Skip to main content
ABC News
Ctrl + ← Poker, Bisexuals, Sleeping And Showering

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. Where Amar’e Stoudemire Ranks Among The Worst NBA Offseason Acquisitions
  2. Your Brain Is Primed To Reach False Conclusions
  3. The Biggest Best Picture Upsets At The Oscars In The Past 25 Years
  4. Every NBA Team’s Chance Of Winning In Every Minute Across Every Game
  5. Who Really Had The Best Movie Career After ‘SNL’
  6. FiveThirtyEight’s Election-Style Oscar Predictions
  7. Kyle Korver Is On Pace For The Best NBA Shooting Season Of All Time
  8. Is Mount Rushmore Statistically Accurate?
  9. Boston’s Ridiculous February Snowfall In One Chart
  10. Marco Rubio And The Pareto Frontier


How much people tip: It’s notoriously difficult to get data on tipping — not least because a lot of it involves unreported (and untaxed) cash payments. But, using survey responses from 15,000 food-service workers and data on credit card tips, Bourree Lam manages to assemble a pretty good picture of American tipping habits. Lam finds that on average, women make $1 more per hour in tips than men. Which just about compensates for the fact that they get paid $1 an hour less than men in base pay. [The Atlantic]


Rich people sleep better: A Columbia University study used data from more than 270,000 American adolescents between 1991 and 2012 and found that white men sleep better than people in other demographic groups. Helena Horton, who analyzed the study, describes how those from lower-income and ethnic minority families are less likely to manage seven hours of sleep per night. [Ampp3d]

FT_15.02.19_LGBT-Americans_310px_2The ‘B’ in ‘LGBT’: After the U.S. got its first openly bisexual governor this week, Kim Parker looked at survey data on identity and acceptance in the bisexual population. The numbers show bisexuals are half as likely as gay respondents to say they’ve “come out” to the important people in their lives, and they’re 10 times less likely to be in a committed relationship with someone of the same sex. [Pew Research Center]

Shhhhhhhhh: Using acoustic data as well as information on air and street traffic, scientists were able to create an algorithm to compute average levels of background noise across the United States. If you’re craving quiet, head west. [AAAS]


Brazilian bathing: According to Olga Khazan, Americans have been tricked by marketing companies into washing as often as they do. But they still shower and shampoo less often than people in Mexico and the Middle East. Brazilians scrub up the most, averaging close to 12 showers per week according to a Euromonitor poll — possibly because warmer climes make for sweatier bits. [The Atlantic]


Hold ’em hands: Using this grid created by a software engineer, you can compare the strength of a hand in Texas hold ’em poker against all other hands. (There are about 1.3 trillion possible hands in a game of heads-up Texas hold ’em.) The final visualization shows every possible pair of cards your opponent might have relative to the ones you’re holding. The redder the square, the more likely your opponent is to win. Useful stuff, assuming you can have your laptop out while playing. [Chris Beaumont]

Screen Shot 2015-02-20 at 1.06.34 PM

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.