More essential reading

A busy week, with many sending in links and ideas. Thanks everybody!


That’s art, folks. I finally figured out how to get pictures off my crappy phone, so this pic comes late. The “exhibit” is already closed.

What? You don’t see it? That “waterfall” was one of five or six of the same, all placed at the ass end of the East River this past summer. New York City naturally paid millions to an “artist” so he could put up this idiotic leaky erector set.

This sad exhibit became funny when one or two of them had to be shut off because the salt-loaded spray was killing trees in Brooklyn.

Best part was that the city did a “study” proving that the “art” would bring in over $30 million. How? Well, once people heard about the “art”, they would flock to the area hotels and restaurants to be close to it. Statistics in action!

Statistics lecture

My number one son sent a link to this lecture. Peter Donnelly: How juries are fooled by statistics.

His “HTH” and “HTT” examples are similar to the Monty Hall problem which, along with his “99% accurate disease test”, are both detailed in the runaway best seller Breaking the Law of Averages: Real-Life Probability and Statistics in Plain English.

A word of caution before viewing the video: not all statisticians dress that badly. We do, however, all make the same jokes.

Soviet jokes sadly now applicable in the USA

Oleg Atbashian:

Economic justice:

* America is capitalist and greedy — yet half of the population is subsidized.
* Half of the population is subsidized — yet they think they are victims.
* They think they are victims — yet their representatives run the government.
* Their representatives run the government — yet the poor keep getting poorer.
* The poor keep getting poorer — yet they have things that people in other countries only dream about.
* They have things that people in other countries only dream about — yet they want America to be more like those other countries.

UF teachers sues to reduce teaching load

The Big KT sent this link to a story about University of Florida employee Florence Babb, who heads the—yes, this is an actual department—Center for Women’s Studies and Gender Research.

Poor Babb teaches a full class every single semester, but the university, socked by the economy and not having enough money to pay for adjuncts to teach, wants her to squeeze in another.

However, poor Babb can’t handle it. So she ran to the union, and together they’re taking on the administration.

You might expect that I would be against poor Babb in this. But you’d be wrong. In fact, I’m writing a letter to UF to ask that Babb’s course load be reduced even more.

This is because I’ve seen her web page: “Her courses include Sex and the Global City, Feminist Ethnography, Gender and Cultural Politics in Latin America, and Sex, Love, and Globalization.”

Clearly, the less time poor Babb spends with students, the better off they will be.

Drink up, ladies

Researchers went from the observation that

all types of cancer studied in its non-drinking subjects was 5.7 per cent compared with 5.3 per cent for those subjects who had at least a drink a day, and up to 14 drinks a week

to the conclusion that there is a “very significant increase in cancer risk” for women who drink. They must have written their paper at the pub.

Thanks to Arts & Letters Daily.


  1. Joy

    Central Park had giant orange flags up all over when I was there. They were the most expensive and largest piece of installation art in the world, which makes it ok. like slalom flags, they stood out in the snow.

    “Sex in the global city”! Wonder how much they pay for her wisdom, sounds like easy money but I bet her classes are over subscribed.

    And no mention of alcohol links to breast cancer from this excellent peer reviewed source although I believe my friends were involved in this big study. However the nurse I spoke to said that only those that drink regularly are at greater risk. Also that HRT does not increase risk, which I still find impossible to believe.

  2. Hilfy

    Re: Ms Babb
    My thoughts exactly.

  3. Its interesting that many municipalities throwing $$ away on “artistic projects” the past couple of years are now running into budget problems and crying for bailout bucks.

    After watching [and enjoying] the Peter Donnelly video a teaser ad came up for a 19 minute TED talk video by Ben Dunlap on “.. talks about a passionate life”, which really interested me until I looked again and noticed it was an “l” instead of what I had first thought was a “w”.

    Are that many vacuous students at UF who would actually attend if a second session each semester were offered by Professor Rabb? That blows my mind. The women I know, including my own adult daughters, consider “classes” like hers a waste of productive time. But maybe its just me that sees an indelible “L” on her forehead.

  4. Matt

    What is wrong with Peter Donnelly’s dress sense? Is there a dress code for Statiticians?

    I enjoyed his presentation – now if only we could get an erudite Statitician to explain AGW stats in the same way??? What about it Matt?

  5. Briggs


    I do look pretty in a suit.

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