Yeah, 2016 was awful, but…

Let’s put aside, for now, what a band/choir consisting of David Bowie, Prince, Leonard Cohen, George Michael, Merle Haggard, Greg Lake, Keith Emerson, Maurice White, Glenn Frey, Mose Allison, Leon Russell, Sharon Jones and who-am-I-forgetting would sound like. Or what sort of film Robert Stigwood (Producer), Garry Marshall (Director) and Vilmos Zsigmond (Cinematographer) could have created (or, for that matter, what television show Grant Tinker could have green-lighted) for a cast consisting of Alan Rickman, Gene Wilder, Debbie Reynolds, Carrie Fisher, Abe Vigoda, Ron Glass, Zsa Zsa Gabor, Michelle Morgan, Jon Polito, Van Williams, Anton Yelchin, Robert Vaughn, William Schallert, George Kennedy and who-else-am-I-forgetting. Or what our culturo-political world would have been like if it had never included Muhammad Ali, John Glenn, Gwen Ifill, Fidel Castro, Richard Adams, Harper Lee, Kevin Meaney and no-really-who-else-am-I-forgetting.

Let’s also put aside, for now, the open wounds—across the entire political spectrum—resulting from the 2016 United States elections and the Brexit vote.

I will put aside, for now, the anxiety and trepidation I felt as I approached my 50th birthday. Because, you know what, the day—which became days—I turned 50 were terrific.

Here are six other positive moments (in no particular order) worth remembering as we prepare to lock 2016 into a custom-made Pandorica.

Chicago Cubs win the World Series. It does not matter if you prefer the White Sox, or even if you are not a baseball fan. When a professional franchise as storied and long-suffering as the Chicago Cubs wins its first championship in 108 years, that is an extraordinary thing. Even more extraordinary is the fact that this team fell behind three wins to one to a very talented and determined Cleveland Indians team, and needed to beat the 2014 Cy Young Award winner, Corey Kluber, to win the deciding Game 7. If only Harry Caray had been around to see it.

Kirk Douglas turns 100. In a year where it seemed like we were grieving the loss of a beloved celebrity every other day, a number of them continue to thrive into their 90s (Betty White, Dick Van Dyke, Don Rickles, Jerry Lewis, Cloris Leachman—even Queen Elizabeth II, who turned 90 on April 21). Topping them all is Spartacus himself. Born Issur Danielovitch Demsky on December 9, 1916, Kirk Douglas made his film debut 70 years ago in a film noir called The Strange Love of Martha Ivers. Indeed, eight of his first 16 films (Ivers, Out of the Past, I Walk Alone, Champion, Young Man With a Horn, Ace in the Hole, Detective Story, The Bad and the Beautiful), all made between 1946 and 1952, can be considered film noir. In my opinion, he is nothing short of brilliant in any of them (well, OK, I have yet to see Champion).

A woman is the Democratic nominee for President of the United States. Love Hillary Clinton, hate her, or something in between: after 228 years of exclusively male major-party nominees for president, a major American political party nominated a woman. Full stop.

The path is even clearer now for the likes of Elizabeth Warren, Kirsten Gillibrand, Amy Klobuchar, Kamala Harris, Tammy Baldwin, Tammy Duckworth, Catherine Cortes-Masto and other Democratic women, plus Nikki Haley, Joni Ernst, Mary Fallin, Condoleeza Rice, Shelley Moore Capito and other Republican women. My daughters could well have at least one female president in their lifetimes.

A political revolution. When Senator Bernie Sanders (Independent-VT), a self-proclaimed democratic socialist, announced on April 29, 2015 that he would seek the 2016 Democratic nomination for president, he was languishing at 9% in national Democratic presidential nomination polls. As low as that was, it was already an improvement from the 3% he was garnering three months earlier.

No matter. When the revolutionary dust had settled, Sanders had won 23 of 57 nominating contests; including 11 of 17 caucuses. Overall, his 13.1 million votes accounted for 43.3% of the total Democratic primary and caucus vote (47.1% outside the 11 states of the Confederacy). You can argue which was the bigger accomplishment, Sanders’ expectation-smashing performance against the heavily-favored Clinton or Donald Trump’s vanquishing of 16 rivals for the 2016 Republican presidential nomination (and ultimate victory)…but you cannot question the significance of either.

