Tag Archives: brownie

How to create a word cloud with word counts, Excel, and Wordle

When you’ve got the right purpose in mind, word clouds can be very useful. But when you only have a list of words and their counts, particularly when the word counts are large,  how do you turn a short list of words into word cloud?

Well, let’s take an easy example and work with this list of words. Because this is an easy list, we could just re-write it into this: Cake, cake, cake, cake, cake, brownies, brownies, brownies, cookies, cookies, pie, pie, pie, tarts, tarts, tarts, tarts, tarts, tarts, tarts, tarts, tarts, squares, squares, squares, squares. That took me about 1 minute to write out.

Cake 5
Brownies 3
Cookies 2
Pie 3
Tarts 9
Squares 4

But what happens when your list looks like this? Are you really supposed to write out each word thousands of times just so they can be copied into Wordle? And what happens if there are several hundred words in your list and they all have hundreds or thousands of mentions? It could take an hour to do to accurately and, as you’ll soon find out, is a complete waste of time.

Cake 4522
Brownies 3492
Cookies 2431
Pie 3142
Tarts 878
Squares 3627

Have no fear! A quick little Excel trick is in order. Have a peek at the picture here and notice the equation. This handy little equation tells Excel to choose the word in column A and then repeat it by the number in column B. The concatenate portion inserts a space between each word which is important for Wordle to distinguish between each word.


Now all you need to do is copy the contents of column D into Wordle.


And then click on Go! Now you can try it with a really long list of words and it will just take a couple minutes. Enjoy!



About to present? Don’t say these things! #MRX

My presentation is the last thing between you and break/lunch/cocktails/dinner. I hear this at least twice in every conference. Guaranteed. It makes me think your presentation is going to boring and maybe  I should just leave for the break now. Should I? It’s just not funny anymore.

I’m really sorry but I won’t be as awesome as the last presenter. This usually happens after a presenter who showed cool videos or played fun music or who was really animated on stage. It rarely happens after a presentation that was full of helpful and practical tips. I don’t know about you but I’d rather be the person who was practical. I’m not particularly impressed by fluff. Give me substance. Even if you’re boring as heck.

I know nothing about this technology, so you’ll have ask my IT guy if you have any questions. Wonderful. I’m supposed to take you seriously when you’re talking about something you don’t understand? Why don’t I just go talk to your sales person instead. Where’s the brownie? Know what you could say instead. “My colleague would love to explain that in more detail.” See? You don’t sound stupid that way.

I don’t understand all these numbers, ask my data guy. This is nothing to be proud of. If you don’t understand the numbers on your slides, you shouldn’t be presenting them. Take a class, attend some webinars, read some textbooks. Numerical illiteracy is nothing to be proud of. You CAN learn. I did. (Check out @ResearchRocks. Awesome training with a kind and patient person.)

To conclude, don’t criticize yourself on stage. Be confident, project intelligence, and the audience will respond.



“Where’s the brownie” is what I tweet when presenters are doing a sales pitch or have no content. If you’re a presenter, avoid the brownie!  🙂

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2012 CNE Food Venn Diagram featuring the Deep Fried Bacon Wrapped Mars Bar

2012 CNE Food Venn DiagramI have to admit it.

I’m pretty proud of my CNE eating accomplishments this year. Unlike previous years where I managed to fill out all sections of the Venn diagram, this year I was able to avoid those boring and overly simplistic sections that fulfill only one requirement. This year, I focused entire on “food” that incorporated at least two of the circles.

My favourite, of course, was the magically delicious, deep fried, bacon wrapped Mars Bar. Massively gooey and chewy goodness.


Hotdog Eclair 2012 CNE

Hotdog Chocolate Eclair – One bite and it gushes all over. Yum.

Deep Fried Bacon Wrapped Mars Bar

Deep fried Bacon Wrapped Mars Bar – Deliciously gooey

Inside the Deep Fried Bacon Wrapped Mars Bar

Inside the Magically Delicious Deep Fried Bacon Wrapped Mars Bar

Deep Fried Brownie and Deep Fried Rice Krispie Square

Deep Fried Brownie and Deep Fried Rice Krispie Square – Try and guess which is which

Deep Fried Oreos

Deep Fried Oreos – Good but not extraordinary

Chicken with Waffles and Syrup

Chicken with Waffles and Syrup

Deep Fried Cheesecake

Massively Giant Deep Fried Cheesecake mmmm



Deep Fried CNE and a Goat

The CNE, as always, has produced a wondrous assortment of caloric delights. For your information, here is a pie chart illustrating where the 5600 calories I ate came from.

cne calories ex pie chart

And, here are the official scores for the items you’re wondering most about. The pictures are in order from left to right.
Donut hamburger: A+ If you’re going to do it, then do it right and get it with the egg and bacon. Tastes good, worth the calories for a once a year crazy eating fest.
Deep fried coke: C  My guess is they add a little bit of flour to the coke syrup to thicken it up a little. Then, they drizzle it into the hot oil. It doesn’t taste good or bad. It just is. Worth the money? No. Worth saying you ate it? Maybe.
Deep fried Joe Louis: B+  Nice flavour. It’s like eating warm cake out of the oven. It’s tasty but it’s not crazy wow unusual. Still yum.
Deep fried brownie: B+ Like the Joe Louis, also good but nothing OMG crazy. Nice warm cake.
donut hamburger cne exdeep fried coke cne exdeep fried joe louis  cne exdeep fried brownie cne ex
And lastly, here is a picture of me with my new boyfriend. This little guy was not interested in the free food. He just wanted a little bit of love and he weasled his head onto my arm for as long as I would pet him.
boyfriend goat cne ex

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