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The American Grandmaster Who Could Become World Champion | FiveThirtyEight
If you ask the people who know Fabiano Caruana what Fabiano Caruana is like, they will tell you that Fabiano Caruana is, you know, just a normal guy.
He likes movies. He likes music. He likes to eat. He works out. He goes on dates.
Just a normal guy.
Just a normal guy who is ranked second in the world in chess. A normal guy who was pulled out of school after seventh grade to do nothing but play the ancient and intricate game. A normal guy who is a hairbreadth away from prying the No. 1 position loose from probably the best player ever to play the game. A normal guy who, beginning Friday, will sit down at a table in London with this probably-the-best-ever player, Magnus Carlsen of Norway, in a grueling, weeks-long battle for the world championship of chess. A normal guy who could be the first American to win the title since Bobby Fischer in 1972. Real 99.99999999th percentile stuff.
Just a normal guy.
chess  538 
7 days ago by rgl7194
Significant Digits For Wednesday, Nov. 7, 2018 | FiveThirtyEight
You’re reading an all-election edition of Significant Digits, a daily digest of the numbers tucked inside the news.
>218 House seats
We haven’t yet landed on the exact number that history will record, but Democrats last night won a majority in the House of Representatives’s 435 seats. As I write this Wednesday morning, CNN has given the Democrats 222 seats, while ABC News has given them 223. But in any case, it will be more than 218. There are about two dozen seats yet to be called. [ABC News]
gov2.0  politics  election  congress  state  538 
7 days ago by rgl7194
Election Night Defied A Single Takeaway | FiveThirtyEight
...If anything, the 2018 midterm elections were without a cohesive narrative. There was no overwhelming blue wave that served as a sharp rebuke to President Trump. The Democrats are projected to take control of the House of Representatives by a healthy seat margin, but Trump still found reason to celebrate; the Senate remains under Republican control. Governors mansions in a number of states will change into Democratic hands, but in a number of high-profile contests, the party fell short. A record number of women are headed to Congress, but several high-profile women were voted out of office. There was no single, stunning takeaway to grant us clarity about where the nation is headed.
Instead, the election was an accurate reflection of where the country stands: existentially muddled, politically divided and historically engaged with its politics...
gov2.0  politics  congress  election  voting  538 
7 days ago by rgl7194
Democrats Had A Big Night In Governors Races, But It Could Have Been Bigger | FiveThirtyEight
The Democrats made substantial gains at the gubernatorial level, as we expected. They won control of the governor’s offices from Republicans in Illinois, Kansas, Maine, Michigan, Nevada, New Mexico and Wisconsin. Connecticut is still too close to call, but Republican Bob Stefanowski is narrowly trailing Democrat Ned Lamont, and a Stefanowski comeback there is the GOP’s only remaining shot at picking up a state from a Democrat. The majority of Americans are likely to have a Democratic governor when the results are finalized.
That said, the Democrats did not have the banner gubernatorial night that our forecast suggested was possible. Let me run through the details.
politics  gov2.0  election  Dems  538  state 
7 days ago by rgl7194
How Republicans Made Gains In The Senate | FiveThirtyEight
On a night filled with mixed results for both parties, partisanship mostly prevailed in the Senate, to the benefit of Republicans. According to ABC News’s projections, they flipped three seats and lost one, with three more races (Montana, Florida, Arizona) not yet called, though Republicans lead in all three. If those three straggler races are confirmed for the GOP, the party’s majority will expand from 51 seats to 54, with a runoff election in Mississippi still to come. This result was was one of the more favorable Republican outcomes in our forecast of how Election Night would go in the Senate.
Depending on how things shake out in the remaining races, it’s possible that 30 of 35 Senate races (86 percent) will have voted for the same party that won the state at the presidential level in 2016.1 Compared to past elections, that rate would be very high for a midterm.
politics  gov2.0  congress  election  538  GOP 
7 days ago by rgl7194
How Democrats Won The House | FiveThirtyEight
After two years of pent-up anticipation, Democrats have finally done what they have long been favorites to do: win control of the U.S. House of Representatives. As of this writing, our colleagues at ABC have projected 223 seats for Democrats and 201 seats for Republicans. Democrats have turned 29 Republican-held seats blue, while Republicans have flipped one Democrat-held seat, for a net Democratic gain of 28 (so far). Here are all the seats that have changed parties as of 3:43 a.m. on Wednesday...
politics  gov2.0  congress  election  Dems  538 
7 days ago by rgl7194
Sure, The Rams Are Good. But Are They Historically Great? | FiveThirtyEight
The Los Angeles Rams’ quest for an unbeaten season barely survived Aaron Rodgers on Sunday in what was oddly tantamount to a road game for the hosts. Now Jared Goff and Co. head into an actual road game against another future Hall of Fame quarterback, Drew Brees.