Quick personal note: my daughters and I met Senator Sanders at the storied Red Arrow Diner in Manchester, NH in September 2012. He was gracious and warm when I thanked him for his service.

Grace VanderWaal wins America’s Got Talent. Credit my wife for showing me clips of her audition, as she wows Howie Mandell and Simon Cowell, and her ultimate victory. Seriously, the poise and grace (pun intended) of a 12-year-old self-taught songwriter and ukulele player from Suffern, NY may be the single brightest moment of 2016.

One question for Simon, though. Why does she have to be the “next Taylor Swift?” Why can’t she simply be the first Grace VanderWaal?

Saturday Night Live finds its voice again. Ever since Chevy Chase started bumbling around the Studio 8H stage as President Ford in 1975, Saturday Night Live (SNL) has reflected the political zeitgeist, often with hilarious results. Even by those standards, 2016 was a banner year, as Kate McKinnon played Hillary Clinton (with a strange meeting in a bar) and Trump campaign manager Kellyanne Conway, Larry David kept popping up as Bernie Sanders (including a raucous encounter on a ship), and Alec Baldwin played former Virginia Senator Jim Webb before completely getting under Trump’s skin as, well, Trump. There were other notable portrayals, although Cecily Strong could not quite capture the controlled manic exuberance of MSNBC Rachel Maddow.

In my opinion, the writing and acting on SNL are sharper than they have been in years, in large part because the show is relying less on a handful of “stars” (the brilliant McKinnon notwithstanding) and more on ensemble performances.

And I will close with an SNL  “sketch” that is easily the funniest thing I saw all year. David S. Pumpkins is now a thing in our home. For better or for better.

Please tell me in the Comments what other positive things occurred in 2016. Oh, and definitely feel free to like, share and follow this blog.

Until next time… Happy New Year!

Rating Doctor Who, post “reboot,” episode 1

Maybe it was because my wife had gotten me to watch Love Actually the night before, but I found the romance aspect of The Return of Doctor Mysterioso, the 2016 Doctor Who Christmas special, more compelling than the “aliens attack Earth on Christmas” aspect.

Come to think of it, there was not much Christmas in the episode either.

The lack of Christmas in a “Christmas episode” may explain why this episode has an IMDB rating of 7.7, lower than the average Christmas episode rating of 8.1 (n=12 since the 2005 “reboot”), and why its AI score (Appreciation Index, the BBC version of the Nielsen ratings) was 82, tying it for the lowest Christmas episode rating with Last Christmas (2014) and The Husbands of River Song (2015); the average Christmas episode AI score is 84.1, though the range is quite narrow (82-87).

Regardless, after a year-long hiatus Doctor Who is back; Series 10 will debut in April 2017. In the interim, I entertained myself by watching old episodes and TARDISArchives reviews, which got me thinking…

Which of the 131 Doctor Who episodes (115 Series episodes, 12 Christmas episodes, three 10th Doctor specials [Planet of the Dead, The Waters of Mars, The End of Time: Part 2], and The Day of the Doctor [50th anniversary]), nine Series’ and four Doctors have been the most (and least) admired since Rose first aired on March 26, 2005?

To answer these questions, I collected three data points for each episode: its AI score, its IMDB rating and the number of IMDB users who have rated the episode (“user-raters”). The AI score is an integer (0-100) expressing how a sample of British viewers felt about the episode when it first aired. IMDB ratings are a weighted average of 0-10 integer user ratings. For AI scores and IMDB ratings, the higher the value, the more admired the episode was. All IMDB data were current as of December 28, 2016.

The presence of the War Doctor between Paul McGann’s 8th Doctor and Christopher Eccleston’s Doctor complicates the numbering, but I will use the generally-accepted numbering of Eccleston as the 9th Doctor, David Tennant 10th, Matt Smith 11th and Peter Capaldi 12th.

OK! Enough table-setting: here are the results…

Individual episodes. The average AI rating is 85.1, ranging from 76 to 91 (standard deviation [SD]=2.7). For comparison, most episodes in the “classic” era of Doctor Who (1963-89) had AI ratings in the 50’s and 60’s, suggesting either that the perceived quality of the show has increased over time, that the modern audience is a self-selected group of Doctor Who fans, or some combination of the two.

