Ceding capitalism to the communists

November 12, 2014

Should Americans be distressed that the Chinese are winning at consumerism?

Normally  a source of national pride or chagrin (depending on whom you ask), the U.S. propensity to procure has been set upon by Chinese Internet behemoth Alibaba, which enjoyed record sales during yesterday’s Singles’ Day holiday. Traditionally a national holiday similar to Valentine’s Day, Alibaba co-opted Singles’ Day as an online shopping day just five years ago—with startling success.

Shallow impact, deep implications

November 11, 2014

In the 1998 film Deep Impact, a team of Russian and American scientists land on a comet and, in an effort to save the human race, blow it up with limited success. This week a less dramatic, more interesting version of a comet landing is playing out at 34,000 miles per hour in the space between Mars and Jupiter.

A gold standard red herring

November 10, 2014

A vote this November features an increasingly right-leaning agenda with a soupçon of agitation for the gold standard.

Quiz time: Name that song; weigh up a bowling ball

November 7, 2014

In this weekend’s edition of the Data Dive we look at which politicians aren’t tweeting to one another, who is phoning whom from which countries, how quickly you can recall songs you’d like to forget, and whether a bowling ball weighs more than a handful of feathers (in a vacuum).

Court shows more discretion than valor on gay marriage

November 7, 2014

“The better part of Valour, is Discretion” – Falstaff in Shakespeare’s Henry IV, Part I

Why little Susie can expect shale in her stocking

November 6, 2014

As the Saudis’ surprise price cut continues to roil the world’s oil markets, prices for Brent crude have fallen precipitously, off 30 percent since a June high. With holiday shopping and travel just around the corner, what could be better than $3.00 a gallon gas?

Voters sent a message, but what was it?

November 5, 2014

Yesterday’s midterm elections held many “holy crap” moments, particularly for the badly bruised Democrats, and in the coming days and weeks pundits will pick apart the results, but a common reaction has been how fickle the electorate can prove:

Predicting how elections do (or don’t) affect the markets

November 4, 2014

Presidential elections usually bring out both more voters and more spurious correlations serving as prognosticators, but in lieu of a litany of crackpot, sports-related guesses at the winners of tonight’s midterms, we’ll trust in the polls and await the final numbers.

What pot ballots mean for midterms

November 3, 2014

Tomorrow, the milquetoast slog of this year’s midterm election campaign will mercifully culminate at the ballot box. While it seems increasingly likely that Republicans will add control of the Senate to their authority over the House of Representatives, opinions differ as to the legislative impact such a result might have.

Numbers of interest

October 31, 2014


Welcome back to the weekend Data Dive, this week featuring Halloween and the U.S. midterm elections. I’m not sure which is more terrifying.