In this section we provide humorous items related to statistics, including cartoons, a gallery of statistical art, jokes, poems, word puzzles, quotes, songs, and videos. For a discussion of the use of fun materials in teaching statistics see the review article by Larry Lesser and Dennis Pearl.
lyric ©2001, 2009 Lawrence Mark Lesser;
may sing to tune of "The Gambler" (Don Schlitz)
On a warm summer's evenin', on a train bound for nowhere,
I met up with a gambler -- we were both too tired to sleep.
So he told me how he planned winnin' lottery prizes
'Til, as a stats teacher, I just had to speak:
"Son, I've made a life out of readin' students' faces,
Checkin' comprehension by the way they held their eyes.
And I can see your blackboard is erased in some places--
Give me some peanuts and I'll give ya some advice.
You track those weekly draws, you say ya got a system--
You call some numbers "hot", you deem others "due";
But I insist, they each have the same chance--
If you're gonna play the game, boy, ya gotta know what's true!
CHORUS: You gotta know when you pick 'em, what's superstition,
Know what is strategy and know when there's none!
You never try to learn this at the Seven-Eleven-
Take the time right now for learnin' when the singin's done!
Now all sets of numbers are equally unlikely,
More rare than death by lightning, still there's somethin' you should know;
If you should happen to win that big jackpot,
You'll win more money if you picked it all alone!
So avoid those numbers that more folks are playin':
Like sevens and birthdays and sequences, too.
'Til this song gets famous, you'll have the advantage--
Maybe you'll thank me with a share of your loot!
video with songwriter's commentary
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Materials in this section are available for free use by statistics instructors provided that you agree to and abide by the following:
I will use the items only for educational purposes in my course materials provided free to students (lecture notes, handouts, course website, etc...)
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I will cite the source (CAUSEweb.org) and author where given. For cartoons: J.B. Landers ©. For songs: [name of author and composer] ©. Use of Xkcd cartoons should attribute xkcd.com as the source.
To inquire about royalty rates for commercial use of cartoons please contact Dennis Pearl. Commercial use of songs is not permitted without the expressed permission of the appropriate copyright holders.