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Ctrl + ← The Clintons, Cake And the Supreme Court

This is Ctrl ←, our weekly data journalism roundup. You’ll find the most-read FiveThirtyEight articles of the past week, as well as gems we spotted elsewhere on the Internet.


  1. FiveThirtyEight’s World Cup Predictions
  2. It’s Judgment Day in World Cup Groups G and H
  3. How the Portugal Draw Boosts the U.S.’s World Cup Advancement Odds
  4. The U.S.’s Odds of Beating Belgium And Every Other World Cup Opponent
  5. World Cup Advancement Scenarios For Groups E And F
  6. World Cup Advancement Scenarios For Groups C And D
  7. Was the U.S. Robbed Against Portugal? It Depends on What Time Means
  8. The FiveFingers Settlement Didn’t Settle the Barefoot Running Debate
  9. The Outcomes of Groups A And B Will Be Decided Today
  10. World Cup Crib Notes: Day 12


Talk isn’t cheap: The federal financial disclosures of Bill and Hillary Clinton offer a revealing glimpse into the family’s fortunes after the couple left the White House in 2001. Back then, the family was “dead broke,” as Hillary controversially put it. But apparently by giving speeches — for fees ranging from $28,100 (a 2001 talk at the London School of Economics) to $750,000 (a 2011 appearance at an event for communications company Ericsson), they quickly reversed that. The Washington Post trawled through those disclosures to write an article and produce an interactive that show how the frequency, asking price and flights involved in the Clintons’ rounds on the speech circuit have changed from 2001 to 2013. We now want to know how George W. Bush compares.

Have your mathematical cake and eat it: Alex Bellos, author of “The Grapes of Math,” explained that you have been cutting your cake incorrectly. Because, unless you like your edible sponges dry, you’ve been exposing far too much surface area with those traditional pie-chartesque slices. There’s no excuse for your folly either, because as long ago as 1906, one of Britain’s most famous mathematicians set the record straight. In case you’ve yet to stumble upon (or are unwilling to read) his letter in the scientific journal Nature, Bellos talks you through the dos and don’ts in this short video.

Counting consensus: Do Supreme Court justices vote in the same way as fellow justices who were appointed by the same president? To find out, the Upshot looked at justices’ voting patterns on 269 signed decisions. Its analysis reveals what you might expect: that Anthony M. Kennedy is the high court’s ideological middleman. He agrees with his colleagues 75 percent of the time.


Nazi insults: The much-anticipated World Cup match between the U.S. and Germany inspired plenty of enthusiasm from fans on both sides — but some dark insults as well. Reuben Fischer-Baum at Deadspin tracked tweets during the game that contained the word “nazi” or “nazis.” The chart below says it all.


Where to? On June 16, Chris Whong and Andrés Monroy published data on New York City taxi trips that they had obtained via the state’s Freedom of Information Law. It took Eric Fischer just six days to visualize 187 million taxi trips made in 2013. It’s simple — blue for pickups, orange for drop-offs — but the resulting image offers a clear message: If you want to catch a cab in Upper Harlem, you’ll have a tough time.


Dubbit: Finally, we’re not quite sure whether it was Justin Wolfers’s hand that plotted a classic duck-rabbit illusion, but we like it. We like it a lot.


Mona Chalabi is data editor at the Guardian US, and a columnist at New York Magazine. She was previously a lead news writer for FiveThirtyEight.