More or Less - 07/01/2011
More or Less examines this week's claims and counter-claims about VAT, exposes some seriously sloppy reporting and measures Nigel Pargeter's 'death yodel' in The Archers.
This week much of the media reported that nearly 600 women have fallen pregnant despite using a popular contraceptive implant. But no-one thought to include the numbers which would make sense of the story - how many women use the implant, and how does its failure rate compare to that of other contraceptives? More or Less corrects some seriously sloppy reporting.
Archers fans were shocked to hear Nigel Pargeter fall to his death from the roof of Lower Loxley Hall this week. But what does the length of Nigel's "death yodel" tell us about the height of Lower Loxley?
More or Less examines the heated claims and counter claims made about this week's rise in VAT from 17.5% to 20%. Is it progressive? Will it cost more jobs than a rise in National Insurance would have done? And does the International Monetary Fund really support the Chancellor's stance?
You will have noticed that we think numbers can all-too-easily be used to confuse, or to mislead. We aren't the only ones who think so. Charles Seife is a professor of journalism at New York University and author of a new book - Proofiness - which exposes what he describes as "the dark arts of mathematical deception".
Game over, Jack
England are bringing home the Ashes. But here on More or Less, our celebrations are tempered by a twinge of sadness. Earlier in the series we asked a monkey - Jack - to predict the outcome of each of the Ashes tests. We did so in honour of Paul the octopus who correctly predicted the outcomes of eight football World Cup matches in the summer. Unfortunately, Jack didn't do so well. Finally, we reveal what we've been up to.
- Broadcast on BBC Radio 4, 1:30PM Fri, 7 Jan 2011
- Available until 12:00AM Thu, 1 Jan 2099
- First broadcast BBC Radio 4, 1:30PM Fri, 7 Jan 2011
- Duration 30 minutes