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  1. FiveThirtyEight Turns the Lidless Eye of Data Crunching to Gender Disparity in Superhero Comics Characters

    Great Hera!

    They're also predicting that Lex Luthor will win his bid for president of the United States.

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  2. TiVo-Led Survey Says That Your Friends and Co-Workers Are Most Likely to Spoil You

    But at least time-traveling future daughters and wives have your back.

    The Internet is a treacherous place for those of us who aren't caught up on the latest episode of whatever television show everyone is talking about. According to a new survey by TiVo (hey, that's still a thing! Who knew?), though, its our friends who we should really be avoiding. Presumably so we can sit inside and watch more programs on our TiVos, I'm guessing.

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  3. A Field Experiment on Gender Stereotypes and Video Game Interactions

    +2 CHA, -2 STR

    I have a soft spot for studies about multiplayer games. Partly, this is because games are my stomping ground, and I like to nitpick the things I love. But more importantly, such studies are often reflective of how game culture is inextricably tied to the real world. The values and beliefs we hold out here can’t help but trickle down into virtual environments as well. There’s a new study that illustrates this beautifully, with a focus on social norms and expectations. In other words, my jam.

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  4. Number Crunching Doctor Who Shows Reduced Roles for Female Characters in Moffat Era

    Wibbly Wobbly Timey Wimey Stuff

    For her Media Research Methods course, Rebecca Moore and several other students did a bunch of observation and data analysis right along the lines of the Geena Davis Institute on Gender in Media. Except instead of focusing broadly on television and movies, with is difficult and expensive enough, they narrowed their focus to Doctor Who, and even further to the first six seasons of the show's modern run. Specifically, Moore, et al., were focusing on a few quantifiable attributes of the treatment of female characters, in order to confirm or deny more anecdotal claims that the show's depiction of gender has become less progressive since the ascension of current show runner Steven Moffat.

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  5. How Much Money Can You Win in a Single Episode of Jeopardy!?

    ...and why it's unlikely anyone will actually win it.

    Jeopardy! host Alex Trebek appeared on The Nerdist Podcast recently. It's a really interesting interview, and if you have an hour and a half to kill, it's a great way to do that. At one point host Chris Hardwick wondered what the theoretical maximum a player could win in one episode was, so we did the math.

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  6. What Are The World’s Heaviest-Drinking Nations?

    Yay 'Murica, I guess.

    The World Health Organization has released its Global status report on alcohol and health 2014, and as the name suggests, it's kind of a bummer. Severity of alcohol related diseases aside, however, it does have some interesting insights. The United States didn't even make the "top ten", so good for us, I think?

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  7. Survey Says: At Emerald City Comicon, Men Were a Minority

    Gender Bendery

    After Emerald City Comicon's doors were closed for the weekend, it asked its attendees to fill out a survey about the event, to see what worked, what didn't work, and what they can do better or more of. In it, they gave folks a blank field to list whatever gender identity they felt most comfortable with, whether that be female, male, agender, "Wonder Woman," "man?," or “a nebulous glow cloud.” The results, once divided up, are quite revealing. More than half of survey takers identified as female. Even if (as is unlikely) all of the folks who identified as non-binary were guys doing so as some form of joke, women would still outnumber them: at the very least, you cannot say that women were rare or a minority in the community. You might also point out that a voluntary survey is not a perfect measure of the actual population of the con, as undoubtedly some folks chose not to take it, skewing the results. That's certainly true. All that this graphic might mean is that the folks who actually care enough about ECCC to want to help make it better were majority women. Previously in Emerald City Comic Con

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  8. Spurious Correlations Engine Generates Graphs for Bizarre Coincidences

    Correlation is not causation, unless by "causation," you mean "fun."

    If you like weird facts, time wasters and thinking critically, then get thee over to Spurious Correlations. Just because drownings from 1999-2009 correlate at a rate of 0.666004 with the number of films Nicolas Cage appeared in during those years doesn't mean the two are actually linked, but have fun trying to find a connection.

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  9. MPAA Statistics Break the Stunning News That Most of the People Who Go the Movies Aren’t White Men

    Every year at CinemaCon the MPAA releases statistics (report here) on the previous year's moviegoers: What percentage of them can be classified as "frequent moviegoers," how 3D movies do across various markets, whether the average ticket price has changed. Stuff like that. And, of particular relevance to us, demographic breakdowns. You might have to sit down for this, because it's shocking: Far more women and racial minorities see movies than there are women and racial minorities in movies. It's almost like there's not enough representation or something. I know. So weird.

