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.]