Small Data Can Still Be Pretty Cool

Sure it’s nice to be able to take data sets of 1000 variables and 100,000 observations and do meaningful calculations, but that doesn’t mean finding interesting information is solely the domain of complex algorithms.These are plots that are generated from nothing more than the season’s worth of league results (minus one week and one game) […]

Goldman Sachs Might Be Dumber Than Your Friends

Goldman Sachs’ World Cup predictions were pretty terrible.On the one hand, they correctly predicted three of the four semi-finalists. On the other hand, that’s about the only measure by which they weren’t completely awful. And it doesn’t take a cadre of geniuses to say, “I think the winningest team in the history of the competition, […]

Bin Laden and the 1998 World Cup

I did a piece for the current issue of Howler about an attempted attack by Osama Bin Laden on the 1998 World Cup in France. I recommend picking up a copy not just because I wrote something in it, but because Howler is impeccably done. Each issue almost seems like a collectible. It’s also the […]

Where Do World Cup Goals Come From?

Not Canada. That’s the short answer. Should be obvious from the map. But that’s earth, color-coded by World Cup goals dating back to the competition’s first edition in 1930 (it’s current through the semi-finals of the 2014 edition and there’s a larger version with some interactivity here—mouseover to get the country and its total goals). […]