The average IMDB score is 8.2 (SD=0.8), ranging from 6.2-9.8, and the average number of user-raters is 3,663 (SD=1,489), though this is skewed by two episodes with more than 12,000 user-raters. The median number of user-raters is 3,437, with 90 episodes (68.7%) having between 3,000 and 4,999 user-raters.

Table 1: Most- and least-admired Doctor Who episodes (2005-16) when first aired

Title Series-Episode Doctor AI Score
Journey’s End 4-13 10 91
The Stolen Earth 4-12 10 91
Forest of the Dead 4-9 10 89
Doomsday 2-13 10 89
Silence in the Library 4-8 10 89
Asylum of the Daleks 7a-1 11 89
The Parting of the Ways 1-13 9 89
The Big Bang 5-13 11 89
The End of Time: Part Two 10th Doctor Specials 10 89
14 Episodes 3 – 50th Anniversary 10 (8), 11 (6) 88
13 Episodes 1,8-10 12 (11), 9 (2) 82
World War III 1-5 9 81
The Long Game 1-7 9 81
The Woman Who Lived 9-6 12 81
Heaven Sent 9-11 12 80
The Unquiet Dead 1-3 9 80
Sleep No More 9-9 12 78
Rose 1-1 9 76
Love & Monsters 2-10 10 76
The End of the World 1-2 9 76

According to Table 1 above, it took some time for British audiences to warm to the “reboot,” as seven of the 13 Series 1 episodes rank in the bottom 22 in AI score. Indeed, the first two episodes—Rose and The End of the World—are tied for the lowest AI score (76) with the forgettable Series 2 episode Love & Monsters; five of the first six episodes aired are in the bottom nine. These data also suggest a severe drop-off in initial episode appeal with the 12th Doctor: 14 of his 27 episodes rank in the bottom 22 in AI score.

At the other extreme, four of the five episodes with the highest AI score came as the 10th Doctor’s song was ending: the two-part Series 4 finale (The Stolen Earth/Journey’s End; each 91) and the two-part introduction of River Song (Silence in the Library/Forest of the Dead; 89). The top nine also include four other “finale” episodes: The Parting of the Ways (9th Doctor’s exit), Doomsday (part two of Rose Tyler’s exit), The End of Time: Part Two (10th Doctor’s exit) and The Big Bang (2nd part of the two-part Series 5 finale). The first episode of Series 7a, Asylum of the Daleks, rounds out the top nine.

While AI scores suggest how British audiences felt about Doctor Who episodes as they aired, the IMDB ratings (for all their flaws) in Table 2 below reveal how a broader audience (those who take the time to rate a Doctor Who episode, anyway) have come to view episodes over time, after they have been watched and re-watched, shared with others, and discussed at length.

Table 2: Doctor Who episodes (2005-16) with the highest and lowest IMDB ratings

Title Series-Episode Doctor IMDB Rating # User-Raters
Blink 3-10 10 9.8 12,881
Heaven Sent 9-11 12 9.6 5,090
Forest of the Dead 4-9 10 9.4 5,230
The Day of the Doctor 50th Anniv 10/11 9.4 14,050
Doomsday 2-13 10 9.3 5,127
Silence in the Library 4-8 10 9.3 5,033
Vincent and the Doctor 5-10 11 9.3 5,935
The Girl in the Fireplace 2-4 10 9.3 6,394
5 Episodes* 1,5-7a 10 (3), 11 (2) 9.2 4,069-4,687
4 Episodes 1,3,8 9 (2), 12 (1), 10 (1) 7.1 3,207-3,603
The Idiot’s Lantern 2-7 10 7.0 3,388
Victory of the Daleks 5-3 11 6.9 3,328
The Lazarus Experiment 3-6 10 6.8 3,220
The Curse of the Black Spot 6-3 11 6.8 3,092
In the Forest of the Night 8-10 12 6.4 2,901
Sleep No More 9-9 12 6.3 2,460
Love & Monsters 2-10 10 6.3 4,172
Fear Her 2-11 10 6.2 3,652

 * Journey’s End, The Big Bang, The Name of the Doctor, A Good Man Goes to War, The Family of Blood

