Parsing Is Such Sweet Sorrow: Shakespeare through the lens of statistics

Nate Silver re-launches a vastly expanded FiveThirtyEight and amongst the new content we find a gloriously nerdy essay by Emma Pierson that begins with: 

More than 400 years after Shakespeare wrote it, we can now say that “Romeo and Juliet” has the wrong name. Perhaps the play should be called “Juliet and Her Nurse,” which isn’t nearly as sexy, or “Romeo and Benvolio,” which has a whole different connotation.
I discovered this by writing a computer program to count how many lines each pair of characters in “Romeo and Juliet” spoke to each other, with the expectation that the lovers in the greatest love story of all time would speak more than any other pair. I wanted Romeo and Juliet to end up together — if they couldn’t in the play, at least they could in my analysis — but the math paid no heed to my desires. Juliet speaks more to her nurse than she does to Romeo; Romeo speaks more to Benvolio than he does to Juliet. Romeo gets a larger share of attention from his friends (Benvolio and Mercutio) and even his enemies (Tybalt) than he does from Juliet; Juliet gets a larger share of attention from her nurse and her mother than she does from Romeo. The two appear together in only five scenes out of 25. We all knew that this wasn’t a play predicated on deep interactions between the two protagonists, but still.

From there she goes on to explore all of Shakespeare's lovers and how much, or how little they talked to each other, making an interactive visualisation that brings new perspective to the plays (for example, see how in the comedies there are separate relationships that draw our attention whereas the tragedies have the lovers front and center.)

Arts Education Fuels the Economy

Sunil Iyengar and Ayanna Hudson for The Chronicle of Higher Education:

In December, in partnership with the National Endowment for the Arts, the U.S. Bureau of Economic Analysis released preliminary estimates from the nation’s first Arts and Cultural Production Satellite Account. The account is meant to trace the relationship of arts and cultural industries, goods, and services to the nation’s ultimate measure of economic growth, its gross domestic product.
The numbers are still a work in progress. In this context, "arts education" refers only to postsecondary fine-arts schools, departments of fine arts and performing arts, and academic performing-arts centers. Yet even for this limited cohort, the findings are impressive:
The total economic output (gross revenue and expenses) for arts education in 2011, the most recent year for which data are available, was $104-billion. Arts education thus claims the second largest share of output for all U.S. arts and cultural commodities, after the creative services within advertising. In 2011, arts education added $7.6-billion to the nation’s GDP.  In that year alone, arts education as an industry employed 17,900 workers whose salaries and wages totaled $5.9-billion.  For every dollar consumers spend on arts education, an additional 56 cents is generated elsewhere in the U.S. economy.