21 June 2013

An Announcement About An Upcoming Network

Happy Happy Joy Joy
Today is the day I get to announce that the biggest Doctor Who project I've ever embarked on is going well. I know I should have been posting about it these last couple of days [weeks] but work and real life have been hectic. But i just decided that no matter what, this the project that must be completed.

So what is this project? It's a dataset of every use of the sonic screwdriver from the televised stories—all 784 of them. That's the total number I got after going through every episode. And I literally mean going through each one. I scrubbed through every episode in order to catch every use. And believe me, there were some that were nothing less than seeing a little flash of light on the screen to a slight bit of that familiar sound.  And some times even that seemed to be short or non-existent.

So What I Have Now...
What I have now is one very large Excel spreadsheet with all the uses, the stories they happened, who was using it, what they were using, the physical science that best matches up, and more. The dataset is in the process of being tidied up.

For instance, every says that the screwdriver opens doors. Right, it does open doors. But how does it open doors? Does it open every door the same way? No, it doesn't. Opening a big wooden door in a medieval prison it completely different than opening a hi-tech door on a future space station. This precludes that Open Doors is not a category, but the way it opens those doors is. And that's the direction this has gone. It's also the reason this dataset stalled out a few times in the past. I could never make all the uses fit into coherent categories.

Current Standing Of The Project?
I'm working on the final spreadsheet and will be passing it off to my cohort soon. Then we'll decided exactly what type of charts, graphs, and networks we can get out of this thing. Yes, there will be multiple entries with this data cause it's so damn huge.

When Will It See The Light Of Day?
Probably not for at least a month or more. Sorry, I don't have the time I used to have in my previous job. I went from a 37.5 hour a week flex schedule to a 49 hour a week rigid Monday-Saturday one. That cut deeply into my research time. But we do what we need to do. I just think of this as a steady paycheck until I find another real job.

A Little Tidbit
One of the interesting things garnered from the data concerns Classic Who and Nu Who. Tom Baker, the 4th Doctor used the screwdriver 47 times (seven seasons. 35 stories, 178 episodes). Christopher Eccleston, the 9th Doctor, used the screwdriver 47 times (one season, 10 stories, 13 episodes). And that's just the quick surface information I got. Once Jürgen and I get started there's no telling what we'll uncover.

I know the wait will be worth it...

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