Monthly Archive: April 2017

Gender and verbs across 100,000 stories: a tidy analysis – Variance Explained

I was fascinated by my colleague Julia Silge’s recent blog post on what verbs tend to occur after “he” or “she” in several novels, and what they might imply about gender roles within fictional work. This made me wonder what trends could be found across a larger dataset of stories.

Mark Riedl’s Wikipedia plots dataset that I examined in yesterday’s post offers a great opportunity to analyze this question. The dataset contains over 100,000 descriptions of plots from films, novels, TV shows, and video games. The stories span centuries and come from tens of thousands of authors, but the descriptions are written by a modern audience, which means we can quantify gender roles across a wide variety of genres. Since the dataset contains plot descriptions rather than primary sources, it’s also more about what happens at than how an author describes the work: we’re less likely to see “thinks” or “says”, but more likely to see “shoots” or “escapes”.

From: Gender and verbs across 100,000 stories: a tidy analysis – Variance Explained


The second half of our boggling at the big tentpole movies coming out this summer.

The Wonders Reunite To Perform ‘That Thing You Do!’

On Tuesday night, three-fourths of the Oneders-turned-Wonders — heartthrob singer Jimmy Mattingly (Johnathon Schaech), unnamed bass player The Bass Player (Ethan Embry), and drummer Guy “Shades” Patterson (Tom Everett Scott) — reunited at the...

Niccoló and the Bully

As I watch the Trump Administration deteriorate into the political equivalent of the Fyre Festival, my thoughts naturally turn to Machiavelli.


If it’s almost May, it’s almost time to start asking “What Are The Blockbuster Summer Movies This Year?”
Part I