I was trying to practice data scraping, as well as using tidyverse to perform some exploratory data analysis. The idea of analysing the Academy Award of Best Picture winners using data from IMDB came to mind, which would enable me to do both. I searched through IMDb and found this list, and started working on it.

Step 1: Data scraping

I used the library rvest as well as tidyverse to do the scraping. The first task was selecting the data to scrape. I decided on scraping the title of the movies, along with release year, runtime, genre, name of the director, full cast, IMDb…

R Studio is a fantastic IDE (Integrated Development Environment). It is simple and intuitive to use, full of helpful features that the programming environment does not provide. The R Studio developers have baked in many extra tools that make the IDE synonymous with the R language for thousands of users (see my post on how RStudio notebooks are an excellent tool for data analysis). But all those features are not always required and make the IDE heavier on resources. In many instances, users need a lightweight and simpler environment. One of the best alternatives to R Studio, which I have…

Header image with paints and drawing tablet
Header image with paints and drawing tablet


I am not a professional artist, but a trained one. I began taking art lessons when I was six years old and continued training till I was sixteen. By then I mastered using all types of media — pencil sketches, crayons and pastels, watercolour, mixed media (watercolour + pastels, watercolour + pencil/pen), acrylic and oil paint. I had to discontinue formal training after sixteen as I became super busy with higher studies, but did not get disconnected with my first love — though the frequency with which I picked up pencils and paintbrushes became few and far between.

Discovering digital art

Don’t get…


I have confessed my love for R in my previous posts, so I won’t repeat the same here. It is absolutely the best tool for performing statistical analysis of data, but as it is a programming language, it can do so much more. It may not be as complete or powerful as Python, but people in academia love it for the myriad of packages available, and new ones are being developed daily. R also has a fantastic integrated development environment (IDE) called RStudio. Beginners should definitely take advantage of the user-friendly interface to get used to the language faster, but…

Screenshot of Manjaro desktop with system configuration in terminal
Screenshot of Manjaro desktop with system configuration in terminal

Disclaimer 1: This is not a review of Manjaro Linux distribution, this is my personal opinion on why I feel Manjaro is the best among all the distributions (distros in short!) I have tried so far. The opinion I present here is biased and limited by my knowledge of Linux, my aesthetic sense and my Laptop’s performance. So, read this post keeping those things in mind.

Disclaimer 2: I am not a programmer or software engineer - I am a postdoctoral researcher working on animal behaviour and ecology, who is very interested in open-source software. …

R is like any other programming language — just with a keen focus towards statistical analysis of data. Therefore, if you are familiar with any programming language, it gets very easy to start working with R. Many say R has a steep learning curve. Maybe it is true, but I feel that once you get going with R, you won’t go elsewhere.

The problem arises if you are not familiar with any programming languages, and have never tried to learn one yourself. The absolute introduction to any programming language should be through its data structures, yet I have seen people…

A female worker ant with a pupa in its mandibles, painted with colours for identification (Photograph by Dr. Deepjay Sarkar)

Many mistake the behaviour of stealing to only appear in human societies. Scientists across centuries have studied thieves in different animals, and we now know that thieves appear in species that range from small worms to large mammals. Hyenas are a famous example of thieves and have been recorded to steal hunt from seven other large predators including lions, cheetahs and leopards. Birds like ravens and gulls are well-known for stealing food from others of their own species using stealth and/or force. But these animals either live alone or live in packs or groups. We started with discussing theft in…

This is my first post in this blog, and I start with my favourite programming language — R.

I am not saying that R is the best programming language. On the contrary, I think Python is much easier to learn, more efficient and powerful. But R is probably the best for what I do, and it makes my work so much easier.

I am a research scholar working in the field of behavioural ecology. For the data I collect and work with, I personally think R is the easiest and most useful to work with. …

Bishwarup Paul

A nature-enthusiast appreciating technology, and a technology-obsessed exploring nature.

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