Spurious Correlations lets you dig through various data sources to find things that totally aren't causally related... or are they? [Related, previously] [more inside]
Last week, I wrote about how urban trees—or the lack thereof—can reveal income inequality. After writing that article, I was curious, could I actually see income inequality from space? It turned out to be easier than I expected.
galton.org is an exhaustive website devoted to the life and works of the statistical pioneer and "father of eugenics" Francis Galton, inventor of the scatterplot, the correlation coefficient, fingerprint identification, and who knows what else. Almost all of Galton's books and papers are reproduced here, some in scanned form and some in searchable .pdf, from his major books to his letters to Pigeon Fancier's Journal. A short selection after the fold. [more inside]
Trials and Errors. Jonah Lehrer's latest piece in Wired is a sort of sequel to his earlier article in the New Yorker on the decline effect (previously). Where that article focused on the institutional factors interfering with the accumulation of truth, this one focuses on the philosophical issues of causation and correlation in modern science. [Via]
Correlation or Causation? Statistics are easy: All you need are two graphs and a leading question.
Sweet, sour, bitter, salty, umami, and.... fat? Dr. Russell Keast, an Austrailian scientist who studies "perceived flavour, consumer acceptance and preference of foods and nutrition," has conducted research exploring humans' apparent sixth taste perception: fat. The kicker? Sensitivity to the taste of fat was negatively correlated with fat intake and BMI. Dr. Keast discussed the results of his latest research with Slashfood, and The Sydney Morning Herald. (via) [more inside]
Redskins lose. An interesting example of the logical fallacy known as Coincidental Correlation, for the last 71 years the Washington Redskins' last home game before Election Day has correlated with the success of the incumbent president. Boy, it's a good thing in sports no one believes in silly statistics...
Kids' bad habits blamed on movies I too sneered and thought this was going to be another attack on media as the root cause of all problems. But the stats suggest a correlation that should be given some serious thought. Not talking about guns and school shootings but rather smoking and drinking. But then what of dope?