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  • Statistical thinking will one day be as necessary for efficient citizenship as the ability to read and write! Quote from the presidential address in 1951 of mathematical statistician Samuel S. Wilks (1906 - 1964) to the American Statistical Association found in "JASA",Vol. 46, No. 253., pp. 1-18. Wilks was paraphrasing Herbert G. Wells (1866 - 1946) from his book "Mankind in the Making". The full H.G. Wells quote reads: "The great body of physical science, a great deal of the essential fact of financial science, and endless social and political problems are only accessible and only thinkable to those who have had a sound training in mathematical analysis, and the time may not be very remote when it will be understood that for complete initiation as an efficient citizen of one of the new great complex worldwide States that are now developing, it is as necessary to be able to compute, to think in averages and maxima and minima, as it is now to be able to read and write."
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  • While nothing is more uncertain than the duration of a single life, nothing is more certain than the average duration of a thousand lives. A quote of American actuary and abolitionist Elizur Wright (1804 - 1885).
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  • One sees in this essay that the theory of probabilities is basically only common sense reduced to a calculus. This quote of French astronomer and mathematician Pierre-Simon Laplace (1749 - 1827) may be found in "A philosophical Essay on Probabilities" (Springer, 1995) p. 124 English translation of "Essai Philosophique sur les Probabilites (1814)"
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  • A statistician's wife had twins. He was delighted. He rang the minister who was also delighted. "Bring them to church on Sunday and we'll baptize them," said the minister. "No," replied the statistician. "Baptize one. We'll keep the other as a control." This is joke number 30 on Gary Ramseyer's First Internet Gallery of Statistics Jokes at http://www.ilstu.edu/~gcramsey/Gallery.html
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  • USA Today has come out with a new survey - apparently three out of four people make up 75 percent of the population. Quote from comedian and late night talk show host David Letterman (1947 - ).
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  • I feel like a fugitive from the law of averages. A quote of soldier and U.S. cartoonist William H. Mauldin (1921 - 2003) from a cartoon caption in the first published collection of his work, "Up Front" (H. Holt and Co., 1945)
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  • Luck is probability taken personally. It is the excitement of bad math. A quote of comedian and illusionist Penn F. Jillette (1955 - )
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  • A knowledge of statistics is like a knowledge of foreign languages or of algebra; it may prove of use at any time under any circumstances. Quote from "Elements of Statistics" by English statistician, economist and early proponent of using statistics in the social sciences, Sir Arthur Lyon Bowley (1869 - 1957).
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  • Life is a school of probability. A quote attributed to English journalist and longtime editor of "The Economist" newspaper, Walter Bagehot (1826 - 1877). The quote is found in "The World of Mathematics", J.R. Newman (ed.); Simon and Schuster, 1956 p. 1360.
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  • Statistics play an important role in genetics. For instance, statistics prove that the number of offspring you will have is an inherited trait. If your parents didn't have any kids, odds are you won't either. Joke #137 of Gary Ramseyer's "First Internet Gallery of Statistics Jokes" contributed by Hugh W. Graham of Abbott Labs.
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