I've spent the better part of the day watching this cool Learn Python Through Public Data Hacking tutorial on youtube. It's a video of a workshop that was at PyCon 2013. I'm still pretty green with python, so it's been a good exercise. The whole thing is almost two hours and forty minutes, but it's taken me far longer than that to get through everything due to various interruptions and the need to download additional python modules and what not.

Anyway, the whole talk discusses using publicly available data and manipulating it. For instance, one of the exercises involved trying to find a bus that a suitcase got left on. So using the CTA API for the Chicago bus system, you could track where a bus was and if it was getting closer or father from you. For an added bonus, you could plot the bus location on a google map instead of trying to read longitude and latitude.

I tried to see if the City of Grand Rapids had similarly available data and I couldn't find anything, which is kind of a bummer. Maybe eventually. I might search through some of the neighboring cities and see if I can find anything.
I did take a break between the exercises to make some tasty biscotti. It's been awhile since I made some and I had a desire for something delicious to dunk into my tea. I used a different recipe called Biscotti Toscani. This one is more almond and less chocolate than the last recipe I made, which is fine. They're pretty tasty and I couldn't resist eating a few smaller ones right away.


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