That’s So… Randomizer

One feature for the Stats Page that had been floating around in my mind since I started developing Version 4 was a way to get a random show that I could just queue up and listen. I finally had a couple of hours to build out the logic to add not only a randomizer for shows, but also for guests, hosts, locations and panelists. What made easy to implement across the board was being able to use MySQL/MariaDB’s RAND() function in queries. Otherwise, I would have needed to pull down a list of valid IDs for each respective table and use Python’s RNG to pick one at random. While that result in better randomization over the long run, but it would add to the processing time. I wanted it to be as quick and efficient as possible from the application point of view. The …

Retrospective: What 2020 Meant For Wait Wait Stats (and More)

2020 has been a very challenging year for everyone and it has required things to adapt and change as the ongoing human malware event continues to have an impact on us. I have been fortunately enough to continue working from home and have been able to further improve and expand on the Stats Page, Reports and Graphs sites. Some of the changes are behind the scenes updates and others are more visible. Wait Wait in 2020 Due to the requirements of social distancing and limiting travel, Wait Wait… Don’t Tell Me! canceled live tapings of their show and went back to their roots of recording the show from remote (home) studios. Before the human malware event, I had actually planned to travel to Chicago to attend a live taping on my 40th birthday in April. Part of the plan also included giving me the …

Bluff the Listener, Not My Job and Lightning Data Collected and Entered for 2001 onward

Due to the ongoing pandemic scuppering my plans to visit Chicago and go to a Wait Wait… Don’t Tell Me! live taping on my 40th birthday, I decided to take some time off of work and do some catch-up work on the Wait Wait Stats Page side of things. So, over the past few days, I have been collecting and entering in the missing data for theBluff the Listener segment data (correct and chosen panelists), Not My Job scores, and some of the Lightning Fill-in-the-Blank segment starting score and correct answers. Up until recently, I was missing a varying amount of data for 2001 through 2012. For the most part, I scanned through each of the segment audio or full show audio, that I’ve been able to coax off of NPR’s public servers, and record the data as I went along. Something that I …

Wait Wait Stats Page Version 4 Released!

This year has been full of new projects surrounding the Wait Wait… Don’t Tell Me! Stats Page, including the development and release of a data access layer library, libwwdtm, developed in Python, the Wait Wait Stats API, and the Wait Wait Reports site. All three of those projects were done as a building blocks for the next big thing: version 4 of the Wait Wait Stats Page! Back in 2018, I made the decision to step away from the codebase for version 3.x of the Stats Page; which, was written in PHP and made some use of the Silex micro-framework. While it would have been feasible to continue building on top of that codebase, it would have required a significant re-write in order to meet the requirements that I had for the new version:

The 1000th* Show Taping and New Wait Wait Stats Reports

Back in March 2019, I was working with Colin Miller at Wait Wait… Don’t Tell Me! on a request to pull data regarding the various Wait Wait shows that have aired; especially, getting data on shows that excluded Best Of or Repeat shows. The purpose of the request would later be revealed to be trying to determine when the 1000th* original show would land on the schedule. In July, the date and the location for the taping of the 1000th* show would start to solidify. The show would be taped in Salt Lake City, Utah and on Thursday, October 24th. Why Salt Lake City? The very first time that Wait Wait was taped in front of a live audience was at Jewett Center at Westminster College in Salt Lake City back in January 2000. So, it would be apropos that Wait Wait would also …

Stats API Updates: Clean Up and Panelist Bluff Statistics

Ever since publishing the Wait Wait Stats API, I have been working on some of the technical debts that had been accruing throughout the development and release process for both the API and the underlying libwwdtm data access library. One of those items in the technical debt list was to refactor the libwwdtm modules and make the code easier to manage and maintain. Instead of having every function related to a module reside in one code file, those functions are now broken up into core, details, info and utility sub-module under each major module (guest, host, location, panelist, scorekeeper and show). Once the libwwdtm code refactor was completed, it was time to update the Stats API to make use of the refactored modules and make the code a little bit more readable. After doing a thorough set of regression and performance testing, I unleashed …