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Analysis

September 9, 2013 5 minute read

The Agony, Ecstasy, and Odds of a (Nearly) Perfect Game

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Benn Stancil

Chief Analyst

On Friday night, I was (un?)lucky enough to attend Yusmeiro Petit’s near-perfect game in San Francisco. After Petit retired 26 Diamondbacks in a row, pinch hitter Eric Chavez hit a soft line drive that fell inches in front of a flopping Hunter Pence.

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Analysis

September 6, 2013 3 minute read

Are Traffic Lights the Real Hyperloop?

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Benn Stancil

Chief Analyst

At some point, presumably while idling in his Tesla Model S on a clogged freeway in Los Angeles or San Francisco - which account for a remarkable 9 of the 10 most congested roads in the country - Elon Musk decided he’d had it with waiting around in cars. So he dreamed up the Hyperloop, a transportation system that can, in theory, rocket people between Los Angeles in San Francisco in just over 30 minutes. For people making one of the annual 6 million five-and-a-half hour trips between these two cities, the Hyperloop sounds like a spectacular - and frankly, spectacularly cool - idea. But for the rest of the world (which is often forgotten about in California), and ironically, even for those stuck in standstill L.A. traffic in a 400 horsepower car yearning to be free, there’s something out there with far more potential than the Hyperloop: 2% better traffic lights.

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Analysis

September 3, 2013 5 minute read

Conflict Data on Military Interventions: Will Syria Be Different?

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Benn Stancil

Chief Analyst

With the Obama administration now pressing Congress to authorize military action against Syria, administration officials and commentators have repeatedly emphasized that Syria is not Libya, Syria is not Iraq, and Syria is not Afghanistan. Circumstances are different; objectives are different; the nature of the conflict is different. This war, we’re told, won’t be the same as those that came before it. But what if it is?

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General

September 2, 2013 5 minute read

A Data-Driven Look at the VMAs

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Benn Stancil

Chief Analyst

For the last several days, the internet has been abuzz about the MTV Video Music Awards. Most of the attention has focused on Miley Cyrus' on-stage antics, leaving some of us longing for a deeper analysis of the actual competition. If Grantland can dedicate 3,000 words to the 33-49 Portland Trail Blazers, don’t we deserve to know, empirically, if #thatPower by will.i.am and the Biebs had better choreography than that in the Pitbull and J-Lo collaboration Live It Up? Is that really too much too ask?

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