Aliens of London, World War III, Kill the Moon, Evolution of the Daleks

Twenty-three episodes have an IMDB rating of 9.0 or higher, topped by the Series 3 masterpiece Blink at 9.8. This episode has 12,881 user-raters, second only to the 14,050 for The Day of the Doctor (at 9.4, tied for 3rd in IMDB rating with Forest of the Dead, whose companion episode Silence in the Library is at 9.3). The very high number of user-raters for Blink suggests there is truth to the notion that this is the episode most often used by Doctor Who fans to introduce the show to non-fans. Two other similarly-used episodes (OK, this is pure speculation on my part), with IMDB ratings of 9.3, are The Girl in the Fireplace (Series 2) and Vincent and the Doctor (Series 5), ranked 3rd and 4th, respectively, in user-raters. Rounding out the top eight are Heaven Sent (middle episode in the three-part Series 9 finale) and Doomsday. My personal favorite episode, A Good Man Goes to War (Series 6) is tied for 9th with a 9.2 IMDB rating. Finally, the only other Doctor Who episode with at least 5,000 user-raters is the Series 8 opener Deep Breath (IMDB rating=8.0).

Bringing up the rear are eight episodes with IMDB ratings between 6.2 and 7.0. Three of these episodes are from Series 2: Fear Her, Love & Monsters and The Idiot’s Lantern. This was a remarkably uneven series as it featured these three episodes AND the highly-rated Doomsday and The Girl in the Fireplace (as well as The Impossible Planet/The Satan Pit [8.8, 8.9] and Army of Ghosts [8.6], the first part of Rose Tyler’s two-part farewell as a regular companion). Another 10th Doctor episode, The Lazarus Experiment, has a 6.8 IMDB rating. Rounding out the bottom eight are two 11th Doctor episodes—Victory of the Daleks (Series 5) and The Curse of the Black Spot (Series 6) and two 12th Doctorepisodes—In the Forest of the Night (Series 8) and Sleep No More (Series 9).

There is some overlap across these three rankings: Doomsday, Silence in the Library/Forest of the Dead, The Stolen Earth/Journey’s End, The End of Time: Part Two, The Pandorica Opens/The Big Bang, A Good Man Goes to War and The Day of the Doctor are still among the most admired (and oft-rated) episodes, while Sleep No More and Love & Monsters are still best forgotten. On the other hand, an episode like Heaven Sent, which was (relatively) poorly received when it first aired in November 2015, is now the 2nd-highest rated episode on IMDB! Other episodes such as Blink, The Girl in the Fireplace and Vincent and the Doctor met with more modest admiration when they first aired, but have since become three of the most-admired episodes ever.

A correlation coefficient (r) is a quick way to measure how well two measures “agree” with each other. R ranges between -1.00 and 1.00; if r is negative, then as one measure increases, the other decreases, and if r is positive, as one measure increases, the other measure increases. When r=0, the association is completely random.

The correlation between AI score and IMDB rating is a moderate 0.43, while the correlation between IMDB rating and number of user-raters is a moderate 0.47. These associations can be seen more clearly in Figures 1 and 2 below. The correlation between AI score and number of user-raters was a weaker, though still positive, 0.19 (data not shown).

Figure 1: AI Score vs. IMDB Rating, Doctor Who episodes, 2005-16 (n=131)


Figure 2: AI Score vs. IMDB Rating vs. # of User-Raters, Doctor Who episodes, 2005-16 (n=131)


As this post is already over 1,000 words, I will continue this discussion of most- and least-admired revamped Doctor Who episodes, Series’ and Doctors in a later episode. I mean, post.

Until next timey-wimey…



Bipartisan, half of the time…

My first political memory is asking my parents for whom they were voting for president in 1972, President Richard Nixon or Democrat George McGovern. “McGovern” my parents said. And just like that, at the age of six, I became a Democrat.

I am still a proud Democrat.

Wait, you ask. Isn’t this blog a repository for interesting, data-driven stories told with little-to-no subjective point-of-view?

Yes, it is. But sometimes personal backstory is necessary to provide context for later posts, especially if in one or more of those posts I question the actions of one of our major political parties.

Now, returning to the early 1970s…

My mother and I spent the summer of 1974 in Atlantic City, NJ; my father would drive down from suburban Philadelphia most weekends. One Thursday evening in August, I was watching TV in the small front parlor of the home of a family friend. That is how I watched President Nixon resign from the presidency “effective at noon tomorrow.” Not quite eight years old, I only partially understood what I was watching, though every adult’s somber expression told me it was something big.

