The best statistics book you've read this year?

Written by Brian Tarran on . Posted in Culture

Statistics plays a role in all walks of life - including literature. So, for our end-of-year issue, we want to celebrate 2014’s best books about (or involving) statistics. We’re looking for Significance readers to nominate their favourites and to explain - in 100 words or less - why they’d recommend the book.

How unreadable are James Joyce's novels?

Written by Mario Cortina Borja on . Posted in Culture

This month, readers of James Joyce worldwide celebrated Bloomsday on 16 June, the day in 1904 in which his novel Ulysses is set. The name alludes to the Ulyssean protagonist, Leopold Bloom, and commemorates the day when Joyce met his future wife Nora Barnacle.

Is the UK shunned at Eurovision?

Written by Gianluca Baio & Marta Blangiardo on . Posted in Culture

It’s that time of the year again. One of the biggest events in Europe’s (and the world’s) cultural calendar, the Eurovision song contest is legendary.

The attention paid to this bizarre show is enormous. And with such levels of investment and discussion, analysis and coverage, come the inevitable accusations of tactical voting and prejudice. This was notoriously seen in 2007 when Terry Wogan declaimed the 'blatant bias' of the voting system. Many people get particularly upset about the supposed bias against the UK’s act.

Is pop music eating itself?

Written by Oz Flanagan on . Posted in Culture

Tomorrow is Record Store Day, the day when independent music stores celebrate the concept of an actual shop selling and playing vinyl records. It was conceived in 2007 as a nostalgic recognition of the way we used to consume music and since then, it has enjoyed incredible success.

Malevich in London – but is this art?

Written by Mario Cortina Borja & Neal Alexander on . Posted in Culture

Statistics has a much smaller exposure to art than mathematics. The modern era has lost the renaissance’s passion for knowledge as a whole, which was manifested in, for example, Piero della Francesca’s (1415-1492) studies of perspective. M.C. Escher (1898-1972) is a marginal case: fascinating to mathematicians yet — surely not coincidentally — egregiously sneered at by others.

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