Wait Wait… Don’t Tell Me! Stats API is Live

For the past few years, people have requested access to the data that I have been collecting for the Wait Wait Stats Page to play around with the data or build a brilliant, interactive infographic. Each of those requests would require that a data export of the requested tables or a MySQL/MariaDB database dump to be created and sent over to the requester. Of course, those exports and database dumps are just snapshots of the data and another request was needed to get update data each time.

That got me thinking about what it would take to create an API service that people can use to get data directly from the Stats Page database. At that time, I wasn’t sold on the idea of extending the PHP codebase that is used for the current Stats Page; as, I was looking at doing a completely re-work of the Stats Page at some point and wanted the code that I would write for an API to also be re-usable for the next version of the Stats Page. I was waffling between writing the new codebase in Python, something that I was already quite familiar with, and TypeScript. While the latter is something that would be interesting to learn, I didn’t have the spare time to pick up a new language and the surrounding frameworks and toolsets; so, Python it was.

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New Panelist vs Panelist Report

Over the past couple of months while continuing to work on code that would power the next projects for the Wait Wait… Don’t Tell Me! Stats Page, I wanted to figure out a way to see how well a panelist has fared against another panelist (say: Adam Felber vs Faith Salie and Luke Burbank vs Roxanne Roberts). After a number of sleepless nights, a lot more than I am willing to admit, I worked out how to pull the data from the Stats Page database and pieced together some of the logic behind it. Since the overall development on the code for the current version of the Stats Page has ceased and any work has moved over to the new data access libraries and web …

All Show Locations Data Entered*

After spending a few hours listening to the Wait Wait… Don’t Tell Me! audio archive that I have found ways to download from the NPR site over the years, I have gone through and updated the show location for all shows in the Stats Page database.

*: Of course, there are a few shows where Carl Kasell didn’t say which location a Best Of show was recorded or the venue in which a show was taped from (be it at a public radio station or a location with a live audience).

Stats Page Version 3.4.0: Correcting Some Design Mistakes

Ever since I started working on version 3.0 of the Wait Wait… Don’t Tell Me! Stats Page, one of the design decisions that I made when it came to the individual host, scorekeeper, panelist and guest pages was to use the specially encoded names in the URL. The encoding process would convert certain characters, such as a space, into their URL-encoded version, or “%20” in the case of a space. Well, looking back, that was not really the smartest way of doing it; and, ever since version 3.0 was published back in 2014, I was afraid of breaking any links that may have been created with that URL format and did not have a lot of spare time to re-design the whole thing. As months …

Wait Wait’s 20th Anniversary Live Taping in Chicago and Scoring Details

Although Wait Wait… Don’t Tell Me! officially reached their first 20th anniversary milestone back in January of this year, the show has been celebrating their anniversary throughout the year and have had a number of shows on the road as part of their 20th anniversary tour. On October 25th, they had their 20th anniversary extravaganza at The Chicago Theatre in downtown Chicago, their fair city. Months prior to the special show, I had already worked out plans to travel to Chicago for the big show. The anticipation and excitement continued to build as the date got closer and started peaking when I landed in Chicago a few days before the show. Thursday evening, I made the short walk from the hotel to the Chicago Theatre …

Two Nights and Two Shows in Seattle

In the past three years, I have had the opportunity to go to three live tapings of Wait Wait… Don’t Tell Me!, one in Seattle and two in Portland, my fair city. Since, I can never go to too many Wait Wait live tapings, I knew I had to head back up to Seattle when they announced that they were coming back to do two shows. As I was trying to find a way to make sure that I could queue up to purchase tickets the moment they went on sale to the general public, the awesome gang at Wait Wait said that they would hook me up with tickets to both shows. To say that I was ecstatic would be a significant understatement. At …