With a perfect season still a possibility halfway through this NFL campaign, it’s reasonable to wonder where the Rams rank among the best teams in football. The Rams’ record has escaped attention largely because no one is surprised when they win. They dominated the offseason by spending $237 million in guaranteed contracts, while only one other team, the Minnesota Vikings, even topped $200 million.1 As a result, the Rams were the preseason favorites to represent the NFC in the Super Bowl. But heightened preseason expectations don’t always translate into wins, particularly for a non-Patriots team: Just ask the 2011 Eagles, whose self-proclaimed “Dream Team” went up in smoke, losing eight of their first 12 games.
football  rams  538 
15 days ago by rgl7194
Andrew Flowers: "The Six Types of Data Journalism Stories" - YouTube
Andrew Flowers is a journalist and data scientist. He was previously the quantitative editor and economics writer for FiveThirtyEight.com, Nate Silver's data-driven news website. Before that, he was an economic analyst at the Federal Reserve Bank of Atlanta. He graduated with a B.A. in economics from the University of Chicago. He is passionate about R, open source software, politics, and basketball.
video  r  538  dj 
18 days ago by paulbradshaw
The Dodgers Are One Win Away From Triggering The Super Sports Equinox In LA | FiveThirtyEight
If the World Series goes to a Game 5, the Dodgers, Kings, Clippers, Ducks, Rams and Galaxy will all be playing at home on Sunday.
The city of Los Angeles can’t feel great about the Dodgers’ World Series chances right now, as the team needs to win four of the next five against the Boston Red Sox to seal its first title in 30 years. However, we have good news for you, Los Angeles. The city is only one Dodgers win from making another kind of history: The super sports equinox. If the Dodgers win just one of the next two games at home and force a Game 5, teams representing the city in all four major North American sports will be playing on the same day. And although World Series titles come and go, the super equinox has only happened once before in all of sports history — and LA’s super equinox would come with all its teams at home, which has never happened before.
But before we get to all that, allow us to fill in a little background info. A sports equinox is a day when all four major U.S. sports leagues — NFL, NBA, NHL and MLB1 — play at least one game on the same day. It used to be exceedingly rare: Before 2015, there had only been 14 sports equinoxes ever, since it was difficult to find a Sunday or Monday (when NFL teams would be playing) late enough in the year to catch the start of the NBA season but early enough to overlap the end of the World Series.
sports  LA  dodgers  rams  kings  538  football  baseball  basketball  hockey  soccer 
19 days ago by rgl7194
Why Josh Hart May Be LeBron’s Most Valuable Teammate | FiveThirtyEight
Mostly because he’s a smaller version of the Lakers’ superstar.
In case you hadn’t noticed, the Los Angeles Lakers have a cerebral, multi-talented player who is strong as an ox and competes like a runaway train. But no: We’re not talking about the NBA’s best player, LeBron James. Josh Hart is something of a makeshift James clone, and he could very quietly end up being the club’s second-most-important player because of the unusual, Swiss Army knife role he plays.
At first blush, that might seem preposterous. After all, the second-year Hart — who is all of 6-foot-5 and 215 pounds — may not even start for this talented team. The former college star who led Villanova to a national title took 6.0 shot attempts per game as a rookie, scoring 7.9 points and taking a definitive backseat to far more heralded Lakers youngsters such as Lonzo Ball, Brandon Ingram and Kyle Kuzma.
Yet there’s reason to believe that Hart, in his own way, will be just as important in the grand scheme. Hart’s ability to beat the defense before it’s set will be one of the Lakers’ greatest weapons — both when James is quarterbacking things and when he’s on the bench.
basketball  lakers  lebron  538 
23 days ago by rgl7194
Why Manafort’s Flip May Matter More Than 25 Russian Indictments | FiveThirtyEight
For much of the past year, whenever a major new indictment has come down in special counsel Robert Mueller’s investigation, we’ve been showing you a version of this chart.
As Mueller’s probe into Russian interference in the 2016 election and potential coordination with the Trump campaign moved forward, the indictments stacked up with impressive speed. So far, Mueller has charged 32 people in connection with the Russia investigation, far more than other major special-counsel investigations like Whitewater and Iran-Contra yielded. (Among the special investigations on our chart, only Watergate has more.)
There’s a problem, though, with simply comparing the number of indictments in different investigations. That approach assumes that all the indictments are in the same general category. For the Mueller investigation, they aren’t.
crime  DOJ  gov2.0  legal  mueller  politics  russia  special_counsel  trump  538 
23 days ago by rgl7194
How The Red Sox And Dodgers Made It To The World Series, In One Chart | FiveThirtyEight
It’s been almost seven months since the Major League Baseball season started, and here we are, finally ready to determine a champion. We’ve been tracking — and forecasting — each team’s chances all season long, so we wanted to look back at the paths to the World Series taken by Boston and Los Angeles. Our final predictions give the Red Sox the edge over the Dodgers in the series, 60 percent to 40 percent — but as we know, anything can happen when the players take the field.
baseball  dodgers  world_series  infographic  538 
23 days ago by rgl7194
Todd Gurley Is In The Right System At The Right Time | FiveThirtyEight
Todd Gurley is off to one of the hottest starts in NFL history. After rushing for a league-leading 623 yards and nine touchdowns — plus 247 receiving yards and two more TDs through the air — Gurley has accumulated the fifth-most adjusted yards1 from scrimmage through six games since the 1970 AFL-NFL merger, joining former Rams greats Marshall Faulk and Eric Dickerson near the top of the list. The Rams are 6-0 on the young season, and Gurley’s breakneck performance is often cited as a catalyst for the team’s success. He has even been in the early discussion for league MVP.
