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Python versus R for machine learning and data analysis

Machine learning and data analysis are two areas where open source has become almost the de facto license for innovative new tools. Both the Python …

Want Your Writing to Look Like Einstein’s? Computers Mimic Handwriting of the Famous

Computer fonts mimic curves and flourishes of the world’s greatest thinkers<p>FRANKFURT—Harald Geisler wants to make you as brilliant as Albert Einstein. Or at least let you write like him. Or at least write in his handwriting.<p>Mr. Geisler, a typographer here, is one of a clutch of designers who aim to …

Typography

At Central Casting, Hollywood’s Bit Players Need to Stand Out Before They Can Blend In

Firm That Fills Extra Roles Searches for All Types<p>BURBANK, Calif.—Jennifer Bender walked straight out of Central Casting on a recent Wednesday morning and surveyed the crowd of would-be superstars.<p>Some had lined up hours earlier, ready to join the 70,000 other extras, or background actors, in the …

Dagnabit, This Town Is Fed Up With Cursing

Middleborough, Mass., Set to Vote On Fines for Profanity; Bleeps From 'Baby'<p>MIDDLEBOROUGH, Mass.—Mimi Duphily was hanging baskets of pink geraniums on antique street lamps downtown for the Middleborough Beautification and Activities Group when she noticed something else that needed cleaning …

Cranberry

Why This Tech Bubble Is Less Scary

This bubble is being inflated by relatively tiny amounts of money<p>Is tech in a bubble? I think so. The signs are all around us. The good news is, it’s nothing like the last one. Plus, for reasons that go beyond the usual impossibilities of economic prognostication, no one can say for sure what’s …

Stock Markets

What Is Your Dog Telling You?

They may not use words, but dogs say a lot more than we realize with their body language.<p>By<p>Melissa Holbrook Pierson<p>My first dog, Mercy, was a border collie mix whose body could convey an epic narrative—especially when she was in the dog park communicating at once with dozens of her kind. I soon …

Pets

How Flavor Drives Nutrition

For more than 50 years, our food has been getting blander—but the best diets turn out to also be delicious<p>By<p>Mark Schatzker<p>For nearly a half century, America has been on a witch hunt to find the ingredient that is making us fat. In the 1980s, the culprit was fat itself. Next it was carbs. Today, …

Nutrition

What the World Will Speak in 2115

A century from now, expect fewer but simpler languages on every continent<p>In 1880 a Bavarian priest created a language that he hoped the whole world could use. He mixed words from French, German and English and gave his creation the name Volapük, which didn’t do it any favors. Worse, Volapük was …

Language Learning

Why We Love the Pain of Spicy Food

Eating hot chili peppers allows us to court danger without risk, activating areas of the brain related to both pleasure and pain.<p>As winter settles in and temperatures plunge, people turn to food and drink to provide a little warmth and comfort. In recent years, an unconventional type of warmth has …

Food

There Is No ‘Proper English’

Never mind the grammar scolds. If people say it, it’s the right way to speak<p>It’s a perpetual lament: The purity of the English language is under assault. These days we are told that our ever-texting teenagers can’t express themselves in grammatical sentences. The media delight in publicizing …

Language

How Dare You Say That! The Evolution of Profanity

From ‘Odsbodikins’ to ‘belly,’ the banned words of our ancestors look as bizarre today as tribal rituals<p>At street level and in popular culture, Americans are freer with profanity now than ever before—or so it might seem to judge by how often people throw around the “F-bomb” or use a certain S-word …

South Park

Trump digs in, plows ahead

“I said nothing wrong whatsoever.”<p>Donald Trump gave no ground on Sunday, insisting his crude remarks appearing to imply Fox News anchor Megyn Kelly was menstruating when she questioned him during the first Republican presidential debate were anything but.<p>Three weeks after two of his rivals demanded …