“[Scrabble] sets are found in roughly one-third of American homes.”
“Scrabble’s not really a word game. It’s a math game with word tools.”
- Matt Graham, comedian and Scrabble expert, on this week’s Jeff Rubin Jeff Rubin Show
Matt Graham is a man with an interesting resume. On the comedy side he’s written for SNL and Conan (on which he also appeared several times as a standup). On the Scrabble side he’s placed second in the Scrabble World Championships, been featured in the Scrabble book Word Freak, and was a central character in the Scrabble documentary Word Wars. This week on The Jeff Rubin Jeff Rubin Show we discuss the strategy of high-level Scrabble, Matt’s vintage board game collection, and tips for Scrabble enthusaists who have yet to memorize all the 2-letter words.
Matt’s one man show, This Too Shall Suck, is currently running in New York. Get tickets at thistooshallsuck.com!
Well, I’ve gotten some praise AND taken some heat for using
advanced calculusthird-grade math to take the mystery out of the Song Of The Summer race. Now’s your chance to vote on what YOU thought it was.
We were able to persuade a very special guest to reveal our winner on Tuesday, but until then, vote until your heart’s content!
How dare you try to put mathematics to my pop music!
So, what are you doing with YOUR summer? Me? I’m turning into a stats nerd.
Introducing the 2011 VH1 Song of the Summer Countdown! Quick explanation.
I wanted to create an ongoing feature that would be the most democratic look at the race for this year’s Song of the Summer. Since people experience music in so many different ways these days, my aim was to compile publicly available data into a weekly chart that would reflect these different manners of consumption. So I used the following sources:*VH1 Top 20 Video Countdown (the videos that we’re showing a lot)
*Weekly YouTube streams (what people are watching online)
*Weekly Last.fm scrobbles (what people are actually listening to on their computers and mobile devices)
*Billboard Hot 100 (reflects airplay and sales)
*iTunes Top 100 Songs (reflects purchases)
I then compared the data in each of these categories, sorted and ranked accordingly, and assigned a number of points (max: 20 per category) for how each song fared in each individual category, with a max possible score of 100 (if a song topped all of the respective categories).
Right now, I’m tracking 41 songs, but that list will clearly grow as more songs get released/gain some traction.
So, you may ask, how come old ass songs like “E.T.” (which came out in April) and “Rolling In The Deep” (released in December!!!) are at or near the top of the Song of the Summer countdown? To which I reply: I’m just measuring YOUR behavior, America! If you want new(er) songs in there, start buying/listening/streaming them and this list will reflect it.
(Look for slightly improved graphics to follow, but I’m keeping this low-tech somewhat on purpose. Plus, who doesn’t love Microsoft Excel?)
VH1: Where math and popular culture collide.
I noticed this last night. He was saying that in order to raise $5,000, they need to sell 20,000 pieces of Salt Water Taffy at $.25 a piece. So 20,000 x .25 = 5,000. But as Buzzfeed points out, Schue is a Spanish teacher.