Index | Comments and Contributions | previous:1.1 proofs

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From: ajs#NoSpam.fc.hp.nospam.com (Alan Silverstein)

Hello, this is probably 438-9012, yes, the house of the famous statistician. I'm probably not at home, or not wanting to answer the phone, most probably the latter, according to my latest calculations. Supposing that the universe doesn't end in the next 30 seconds, the odds of which I'm still trying to calculate, you can leave your name, phone number, and message, and I'll probably phone you back. So far the probability of that is about 0.645. Have a nice day.

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Did you hear the one about the statistician?


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It is proven that the celebration of birthdays is healthy. Statistics show that those people who celebrate the most birthdays become the oldest.

 -- S. den Hartog, Ph D. Thesis Universtity of Groningen.

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From: Keith Sullivan (KSullivan#NoSpam.worldnet.att.net)


* Ten percent of all car thieves are left-handed * All polar bears are left-handed * If your car is stolen, there's a 10 percent chance it was nicked by a Polar bear * 39 percent of unemployed men wear spectacles * 80 percent of employed men wear spectacles * Work stuffs up your eyesight * All dogs are animals * All cats are animals * Therefore, all dogs are cats * A total of 4000 cans are opened around the world every second * Ten babies are conceived around the world every second * Each time you open a can, you stand a 1 in 400 chance of falling pregnant Johan <joe#NoSpam.alpha.terranet.co.za> Infinite Joke List <jokes#NoSpam.infinite.ihub.com>

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From: Greg Jednaszewski <gt0598a#NoSpam.prism.gatech.edu>
"According to a recent poll, 51% of all Americans are in the majority."

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From Joachim Verhagen
From a Dilbert cartoon:
The pointy-haired boss: "40% of the sick leaves are on a monday or
friday. This must change"

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From: Ronan M Conroy (rconroy#NoSpam.rcsi.ie)

I'm not an outlier; I just haven't found my distribution yet

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From: |eghorn#NoSpam.pou|try.com (Marty)

Clem asks Abner, "Ain't statistics wonderful?"
"How so?" says Abner.
"Well, according to statistics, there's 42 million alligator
 eggs laid every year. Of those only about half get
 hatched. Of those that hatch, three-fourths of them get
 eaten by predators in the first 36 days. And of the rest,
 only 5 percent get to be a year old because of one
 thing or another. Ain't statistics wonderful?"
Abner asks, "What's so wonderful about statistics?"
"Why, if it wasn't for statistics, we'd be up to our
asses in baby alligators!"

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From: "Jerome Schroeder" <Jerrys#NoSpam.spamnot.wolfenet.com>

In my last stats course I was amazed to hear my teacher announce that If we did not like our results, all we needed to do was change our levels of confidence. In short fib. This time to ourselves.

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From: "S. A. Maas" <smaas#NoSpam.concentric.net>

Two statisticians were travelling in an airplane from LA to New York. About an hour into the flight, the pilot announced that they had lost an engine, but don't worry, there are three left. However, instead of 5 hours it would take 7 hours to get to New York. A little later, he announced that a second engine failed, and they still had two left, but it would take 10 hours to get to New York. Somewhat later, the pilot again came on the intercom and announced that a third engine had died. Never fear, he announced, because the plane could fly on a single engine. However, it would now take 18 hours to get to new York. At this point, one statistician turned to the other and said, "Gee, I hope we don't lose that last engine, or we'll be up here forever!"

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From: fc3a501#NoSpam.AMRISC01.math.uni-hamburg.de (Hauke Reddmann)


A mathematician and a...eh...non-mathematician are sitting in an airport hall waiting for their flight to go. The non has terrible flight panic. "Hey, don't worry, it's just every 10000th flight that crashes." "1:10000? So much? Then it surely will be mine!" "Well, there is an easy way out. Simply take the next plane. It's much more probable that you go from a crashing to a non-crashing plane than the other way round. So you are already at 1:10000 squared."

