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Ctrl + ← The World Cup, the World Cup And the World Cup

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 (be prepared, they’re mostly soccer-related).


  1. FiveThirtyEight’s World Cup Predictions
  2. It’s Brazil’s World Cup to Lose
  3. FiveThirtyEight Senate Forecast: Toss-Up or Tilt GOP?
  4. The Eric Cantor Upset: What Happened?
  5. Eric Cantor’s Loss Was Like an Earthquake
  6. How to Tell Someone’s Age When All You Know Is Her Name
  7. In Search of America’s Best Burrito
  8. Chef David Chang Explains Why Yelp Probably Won’t Lead You to Your Favorite Burrito
  9. How FiveThirtyEight’s World Cup Predictions Compare to Other Ratings
  10. The Heat’s Whac-A-Mole Problem


Huffing and puffing on the pitchHuffpo: From players’ movements to passes, shots and a timeline of the entire match, the Huffington Post has a formidable offering for those who want to watch data on the World Cup in real time.

Most-disliked World Cup teams: Working with YouGov, the Upshot published a neat little summary of resentments and respect. Argentina, the U.S. and Iran come out as the most-disliked World Cup teams.

Play along: Although official forecasts are great (especially this one), the Guardian gave readers the chance to enter their own World Cup predictions, track their progress and see how they fare against the wisdom of the crowd.


Everyone’s a winner: If you can’t tell your Elo from your SPI, the Wall Street Journal has an interactive for you. See which countries would come out on top if it weren’t all about goals; it’s the World Cup of lowest rainfall, biggest smokers, most unmarried women, lowest traffic death rates and most Nobel Prizes.

And if you non-soccer fans still aren’t satisfied …

Boston Metro2

Subway heat maps: One month’s worth of subway travel might not sound like much, but it is in Boston, the fourth-largest subway system in the United States (behind New York, Washington, D.C., and Chicago). That’s a lot of data to visualize. Yet Mike Barry and Brian Card have managed it in this incredibly detailed series of interactives. Would-be passengers can see delays and congestion on an hour-by-hour and day-by-day basis.

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.