David Bouchier

Sunday Matinee host, commentator

David began as a print journalist in London and taught at a British university for almost twenty years. After coming to the United States in 1986 he continued to teach and to publish a regular humor column in The New York Times regional edition.  He joined WSHU as a weekly commentator in 1992, becoming host of Sunday Matinee in 1996. His latest book of essays, Peripheral Vision, was published in 2011. His other books include A Few Well Chosen Words, The Song of Suburbia, The Cats and the Water Bottles, The Accidental Immigrant and Writer at Work. He lives in Stony Brook, New York with his wife who is a professor at Stony Brook University, and two un-musical cats.

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David Bouchier
7:40 am
Mon February 2, 2015

How Big Is Your Data?

David Bouchier

We hear lot these days about something called "Big Data." It's a macho-sounding thing. Anything called "Big" usually is, like big business or the big bang theory. But what does it mean?

In the world of research everybody likes to claim that they have Big Data. It's not enough just to have a bright idea while standing in line at the supermarket checkout. You need a theory that is backed up by millions upon millions of numbers, which is what Big Data means.

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David Bouchier
7:40 am
Mon January 26, 2015

What's In A Name?

David Bouchier

In the year I was born David must have been the most popular given name in Britain, and possibly in the western world. As a result most of my male schoolmates were called David, and when we are all drafted at the age of eighteen we entered an army of Davids. For a couple of years I had to use another name so I could remember who I was.

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David Bouchier
7:40 am
Mon January 12, 2015

Darkness at Dawn

David Bouchier

Two hundred years ago the essayist Leigh Hunt wrote a piece that was destined to become famous, called "On Getting Up on Cold Mornings," about the extreme difficulty of persuading oneself to get out of bed in winter. This appealed strongly to about half the population. Then as now the world was divided into Morning People and Night People. Morning People are energetic, immature and rash. They get up in what is more or less the middle of the night and rush cheerfully off to work in the freezing dawn. Night People are more mature, more thoughtful, and less impulsive.

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David Bouchier
7:40 am
Mon January 5, 2015

The Future Lies Ahead

David Bouchier

I like this turning point of the year when I can hang up a fresh calendar and begin a new diary. It's not a diary, strictly speaking, because it records the future not the past. Some people call them Appointment Books or Agenda Books, but I have very few appointments and no agenda at all. Whatever it is this little book serves some of the functions of a diary, so that's what I call it. For reasons not yet diagnosed by a competent psychiatrist I keep all my old diaries.

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David Bouchier
7:40 am
Mon December 29, 2014

Democratic Weather

David Bouchier

Part of our eternal fascination with the weather is that we can do nothing about it, least of all predict it. The arbitrariness of the weather led our ancestors to assume that it was sent by capricious gods to annoy or punish mere mortals, or perhaps just for entertainment. This theory has persisted for thousands of years, and it makes sense to me. Weather forecasting, in spite of satellites and computers and sophisticated modeling techniques, remains almost as fallible as stock market forecasting.

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