Weird Statistics in the News
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Four Common Statistical Misconceptions You Should Avoid

Four Common Statistical Misconceptions You Should Avoid | Weird Statistics in the News | Scoop.it
Statistics have become a fixture of modern society. We read them in news stories and they're used to determine policies that will affect every aspect of our lives. Unfortunately, many people wildly misinterpret them in fundamental ways.
Bill Bentley's insight:

Several good, basic things to know about using simple statistics.  A quote from the article that I like:  "Separated from reality, statistics are of limited value." Bill


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Will Morony's curator insight, July 27, 2013 8:43 PM

Great discussion starters.

 

Sharrock's curator insight, January 6, 2014 12:02 PM

excerpt: "Statistics are heavily math-based, but they're used to analyze real-world scenarios and situations. Separated from reality, statistics are of limited value. Reliance on numbers as an unbiased representation of reality is comforting, but without tying it to real-life people and situations, the information borders on worthless."

Sharrock's curator insight, January 6, 2014 12:03 PM

excerpt: "Statistics are heavily math-based, but they're used to analyze real-world scenarios and situations. Separated from reality, statistics are of limited value. Reliance on numbers as an unbiased representation of reality is comforting, but without tying it to real-life people and situations, the information borders on worthless."

Weird Statistics in the News
Interesting or unusual and useful statistical data analysis articles.
Curated by Bill Bentley
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Anthropologist studies why professors don't adopt innovative teaching methods

Anthropologist studies why professors don't adopt innovative teaching methods | Weird Statistics in the News | Scoop.it
Anthropologist offers explanation for why faculty members hesitate to adopt innovative teaching methods.
Bill Bentley's insight:

I once made a 3D virtual movie with hip hop singing to describe the Pythagorean theorem.   I tried to find a teacher who would use it in one class and not in another identical class to see if it had an effect.  I could find nobody to consider it.   This article explains why.  What a shame.   I've moved on.   Link to the video here: Pythagorean Theorem. 

 

 

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Reading Fiction Improves Brain Connectivity and Function

Reading Fiction Improves Brain Connectivity and Function | Weird Statistics in the News | Scoop.it
Neuroscientists have discovered that reading a novel can improve brain connectivity and function on a variety of levels.
Bill Bentley's insight:

This quotes a disturbing statistic that 42% of all college graduates will never read another book after graduating.   That is sad but hopefully this article will make you feel less guilty about reading fiction instead of concentrating on news, be it real or fake.

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Why You Should Never Buy Shark Teeth

Why You Should Never Buy Shark Teeth | Weird Statistics in the News | Scoop.it
After witnessing the horrors in ''Shark Week'' you would think people would stay as far away from shark teeth as they could. It appears that’s not the case. Shark teeth and jaws can be found in tourist shops in many seaside areas throughout the world. And the most unbelievable thing, people actually buy them.
Bill Bentley's insight:

Be a discerning reader.  Fight fake news by insisting on verifiable sources!  This article claims we are more likely to be killed by a hot dog than a shark.   While I've heard of sharks killing people I've never heard of hot dogs doing so.  Maybe people choke on them while reading what is in them.   My own experience is not meaningful here, it's too small a sample size.  While the article is believable, I'm suspicious of any such claim that does not cite their information source.  

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reedlibration's comment, June 22, 1:14 AM
Awesome
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Breakfast, Brains, and Entropy

Breakfast, Brains, and Entropy | Weird Statistics in the News | Scoop.it
What Waffle House hash browns can teach us about the origins of human consciousness.
Bill Bentley's insight:

Describing the probabilistic nature of human brain activity as similar to drunken after-partiers ordering random combinations off the Waffle House hash brown menu seems odd at first, until you read the entire article.  Then it makes perfect sense, unless you've never been to Waffle House, then it makes no sense at all.

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Tech Leaders Say You Could Be Storing Data in Your DNA in the Next 10 Years

Tech Leaders Say You Could Be Storing Data in Your DNA in the Next 10 Years | Weird Statistics in the News | Scoop.it
DNA data storage could be our most viable solution to the ever increasing demand from a population that is growing in size and in technological engagement.
Bill Bentley's insight:

Oh great.  Now we will have to worry about our backup drive getting cancer.