But is that really warranted? Does the Rams offense truly run through Gurley, or should we be giving head coach Sean McVay more of the credit?
football  rams  gurley  538 
27 days ago by rgl7194
How Kavanaugh Will Change The Supreme Court | FiveThirtyEight
Since July, when President Trump announced his most recent nomination to the Supreme Court, FiveThirtyEight has been analyzing the effects of a potential Justice Kavanaugh — a potential that is now reality. Kavanaugh was confirmed on Saturday by a 50-48 vote in the Senate. Based on what we know about measuring the ideology of justices and judges, the Supreme Court will soon take a hard and quick turn to the right. It’s a new path that is likely to last for years.
Chief Justice John Roberts, a George W. Bush appointee, will almost certainly become the new median justice, defining the court’s new ideological center. As measured by Judicial Common Space scores — which use the popular Martin-Quinn method for justices, based solely on their actual votes — the center of the court will be about as conservative as it was when Justice Sandra Day O’Connor, a Ronald Reagan appointee, was the median justice in the 1990s and early 2000s. According to these scores, the court’s center will now cross from mildly liberal to solidly conservative.
SCOTUS  gov2.0  politics  trump  538  conservative 
5 weeks ago by rgl7194
The CDC Is Publishing Unreliable Data On Gun Injuries. People Are Using It Anyway. | FiveThirtyEight
For journalists, researchers and the general public, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention serves as an authoritative source of information about Americans’ health, including estimates of how many people are killed or injured by guns. The agency’s most recent figures include a worrying uptick: Between 2015 and 2016, the number of Americans nonfatally injured by a firearm jumped by 37 percent, rising from about 85,000 to more than 116,000. It was the largest single-year increase recorded in more than 15 years.
But the gun injury estimate is one of several categories of CDC data flagged with an asterisk indicating that, according to the agency’s own standards, it should be treated as “unstable and potentially unreliable.” In fact, the agency’s 2016 estimate of gun injuries is more uncertain than nearly every other type of injury it tracks. Even its estimates of BB gun injuries are more reliable than its calculations for the number of Americans wounded by actual guns.
gov2.0  report  guns  data  politics  538 
5 weeks ago by rgl7194
Why Humans Are Bad At Spotting Lies | FiveThirtyEight
“Exactly how you’d expect a guilty person to act.” “Moving and credible.” “So coached and so rehearsed.” “Simply tremendous.”
These are all reactions to Supreme Court nominee Brett Kavanaugh’s testimony on Thursday before the Senate Judiciary Committee, a set of responses that put on full display just how differently people can interpret the same set of behaviors, statements and emotions. And that reality lines up well with what experts who study lying and lie detection would expect: Humans aren’t very good at being able to tell — just from watching someone and listening to them talk — whether they are being told truth or fiction.
Instead, research suggests, our interpretations of testimony like Kavanaugh’s, or Christine Blasey Ford’s earlier on Thursday, will be shaped by what we already believe. The Kavanaugh confirmation fight and Ford’s allegation that he sexually assaulted her are taking place in a political context, tapping into partisan identities. But even without those particular biases, humans just aren’t very good at reading people. And that’s why testimony is “no substitute for a good, solid, thorough investigation and finding of the facts,” said Brian Fitch, a psychologist and retired Los Angeles County sheriff’s lieutenant.
truth  psychology  politics  538 
6 weeks ago by rgl7194
What’s Still On Mueller’s To-Do List? | FiveThirtyEight
As the summer drew to a close, Labor Day attained almost mythic status for followers of the Mueller investigation. Trump attorney Rudy Giuliani repeatedly claimed that the Mueller probe, which is looking into Russian interference in the 2016 election, was poised to wrap up by the beginning of September. Others breathlessly predicted that indictments of Roger Stone and even Donald Trump Jr. were imminent.
Instead, none of that happened. And now Mueller-watchers may have to wait even longer to learn what the special counsel investigation has in store. With the midterm elections less than 60 days away, some observers have predicted that Mueller will refrain from taking steps that could affect the outcome — although as former FBI director James Comey can attest, there’s no ironclad rule forbidding Department of Justice officials from taking action, even on the eve of an election.
As we enter this possible quiet period, however, it’s a good time to take stock of what Mueller has accomplished so far, and what questions are left unanswered.
538  crime  DOJ  gov2.0  legal  mueller  politics  russia  special_counsel  trump 
9 weeks ago by rgl7194

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