(I might add that the mathematicians flight got abducted by some aliens doing some nasty experiments on him, which proves that poking fun at somebody else is much more fun than poking fun on you :-)

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Statistics means never having to say you're certain.
[With apologies to Erich Segal]

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December 30
March 28

In earlier times, they had no statistics, and so they had to fall back on lies. - STEPHEN LEACOCK

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"The group was alarmed to find that if you are a labourer, cleaner or dock worker, you are twice as likely to die than a member of the professional classes" [The Sunday Times 31st August 1980]

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From: ph2008#NoSpam.mail.bris.ac.uk (CJ. Bradfield)

Statistics is the art of never having to say you're wrong.

Variance is what any two staticticians are at.

(Not that I particularly dislike statisticians... I hate all
mathematicians!!) [sorry mum!]

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From: gcramsey#NoSpam.rs6000.cmp.ilstu.edu (Gary C. Ramseyer)

Gary Ramseyer's First Internet Gallery of Statistics Jokes
Meaning of some statistical terms:
Homoscedasticity         Homogeneous elasticity betweeen different sizes of
                         rubber bands.
Interpolate              Breeding a statistician with a clergyman to
                         produce the much sought "honest statistician".
Standard normal deviates A comparison group of sociopaths who were formally
                         normal people.

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97.3% of all statistics are made up.

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November 3
April 30

it's like the tale of the roadside merchant who was asked to explain how he could sell rabbit sandwiches so cheap. "Well" he explained, "I have to put some horse-meat in too. But I mix them 50:50. One horse, one rabbit."

[DARREL HUFF, How to lie with statistics]

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Are statisticians normal?

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From: joeshmoe#NoSpam.world.std.com (Jascha Franklin-Hodge)
(List of Taglines)

Smoking is a leading cause of statistics. -- Fletcher Knebel
I could prove God statistically.  -- George Gallup
43% of all statistics are worthless.

March 19
December 21

"There are three kinds of lies: lies, damned lies, and statistics."
   -- Attributed by Mark Twain to Benjamin Disraeli.

From: shap.wolf#NoSpam.*spamguard*.asu.edu (Shapard Wolf)

In the original (Benjamin Disraeli, quoted in George
Seldes "The Great Quotations," says: "There are lies, damned lies, and
church statistics."

In the computer industry, there are three kinds of lies:
Lies, damn lies, and benchmarks.

3 out of 4 Americans make up 75% of the population.
Death is 99 per cent fatal to laboratory rats.

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Did you know that the great majority of people have more than the average
number of legs?  [It's obvious really; amongst the 57 million people in
Britain there are probably 5,000 people who have only got one leg.
Therefore the average number of legs is

(5000 * 1) + (56,995,000 * 2)
----------------------------------  = 1.9999123......

Since most people have 2 legs....... ]

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A statistician is a person who draws a mathematically precise line from an
unwarranted asumption to a foregone conclusion.

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A statistician can have his head in an oven and his feet in ice, and
he will say that on the average he feels fine.

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From: Catherine Shenoy <cshenoy#NoSpam.ukans.edu>
A fellow with his head in the sauna and his heet in the snow will feel
pretty good, on average.

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From: Chris Morton (mortoncp#NoSpam.nextwork.rose-hulman.edu)
do it collection

From: rgep#NoSpam.pmms.cam.ac.uk (Richard Pinch)

Special Category: Scientists do it...
Statisticians do it continuously but discretely.
Statisticians do it when it counts.
Statisticians do it with 95% confidence.
Statisticians do it with large numbers.
Statisticians do it with only a 5% chance of being rejected.
Statisticians do it with two-tail T tests.
Statisticians do it.  After all, it's only normal.
Statisticians probably do it.
Statisticians do it with significance.
Probabilists do it on random walks.
Probabilists do it stochastically.
Statisticians do all the standard deviations.

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From: gcramsey#NoSpam.rs6000.cmp.ilstu.edu (Gary C. Ramseyer)

Special Category: Top Reasons
Gary Ramseyer's First Internet Gallery of Statistics Jokes

          The Top Ten Reasons why statisticians are misunderstood

1: They speak only the Greek language.

