Mikhail Popov alerted me to a neat hidden feature of Google spreadsheets: automatic word association. If you highlight two or more related words in a column and then hold down option (or control, on Windows) while dragging down from the corner square, it will fill the remaining cells with words from the same category as the source words you selected. For example, I just tried it with "R" and "SAS" and (mostly) got a list of other computational software:
OK, it gets a but funky towards the end there. It does better generating a list of predictive models given "decision trees" and "linear regression" as root words:
That's pretty amazing. Buzzfeed has a list of other word-association-generated lists, including wine varietals and Star Wars characters. What lists can you generate?
That's all for this week. Have a great weekend, and we'll be back on Monday.