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Interesting little things…

Coronavirus graphs: taming the COVID-19 curves

One of the buzzwords for the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic is “flatten the curve.” Here I am tracking the curves of four countries and between Wuhan-NYC (in total cases).

Wuhan vs New York City:

Wuhan peaked with 50,000 total confirmed cases, almost two months since the lockdown. Good luck Big Apple… (Data sources: Wuhan from IPE; NYC 5:30pm daily from NYC Health.)


China locked down Wuhan on Jan. 23, within hours multi-city lock-downs affected 57 million people in Hubei Province. Italy expanded its lockdown nationwide on March 9. (Data sources: China from IPE; others from live-updated world map of COVID-19 pandemic around 11PM U.S. eastern time by Johns Hopkins University; secondary source: WHO)

Novak Djokovic’s 2020 Highlights

Australian Open Final: beat Dominic Thiem

Djokovic won with a five-set thriller: 6-4, 4-6, 2-6, 6-3, 6-4

Dubai Open Semi-final: beat Gael Monfils

Djokovic saved three match points to ultimate prevail: 2-6, 7-6(10), 6-1

LinkedIn update A/B tester or truncation finder

Something to share with social media nerds, that is if you want to A/B test a couple of versions of LinkedIn updates before hitting the post button. Or see where your long, or not so long, post might get cut off and whether you will be super annoyed by where it gets cut off. If this is for you, download by clicking here (it’s a Google Sheet, and it seems you have to work on it on a computer, not on the Google Sheets mobile app).

A screenshot of the Excel interface that I built for A/B testing LinkedIn updates

Bookmark: Stars Watch at US Open Fan Week 2019

The US Open Fan Week, featuring the qualifying tournament (3 rounds), freebies from sponsors and the opportunity to watch the brightest tennis stars practice super close, is one of the best kept secret in sporting events. And the full week, preceding the main draw, is all free. (The Kids Day, the Saturday in between, is fun too, but it might get a little overly crowded.)

For those of us who may not have the luxury to go to the Fan Week a couple of times, or more, these screenshots below will help you plan for the future US Open Fan Week visits. (For example, Roger Federer only appeared once in a stadium court. Another time he practiced at P1, it was impossible to get up to the bleacher seating area at all.) If you could grab a day with an exhibition match starring retired champions, even better. This year, it was Thursday Aug. 22, featuring Andy Roddick and James Blake. Tap on dates below for practice schedules:

Ticket buyers: sessions featuring GOAT(s), or hugely sought after stars, will probably become best sellers in a matter of a few hours, when the draw is announced or schedule for certain GOAT(s) or stars is available. This year was the case when I wanted to grab three tickets for my family (3) to watch Roger Federer’s first round. On Thursday, when the draw was announced showing Federer’s top half collision with Novak Djokovic, I was not sure which session to buy as I’d imagined either one of them could land the night match on Monday. I quickly checked the US Open app and the tickets for the night session at Arthur Ashe on Monday had gone up from $30 to $50 immediately. Guess I wasn’t alone in trying to snap up a ticket to watch Federer, possibly the last appearance at the US Open. I almost wanted to grab the $50 opportunity but chose to wait just to be sure Federer was scheduled to play at night indeed. Late afternoon on Friday, I checked the US Open app again and confirmed that Federer is indeed going to play on Monday night, by this time the ticket had gone up to $80. (If I’d choose 3 tickets, the price would be over $100. To that, I’d say “No, thank you $300!”) In the end, I did figure out a way to keep the damage down by ordering three individual tickets, which might be separated but we’ll deal when we get in there. And it rounded up to $60 or so per ticket. (With a $10 fee, it would be $210 in total.)

Hobbyist photographers: be prepared to part ways with your excited long lens and good camera. Sometimes the gatekeepers are really serious about the rules of forbidden items. Three-inch rule is for the lens you could bring inside. I just got my 70-200mm sent away to the bag check depot. My suggestion is, if you aren’t one of those guys with a lanyard earning a 4-figure paycheck a day, or more, doing this, try to just enjoy the game.

Live Appy, i.e. digitally happy and/or apps-enabled

The phone is something we cannot live without. And here are some of the apps that are indispensable, or at least you should try…

metroSmartRide: map of gas prices

The map of gas prices that comes right out of the metroSmartRide app, powered by Metro by T-Mobile. In my neighborhood there’s an almost $1/gallon difference between the best deals and the worst, as of July 2019
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Yoyo Recital: Waltz in A Minor by Chopin

Recital on June 23, 2019 at PS144Q in Forest Hills, NY

One of the most successful recitals in his 3-year musical career. Thanks to Istein Music School and instructor Baron Fenwick.

After the whole show, the Istein principal gave a special shoutout to Yoyo as he had never seen anyone performing Chopin while standing. What a pleasantly surprising comment!

And a special thank you to Yoyo ma!