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  10. On Average, The Top Women-Led Films of 2013 Grossed Higher Than Male-Led Films

    Oh Hollywood

    As we've previously discussed, of the 100 highest-grossing films of 2013, a whopping 15 featured female protagonists. This figure became popular knowledge through a report by the Center for the Study of Women in Television and Film, which compares the percentage of women working behind the camera with those featured on screen. Unsurprisingly, the numbers correlate. Vanity Fair's Bruce Handy had some questions about those statistics. Given Hollywood's focus on getting as many butts in seats as possible, surely they wouldn't ignore the preferences of their audiences. Could it be that the lack of women on screen was actually reflective of a purchasing trend? If we treat blockbusters like Catching Fire as flukes, is there economic logic behind the comparative lack of female-led films? Spoiler: No.

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  11. #FollowFriday: Fake Library Stats (@FakeLibStats)

    The stats are fake, but the jokes are real.

    It's that time again, Internet. #FollowFriday is our weekly segment where we recommend a Twitter account for you to follow. Usually we focus on people, but this week it's Fake Library Stats (@FakeLibStats).

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  12. Let’s Get Mad: Center for Study of Women in TV and Film Releases 2013 Findings on Female Characters

    Oh Hollywood

    Just a couple months ago, the Center for the Study of Women in Television and Film released their report on the gender ratios of Hollywood's workers, discovering that the ratio of women to men in various behind the scenes roles such as editors, writers, cinematographers, composers, and special effects supervisors has not changed more than three percentage points in sixteen years. That was pretty disheartening, but theoretically, men should be just as able to craft female characters that don't play to stereotypical tropes as women are at creating relatable male characters. So how did that go?

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  13. Comixology’s Rapidly Growing Female Demographic Sounds Familiar

    Supergirly

    She’s 17-26 years old, college-educated, lives in the suburbs, and is new to comics. She prefers Tumblr to Reddit. She may have never even picked up a print comic. - Techhive, on the female demographic average of Comixology, the largest digital comics retailer. I'm guessing that Comixology's female userbase (which has more than quadrupled since the site's launch) shares a lot of demographic similarities to a majority of our readers as well. Then again, we haven't done a reader survey since 2011... gotta get on that. And, it goes without saying, if you're new to comics and reading this, ask for recommendations in the comments! If you aren't new to comics, post your faves.

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  14. Things We Saw Today: The Sif Thor: The Dark World Poster

    Things We Saw Today

    If the movie gives her a moment half as cool as that smirk she gave after spearing the Destroyer, I'll have everything I want out of The Dark World. (Superhero Hype)

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  15. Less than 30% of Speaking Roles in Blockbuster Films Last Year Went to Women

    Oh Hollywood

    And before you think "Well, sure, that's less than half of what would really be ideal representation, but maybe it's a sign of progress," this is the lowest level of gender equity in roles in five years.

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  16. Study Says: Everybody Thinks Trailers Show All the Good Scenes, Watches Them Anyway

    Educated Guess

    Survey results of the day: half of us think that trailers give too much away. The other half are bloggers who have to watch them anyway and have just given up all hope of every being 100% completely spoiler safe.

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  17. According to Math, the Worst Color Shirt to Wear on Star Trek Is Actually Yellow

    To Boldly Go

    It's a well known maxim that nobody wants to be a redshirt on Star Trek: The Original Series. The proud members of Operations, Engineering, and Security are the space-expendables, the first line of defense, the... well the ones who always get sent down with the away party full of more important characters and get murdered by the space monster of the week. Like, all the time. But what if, instead of considering this from the viewer's perspective, you considered it from the perspective of a crewman choosing a line of work? What if you're just a redshirt, and not "this episode's redshirt?" Matthew Barsalou took this perspective and applied math to it, and lets just say that Kirk, Chekov, and Sulu might not be to happy about it.

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  18. Internet Declares NYT Pollster Nate Silver Most Likely A Witch, Further Tests To Come

    NYT poll-meister and knower of dark secrets Nate Silver took some flack last week for making bets on the outcome of the presidential election with Fox News personality Joe Scarborough. Silver was vindicated last night as his predictions for the election, on a state by state basis, turned out to be eerily accurate...almost too accurate, some might say. So as the nation looks to put a contentious presidential election behind us and move forward as a country, we can all turn to the most important question of the morning after the big night: Is Nate Silver a witch?

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  19. Google is Still Getting Takedown Requests For MegaUpload and Demonoid

    Anti-Piracy outfits and world governments have been making huge strides in taking down some of the internet's biggest pirating networks, but it doesn't seem like the world's copyright-holders have noticed. According to TorrentFreak, Google still gets loads of DMCA takedown requests for famously deceased file-sharing sites like MegaUpload, Demonoid, and BTJunkie from some of the world's largest entertainment companies.

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  20. Panic: Total Number of Videogamers in the U.S. Drops

    Don't Panic

    The medium of video games is still very young, and, by its very nature, wildly growing in leaps and bounds as new advances in computer processing and image capturing technology are made and applied to telling stories. While, like comics, they may still be something of a niche pastime to the mainstream, they're still being played by two-thirds of America. And I would have guess that that number is growing... If not for a new report from market researchers the NPD Group.

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