Around this time last year, I wrote a post dissecting the decline of The Simpsons from its peak in the mid 90s finding that the golden age of the show spanned an incredible 214 episodes. As a comparison, Friends, which seemed to have been on TV forever, managed 236 episodes... [Read More]
A cynical guide to fixing your gender pay gap
It’s April 5th, the deadline for reporting gender pay gap figures passed last night and your company reported a mean gender pay gap of 23.6%. Already the tabloids are baying for blood and a trending hashtag on Twitter is calling for the boycott of your company’s products. As the headlines... [Read More]
Organising your World Cup sweepstakes using R
Like many others are doing at this time, I’m sure, my friends and I are trying to coordinate a sweepstakes for the upcoming World Cup. For anyone unaware, the general format of a World Cup sweepstakes is: 32 people (or some factor, thereof) pledge an equal sum of money; each... [Read More]
The ups and downs of Arsene Wenger's time at Arsenal
Has there ever been a better case of nominative determinism than a man named Arsene becoming manager of Arsenal, setting the league alight, before ultimately leaving the club like a burning building? The literal seconds of thinking I devoted to that assure me the answer is no. [Read More]
How to avoid getting the middle seat on Ryanair flights
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]