substack here!

This week, I partnered with a fellow Midwesterner (though a bit more Midwest than I am) and startup operator Lea Boreland to take a quantitative look at innovation and the Midwest.

This was a really fun piece to work on. I grew up in Kentucky, but now live in Los Angeles. I miss Kentucky deeply — and I remember driving by the Ford plant most days, or going on field trips where we would pass quarry after quarry. (In fact, you can feel the tremors from a nearby drilling at my childhood home).

We wanted to write a piece to highlight the potential of the Midwest — and give it a voice in the conversation about Silicon Valley and tech. …


There are a lot of charts floating around, discussing how x is related to y because they are “highly correlated”.

Our brains tend to make nonsensical connections to try and explain the world to us. We draw two lines and claim a relationship, thinking that we have effectively answered the question in the process.

Not quite.

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Source: Etsy

Correlation is not causation.

Correlation is a relationship, in which A moves with B. There are three types:

  • Positive: A and B increase/decrease at the same time
  • Negative: increase (decrease) in A leads to a decrease (increase) in B
  • None: A and B are…


A lighter piece for a long day.

A Nugget Analysis

According to Epictetus, the right way to eat is the same as the way to live: “just, cheerful, equable, temperate, and orderly.”

More precisely:

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So when I came across a chicken nugget dataset on Kaggle, I was fascinated. This person had weighed their individual nuggets from McDonalds and Wendys.

Like Epictetus, I wanted to explore how “equable, temperate, and orderly” the nuggets might be — how much chicken is in the chicken nugget?

Nugget Numbers

According to this dataset, McDonalds nuggets weigh 16.5g on average — and they range from 21g to 14.6g. Wendy’s nuggets weigh 17.2g on average, ranging between 18.3 and 15.9g. There was a standard deviation of 1.68g across the McDonald’s nuggets and of 0.70g …


  • “How do you grow your audience?”
  • “How do you monetize content?”
  • “What’s your niche?”

These questions have haunted me for the past several weeks. After figuring out that I don’t really have a niche as a writer, I had a sort of analysis paralysis. I wrote a piece about learning in public and how the best niche was to have no niche, but it all felt wrong.

I resigned myself to the fact that I might never have a niche, and then thought about TikTok.

What creates a TikTok star? What’s the relationship between content and fame? What’s the secret?

The secret is that there is no secret. …


What is truth?

Andrew Farah tweeted this the other day, stating “we have infinite access to information and we can’t agree on truth”.

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Source: Andrew Farah

Andrew is right. We do have a lot of information. But having information doesn’t mean we know what to do with it. Just because information is readily available, doesn’t mean it’s parsed to be objectively truthful or reliable or accurate.

What Andrew has unintentionally posed here is also the main issue that we have with the way that we are taught mathematics: we have all the math information that we could possibly need, yet, 40% of adults can’t make a straightforward calculation based on simple math skills. …


Meme — is an idea, behavior, or style that becomes a fad and spreads by means of imitation from person to person within a culture and often carries symbolic meaning representing a particular phenomenon or theme.

This week has been a whirlwind, to say the least.

On October 1st, the President announced that he had tested positive for COVID-19. This article will not discuss what that means, what the implications are, or take any political stance — rather, it will discuss the path that this information took.

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Source: Donald Trump

It was 12:54am on the East Coast when the president tweeted. A lot of East Coasters were either in bed or just about to go to bed. As a West Coaster, I was still awake, and watched the entire timeline unfold from Hope Hicks testing positive, to the eventual above tweet. …


Podcasts are a harmonic creation.

They are fascinating tools, connecting us to the speakers in a very personal way, almost like we are a part of the conversation too. I laugh out loud at some things, or nod along, reacting emphatically, despite being in a different time and place than both the interviewer and interviewee.

Podcasts are tools of connection. Almost everyone either wants to start a podcast or knows someone who has started a podcast (for better or worse).

Podcast creation is the perfect storm of an open consumer base, an ever-evolving Internet, and accessible recording software and hardware. The barrier to entry is low. …

About

Kyla Scanlon

Thinking. Los Angeles transplant via Kentucky. Passionate about educational equality, data science, and quantitative finance.

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