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Storytelling Is The Number One Skill You Have To Improve

Storytelling Is The Number One Skill You Have To Improve | Weird Statistics in the News | Scoop.it
Storytelling is the basis for almost everything in our society, and the way we interact, build, communicate, live and dream all derives from it
Bill Bentley's insight:

The use of statistics in a story make it more interesting.   This is another use of statistics which is unexpected and good - or bad depending on what you are trying to do with your story.

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Finding Traces of Memory Processing During Sleep

Finding Traces of Memory Processing During Sleep | Weird Statistics in the News | Scoop.it
Neuroscience News has recent neuroscience research articles, brain research news, neurology studies and neuroscience resources for neuroscientists, students, and science fans and is always free to join. Our neuroscience social network has science groups, discussion forums, free books, resources, science videos and more.
Bill Bentley's insight:

Statistical evidence  using support vector machines (not an actual machine) that our brains 'study' while we sleep what we learned the previous day.

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Randomness peaks when you're 25

Randomness peaks when you're 25 | Weird Statistics in the News | Scoop.it
Washington D.C. [USA], Apr 16 (ANI): 25 is the "golden age," when people's ability to make random choices or mimic a random process, such as coming up with hypothetical results for a series of coin flips, peaks, according to a recent s Related News , aninews
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10 Cognitive Biases That Affect Your Everyday Decisions | Towergate Insurance

10 Cognitive Biases That Affect Your Everyday Decisions | Towergate Insurance | Weird Statistics in the News | Scoop.it
Are cognitive biases causing you to make bad decisions? Discover 10 of the most common and how you can avoid them.
Bill Bentley's insight:

Interesting article.  See how many of these biases you are prone to have.

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Paradoxes of probability and other statistical strangeness

Paradoxes of probability and other statistical strangeness | Weird Statistics in the News | Scoop.it
Sometimes statistics and probability can produce unexpected or counter-intuitive results. If we're hoping to use numbers to make good decisions, we should be wary of the traps.
Bill Bentley's insight:

This is a good, clear article that explains several statistical paradoxes.  Even if you are not into statistics, this will help you understand numbers that you see and maybe be more skeptical of claims by those who have something to sell.  

 

One odd statistic which the article does not address is the maximum number of students who can score 'above average' out of 100 on an exam.   The answer is 99.   Garrison Keillor may not be that far off when he says that all the men are good looking and all the kids are above average in his mythical town of Lake Wobegon.  Arguments welcomed.  :)

 

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Why a PLANE is one of the best places to fall ill

Why a PLANE is one of the best places to fall ill | Weird Statistics in the News | Scoop.it
There’s a 92 per cent chance of a trained physician being on board – or on 11 out of 12 flights - according to research by Gatwick Airport.
Bill Bentley's insight:

I always thought a plane was one of the worst places to get sick.  This is a big surprise.   I doubt the airline has chicken soup however, should that be prescribed.

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13 Things More Likely To Kill You Than A 'Refugee Terrorist'

13 Things More Likely To Kill You Than A 'Refugee Terrorist' | Weird Statistics in the News | Scoop.it
Neon Nettle - 13 Things More Likely To Kill You Than A 'Refugee Terrorist' - More likely to be killed by a cow according to study
Bill Bentley's insight:

I often complain when I see risk statistics in a vacuum.  This is a good clear article that compares the odds of dying from 10 things, one of which is a refugee terrorist.   Hint, maybe we should be banning refugee cows!

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Math Jokes to Get Every Nerd Through Pi Day | Reader's Digest

Math Jokes to Get Every Nerd Through Pi Day | Reader's Digest | Weird Statistics in the News | Scoop.it
Celebrate March 14 — aka Pi Day — with these corny math jokes, puns, and one-liners. Don't worry: Unlike pi, it won't go on forever.
Bill Bentley's insight:

You need to know at lease one of these in case you are at a party with math wizards.   They might be impressed....but I doubt it.

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Chocolate milk is too confusing for nearly half of American adults, survey finds

Chocolate milk is too confusing for nearly half of American adults, survey finds | Weird Statistics in the News | Scoop.it
Get ready for a mind-blowing statistic.
Bill Bentley's insight:

So 7% of Americans think that chocolate milk comes from brown cows and almost 50% don't know what it comes from?  From this population we choose our elected leaders.  Maybe we need an aptitude test to qualify for running for elected office?

