Which is the best/most quotable Simpsons episode?

I’m one of those annoying people who make Simpsons references at any and every opportunity. In fact, in recent years I reckon my main interaction with the show has been making obscure references to it rather than actually watching episodes. I’m the worst, I know, but, I also know I’m... [Read More]

Distilling the Christmas spirit with stats

People really love alcohol at Christmas. Or, at the very least they love searching for alcohol at Christmas. In each of the last five years, the search volume for some of the most popular alcoholic spirits has peaked dramatically around the week of Christmas. Is this what people mean when... [Read More]

Is Christmas coming earlier on Reddit?

I promised myself I wouldn’t do this again. I promised it after writing this article 3 years ago and I promised it again when I wrote a corrected less incorrect version last year. But, then I discovered FiveThirtyEight’s How the Internet Talks project and couldn’t resist trying to answer this... [Read More]

When did the golden age of The Simpsons end?

It’d be difficult to argue against the fact that The Simpsons isn’t quite the show it once was. Even just a quick glance at the IMDb ratings is enough to see that the show is routinely not hitting the highs it did so regularly in the earlier seasons. [Read More]

The decline of Katrinas after Hurricane Katrina

With a series of large hurricanes hitting the US recently, I wondered what impact their names have on people’s opinion of those names for their children: do people try avoid the new negative connotations of the name or is that even a factor in their decision process? For some superficial... [Read More]

Who is the main side character in The Simpsons?

The Simpsons has a rich cast of great characters, with Wikipedia suggesting the show has somewhere around 100 recurring characters. But, outside the titular family members, who can claim to be the main side character in the show? I’m not interested in who the best character is—because let’s face it,... [Read More]

Harry Potter and the Order of the Vowels

My post earlier this week on why the ‘except after c’ rule is a bit useless gathered a lot more attention than I expected. Although largely positive feedback, inevitably when you say anything online, no matter how trivial or innocuous, you will have someone telling you that you’re wrong, or... [Read More]

i before e except after...w?

i before e except after…w? Nathan Cunningham The mnemonic ‘i before e except after c’ is something we’ve probably all encountered at one point or another and can be a useful trick for figuring out awkward spellings. However, an episode of QI I watched recently claimed the rule has more... [Read More]