I knew little about the new Republican President, Gerald Ford, but he seemed like a nice man. I still love the fact that he made his own toast in the White House kitchen. Being a Democrat, I rooted for Jimmy Carter to beat him in 1976, but not because of anything I disliked about Ford.

As a sidebar, I now view the 1976 presidential election as one in which the country would have won either way. Ford was—and Carter still is—a distinctly good and honorable man who tried his best to use the power of the federal government to improve people’s lives. I also think he was right to pardon Nixon: no other punishment would have hurt Nixon as much as resigning did, and the country was allowed to start to heal.

Three years later, a woman named Barbara Bush spoke to my middle school. She was campaigning for her husband George, who was running for president as a Republican. I was in 8th grade, and I was fascinated by learning about the liberal-conservative spectrum. While I was gravitating to uber-liberal Democrats like Jerry Brown (more than President Carter, or even Ted Kennedy), there was something about Bush I liked.  His “voodoo economics” talk and strong support of something called Planned Parenthood made him seem like a true moderate, someone I could at least respect, if not always agree with.

Hold that thought for a moment.

Bush ended up becoming Ronald Reagan’s 1980 running mate. Despite reluctantly supporting Carter over Reagan (and John Anderson), we were devastated by the Republican landslide that November. But by April 1981, my Democratic mother was talking about how well her small carpet-cleaning business (which she had bought from its previous owner a year or so earlier, greatly improving our personal financial situation) was doing in the first few months of the Reagan Administration. For a time, it really did feel like we were making a fresh start from the turbulent 1970s.

Back home, Pennsylvania was narrowly electing a series of liberal-to-moderate Republicans who, again, I admired without always agreeing with them: Senator John Heinz in 1976 (even as Carter won Pennsylvania by 2.7 percentage points), Governor Richard Thornburgh in 1978, and Senator Arlen Specter in 1980. Heinz easily won reelection twice before dying in a plane crash in 1991 at the age of 52. Like most Pennsylvanians, I was deeply saddened by the loss of this good man. I met Senator Specter in 2003, when he reaffirmed his strong support for Title X (the federal funding program for family planning services) to my Family Planning Council colleagues and me. My mother loved Thornburgh for pushing funding for state-university partnerships to treat folks with mental retardation. My only sibling is an older sister, who has suffered from severe mental retardation since a few months after her birth and has lived in a wonderful state-funded Center for more than 40 years. In 1986, I voted for pro-choice Republican Bill Scranton for governor, still my only Republican vote. (Only with hindsight do I regret voting for Democrat John Silber over Republican Bill Weld for governor of Massachusetts in 1990.)

The 1988 presidential campaign was so banal that the Washington Post did not endorse either Bush or Michael Dukakis. Bush’s campaign sank to some particularly ugly depths (Willie Horton, flag-burning, demonizing liberals). The afternoon after Bush won, however, I watched President-elect Bush introduced James Baker as his nominee for Secretary of State. My surprised reaction was “wow, the governing Bush looks like an entirely different cat.” Other Bush Administration picks like Jack Kemp (HUD), Dick Darman (OMB), Thornburgh (Justice), Liddy Dole (Labor), and Brent Scowcroft (National Security Advisor) signaled to me a mature, less-ideological approach to governing.

The point of this stroll through the first half of my life is that as a strong partisan Democrat, I could still find common ground with many Republicans. On a personal level, one of my closest friends in high school was a staunch Republican who loved Reagan as much as I loved Walter Mondale. Mondale was my first presidential vote, in 1984, and still one of my proudest.

I plan to argue in a later post that something began to go haywire with the Republican Party right around Bush’s failed reelection campaign in 1992 and the subsequent Republican takeover of the House and Senate in 1994. I now feel that the party—with a few possible exceptions like Massachusetts Governor Charlie Baker—has become completely unhinged.

Until next time…

Welcome, and just bear with me…

Welcome readers!

A friend of mine is convinced that I started to tell him a story back in 1995 that I have yet to finish.  Another friend teases me because she thinks I start all of my stories with a date and location, like a cross between Walter Winchell and a film noir voiceover:  “June 1993. Somerville, Massachusetts. I was supposed to be working on my doctorate, but the only thing I was working on was a caffeine jag. And then she knocked on the door…

“Wait. Did I ever tell you about the day I drove all the way to Concord, New Hampshire to copy town-level data from the 1976 presidential primaries? It was May 1992…”

The title of this blog is “Just Bear With Me…” When I tell a story, to me every detail and out-of-nowhere sidebar is part of an informational gestalt, but to a listener it can sound like a load of extraneous detail punctuated by annoying pauses to recall more extraneous details.

