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Big Headings

Frank Duckworth, editor of the Royal Statistical Society's newsletter RSS NEWS has given us permission to include items from their Forsooth column in 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....

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 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.


(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.