-215% of People Agree

November 25th, 2011 by Steve | No Comments | Filed in Arithmetic, Graphs, Percentage, Polls, Statistics

Y’all know how crazy this stuff makes me. Now I want to know how it makes you. Answer as often as you like, so long as it’s a positive integer number of times.


Ready for the question?

What was the worst thing about that poll?


Sorted by what?

August 13th, 2011 by Steve | No Comments | Filed in Dates

Calendar mathematics is hard.


P.S. Your search isn’t finding many of the recent results that show up if you use Google to search.

Harvard, or better yet, Harvard

April 16th, 2010 by Steve | No Comments | Filed in Statistics

If you can’t be first, be third and sixth.


Large, fuzzy swaths of Americans.

April 3rd, 2010 by Steve | No Comments | Filed in Graphs, Statistics

According to the Washington Post, the 2008 American Religious Identification Survey found

Traditional Christian beliefs continue to resonate with large swaths of Americans: 70 percent believe in a personal God, according to the 2008 American Religious Identification Survey, and nearly a third believe the Bible is the actual word of God that should be taken literally, according to recent Gallup polls. Another 47 percent believe the Bible is divinely inspired.

Another 47 percent? Nice of the Post not to begin a sentence with a numeral, but not so nice to avoid the gaffe by prepending a word that obscures the meaning of the numbers. I’ll resist the temptation to draw possible Venn diagrams, in part because I don’t know how to represent 117 percent of Americans.

Low expectations

February 26th, 2010 by Steve | No Comments | Filed in Percentage, Units


That doesn’t sound good at all.

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d(Teen Pregnancy)/dt estimates

February 26th, 2010 by Steve | No Comments | Filed in Statistics

Google News reveals the uncertainty:

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December 22nd, 2009 by Steve | No Comments | Filed in Arithmetic, Units

What most people probably mean, I suppose, though Google admiringly takes the high road.

Can we go over parentheses again?

To be fair, this might be a better representation of the world’s “computational knowledge” than, say, a calculator.

Read the rest of this entry »

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Thank God It Wasn’t a Radius

December 21st, 2009 by Steve | 1 Comment | Filed in Units


I’ll pass on the photos, thanks.


Two Fruit Bats Walk into a Bar Chart

December 19th, 2009 by Steve | No Comments | Filed in Graphs, NSFW, Statistics

Hey guys, you're in the "no licking" section of the bar. Mind taking it somewhere else?

When a male was chewing or severing the Chinese fan-palm leaves to make a tent, or when males crawled upon the upper surface of a tent or were grooming themselves within a tent, a female would fly to the tent, stretch her wings, move her head slowly towards the male, and then sniff the male’s face and neck. Subsequently, the pair’s heads extended towards each other and the bats would lick one another. At this time, the male would make approaches to the female with his thumbs.

If you teach statistics and have a good lawyer, you might consider using this article in class. Figure 2 (not shown) doesn’t have a bat illustration, but it has a fine interpretation of the regression line slope: “Therefore each second of licking prolongs copulation by approximately 6 s.”

Reference: Tan M, Jones G, Zhu G, Ye J, Hong T, et al. 2009 Fellatio by Fruit Bats Prolongs Copulation Time. PLoS ONE 4(10): e7595.doi:10.1371/journal.pone.0007595

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Teenage Math

December 15th, 2009 by Steve | 1 Comment | Filed in Graphs, Statistics

As teens get older, the number 64 gets smaller, and the number 15 gets larger. (Source: The National Campaign to Prevent Teen and Unplanned Pregnancy, 2004 data.)

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