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reedlibration's comment, June 22, 1:14 AM
Great
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Europe’s terror threat is real. But its cities are much safer than you think

Europe’s terror threat is real. But its cities are much safer than you think | Weird Statistics in the News | Scoop.it
While the threat of terrorism in Europe is genuine, it is dramatically lower than just about anywhere else in the world.
Bill Bentley's insight:

Here is an interesting perspective.  A European citizen today is 6,500 times more likely to commit suicide than to be killed by a terrorist.  And other risks of death are MUCH higher than suicide.

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Canadian man mows lawn with tornado behind him

Canadian man mows lawn with tornado behind him | Weird Statistics in the News | Scoop.it
A photograph of a Canadian man mowing a lawn with a tornado swirling behind him has caused a bit of a storm on social media.
Bill Bentley's insight:

No point in abandoning your to-do list under this circumstance.  I've always admired Canadians for their weather tolerance.

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China's former statistics chief sentenced to life in prison - state media

China's former statistics chief sentenced to life in prison - state media | Weird Statistics in the News | Scoop.it
The former head of China's statistics bureau was sentenced to life in prison over corruption charges, China's state media said on Wednesday.
Bill Bentley's insight:

Life in prison is pretty harsh for misrepresenting a p-statistic   I thought I was in a pretty tame field!!

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Infographic of the Month: Most Searched Questions in Each State

Infographic of the Month: Most Searched Questions in Each State | Weird Statistics in the News | Scoop.it
A map of the most searched questions on meaning and life in each state, as well as a detailed explanation of the methodology used to find state-by-state data.
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A map of the most frequent philosophical and religious questions that people ask Google by state.   Very interesting and the differences might qualify as 'weird'.

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Non-invasive brain stimulation can increase honest behavior

Non-invasive brain stimulation can increase honest behavior | Weird Statistics in the News | Scoop.it
New research provides more clues about the brain processes involved in honesty and cheating. "Honesty is a fundamental value in many societies," explaine
Bill Bentley's insight:

Neat statistical evidence that an electromagnet signal beamed towards us can make us more honest.   Maybe we can make all politicians honest by beaming giant 'truth' radiation towards Washington. 

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Scientists say left-handed people tend to have a slender-shaped face

Scientists say left-handed people tend to have a slender-shaped face | Weird Statistics in the News | Scoop.it
According to a new study, people with a slender jaw and a convex facial profile have more chances of being left-handed.
Bill Bentley's insight:

Causality isn't addressed in this article but I can't help wonder if I train myself to be left handed, would I lose weight?

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12 Groundbreaking Infographics That Changed the World

12 Groundbreaking Infographics That Changed the World | Weird Statistics in the News | Scoop.it
A list of revolutionary infographics that changed the course of history, from Mendeleev's Periodic Table to Rosling's Gapminder.
Bill Bentley's insight:

Data visualization is an important part of analysis.  Here are some world famous visualizations which turned boring numbers into eye catching and action driving information.   Interesting to read.

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Sherlock Holmes Has Always Been a Data Analyst. Here's Why

Sherlock Holmes Has Always Been a Data Analyst. Here's Why | Weird Statistics in the News | Scoop.it
It is no wonder that Sherlock Holmes played the role of data analyst. He derived information, evaluated and then analysed them to draw conclusions.
Bill Bentley's insight:

I'm happy to be following in the footsteps of my long time hero.

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xkcd: Mispronunciation

xkcd: Mispronunciation | Weird Statistics in the News | Scoop.it

Statistics, Spelling and Pronunciation

Bill Bentley's insight:

I'm glad I studied Statistics instead of English but sometimes I both mispronounce and misspell heteroscedasticity.

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Should Trainers Tell Dogs When Their Behavior Is Wrong?

Should Trainers Tell Dogs When Their Behavior Is Wrong? | Weird Statistics in the News | Scoop.it
Should trainers tell dogs when their behavior is wrong as well as rewarding them for correct behavior?
Bill Bentley's insight:

Experimental proof that dogs can lie.   I'd like to see an independent study confirm this before I brand my dogs as liars.

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Stochasticity

Stochasticity | Weird Statistics in the News | Scoop.it
How stochasticity -- a wonderfully smarty-pants word for randomness -- drives our lives, and the patterns we see around us.
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