Some things should not be taken lightly.
Take, for instance, the fact that a solid chunk of your annual income may come from Oscar betting pools. While it’s hard to predict the winners with any consistency, there are definitely tools that can help. Statistician Nate Silver and reporter Walter Hickey just created one for Vanity Fair.
Here’s what they did: After perusing IMDb (the Internet Movie Database), they analyzed the site’s descriptive keywords for the more than 500 films nominated for Best Picture since 1928. These keywords include terms like "murder," "friendship," "based on a novel," or "New York City," plus nearly 4 million others. They then cross-referenced these terms to determine which appeared most often among the nominees in an attempt to identify common themes.
The results reveal interesting trends. Here are some of the biggest – and strangest – takeaways: