XKCD's Creator Explains What Would Happen If Earth Stopped Spinning

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XKCD's Randall Munroe is publishing a book of science explainers! What If?: Serious Scientific Answers to Absurd Hypothetical Questions is due out September 2. To celebrate its imminent arrival, here's the first chapter from the book – an explainer about global devastation. Fun! » 8/21/14 5:48pm Yesterday 5:48pm

We're Compiling Every Police-Involved Shooting In America. Help Us.

The United States has no database of police shootings. There is no standardized process by which officers log when they've discharged their weapons and why. There is no central infrastructure for handling that information and making it public. Researchers, confronted with the reality that there are over 17,000 law… » 8/20/14 9:32am Wednesday 9:32am

What Happens To Golf After Tiger?

By the time Northern Ireland's Rory McIlroy won the 96th PGA Championship on Sunday, his second major in as many months and fourth overall, the man whose mantle he seems poised to assume had long since left the property. In 36 holes at Valhalla Golf Club, near Louisville, an ailing Tiger Woods scarcely threatened par,… » 8/14/14 3:45pm 8/14/14 3:45pm

American Police Militarization, Visualized

The New York Times ran a piece back in June about the rapid militarization of America's police departments through the Congress-backed military-transfer program, which began in the 90s, and has ballooned since 2006. Above is a graphic showing the raw numbers for select military items that have found their way to… » 8/14/14 10:59am 8/14/14 10:59am

Don’t Let Anyone Tell You The O’Bannon Ruling Conflicts With Title IX

I'm already starting to see rumblings out there that the recent ruling by Judge Claudia Wilken (of which I present a broader, preliminary analysis here) is somehow incompatible with the existing obligation of universities to comply with Title IX. That's simply false, and it's important to understand why before that… » 8/13/14 5:07pm 8/13/14 5:07pm

You Know If A Quarterback Can Be Great After Just Two Years

If a quarterback has a chance to be a star, chances are it will become apparent within two seasons. Chase Stuart of Football Perspective looked at how long it took star quarterbacks to become great, examining the top 42 quarterbacks since the merger and compared how each quarterback performed (measured by adjusted net… » 8/12/14 10:36am 8/12/14 10:36am

In The O'Bannon Decision, Truth Wins Out Over Rhetoric

Let me start by apologizing. Because of my own involvement in the Ed O'Bannon case, and because of past situations in which the NCAA has misquoted my own personal statements as if they represent the official opinions of the plaintiffs in the case, I can't be quite as analytical here as I might like, especially since… » 8/11/14 10:23am 8/11/14 10:23am

PGA Golfers Play Better When Paired With The Best Players

Are the top golfers in the world affected by the quality of their company? Do they lift their performance when they're paired with great players? You wouldn't immediately think so. After all, no golfer reaches the highest levels of the profession without having learned how to block out distractions and simply play… » 8/09/14 1:42pm 8/09/14 1:42pm

Valar Morghulis: A Statistical Guide To Deaths In Game Of Thrones


The famously grisly mortality rates of Game of Thrones are plenty fascinating enough on their own, and have infuriated viewers and readers alike for years now. It's a big part of the charm. But it's almost equally compelling from a global health perspective: Precisely how bloody is this universe? How do deaths… » 8/08/14 2:33pm 8/08/14 2:33pm

Which NFL Rushing Attacks Do The Most With The Least?

Two years ago, sixth-rounder Alfred Morris held onto his roster spot with a strong preseason and went on to break the Redskins single-season rushing yards record. While steals like Morris are rare, they're also instructive. Some teams invest far fewer resources in their rushing attacks without losing much, if any,… » 8/07/14 1:11pm 8/07/14 1:11pm