Let me make two things clear right up front: The metrics I used to decide what causes of death are unusual are purely subjective, i.e. which of the thousands of causes I skimmed through caught my eye and made me go, “Huh.” It is in no way my intention to make fun of anyone’s death. … Read more Visualizing 10 unusual causes of death in the CDC mortality database
Most decade-specific words in Billboard popular song titles, 1890-2014 Chart first, then explanation (click to enlarge): The inspiration for this post came from my being too lazy to set my iPod to shuffle, and then noticing it played a bunch of songs in a row from the 1930s and ’40s that started with the letters … Read more most decade specific words in billboard
Visualizing word and letter frequencies in Gadsby, a novel without the letter ‘e’ In 1939, Ernest Vincent Wright published the novel Gadsby (gee, I wonder where he came up with that name…), 58,124 words (by my count), none of which contain the letter ‘e’. Here are a few of the features of the English language Wright was … Read more visualizing word and letter frequencies
The following chart is an interactive heat map of the probability that, given the letter on the vertical axis in an English word, the next letter will be the letter on the horizontal axis. Conditional probabilities can give you a headache; that’s why the Monty Hall problem is so difficult. The best way to grasp it is … Read more How often does a given letter follow another in English?
Mythological names are on the rise; Pokémon, not so much. As you can see, mythological boys’ names were pretty negligible until the mid-1990s, after which they’ve had quite an explosion, with boys named Phoenix, Odin and Ares leading the pack. Girls having mythological names was more common than boys in the past, but they’ve increased … Read more Mythological names are on rise pokemon
Buck naked to butt naked, arms to anus, 19th century iPhones and other Google Ngram oddities This data set is a rich vein for data mining. Plus it’s almost completely uncurated, so it’s a good target for data spelunking (that’s my own idiolect for testing the boundaries of a dataset, to see what false conclusions … Read more Buck naked to butt naked arms to anus