Experiment

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This is an experiment to see if we can put all of Chance-News (July August) on a single page to make it easier to print it out and to make a pdf version.

A Chance News item is a discription of an article in the media that uses probability or statistical concepts.

A Chance News normally consist of:

  • The source
  • A discussion of the article
  • Discussion questions.

New Chance News items and improvements to previous items are welcome for the Chance Wiki.


A sample Chance News

Qutation:

Numbers are like people; torture them enough and they'll tell you anything.

==Forsooth(July-Åugust 2005) Frank Duckworth, editor of the Royal Statistical Society's newsletter RSS NEWS has given us permission to include items from their Forsooth column which they extract forsooth items from media sources.

Of course we would be happy to have readers add items they feel are worthy of a forsooth!

From the February 2005 RSS news we have:

Glasgow's odds (on a white Christmas)

had come in to 8-11, while Aberdeen was at 5-6, meaning snow in both cities

is considered almost certain.

BBC website
22 December 2004


From the May 2005 RSS News:

He tried his best--but in the end newborn Casey-James May missed out on a 48 million-to-one record by four minutes. His father Sean, grandfather Dered and great-grandfather Alistair were all born on the same date - March 2. But Casey-James was delivered at 12.04 am on March 3....

Metro
10 March 2005


In the US, those in the poorest households have nearly four times the risk of death of those in the richest.

Your World report
May 2004

Forsooth(JulyAugust(2002

Frank Duckworth, editor of the Royal Statistical Society's newsletter RSS NEWS has given us permission to include items from their Forsooth column which they extract forsooth items from media sources.

Of course we would be happy to have readers add items they feel are worthy of a forsooth!

From the February 2005 RSS news we have:

Glasgow's odds (on a white Christmas)

had come in to 8-11, while Aberdeen was at 5-6, meaning snow in both cities

is considered almost certain.

BBC website
22 December 2004


From the May 2005 RSS News:

He tried his best--but in the end newborn Casey-James May missed out on a 48 million-to-one record by four minutes. His father Sean, grandfather Dered and great-grandfather Alistair were all born on the same date - March 2. But Casey-James was delivered at 12.04 am on March 3....

Metro
10 March 2005


In the US, those in the poorest households have nearly four times the risk of death of those in the richest.

Your World report
May 2004

A probability problem

A Dartmouth student asked his math teacher Dana Williams if he could solve the following problem:

QUESTION: We start with n ropes and gather their 2n ends together.
Then we randomly pair the ends and make n joins. Let E(n)
be the expected number of loops. What is E(n)?

You might be interested in trying to solve this problem. You can check your answer here.

DISCUSSION QUESTIONS:

(1) There is probably a history to this problem. If you know a source for it please mention this on the discussion page above.

(2) Can you determine the distribution of the number of loops? If not estimate this by simulation and report you results on the discussion page.

Misperception of minorities and immigrants

Statistical Modeling, Causal Inference, and Social Science is a statistics Blog. It is maintained by Andrew Gelman, a statistician in the Departments of Statistics and Political Science at Columbia University.

You will find lots of interesting statistics discussion here. Andrew also gave a link to a cartoon in which Superman shows how he would estimate the number of beans in a jar. This also qualifies as a forsooth item.

In a July 1, 2005 posting Andrew continues an earlier discussion on misperception of minorities. This earlier discussion resulted from by a note from Tyler Cowen reporting that the March Harper's Index includes the statement:

-Average percentage of UK population that Britons believe to be immigrants: 21%
-Actual percentage: 8%

Harpers gives as reference the Market & Opinion Research International (MORI). We could not find this statistic on the MORI website but we found something close to it in a Readers Digest (UK) report (November 2000) of a study "Britain Today - Are We An Intolerant Nation?" that MORI did for the Readers Digest (UK) in 2000. The Digest reports:

  • A massive eight in ten (80%) of British adults believe that refugees come to this country because they regard Britain as 'a soft touch'.
  • Two thirds (66%) think that 'there are too many immigrants in Britain'.
  • Almost two thirds (63%) feel that 'too much is done to help immigrants'.
  • Nearly four in ten (37%) feel that those settling in this country 'should not maintain the culture and lifestyle they had at home'.

The Digest goes on to say:

  • Respondents grossly overestimated the financial aid asylum seekers receive, believing on average that an asylum seeker gets £113 a week to live on. In fact, a single adult seeking asylum gets £36.54 a week in vouchers to be spent at designated stores. Just £10 may be converted to cash.
  • On average the public estimates that 20 per cent of the British population are immigrants. The real figure is around 4 per cent.
  • Similarly, they believe that on average 26 per cent of the population belong to an ethnic minority. The real figure is around 7 per cent.

This last statistic is pretty close to the Harper's Index and the other responses give us some idea why they might over-estimate the percentage of immigrants.

In the earlier posting, the Harper's Index comments reminded Andrew of an article in the Washington Post by Richard Morin (October 8, 1995) in which Morin discussed the results of a Post/Keiser/Harvard survey "Four Americas: Government and Social Policy Through the Eyes of America's Multi-racial and Multi-ethnic Society"

The Keiser report includes the following data:

Keiser2.jpg

Note that, while it is true that the White population significantly underestimated the number of African Americans, Latinos, and Asians, the same is true for each of these groups.

John Sides sent Andrew the following data on the estimated, and actual percentage of foreign-born residents in each of 20 European countries from the [http:www.europeansocialsurvey.org/ the multi-nation European Social Survey ] :

ForeignBorn.jpg

We see that we have signficant overestimation of the number of foreign-born residents, but Germany almost got it right. You will find further discussion on this topic by Andrew and John on the July1, 2005 posting on Andrew's blog.

DISCUSSION QUESTION:

(1) What explanations can you think of that might explain this overestimation? Can you suggest additional research that might clarify what is going on here?

Where are recipes to be found

People have written recipes as recipe cards, recipe books, recipes worked into needlepoint, and computer recipe databases, among others. Take notes when making your favorite dish and share your recipe in the list of recipes or Wikibooks cookbook.

The composer Leonard Bernstein set four recipes to music in his set of songs, La Bonne Cuisine (1947).

External links

Template:Cookbookpar

da:Madopskrift de:Kochrezept fr:Recette ja:レシピ he:מתכון