The fate of marriages

|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 […]

Purchasing the shoes

|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 […]

Reducing travel risk

|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 […]

Statistical one-liners

|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.According to recent surveys, 51% of the people are in the majority.Did you know that 87.166253% of all statistics claim a precision of results that is not justified by the method employed?80% of all […]

Misunderstood people

|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 […]

Risk of plane bombs

|A mathematician and a 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 […]

Worries while flying

|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 […]

The results of statistics

|. Ten percent of all car thieves are left-handed2. All polar bears are left-handed3. If your car is stolen, there’s a 10 percent chance it was taken by a Polar bear1. 39 percent of unemployed men wear spectacles2. 80 percent of employed men wear spectacles3. Work stuffs up your eyesight1. All dogs are animals2. All […]

Answering machine

|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 […]