Betting on a royal birth: how many babies will be born the same day?

Duke and Duchess of Cambridge and family

On 4 September 2017, the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge – better known as “William and Kate” – announced they were expecting their third child. Bookmakers immediately began taking bets. At the time of writing, most were offering 10/11 on a boy and 10/11 on a girl (i.e., those who bet £11 would win £10). They were also taking bets on the choice of name: Mary was the bookies’ favourite for a girl, with odds of 3/1, while Arthur was the favourite for a boy, at 9/1.

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A time to kill: Great British serial killers

London alley

"Serial killer" is a term customarily used to refer to a person who has murdered three or more people over a period of more than a month. Perhaps the most infamous of these criminals is Jack the Ripper, who terrorised the streets of London in the year 1888. 

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Statistical analysis, Strictly on request

ballroom dancing

I don’t watch Strictly Come Dancing, the BBC’s hit reality dance show. I have seen an episode or two in the past, usually at family dinners when one or both of my grandmothers insisted we watch it. But despite my general lack of interest, I was delighted to see that Alexandra and Gorka, and Debbie and Giovanni had made it through to the final of series 15, just as Susan Connolly said they would.

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The Promise: When truth overshadows power

The Promise on IMDb

The Toronto International Film Festival (TIFF) is a prestigious event and a hot-spot for finding some of Hollywood’s biggest stars. Apparently, it’s also home to 47 000 ghosts. Shortly after premiering at the 2016 TIFF, a film titled The Promise received over 50 000 negative reviews on the Internet Movie Database (IMDb). Given the fact that less than 3000 people had actually watched the film at TIFF, who (or what) generated these additional 47 000 reviews?

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