WSJ: Numbers Guy

The Numbers Guy examines numbers in the news, business and politics. Some numbers are flat-out wrong or biased, while others are valid and help us make informed decisions. Carl Bialik tells the stories behind the stats, in daily updates on this blog and in his column published every other Friday in The Wall Street Journal. Carl, who holds a degree in mathematics and physics from Yale University, also cowrites The Daily Fix, a sports column on He welcomes your comments at .

WSJ: The Numbers
The Numbers
copyright © 2014 Dow Jones & Company, Inc.
The Wall Street Journal examines the way numbers are used, and abused.

Lefties Lag Behind, Counting Gadgets and Self-Help Sells (Statshot)
American left-handers score worse on math and reading tests and make less money than righties. Many citizens in prosperous European countries juggle more devices that connect to the Internet than Americans. Reference and self-help books are more popular than children's books on Amazon.
Loneliness, Oil and Star Wars (Statshot)
A large study has found that loneliness among teenagers in the U.S. has dropped significantly in the past two decades, good news from OPEC for gas guzzlers, and a look at long-delayed sequels.
When Using Math to Catch Crooks, You Can’t Jump to Conclusions
Benford’s Law, a mathematical tool that helps tease out anomalies in accounting records, can help identify fraud, but the leading expert on Benford’s cautions against jumping to hasty conclusions based on a single test.
Statshot: Net Neutrality, Reusable Letters and Lionel Messi
In this week's Statshot: net neutrality, reusable letters and Lionel Messi
Statshot: Demographics, Heart Disease and iPhone Games
This week in Statshot, demographics, heart disease and iPhone games.
Overtime, the San Francisco Housing Market and Taylor Swift (Statshot)
American workers are spending more hours on the job since the mid-1970s. San Francisco’s housing market continues to heat up. Taylor Swift’s new album “1989” just became the fastest U.S. seller since “The Eminem Show” in 2002.
Statshot: Money, Super PACs and What Crime Americans Fear Most
This week in Statshot: money may not buy happiness, but countries with growing economies, as well as more stable politics, tend to have more satisfied citizens; also, computer hackers’ theft of credit-card information tops the list of what Americans fear most; and more.
Daylight Saving Time Origins: From Ben Franklin to WWI Germany
Though he didn't call it daylight saving time, Benjamin Franklin was the first to conceive of the idea.
Invasive Species, PTAs and Fantasy Football (Statshot)
The U.S. government is fighting several introduced animal species that are crowding out natives. The number of nonprofits supporting U.S. public schools grew sharply between 1995 and 2010. Last weekend, the Pittsburgh Steelers’ Ben Roethlisberger earned the fifth-highest fantasy point total by a quarterback in the past 10 years.
More Tornadoes Recorded Doesn’t Mean More Tornadoes Occurring
The number of tornadoes recorded by the National Climatic Data Center has increased in recent years, but that doesn’t mean there have been more twisters.