2: They usually have long threatening names such as Bonferonni,
   Tchebycheff, Schatzoff, Hotelling, and Godambe. Where are the
   statisticians with names such as Smith, Brown, or Johnson?

3: They are fond of all snakes and typically own as a pet a large South
   American snake called an ANOCOVA.

4: For perverse reasons, rather than view a matrix right side up they
   prefer to invert it.

5: Rather than moonlighting by holding Amway parties they earn a few extra
   bucks by holding pocket-protector parties.

6: They are frequently seen in their back yards on clear nights gazing
   through powerful amateur telescopes looking for distant star
   constellations called ANOVA's.

7: They are 99% confident that sleep can not be induced in an introductory
   statistics class by lecturing on z-scores.

8: Their idea of a scenic and exotic trip is traveling three standard
   deviations above the mean in a normal distribution.

9: They manifest many psychological disorders because as young
   statisticians many of their statistical hypotheses were rejected.

10:They express a deap-seated fear that society will someday construct
   tests that will enable everyone to make the same score. Without
   variation or individual differences the field of statistics has no
   real function and a statistician becomes a penniless ward of the

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From: Mathematics Magazine, December 1990.
Subject: Statisticians

( Excerpted from "Quotes, Damned Quotes" by John Bibby )

If there is a 50-50 chance that something can go wrong, then 9
times out of ten it will. (Paul Harvey News, 1979)

``Give us a copper Guv'' said the beggar to the Treasury
statistician, when he waylaid him in Parliament square. ``I
haven't eaten for three days.'' ``Ah,'' said the statistician, ``and
how does that compare with the same period last year?'' (Russell

``I gather, young man, that you wish to be a Member of
Parliament. The first lesson that you must learn is, when I call
for statistics about the rate of infant mortality, what I want
is proof that fewer babies died when I was Prime Minister than
when anyone else was Prime Minister. That is a political
statistic.'' (Winston Churchill)

``You haven't told me yet,'' said Lady Nuttal, ``what it is your
fiance does for a living.''
``He's a statistician,'' replied Lamia, with an annoying sense of
being on the defensive.
Lady Nuttal was obviously taken aback. It had not occurred to
her that statisticians entered into normal social relationships.
The species, she would have surmised, was perpetuated in some
collateral manner, like mules.
``But Aunt Sara, it's a very interesting profession,'' said Lamia
``I don't doubt it,'' said her aunt, who obviously doubted it very
much. ``To express anything important in mere figures is so
plainly impossible that there must be endless scope for
well-paid advice on the how to do it. But don't you think that
life with a statistician would be rather, shall we say,
Lamia was silent. She felt reluctant to discuss the surprising
depth of emotional possibility which she had discovered below
Edward's numerical veneer.
``It's not the figures themselves,'' she said finally. ``It's what
you do with them that matters.'' (K.A.C. Manderville, The undoing
of Lamia Gurdleneck)

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People who do very unusual jobs: the man who counts the number of people at public gatherings.

You've probably seen his headlines, "Two million flock to see Pope.", "200 arrested as police find ounce of cannabis.", "Britain #3 billion in debt". You probably wondered who was responsible for producing such well rounded-up figures. What you didn't know was that it was all the work of one man, Rounder-Up to the media, John Wheeler. But how is he able to go on turning out such spot-on statistics? How can he be so accurate all the time?

"We can't" admits Wheeler blithely. "Frankly, after the first million we stop counting, and round it up to the next million. I don't know if you've ever counted a papal flock, but, not only do they look a bit the same, they also don't keep still, what with all the bowing and crossing themselves."

"The only way you could do it accurately is by taking an aerial photograph of the crowd and handing it to the computer to work out. But then you'd get a headline saying "1,678,163 [sic] flock to see Pope, not including 35,467 who couldn't see him", and, believe me, nobody wants that sort of headline."

The art of big figures, avers Wheeler, lies in psychology, not statistics. The public like a figure it can admire. It likes millionaires, and million-sellers, and centuries at cricket, so Wheeler's international agency gives them the figures it wants, which involves not only rounding up but rounding down.

"In the old days people used to deal with crowds on the Isle of Wight principle -- you know, they'd say that every day the population of the world increased by the number of people who could stand upright on the Isle of Wight, or the rain-forests were being decreased by an area the size of Rutland. This meant nothing. Most people had never been to the Isle of Wight for a start, and even if they had, they only had a vision of lots of Chinese standing in the grounds of the Cowes Yacht Club. And the Rutland comparison was so useless that they were driven to abolish Rutland to get rid of it.

"No, what people want is a few good millions. A hundred million, if possible. One of our inventions was street value, for instance. In the old days they used to say that police had discovered drugs in a quantity large enough to get all of Rutland stoned for a fortnight. *We* started saying that the drugs had a street value of #10 million. Absolutely meaningless, but people understand it better."

Sometimes they do get the figures spot on. "250,000 flock to see Royal two", was one of his recent headlines, and although the 250,000 was a rounded-up figure, the two was quite correct. in his palatial office he sits surrounded by relics of past headlines - a million-year-old fossil, a #500,000 Manet, a photograph of the Sultan of Brunei's #10,000,000 house - but pride of place goes to a pair of shoes framed on the wall.

"Why the shoes? Because they cost me #39.99. They serve as a reminder of mankind's other great urge, to have stupid odd figures. Strange, isn't it? They want mass demos of exactly half a million, but they also want their gramophone records to go round at thirty-three-and-a-third, forty-five and seventy-eight rpm. We have stayed in business by remembering that below a certain level people want oddity. They don't a rocket costing #299 million and 99p, and they don't want a radio costing exactly #50."

How does he explain the times when the figures clash - when, for example, the organisers of a demo claim 250,000 but the police put it nearer 100,000?

"We provide both sets of figures; the figures the organisers want, and the figures the police want. The public believe both. If we gave the true figure, about 167,890, nobody would believe it because it doesn't sound believable."

John Wheeler's name has never become well-known, as he is a shy figure, but his firm has an annual turnover of #3 million and his eye for the right figure has made him a rich man. His greatest pleasure, however, comes from the people he meets in the counting game.

"Exactly two billion, to be precise."

MILES KINGTON writing in The Observer, 3 November 1986

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From: goble#NoSpam.infonaut.com (Clark Goble)

You know how dumb the average guy is? Well, by definition, half of them are even dumber than that. -- J.R. "Bob" Dobbs

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From: larryc#NoSpam.teleport.com (Larry Caldwell)

Half the population is below median intelligence. Well over half the population is above average. This is due to the fact that there is a limit to human intelligence, but no limit to human stupidity.

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From: Kirk Lindberg (kalindberg#NoSpam.mmm.com)

Special Category: Definitions and terms
Q: What is the definition of a statistician?
A: Someone who doesn't have the personality to be an accountant.

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Did you hear about the Statistician that couldn't get laid?
He decided a simulation was good enough.

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From: rogers#NoSpam.sasuga.Hi.COM (Andrew Rogers)

"She was only the statistician's daughter, but she knew all the standard

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From: en4bmhd#NoSpam.bs47c.staffs.ac.uk (Hendrik De Vloed)

All probabilities are 50% ... either something happens, or it doesn't!

From: brc2#NoSpam.Lehigh.EDU
My doctor told me I only have a 50% chance of making it- but he said there's
only a 15% of even that.

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From: ahilditc#NoSpam.awadi.com.au & ts#NoSpam.uwasa.fi (Timo Salmi)
& Juhani Heino <juhani.heino#NoSpam.hel.fi>
A:I'll bet that 99% of people who read the question don't!

T:That's a mean thing to say.

J:Yes, it was. I guess that person is too regressed.
  As a matter of fact, I'm 75.4 % sure about that.

T:Incidentally, did you know that using non-linear regression in
  research is currently out of line.

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From: jlevine#NoSpam.rd.hydro.on.ca (Jody Levine)

80% of all statistics quoted to prove a point are made up on the spot.

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From: Helmut.Richter#NoSpam.lrz-muenchen.de (Helmut Richter)

Did you know that 87.166253% of all statistics claim a precision of results that is not justified by the method employed?

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From: bchrist#NoSpam.mercury.interpath.net (Brian Sherwood Christiansen)

According to recent surveys, 51% of the people are in the majority.

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From: The Lone Locust of The Apocalypse <petdoc#NoSpam.osuunx.ucc.okstate.edu>

A new government 10 year survey cost $3,000,000,000 revealed that 3/4 of the people in America make up 75% of the population.

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From: troyt#NoSpam.sun.com (troy trimble)

According to a recent survey, 33 of the people say they participate in surveys.

According to a recent survey, a number of people said they despise participating in surveys. Accurate figures are not yet available as several of the surveyors remain in intensive care and are not available for comment. A recent survey of their boss indicated that 100% of bosses have openings available for future surveyors.

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From: NDGP21A#NoSpam.prodigy.com (Tony Colle)

Your question reminds me of when I was in undergraduate school in a large, unnamed State University Center along the Southern Tier of New York State, somewhere between Syracuse and Scranton.

We took a survey about apathy on campus. Of the surveys sent out, only 2% were returned and the overwhelming majority of the respondents said they didn't care if there was apathy on campus.

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From: Sunita Saini <ez017842#NoSpam.peseta.ucdavis.edu>

A stats major was completely hung over the day of his final exam. It was a True/False test, so he decided to flip a coin for the answers. The stats professor watched the student the entire two hours as he was flipping the coin...writing the answer...flipping the coin...writing the answer. At the end of the two hours, everyone else had left the final except for the one student. The professor walks up to his desk and interrupts the student, saying:

"Listen, I have seen that you did not study for this statistics test, you didn't even open the exam. If you are just flipping a coin for your answer, what is taking you so long?

The student replies bitterly (as he is still flipping the coin):

" Shhh! I am checking my answers!"

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From: quee0076#NoSpam.sable.ox.ac.uk (Marky Mark)

There was this statistics student who, when driving his car, would always accelerate hard before coming to any junction, whizz straight over it , then slow down again once he'd got over it. One day, he took a passenger, who was understandably unnerved by his driving style, and asked him why he went so fast over junctions. The statistics student replied, "Well, statistically speaking, you are far more likely to have an accident at a junction, so I just make sure that I spend less time there."

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From: pclarke#NoSpam.waite.adelaide.edu.au (Philip Clarke)

A famous statistician would never travel by airplane, because he had studied air travel and estimated the probability of there being a bomb on any given flight was 1 in a million, and he was not prepared to accept these odds.

One day a colleague met him at a conference far from home. "How did you get here, by train?"

"No, I flew"

"What about your the possibiltiy of a bomb?"

Well, I began thinking that if the odds of one bomb are 1:million, then the odds of TWO bombs are (1/1,000,000) x (1/1,000,000). This is a very, very small probability, which I can accept. So, now I bring my own bomb along!"

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From: pclarke#NoSpam.waite.adelaide.edu.au (Philip Clarke)

The average Australian has one testical and one breast and less that two legs!

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From: adam#NoSpam.crl.com (Stuart A. Bronstein)

The average statistician is just plain mean.

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From: mikehf#NoSpam.ix.netcom.com (Mike Forslof)

I always find that statistics are hard to swallow and impossible to digest. The only one I can ever remember is that if all the people who go to sleep in church were laid end to end they would be a lot more comfortable.

- Mrs. Robert A. Taft</p>

From the _Concise Columbia Dictionary of Quotations_. No source for Mrs. Taft's statement is given, so I assume it was made in conversation</p>

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From: mcrsoft#NoSpam.aimnet.com (Barry Fetter)

IDEA SAVING BANK http://www.hooked.net/users/mcrsoft/mcr_home.html
December 11
September 20
Statistics are like alienists - they will testify for either side.
 - Fiorello H. La Guardia (1882-1947)

Fate laughs at probabilities.
 - Bulwer-Lytton (1803-1873) Eugene Aram

Torture the data long enough and they will confess to anything.

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From: Madeleine and/or Frederick <burkds#NoSpam.intersource.com>
Just try explaining the value of statistical summaries to the widow of the
man who drowned crossing a stream with an average depth of four feet.

October 1
Februari 26
Figures won't lie, but liars can figure.
Fletcher Knebel (1911-1993)
American author and journalist

October 15
August 25
There are no facts, only interpretations.
Frederick Nietzsche (1844-1900)
German philosopher

How far would have Moses gone if he had taken a poll in Egypt?
Harry S.  Truman (1884-1972)
33rd president of the United States.

December 1
October 27
There are two kinds of statistics, the kind you look up, and the kind you make
Rex Stout (1886-1975)
American mystery writer.

December 9
March 5
A single death is a tragedy, a million deaths is a statistic.
Joseph Stalin (1879-1953)

July 27
The weaker the data available upon which to base one's conclusion, the
greater the precision which should be quoted in order to give the data
Norman R. Augustine (1935-      )
American author and chairman, Martin Marietta Corporation.

May 9
A theory has only the alternative of being wrong.  A model has a third
possibility - it might be right but irrelevant.
Manfred Eigen (1927-      )
German Chemist

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From: steve#NoSpam.minerva.u-net.com (Steve B)
October 15
Februari 2
I am one of the unpraised, unrewarded millions without whom statistics
would be a bankrupt science. It is we who are born, who marry, who
die, in constant ratio.
 - Logan Pearsall Smith

Statistics are like a bikini - what they reveal is suggestive, but
what they conceal is vital.
 - Aaron Levenstein

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August 22
Statistics in the hands of an engineer are like a lamppost
to a drunk--they're used more for support than illumination.
         -- Bill Sangster, Dean of Engineering, Georgia Tech

From: kriman#NoSpam.acsu.buffalo.edu (Alfred M. Kriman)

        With all due respect to the dean, the ``more for support than
illumination'' lampost line was used by the poet, classicist, and
hilarious curmudgeon A. E. Housman.  He used it in the introduction
to the first volume of his critical edition of Manilius, published
around 1910 +/- 10.  (He used the metaphor to characterize the work of
earlier editors.)

From: Peter Stewart Lively (pslively#NoSpam.mit.edu)

"He uses statistics as a drunken man uses lamp-posts' for support rather
than illumination."
        -Andrew Lang (1844-1912)

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From: Lucas Aranha <lcosta#NoSpam.ime.usp.br>
The statistics on sanity are that one out of every four Americans is
suffering from some form of mental illness.  Think of your three best
friends.  If they're okay, then it's you.
        Rita Mae Brown

December 30
April 21
Statistics show that we lose more fools on this day than on all other
days of the year put together.  This proves, by the numbers left in
stock, that one Fourth of July per year is now inadequate, the
country has grown so.
        Mark Twain (1835-1910)

Facts are stubborn, but statistics are more pliable.
        Mark Twain (1835-1910)

March 15
Februari 14
Statistics show that of those who contract the habit of eating, very few
        Wallace Irwin (1875-1959)

June 21
June 21
The government [is] extremely fond of amassing great quantities of
statistics.  These are raised to the nth degree, the cube roots are
extracted, and the results are arranged into elaborate and impressive
displays.  What must be kept ever in mind, however, is that in every
case, the figures are first put down by a village watchman, and he puts
down anything he damn well pleases.
        Sir Josiah Stamp

Like other occult techniques of divination, the statistical method has
a private jargon deliberately contrived to obscure its methods from
        G. O. Ashley

UNKNOWN Sources ::

-- Numbers are like people; torture them enough and they'll tell you

-- 50% of the citizens of this country have a below average
   understanding of statistics.

-- Statistical Analysis: Mysterious, sometimes bizarre, manipulations
   performed upon the collected data of an experiment in order to
   obscure the fact that the results have no generalizable meaning for
   humanity. Commonly, computers are used, lending an additional aura
   of unreality to the proceedings.

