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15 minutes
First broadcast:
Friday 21 January 2011

Note: The 21 January 2011 edition of More or Less was truncated. This copy reflects the content of the full programme broadcast on 23 January 2011.

Health check

The Health Secretary says you're twice as likely to die from heart disease in the UK than in France. And World Health Organisation figures support his claim. But do those numbers tell the whole story?

George Osborne's credit card

The Chancellor George Osborne said this week that he's working hard to "pay off the nation's credit card". Presumably Mr Osborne is alluding to his plans for reducing the deficit. But that's not the same as paying off debt. In fact, as we explain, he's merely trying to reduce the rate at which the nation's credit card bill is growing.

The unemployment riddle

Journalists reported this week that unemployment has gone up by 49,000 to 2.5 million people, over the three months to November, but the unemployment rate had remained unchanged at 7.9%. More or Less solves the riddle.

Words and numbers

Tim Harford, Rachel Riley and Alex Bellos discuss their favourite maths books. Rachel chose Michio Kaku's Physics of the Impossible, Alex chose Oliver Byrne's version of Euclid's Elements and Tim chose Douglas Hofstader's Godel Escher Bach.

Blue Monday

The Blue Monday formula, which claims to identify the most depressing day of the year, and which first infected the British media in 2005, strikes again.

Producer: Richard Knight.



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