Weird Statistics in the News
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# DATING FOR BAYESIANS: Here's How To Use Statistics To Improve Your Love ... - Business Insider

DATING FOR BAYESIANS: Here's How To Use Statistics To Improve Your Love ...
I am a somewhat socially awkward person. This sometimes makes first dates a daunting proposition.
Bill Bentley's insight:

For all you dating folks, regardless of your age, here is one good reason why you need to study statistics!  :-)

Sharrock's comment, January 6, 2014 11:17 AM
At last, statistics that might interest teenagers!
Sharrock's curator insight,

At last, statistics that might interest teenagers!

# Weird Statistics in the News

Interesting or unusual and useful statistical data analysis articles.
Curated by Bill Bentley
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## New Kids' Book Puts the Mind-Bogglingly Numbers of the Universe into Perspective

While it&#039;s true that we&#039;re made of star stuff, it would perhaps be more accurate to say that the universe is composed of numbers.
Bill Bentley's insight:

This fun book takes the mind boggling statistics of the universe we live in and talks to kids about them.   Good for adults too.

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## Study Reveals Muhammad Ali’s Speech Changed in the Decade Preceding Parkinson’s Diagnosis -

Study reveals strong correlations between head trauma and speech, paints roadmap for early detection in athletes.
Bill Bentley's insight:

If a statistical analysis of speech patterns can predict Parkinson's or other diseases, then having Alexa or Siri listen to us all the time with the right algorithms could help diagnose problem for millions much earlier than traditional medical tests.

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## The more time spent in the classroom, the lower your heart disease risk

A study finds increasing education by 3.6 years — similar to the length of a university undergraduate degree — could reduce the risk of heart disease by a third.
Bill Bentley's insight:

If I had read this article before going back to grad school maybe I would have gotten 2 more degrees!   I'll get another one in 10 years.  Maybe by then they will have identified whether it's a spurious correlation or a cause and effect.

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## The Sneaky Way Online Reviews Fool Even the Smartest Shoppers

A new study reveals that online reviews are not good indicators of how good a product is, and can often mislead people.
Bill Bentley's insight:

This study suggests that people are more likely to buy a bad product with lots of reviews than a good product with few reviews.

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## The mathematics of golf

(Phys.org)—The official Rules of Golf, which are continually being revised and updated as new equipment emerges, have close ties to mathematics. In many cases, math is used to place limitations on golf equipment, such a
Bill Bentley's insight:

It turns out that the golf gurus are routinely conducting designed experiments and using statistics to predict how far golf balls will travel.   They only allow combinations of clubs and balls that are not too good so that skill, and not technology, determine the best golfer.   I knew it!  They have conspired to make me a lousy golfer!  It's not my fault!

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## A Statistical Approach to Cold Emails: Why it’s a Must in Your Sales Toolbox

Throughout my childhood, I grew up with a familiar and constant mantra ingrained in my daily thoughts: always be prepared. This has manifested itself in various ways throughout my life, including my…
Bill Bentley's insight:

Learn from the masters.  A single word in your email subject can make a big difference

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## Darpa Wants to Build a BS Detector for Science

The Pentagon's blue-sky division asks for help in figuring out what research to believe.
Bill Bentley's insight:

Darpa already has the political part of this detector working.  They simply observe if the politicians lips are moving.

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## Anthropologist studies why professors don't adopt innovative teaching methods

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

Neuroscientists have discovered that reading a novel can improve brain connectivity and function on a variety of levels.
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## Why You Should Never Buy Shark Teeth

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.

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

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

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 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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## 15 Data Visualizations That Explain Trump, the White Oscars and Other Crazy Current Events

A curated list of captivating interactive data visualizations that help put current news events into perspective.
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## Are Catastrophic Disasters Striking More Often?

Saturated media coverage of hurricanes like Harvey and Irma can make it seem like disasters happen all the time. Is the frequency of billion-dollar disasters really rising?
Bill Bentley's insight:

Good practical analysis of disaster statistics properly normalized to show an unbiased picture.   Are disasters more frequent now?   Read the article, all of it, to find out.  It's easy reading.  Author did a good job.

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## People who are smart are MORE likely to cheat in exams

For decades it has been assumed lower-level students were more likely to do it but researchers from the University of Guelph in Ontario found the opposite was true (stock image).
Bill Bentley's insight:

We have been suspecting the wrong people all along!  Perhaps the smarter ones cheat because they have more to lose with a low grade?

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## Do humans have mating seasons? This heat map reveals the surprising link between birthdays and seasons

A heat map revealing the link between peak birth months, seasons and latitude. The farther south you go, the later in the year peak birth months occur.
Bill Bentley's insight:

This is a useful bit of statistics for a hospital planning long term staffing of their maternity ward!

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## A New Theory Suggests We May be the Only Technologically Advanced Civilization Still Around

Our civilization's relatively short technological lifespan may be shared throughout the universe — which doesn't bode well for finding advanced aliens.
Bill Bentley's insight:

This theory suggests that any civilization that becomes advanced enough to destroy it's planet, will do so and we are right at that point.   It believes that all the statistically likely civilizations that have become as advanced as we are have already extinguished themselves or their planets or both and there are no "super-civilizations" around.   Scary thought.

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## How juries are fooled by statistics

Oxford mathematician Peter Donnelly reveals the common mistakes humans make in interpreting statistics -- and the devastating impact these errors can have on the outcome of criminal trials.
Bill Bentley's insight:

This is an excellent TED talk about statistics and easy to understand.  The 'weird' part is to listen carefully about why a certain statistician in the UK may face criminal charges for making a statistics mistake.

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## Scientists Upload a Galloping Horse GIF Into Bacteria With Crispr

DNA could be a robust storage system for data, but never before have researchers stored information in a live organism.
Bill Bentley's insight:

Let me get this straight...I store my music collection in some e-coli bacteria and everyone it infects now has all of my music?  I need to wrap my head around this some more....

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

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?

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

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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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

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

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.
Bill Bentley's insight:

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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