Margins of Error

Margins of Error

Look closely at almost anything and you’ll find data—lots of it. But when you push past the calculations, what are all those numbers really saying about who we are and what we believe? CNN’s Harry Enten is on a mission to find out. This season on Margins of Error, Harry teases out big ideas like what accents say about where we live, how much money it takes to be happy, and whether the U.S. should finally switch to the metric system.

Episodes

June 21, 2022 31 min

Let’s face it: We cannot live without our weather forecasts. It’s the first thing we check most mornings — and when they’re wrong, we get pretty frustrated. But forecasting is actually the best it’s ever been! Harry learns the secrets to predicting the weather accurately and investigates how climate change could make those predictions a little cloudier.

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In spite of the rise in romance reality shows, it is possible romance is actually disappearing in real life. The statistics certainly paint a picture that love is on the decline, whether it’s less sex, more singles or fewer romantic gestures. So, WHO or WHAT is the culprit? Sherlock Harry is on the case and he even attends a Bridgerton Ball to investigate.

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Harry goes the extra “yard” to find out why the United States is one of the few countries that hasn’t gone metric. Americans seem more than content in a hybrid world of liters AND gallons. Why can’t we choose one form of measurement? It turns out there’s a lot of national pride and history wrapped up in our inches and pounds — not to mention money and politics.

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Diet soda is one of the few things in life that makes Harry very happy. And it turns out, it might be disappearing as “zero sugar” infiltrates the carbonated industry. Why is this happening all of a sudden and is there a difference between the two labels? Or is this just a war of words?

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May 24, 2022 32 min

How much money do we need to be happy? Should we move heaven and earth to earn six figures, or can we be just as happy with less? Harry gets some answers from Matt Killingsworth, who created an app to track happiness in real time. Harry also learns why paying for experiences may be key to finding joy and tests that theory on a high-flying trapeze with help from Trapeze School New York.

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May 17, 2022 31 min

More and more of us are in need of glasses these days and luckily, there is now a much more positive perception of people with “four eyes.” However, it wasn’t always that way. So where did the stereotypes come from, and is there a chance that people who wear glasses are smarter than those who don’t? Harry also discovers why eyewear has become defense attorneys’ favorite accessories for clients in the courtroom and visits Dr. Craig ...

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May 10, 2022 29 min

There’s been a lot of debate about how often we need to bathe — and the answer might be less than you think. It turns out we have a complicated history with washing dating back to the baths of Ancient Rome. Harry goes straight to the experts to decode the hygienic necessity of bathing versus our societal norms. Plus, he sees what life is like without deodorant. You’ll have to smell it to believe it.

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May 3, 2022 40 min

No one thinks they have an accent … but it turns out we all do. However, is it possible our distinct ways of speaking across the U.S. are disappearing? If so, what else is getting lost along the way?  Harry Enten goes on a journey to find out if conformity is affecting how we converse. Plus, get ready to hear Harry with an entirely new accent!

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April 26, 2022 2 min

CNN’s Harry Enten is back with more wild and weird stories behind the stats. This time around, Harry goes on a search for disappearing accents and investigates how much money actually makes us happy. Listen in as Harry wonders if love is really dead, or whether wearing glasses makes you look and feel smarter. The “spectacle” returns on May 3.

 

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February 13, 2022 10 min

Let's face it, most of us see ourselves as the underdogs in life. Maybe that's why it's more fun to root for one in sports. In this special episode of CNN's 5 Things, Harry Enten tackles Super Bowl stats and makes the case for why Buffalo wings are the best snack food for the big game.

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November 9, 2021 29 min

Harry’s uncle is singer/songwriter Neil Sedaka. Depending on how old you are, and your knowledge of pop music, you may know Uncle Neil wrote and performed a string of Top 40 hit songs from the 1950s all the way to the 1980s, a feat accomplished by only a few dozen artists. Harry digs into music chart data to find out about the changing nature of mega pop hits, how rare Uncle Neil’s success was compared to today, and if that kind of...

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November 2, 2021 28 min

It's been a year since Americans waited on edge to find out the winner in one of the strangest election of our lifetimes. CNN's Harry Enten revisits that night and gives us a behind-the-scenes look at how election night turned into election week. He'll also explore the repercussions of the delayed count and how we can avoid drawn out results in the future. 

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October 26, 2021 24 min

A surprising percentage of people today, including Harry, hate making and receiving phone calls. Our reluctance to dial in, is affecting everything from national polling to workplace relationships to our levels of anxiety. Harry asks why we’re avoiding phone calls and whether we can be coached through our telephone-related nerves.

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October 19, 2021 25 min

Few rules dominate the dating world as much as “divide by two and add seven.” But where did that rule even come from, and does it hold up today? Harry looks at the history of the age gaps in relationships and tries to find out whether the math actually works out for couples.

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October 12, 2021 24 min

While we don't have much say about how we come into this world, we can certainly plan for what happens to us after we leave. Turns out death is a big business and there's a trend on the rise: cremation over burial. Harry asks what's behind the shift and the implications for all eternity.

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October 5, 2021 25 min


A surprising number of couples sleep separately, yet very few like to talk about it. Harry looks into the data and trends around sleeping arrangements, as well as the history of couples sleeping together and apart. 

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September 28, 2021 27 min

If nearly 70% of Americans dislike changing the time, why does it keep happening every year like clockwork? Harry dives into the debate with the top experts to see if we can finally get our timing right. Special guest: Jon Lovett.

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Do you believe in ghosts? Turns out a lot of people do in this country … more than 45% of us. That's up almost 400% in the last 40 years! So what happened? Harry Enten digs into the numbers behind the paranormal and whether the uptick has anything to do with a certain 1980s hit movie.

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September 6, 2021 2 min

Every stat has a story and CNN’s Harry Enten is on a mission to find out what the numbers have to say about who we are and what we believe. Premiering Tuesday, Sept. 21.

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