The point is that, like most of us, I like to tell stories, and I have my own way to tell them. I particularly like telling stories resulting from the collection and analysis of data points. And I do get to the point…eventually.

Wait, you say, data journalism is all the rage now. Like, EVERYBODY is doing it. What do you have to tell me that I can’t read on, say,

That is a fair question. I think that website and Nate Silver’s The Signal and the Noise should be required reading. Period. To me, they are the gold standard for telling important and interesting stories with data.

But everyone has a different way to tell a story because everyone has their own stories to tell. I have my own data-driven stories to tell you, if you would like to listen.

I will start by telling two stories. To the best of my knowledge, every “data point” in these stories is true.

Story A: A heterosexual white male grows up in the wealthy Main Line suburbs of Philadelphia. His father is a successful business owner who provides a comfortable life for his mother, older sister and him. After winning multiple academic accolades at a renowned high school, he enrolls at Yale University, where he makes many important connections. One of those connections, a well-respected professor of political science, helps him get accepted into a doctoral program at Harvard University, funded through a series of prestigious fellowships. Eventually, he earns Master’s Degrees in political science and biostatistics and a PhD in epidemiology, capping a successful career as a well-respected data analyst and manager. He is also an active member of a wide range of distinguished academic and cultural organizations. As an adult, he marries an accomplished woman descended from an old and distinguished New England family, related to many illustrious artists, and raised in Georgetown, where she attended exclusive private schools with the sons and daughters of the political elite. They settle into an exclusive apartment in an upscale section of Brookline, where they are currently raising their two talented daughters.

Wow, talk about a well-placed member of the coastal cultural elite!

Story B: An adulterous liaison results in a pregnancy. Mere days after giving birth, the unwed mother gives up her son for adoption to the children of immigrant fathers. The boy’s father is a spoiled man-child with a lifelong gambling addiction, the boy’s mother barely finished high school, and the boy’s older sister spends her childhood in and out of institutions across three states. When the boy is 10, his father’s gambling losses are so bad that sheriff’s deputies haul the boy’s father off to jail one night for missing mortgage payments. The boy’s mother has soon had enough, and she and her son move into a low-rent apartment. To support herself and her son, the boy’s mother takes a low-wage telephone soliciting job. A few years later, the boy’s parents divorce; the father dies soon after, aged 46. By the time the boy is 17, he has been in and out of therapy for suicide attempts. He soon begins to drink, asking friends of age to buy beer for him; upon turning 21, he turns to harder liquor like Scotch. For years, the man self-medicates with alcohol, wasting hours at a local bar, sabotaging a potential career in the process. He bounces from one job to the next, with long stretches of unemployment. Eventually, he goes back into therapy, where he is being treated for depression.

This poor slob is straight out of a David Goodis story: one of life’s losers whose ladder of opportunity is buried deep underground.

As an astute reader, you have concluded that these are the same story (and that Story B is 39 words longer…our first numeric data point together)! Basically, I just introduced myself to you in two completely different ways in the same blog post. Such is the power of selective storytelling, where a story—but not the complete story—depends on which facts are chosen.

If you bear with me, I will do my best to tell you complete, primarily-data-driven stories on subjects from film noir to the 2016 elections, from baseball to public health, from Charlie Chan to Doctor Who. The thing is, I am already doing these analyses, and this will spur me to disseminate what I learn.

I will also endeavor:

  • to be transparent in my data sources and analytic methods,
  • to post only when I actually have something (hopefully) interesting to say, and
  • to limit each post to 1,000 words.

Informational gestalt is one thing, bored readers another.

Please feel free to comment in a thoughtful and respectful way. I do not tolerate meanness in myself or my children, so I would like the same from you.

Oh…that woman who knocked on my Somerville door in June 1993? We dated for 7½ years. And I have no idea where are all those 1976 primary data are now.

Until next time…


UPDATE: July 22, 2017. Yeah, about that 1,000 word limit. That did not last very long, did it? I do try to limit my posts to no more than 3,000 words, however, roughly the length of peer-reviewed journal article. Thank you for bearing with me for those extra 2,000 words.