Tag Archives: data

What’s $100 Worth in California vs Wisconsin?


Taxfoundation.org released this map showing the relative value of $100 across the United States. To paraphrase the article:  Average prices for similar goods are much higher in California than in Wisconsin, so the same amount of dollars will buy you comparatively less out here. The difference from Wisco to Cali? About $19. Damn!

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Filed under Author: Jack

Fun Fact: San Andreas Fault Zone

Hey neighbor!

The average rate of motion across the San Andreas Fault Zone during the past 3 million years is 56 mm/yr (2 in/yr). This is about the same rate at which your fingernails grow. Assuming this rate continues, scientists project that Los Angeles and San Francisco will be adjacent to one another in approximately 15 million years.


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Filed under Author: Jack

Celebrity Sightings: Eagle Eye for Hire

Looking to spot celebrities on your next visit to Los Angeles? For a low, low fee of GRB-to-LAX airfare you can rent my dad for the day! This guy has crazy-good celebrity senses. He’s the Spider-Man of star sightings.

I’ve now lived here for 3 weeks (though I haven’t gotten out a ton), and have taken numerous trips around LA with Darin and my mother. None of us have seen anything even close to a celebrity. I fly my parents out for two days, though, and my dad manages to notice two legends:

My dad with Brent Spiner (left): Well-known as Data from Star Trek TNG

My dad with Brent Spiner (left), well-known as Data from Star Trek TNG

Vin Diesel (black shirt): Famous as Dominic from The Fast & Furious franchise.

Vin Diesel (black shirt), famous as Dominic from The Fast & Furious franchise.

Honestly, this guy has some kind of six-sense-type stuff going on here. So the next time you’re planning to hit up LA and see the sights give me a shout-out and I’ll get my dad on retainer for you.

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Filed under Author: Jack

Earthquakes… Earthquakes Everywhere

Apparently a decent sized earthquake hit southeast L.A. last night. It lasted 10 seconds and “could be felt for miles.”


It happened in the southeast corner of L.A.

But no worries. We are in the northwest corner. The earthquake was 42 miles away. It’s weird to say “Yeah, there was an earthquake in L.A., where I kinda live, but it was 42 miles away.”

The scope of L.A. is a little silly upon thinking about it.

There are 80 neighborhoods and districts.

It covers  502.7 square miles.

Lengthwise, L.A. is 42 miles long, and 23 miles wide.

There are 18 million people in Los Angeles County.

And on and on and on…

We don’t even live in Los Angeles proper, which is weird to think about, but it’s easier to communicate to family and friends. Everyone seemed a throwing stone’s distance away in Green Bay. Here, we’ve only left the Valley once. We’ve got a lot to explore, which is exciting.




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Filed under Author: Darin

Los Angeles: The Most Pleasant Place to Live

la weather

Click to Enlarge

This interactive infographic is happy to inform us that Los Angeles the most pleasant place to live.  According to the author, Kelly Norton, this is based on the following definition of “pleasant”:

[T]he mean temperature was between (55° F and 75° F), the minimum temperature was above 45° F, the maximum temperature was below 85° F and there was no significant precipitation or snow depth.

It looks like LA had the highest number of those days, at 183 per year.  (The data was pulled from the last 23 years of NOAA data.)

After a winter like this, maybe LA won’t be so bad.

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Filed under Author: Jack

Which LA Neighborhood is Right for Us?

Darin’s new job is located in Sherman Oaks, CA (91423 ).  Since we know where he’ll be working, we’ve been taking time to research where we should be living. Ideally we would live right  in Sherman Oaks, because the commute would be short.  But what are our options?  What about price? Crime?

Naturally, the second I found out where the office was, my marketing senses started tingling and I went searching for demographics on the area.  Data is the best way to calm a queasy stomach.

I started with the Prism Cluster demographic info at Nielson.  I’ve used this many times for work, and figured it would be a good place to start.

Per Nielson:

Nielsen’s lifestyle segmentation systems define every household in the U.S. by distinct lifestyle types, called “segments”, to provide you with a comprehensive picture of who lives where and what they are like.

I found the charts and segment groups helpful.  It helped me with things like average age, ethnicity, income and household members.  It also goes into depth in the segment groups with activites and such for each group.  It’s a good place to start.  (Nielson Zip Code Look-Up)

Nielson Quick Facts

Quick facts for Sherman Oaks from the Nielson Zip Code Look-Up

The next place I swung by was a Reddit FAQ that had some information for people transplanted to LA.  One of them was a neighborhood mapper put together by the LA Times.  It shows the boundaries for each neighborhood (something I was seriously fuzzy on).  Once you choose the neighborhood you’re interested in, prepare to be educated. Crime, schools, income, housing – you name it.  The vitals are all there.  I was pretty happy to have a resource like this, and I’d recommend it to anyone moving to LA. I wish more metro areas had things like this available.  (LA Times Neighborhood Mapper)

LA Times Crime

Crime snapshot for Sherman Oaks from the LA Times

Lastly, Reddit was a great place to hear individual’s advice – as usual.  Don’t estimate a local’s valuable point-of-view.  One kind soul informed me that “for anything reasonably priced, you’ll need to move very quickly (like same day) to be able to get an apartment.” I was pretty freaked out by that, but hey – it’s better to be prepared, right?

We’re still going to try to live in Sherman Oaks, but at least we’ve got more data to back up that decision.  We’ve also got data on nearby neighborhoods, in case we can’t find a place we like.  I wonder where we’ll end up!

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Filed under Author: Jack