Pudding

26 posts
A test for a potentially flawed study on randomness and age

In 2017, a study posited that human behavior complexity peaks at age 25 and then declines, especially after age 60. The researchers estimated complexity through people’s ability to make up random patterns. Russell Goldenberg and Arjun Kakkar, for The Pudding, let you put the theory to the test and discuss why the original researcher’s findings were questionable. Tags: age, Pudding, randomness

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Redrafting the NBA, based on past player performance

With the NBA playoffs underway, it can be fun to watch the best players and wonder what it’d be like if they were drafted earlier by a different team. For The Pudding, Russell Goldenberg did this for every player and team since the 1989 draft. Goldenberg made a similar thing five years ago, but this time there’s a team component. Another five years from now, in Redraft 3.0, I fully...

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Days since record-high temperatures

Here’s a fun/alarming weather map from The Pudding. Using data from the Applied Climate Information System, they show the number of days since a record-high temperature in hundreds of U.S. cities. The counters are in the style of those signs in factories that show days since the last injury. Tags: climate, Pudding, temperature

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More readable writing illustrated with more readable writing

For The Pudding, Rebecca Monteleone and Jamie Brew (with design and code by Michelle McGhee) describe the advantages of more readable writing and how we measure readability. The best part is that they demonstrate with two versions of text. Switch paragraph-by-paragraph to see how an explanation is made more clear with simpler words and sentence structure. This is what I was trying to get at with last week’s Process newsletter...

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Joke machine learning projects to advance your career

In an automated job climate that analyzes resumes and inspects social profiles, it can be a challenge to find the job that’s right for you. Luckily, Jess Peter for The Pudding put together a satirical set of tools to combat the recruiting bots. Generate a fake resume with a specified level of experience, define a profile pic for your socials, and then use that fake image of your face for...

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Tracking the Lenna image

If you’ve taken classes that cover image processing, you’ve likely come across the Lenna image. It’s a headshot of Lena Forsén taken from Playboy Magazine in 1972. For The Pudding, Jennifer Ding, with Jan Diehm and Michelle McGhee, looked at use of the image in research over the years — despite copyright claims and Forsén’s wish for researchers to move on to a different image. Ding used a straightforward bar...

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NBA carry jobs

With professional basketball, we often hear about carry jobs. There’s one star player who carries everyone else to a championship. Russell Goldenberg for The Pudding looked for the biggest carry jobs in NBA Finals history. Tags: basketball, Pudding, Russell Goldenberg

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Analysis of color names used with makeup

For The Pudding, Ofunne Amaka and Amber Thomas looked at shades, words, and numbers used to describe foundation makeup: A 2020 study investigating the connotations of foundation shade names in 20 products found that dark shades were largely named after “the least valuable substances and objects” while lighter shades were labeled after “decorative, valuable, and precious objects.” Our analysis revealed similar results, and the more you study the data, the...

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Teaching statistical models with wine tasting

For The Pudding, Lars Verspohl provides an introduction to statistical models disguised as a lesson on finding good wine. Start with a definition of wine, which becomes a way to describe it with the numbers. Define what makes a wine good. Find the wines that look closer to that definition. Tags: modeling, Pudding, wine

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A.I. love story

Pamela Miskhin, in collaboration with The Pudding, wrote a love story. It’s not just any love story though. The text is based on Mishkin’s own experiences and input from GPT-3, the language prediction model that produces text that sounds like it came from a human. The result resembles a cross between choose-your-own-adventure and Mad Libs. Tags: AI, Pamela Mishkin, Pudding, story

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