Another tragic cluster - but how surprised should we be?

Written by David Spiegelhalter on . Posted in World Affairs

Sadly another passenger plane crashed last week - the third in the space of eight days, the Air Algerie flight on July 24, the TransAsia flight in Taiwan on July 23, and Malaysian Airlines in Ukraine on July 17. Does this mean that flying is becoming more dangerous and we should keep off planes? The following analysis may appear cold-hearted, but is not intended to diminish the impact of this tragic loss on the people and families involved.

The rise and fall of the name Jennifer

Written by Francis Smart on . Posted in Social Sciences

A recent fascinating post by Analysis at Large got me interested in historical baby naming trends. The original post used Social Security data to map out the most frequent names by state. While this sounded interesting, it turned out that the name Mary dominated the map for all but California and Nevada, where Jennifer was the most frequent name. The male name distribution was more heterogeneous but still not very informative.

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