Welcome to DotCity: a game about demography, built using R

Written by Brian Tarran on . Posted in Culture

Statisticians swear by R. The programming language is described by Tal Galili of the R-Statistics blog as 'a de facto standard for… statistical software development and data analysis'. But one R user is hoping to make a game out of it. Nathan Uyttendaele, a statistician and PhD student at the Catholic University of Louvain in Belgium, is the brains behind DotCity, which could well be the first videogame to be built (at least in part) by using R.

Tinkering with how we measure child poverty won’t help end it

Written by Jonathan Bradshaw on . Posted in Social Sciences

There has been no real change in the proportion of children living in poverty in the past year, according to new statistics released by the UK government. The proportion of children living in relative poverty, before housing costs were taken into account, remained stable at 17% in 2013-14 – or 2.3m children. After housing costs, the number rose very slightly from 27% to 28% on the previous year after rounding – standing at 3.7m children.

Will this century see a devastating meteor strike?

Written by Brian Tarran on . Posted in Science & Technology

On 30 June 1908, a meteor with a diameter of up to 180 metres exploded in the atmosphere above Tunguska, Russia. The blast levelled trees and killed all animals within 1,200km2. 107 years later, a group of scientists, astronauts and others have come together to launch Asteroid Day – a global awareness movement that seeks to protect the Earth from future impacts.

Electoral bias in the UK after the general election

Written by Charles Pattie & Ron Johnston on . Posted in Politics

After the shock result of the UK’s 2015 general election, one could forgive Labour and Conservative supporters for thinking that things could hardly get worse for the former party, or better for the latter. But the worst/best was, it turns out, yet to come. Hidden in the election results is a dramatic change, not just in the parties’ fortunes but also in how the very electoral system treats them. For Labour, things are worse than the election result itself might suggest, and for the Conservatives, the future is rosier.


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