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From: Jan-Eric Nystrom <animato#NoSpam.sci.fi>
Did you hear about the politician who promised that, if he was elected,
he'd make certain that _everybody_ would get an above average income?
(And nobody laughed...)

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From: kovarik#NoSpam.mcmail.cis.McMaster.CA (Zdislav V. Kovarik)

A researcher tried jalapenos on a stomach ulcer patient, and the ulcer went away. The researcher published an article "Jalapenos Cure Stomach Ulcers." The next patient subjected to the same treatment died. The researcher published a follow-up article "More Detailed Study Reveals That Jalapenos Cure 50% Of Stomach Ulcers".

From: "S.Grogan" <sgrogan#NoSpam.ms60.url.com.tw>

Recent testing has confirmed that, in the long term, complainants of stomach ulcers can totally eliminate their symptoms by the ingestion of jalapeno chilies.

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From: kovarik#NoSpam.mcmail.cis.McMaster.CA (Zdislav V. Kovarik)

At a conference, I asked a professor who chaired a statistics session about the upcoming topic. He told me that he was actually not a statistician, he just happened to chair the session. "So at least you're unbiased," I unsuspectingly remarked.

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From: adh#NoSpam.cx.dnv.no (Arne D Halvorsen)

Actual fact: A Norwegian professor of statistics bears the name of Just Gjessing. Very close to being very fitting.....

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March 14

A shoeseller meets a mathematician and complains that he does not know what size shoes to buy. "No problem," says the mathematician, "there is a simple equation for that," and he shows him the Gaussian normal distribution. The shoeseller stares some time at het equation and asks, "What is that symbol?" "That is the Greek letter pi." "What is pi?" "That is the ratio between the circumference and the diameter of a circle." Upon this the shoeseller cries out: "What does a circle have to do with shoes?!"

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From: "Ken Stevenson" <kenstevo#NoSpam.zip.com.au>

A student's lament

If I had only one day left to live, I would live it in my statistics class: it would seem so much longer.

Allegedly (urban myth?) found scrawled in the inside cover of a statistics textbook.

Quoted in Sanders, DH; Murph, AF; Eng, RJ Statistics - A Fresh Approach, McGraw Hill, New York,1980, p xv

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From: bruce.whiteNOSPAM#NoSpam.usa.net (Bruce White)

The rest of these are jokes I wrote and delivered to a group of
statisticians.  I don't ask for cash--credit is fine.  ;-)
(Caveat--frequently, my aim in telling a joke is not laughter, but groans.)

What do you call a statistician on drugs?
A high flyer.
Special Category: How many scientists does it take to screw in a lightbulb
How many statisticians does it take to change a lightbulb?
1-3, alpha = .05
There is no truth to the allegation that statisticians are
mean.  They are just your standard normal deviates.
Did you hear about the statistician who invented a device to
measure the weight of trees?
It's referred to as the log scale.
Did you hear about the statistician who took the Dale Carnegie course?
He improved his confidence from .95 to .99.
Why don't statisticians like to model new clothes?
Lack of fit.
Did you hear about the statistician who was thrown in jail?
He now has zero degrees of freedom.
Statisticians must stay away from children's toys because they regress so
The only time a pie chart is appropriate is at a baker's convention.
Never show a bar chart at an AA meeting.
The last few available graves in a cemetary are called residual plots.
Special Category: Old scientists never die...
Old statisticians never die, they just undergo a transformation.
How do you tell one bathroom full of statisticians from another?
Check the p-value.
Did you hear about the statistician who made a career change and became an
surgeon specializing in ob/gyn?
His specialty was histerectograms.
The most important statistic for car manufacturers is autocorrelation.
Some statisticians don't drink because they are t-test totalers.
Others drink the hard stuff as evidenced by the proliferation of
box-and-whiskey plots.
Underwater ship builders are concerned with sub-optimization.
The Lipton Company is big on statistics--especially t-tests.
A husband and wife, both statisticians, had the misfortune of passing away
within a day of one another.  They had always planned to be buried side by
side.  Unfortunately, the funeral home got them mixed up with another
husband and wife with similar wishes.
This became known as the first case of split-plot confounding.

