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Axes to Axes

In which the intrepid maths-crime-fighting duo of Gale and Beveridge find themselves thrust back to a time before people could do maths properly.

It had been a quiet night at the Aperiodical police station. Apart from a few cases of broken scheduling in Excel formulas – nothing a bit of TIME() in the cells wouldn’t put right – there was nothing.

At 11pm, the phone rang. I looked at Sergeant Gale. Sergeant Gale pointedly looked at the phone, raised an eyebrow, and returned to his sudoku.

“Maths Police, bad graphs department. Constable Beveridge speaking, how can I help?”

Seeking election-themed graph blunders

Since we’d like to write a funny post about it, if you’ve been sent any literature for the upcoming local elections in the UK (or indeed, from the past or from other elections around the world) which contains a graph or chart of questionable rigor, we want to know about it.

As an example, Colin Beveridge sent us this classic from his doormat:



We’ll be awarding bonus points for inaccurate pie charts, exaggerated/meaningless bar sizes, the complete absence of axis label or scale, the use of ‘Can’t win here!’ and any other sneaky/incompetent features. Email your submissions to, and watch out for a roundup post if we collect a sizeable pile.