Data Showing the Uptime of the Electrogas Powerstation is Publicly Available

The Great Silence Unless you’ve been living under a rock, you know that Enemalta ran into… a slight hitch, when a wayward anchor severed a cable it was using to import around 200MW of electricity. In the candlelit silence that followed, attention shifted to the Electrogas operated Delimara 4 powerstation. Enemalta’s initial refusal to comment didn’t help, and as so often happens, facts die in a vacuum, and wild conspiracies take hold. [Read More]

Donkey Voting in Maltese General Elections

“have a look at how many MPs are in parliament because of their surname” It was July 2017, and despite being finally elected as an MP, Hermann Schiavone was still willing to talk about electoral system reform to anyone who would listen. And in this case, that someone was MaltaToday’s Yannick Pace. Schiavone wanted (and presumably still does) to reform Malta’s STV system for multiple reasons, but the one we’ll discuss here today is donkey voting. [Read More]

Analysing Frasier

Frasier is my favourite TV show of all time. I’ve watched the entire series many times over from start to finish. So when I found a dataset on kaggle with both episode meta-information and the scripts, I knew I had to do a write up on it. Who has the most words? Frasier is predominantly a character oriented show: nothing very exciting or spectacular happens in terms of plot, and when it does, the emphasis is on how the characters handle and react to often absurd situations. [Read More]

Notes on Rereading Don Quixote

I had read Don Quixote back when I was 17, and never really thought much about it at the time. I knew it wasn’t short on accolades, like for instance being voted as the best book of all time by 100 prominent authors in 2002, but there always seemed to be more exciting and relevant modern books. Then a few months ago I found myself watching Terry Gillam’s The Man Who Killed Don Quixote and started feeling that I had missed something important along the way. [Read More]

Spend and Votes in the 2019 MEP Election

The role of money in shaping political outcomes is a perennial question. In the United States for instance, the candidates that spend the most win 90% of the time. Thanks to this fantastic Times of Malta article, we have an accurate picture of the spend of the 2019 MEP Candidates. So I put these values in a table, together with the 1st count votes of each candidate, the party, Facebook likes as of 17th July (if I had the foresight, likes on the day before the election would have of been better), whether the candidate is an incumbent, and the spend on social media that my old University friend David Hudson published in this article. [Read More]

What are the MEP election polls indicating?

Malta is one of the more enthusiastic EU countries when it comes to MEP elections, with only Belgium and Luxembourg managing a higher turnout in 2014. Besides determining EU and local council level representation, this election will also serve as the first test by popular trial of Adrian Delia as PN leader. How Things Stand To build an adequate polling tracker you need an abundance of high quality polling. [Read More]

Classifying Land Type from Satellite Imagery

Introduction: Can we Classify Land Types using R? A few weeks ago I was looking into what sort of statistics exist on changing land types. I couldn’t find much else besides the CORINE land cover program, which is updated every 6 years. At the same time I stumbled across a fantastic book on using R for just this sort of analysis. [Read More]

What Can We Learn From Maltese Property Listings?

Introduction I suppose a defining feature of being in your mid twenties is that you find progressively more of your small talk having to do with properties: how big they should be, which floor negates the value added by a lift, and even, when alternate conversation seems especially hard to conjure, the benefits of using one type of grout as opposed to another. Often during such conversations, I found myself wondering how much value can be extracted by an in-depth analysis. [Read More]

How And What Local Politicians Tweet

Introduction: Political Tweets Politics has always been concerned with using any available method of mass media to disseminate its message, and social media is no exception. In Malta, the most popular social media sites, by share of their usage are, according to a May 2018 Misco survey: Facebook (87% of the population) Google+ (50%) YouTube (46%) Instagram (24%) Twitter (12%) I’ve yet to come across anyone who actually uses Google+ regularly, so those answers are probably people who just have an account. [Read More]

Text Mining Local News (Part 2)

Taking it one step past Part 1: But what’s really in the news? Besides answering questions like the frequency of how much individual publishers post, what distinct word or word pairs they write most about and the sentiment of their writing, text mining allows us to go one step further. If we set off from the starting point that each news article is a mixture of topics, and that each topic is in turn a mixture of words, we can measure the relative proportion in coverage one publisher devoted to topic A versus topic B. [Read More]