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 4389012, 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? Probably....
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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)
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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." k.n.
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From Joachim Verhagen From a Dilbert cartoon: The pointyhaired 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.poutry.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, threefourths 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.unihamburg.de (Hauke Reddmann)
A mathematician and a...eh...nonmathematician 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 noncrashing 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 http://www.ilstu.edu/~gcramsey 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 horsemeat 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 FranklinHodge) (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...... 57,000,000 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.rosehulman.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 twotail 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 http://www.ilstu.edu/~gcramsey 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 pocketprotector 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 zscores. 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 deapseated 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 state.
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From: Mathematics Magazine, December 1990. Subject: Statisticians ( Excerpted from "Quotes, Damned Quotes" by John Bibby ) If there is a 5050 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 Lewis) ``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 warmly. ``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 wellpaid advice on the how to do it. But don't you think that life with a statistician would be rather, shall we say, humdrum?'' 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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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 roundedup figures. What you didn't know was that it was all the work of one man, RounderUp to the media, John Wheeler. But how is he able to go on turning out such spoton 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 millionsellers, 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 rainforests 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 roundedup figure, the two was quite correct. in his palatial office he sits surrounded by relics of past headlines  a millionyearold 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 thirtythreeandathird, fortyfive and seventyeight 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 wellknown, 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 deviations."
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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 Correction... 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 nonlinear 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.lrzmuenchen.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 (18821947) Fate laughs at probabilities.  BulwerLytton (18031873) 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. Anonymous October 1 Februari 26 Figures won't lie, but liars can figure. Fletcher Knebel (19111993) American author and journalist October 15 August 25 There are no facts, only interpretations. Frederick Nietzsche (18441900) German philosopher How far would have Moses gone if he had taken a poll in Egypt? Harry S. Truman (18841972) 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 up. Rex Stout (18861975) American mystery writer. December 9 March 5 A single death is a tragedy, a million deaths is a statistic. Joseph Stalin (18791953) 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 authenticity. 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.unet.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 drunkthey'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 lampposts' for support rather than illumination." Andrew Lang (18441912)
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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 (18351910) Facts are stubborn, but statistics are more pliable. Mark Twain (18351910) March 15 Februari 14 Statistics show that of those who contract the habit of eating, very few survive. Wallace Irwin (18751959) 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 nonpractitioners. G. O. Ashley UNKNOWN Sources ::  Numbers are like people; torture them enough and they'll tell you anything.  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: JanEric 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 followup 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>
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 cashcredit is fine. ;) (Caveatfrequently, 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? 13, 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 easily.  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 pvalue.  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 ttest totalers. Others drink the hard stuff as evidenced by the proliferation of boxandwhiskey plots.  Underwater ship builders are concerned with suboptimization.  The Lipton Company is big on statisticsespecially ttests.  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 splitplot confounding.
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From: "Allen Ng" <allenterring#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>
"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 experiment."  Ernest Rutherford (18711937) [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 imagination.  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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