Category Archives: Important Facts

200-year Mistaken Attribution

Learned from curiosa mathematica about this recently corrected mistaken attribution:

This guy, Louis Legendre, politician, was mistakenly pictured for….














this guy, Adrien-Marie Legendre, mathematician, for two centuries!

legendre the mathematician








Sure, some might say, well, they did him a favor. I bet both would disagree.

Sadder Songs Evidence?



Yeah, maybe. Certainly most bands and singer songwriters in the world aren’t signed. Maybe this data means only pessimistic people are spending the most on music. Or optimistic, happy people want to bring their mood down. If teens and twenty somethings spend the most of music, isn’t this just data about them? And since music is available in more formats in the last few years, could music in major keys, in faster BPM, be consumed in these other formats, and thus not be counted in sales? (Isn’t Top 40 just sales?) Or maybe music is like fashion, can only buy what they sell in the stores, and this is what is available. Maybe this data set can’t lead to definitive conclusions about anything except what it measures. Maybe this post is too much postulating and not enough scientizing. Somedays we are the means, other days the ends.

USA’s GDP as other Countries

US states GDP as nations

How rich is the United States? Richer than the next 3 richest countries combined! (That is, by GDP, the total output of all goods and services “produced by labor and property”* and, in the US, is about $15,000,000,000,000 per year.) But as individual states? Well, ha!, The Economist has broken it down. (Italy and Russia, standing in for California and Texas, are in the richest eight, aka “G8+China,” btw. Who is ninth? Used to be China. Now it’s…Canada.)

* US Dept of Commerce’s Bureau of Economic Analysis