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From: "Allen Ng" <allen-terri-ng#NoSpam.att.net>
Studies have shown that the leading cause of death is life."

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From: Douglas Zare <zare#NoSpam.math.columbia.edu>

It is often cited that there are half as many divorces as marriages in the US, so one concludes that average marriages have a 50% chance of ending by divorce. While I was a graduate student, among my peers there were twice as many divorces as marriages, leading us to conclude that average marriages would end twice...

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June 7
From: "Larry Bavly" <bavly#NoSpam.rci.rutgers.edu>
Q: How do you statistically test for differences among professional women
tennis players?
A: Perform an analysis of cornered covariance, known as an ANACORNCOVA
(refers to women's tennis player Anna Kournikova)

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From: "Margaret Bright" <bright#NoSpam.gil.com.au>

A statisticians Obituary.

"We regret to announce the death of Mr. William Smith, well known statistician, who was found drowned in a lake of an average depth of 7.4 metres"

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Red Sox outfielder Rickey Henderson, commenting on Ken Caminiti's claim in last week's Sports Illustrated that 50% of major leaguers use steroids: "Well, I'm not one of them, so that's 49 percent right there."

[obtained from June 10, 2002 issue of Sports Illustrated]

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Special Category: Ernest Rutherford
August 30
October 19
From: Jesper Skovhus Thomsen <jesper#NoSpam.jst1.anat.au.dk>
"If your experiment needs statistics, you ought to have done a better
                -- Ernest Rutherford (1871-1937)
                   [In N. T. J. Bailey: the Mathematical Approach to
                    Biology and Medicine]

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From: Buffalo Chilkat <mammal#NoSpam.watering.hole>
                               median income

The Statistics professor's failing students found it difficult to live
within his means. 

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Special Category: Why the chicken crossed the road according to scientists
From: DGalster#NoSpam.aol.com

Why did the statistician cross the interstate?
To get data from the other side of the median.
(Original as far as I know, Dr. Dwight Galster, South Dakota State University) 

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From: "alohacyberian" <alohacyberian#NoSpam.att.net>
The larger the sample size (n) the more confident you can be that your
sample mean is a good representation of the population mean. In other
words, the "n" justifies the means.
 ~ Ancient Kung Foole Proverb

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From: The Sanity Inspector <synapsid#NoSpam.THETRASHhotmail.com>

Don't become a novelist; be a statistician, much more scope for the
	-- cartoon in Mel Calman, _How to Lie with Statistics_

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Statistics is like a man, with a bit of manipulation you can get out of it
what you want.
-- Ph. thesis Yvette Konijnenberg (source: Illuster, translated from Dutch)

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Special Category: How many scientists does it take to screw in a lightbulb
From: Stuart Howell <thestu63#NoSpam.sbcglobal.net>
Q. How many statisticians does it take to change a light bulb?
A. That depends. It is really a matter of power.
P.S. Statisticians know all of the standard deviations.

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"The Bureau of Incomplete Statistics reports that one out of three."

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From: Gerry Myerson <gerry#NoSpam.maths.mq.edi.ai.i2u4email>

I think I may have already mentioned in this newsgroup 
that Mandelbrot once said he was born in Poland and educated in France, 
making him German, on average.

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From: Heather Newell <heather#NoSpam.punksinscience.org>

Three statisticians were out in a boat, hunting ducks.  After waiting 
for a while they saw one.  The first statistician shot a meter high.  
The second statistician shot a meter low.  The third statistician said 
"we got it!".

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From: Larry Bavly <lbavly#NoSpam.gmail.com>

What did the z distribution say to the t distribution?
You may look like me but you're not normal.

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From:P aul Epstein (pauldepstein#NoSpam.att.net)

I love this from Jack Handey in the New Yorker:

Try this simple test: flip a coin, over and over again, calling out
"Heads"  or "Tails"  after each flip. Half the time people will ask
you to please stop.

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