Thursday, September 25, 2008

From XKCD: Nerd Sniping

My personal favorite! <-- hover the mouse over the version on this page for the special message.

Tuesday, September 23, 2008

Just for fun: The Stop Sign, Reinvented

What would it look like if a major corporation was charged with creating the stop sign? Take a look.

[Tip of the hat to Todd Henry]

Sunday, September 21, 2008

The Kaibab Journal

The Kaibab Journal - Celebrating the concepts of free markets, limited government and individual liberty.

Not to mention some really cool Grand Canyon adventures.

Who IS this suspicious character??

Photos by Dennis Foster

Friday, September 19, 2008

Now I Understand ...

Found in my email this morning. File this under Political Satire -

Now I understand...

By Roger Freedman

I'm a little confused. Let me see if I have this straight...
(hope I'm not offending anyone)

* If you grow up in Hawaii, and are raised by your grandparents, you're "exotic, different."
* If you grow up in Alaska eating mooseburgers, you're a quintessential American story.

* If your name is Barack, you're a radical, unpatriotic Muslim.
* If you name your kids Willow, Trig and Track, you're a maverick.

* If you graduate from Harvard Law School, you are unstable.
* If you attend 5 different small colleges before graduating, you're well grounded.

* If you spend 3 years as a brilliant community organizer, become the first black President of the Harvard Law Review, create a voter registration drive that registers 150,000 new voters, spend 12 years as a Constitutional Law professor, spend 8 years as a State Senator representing a district with over 750,000 people, become chairman of the state Senate's Health and Human Services committee, spend 4 years in the United States Senate representing a state of 13 million people while sponsoring 131 bills and serving on the Foreign Affairs, Environment and Public Works and Veteran's Affairs committees, you don't have any real leadership experience.
* If your total resume is: local weather girl, 4 years on the city council and 6 years as the mayor of a town with less than 7,000 people, 20 months as the governor of a state with only 650,000 people, then you're qualified to become the country's second highest ranking executive.

* If you have been married to the same woman for 19 years while raising two beautiful daughters, all within Protestant churches, you're not a real Christian.
* If you cheated on your first wife with a rich heiress, and left your disfigured wife and married the heiress the next month, you're a Christian.

* If you teach responsible, age appropriate sex education, including the proper use of birth control, you are eroding the fiber of society.
* If, while governor, you staunchly advocate abstinence only, with no other option in sex education in your state's school system, while your unwed teen daughter ends up pregnant and if you try to
make victimized women pay for their own rape kits, you're very responsible.

* If your wife is a Harvard graduate lawyer who gave up a position in a prestigious law firm to work for the betterment of her inner city community, then gave that up to raise a family, your family's
values don't represent America's.
* If you're husband is nicknamed "First Dude", with at least one DWI conviction and no college education, who didn't register to vote until age 25 and once was a member of a group that advocated the secession of Alaska from the USA, your family is extremely admirable.

OK, much clearer now.

I searched for the original source and wasn't sucessful, but according to this it originated from the Facebook group 1,000,000 Strong Against John McCain (there are a half-dozen groups with that name).

Wednesday, September 17, 2008

The Discovery Institute needs (our) Help

Over at the Opposing Views web site/blog there is a discussion "Does Intelligent Design Have Merit?". I haven't read nearly all the arguments yet, but I followed the comments up to a few days ago. What I see there is a truly legendary stand by one person (PvM of Pandas Thumb fame) who is steadfastly thrashing all comers from the ID side. He makes it look easy too.

Discussion at Pandas Thumb:

Opposing Views Web site:

If you take the time to sign in, don't forgot to vote in the related poll.

Tuesday, September 16, 2008

The Dread Tomato Addiction (Intro)

I first read The Dread Tomato Addiction, by Mark Clifton (1958), when I was 11 or 12 years old. I don't quite recall where I found it, but it was most likely an old science fiction magazine (Astounding) or anthology that was sitting around the house somewhere. My Dad always had a good supply of SciFi around and I learn to love it. This story really caught my attention though; a series of obviously true statements presented in such a way as to tell an obvious lie. This stayed with me, and when the internet came along I was able to track it down again.

More recently when seeking a name for my blog about humor in science and statistics, I got really stuck when I found the name I wanted (Standard Deviations) was already in (multiple) use. With a little help from my friends though, I was prodded to recall this story I liked so much: Statistics, SciFi, wonderful lies, and a perfect title. I intend to throw a lot of tomatoes at science and other easy targets. This should be fun!

[update: Replaced the non-functional link to "Dread Tomato Addiction" PDF with a copy hosted on my own Google site.]

Thursday, September 11, 2008

Improbable Research TV

One of my favorite web sites,, is branching out and offering occasional video episodes. I hope you enjoy them as much as I do.

Improbable Research Collection #101

Wednesday, September 3, 2008

Post Zero

Not quite a post, but maybe a way to get started: I made some lengthly comments on the use of Fisher's test over at Statistics Consulting Blog, and I might as well link to them.