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Self Experimentation is Credible Science??

"Chance favours the prepared mind" (Pasteur) but can a science of n = 1 be credible? Seth Roberts is a UCBerkeley Psychology Professor who is into generating novel scientific ideas from self-experimentation. He has written a very serious journal article (abstract) in Behaviour and Brain Science in which he alleges: Seeing faces in the morning on television decreased mood in the evening and improved mood the next day . . . Standing 8 hours per day reduced early awakening and made sleep more restorative . . . Drinking unflavored fructose water caused a large weight loss that has lasted more than 1 year.. among other things. The entire paper was published along with formal peer reviews and a response from Roberts [warning: 63page .pdf] (Peers came down about 50:50 in support/dissenting) A short review/discussion of the article and followup and a short followup Roberts paper with experimental replications (pdf) via
posted by peacay on Apr 7, 2005 - 26 comments

Mind if I fart?

Physicians and scientists around the world even go as far as to state that smoking leads to premature death. Don’t we all know someone who smokes constantly, even heavily, yet is still living — or has lived — to the mature age of eighty, ninety, and older? Furthermore, the MDs and PhDs state that smoking causes cancer and emphysema. If this diagnosis were definitive, wouldn’t these afflictions affect all smokers equally, rather than the small percentage that it actually does affect?
posted by Eekacat on Mar 23, 2005 - 78 comments

hah!

Fun with statistics. Why the PHB is a mathematical certainty.
posted by delmoi on Feb 10, 2005 - 11 comments

China's Records In the Eyes of Foreigners.

"China's Records In the Eyes of Foreigners" Pick your favorite China statistic. Is it "GDP of the Shanghai region is equivalent to that of Brazil;" is it "Foreigners invest about $1 billion in China every week;" is it "China has the largest online gaming population in the world;" is it "China produces 2.3 billion condoms each year." NB article from the "People's Daily Online", although original source claimed to be the "French L'Express weekly".
posted by Voyageman on Dec 23, 2004 - 12 comments

Computer Rage is all the rage...

At least 10 percent of high-tech gifts this holiday season may fall victim to "computer rage" - acts of uncontrolled frustration by their owners - estimates University of Maryland professor Kent Norman, a cognitive psychologist who directs the Laboratory for Automation Psychology and Decision Processes.
posted by mhaw on Dec 13, 2004 - 10 comments

Could Tucker be right?

Canada's "Brain Drain" has been a growing concern among Canadians for a number of years. There are a number of reports (PDF) indicating that an increasing number of "highly skilled graduates in fields such as health, engineering and natural and applied sciences" have been heading south for work. There are guides to assist, first hand accounts, and even profiles of people who have left.
posted by purephase on Dec 10, 2004 - 29 comments

Of course, the Red Sox did win this year...

Redskins lose. An interesting example of the logical fallacy known as Coincidental Correlation, for the last 71 years the Washington Redskins' last home game before Election Day has correlated with the success of the incumbent president. Boy, it's a good thing in sports no one believes in silly statistics...
posted by XQUZYPHYR on Oct 31, 2004 - 79 comments

"Facts are stupid things"

There are some questions that social scientists should be able to answer. Either executing people cuts the homicide rate or it does not. A fascinating look into statistics and the death penalty.
posted by LimePi on Sep 29, 2004 - 32 comments

campaign contributions

Who is funding a candidate and for how much. You can search by name or zip code to find out. Here is a link to prominent pittsburgh people that have contributed.
posted by Raichle on Sep 29, 2004 - 15 comments

Worldometers

Somebody is keeping count of nearly everything. A valuable suppliment to Harper's Index, because you know statistics don't lie. via Those Damn Dirty Apes
posted by wendell on Sep 1, 2004 - 4 comments

woe is we

Bush's latest accomplishment may not be one that he's willing to brag about. The Census Bureau is reporting that an additional 1.3 million Americans are now living in poverty. They also offer a number of pretty graphs (all in pdf).
posted by bshort on Aug 26, 2004 - 113 comments

Medal tally by world population

Alternative Olympic medal tally from the Australian Bureau of Statistics, ranking countries by population per gold medal. (Updated daily for the duration of the games.)
posted by mr.marx on Aug 24, 2004 - 59 comments

The Thin Red Line

The guys who brought you the timeline of terror alerts have been at it again. This time they made a chart comparing Bush's approval rating and the terror alerts. It's getting harder to believe this isn't s big slight of hand going on. Follow the ! icons and the thin red line.
posted by Dome-O-Rama on Aug 6, 2004 - 16 comments

Dyson On The Paranormal or Expect A Miracle

Expect a miracle? Freeman Dyson on Littlewood's Law of Miracles: "...the total number of events that happen to us is about thirty thousand per day, or about a million per month. ...The chance of a miracle is about one per million events. Therefore we should expect about one miracle to happen, on the average, every month." From his review of book debunking the paranormal (whose views he isn't entirely willing to accept). Via Marginal Revolution
posted by Jos Bleau on Jul 14, 2004 - 33 comments

X % of email is Spam

85% of all email is spam. 83% of all email is spam. Between 80 and 90% of all email is spam. 80% of all email is spam. 76% of all email is spam. Between 64 and 78% of all email is spam. 64% of all email is spam. 63% of all email is spam. 60% of all email is spam. 52% of all email in 2004 will be spam. 50% of all email is spam. By 2006 98% of all email will be spam.
posted by Mo Nickels on Jul 6, 2004 - 38 comments

What is the future of the US stock market?

Why Stock Markets Crash : Critical Events in Complex Financial Systems. Professor Didier Sornette of UCLA has some very interesting things to say about stock markets. In his book, he explains how his "theory of cooperative herding and imitation [...] has detected the existence of a clear signature of herding in the decay of the US S&P500 index since August 2000 with high statistical significance, in the form of strong log-periodic components." Although his timing has been just a bit early, the theory, the predictions to date and the pictures are all pretty uncanny. This is easily the most interesting book on the stock market I have ever read and provides interesting and believable hypotheses about things I never imagined could have rigorous explanations. For an overview, here is an interview with the author.
posted by muppetboy on May 14, 2004 - 19 comments

City-data pictures

City-Data has a lot of statistics on about every city, town and village in the US. While there is nothing new about this service, I enjoyed being able to compare cities and towns of interest. What inspired me to post it here though, are the pages of random pictures submitted to the site from all over the country. Basically, you get a diverse collage of how people see their own locals. Here's a nice example.
posted by Recockulous on Apr 25, 2004 - 9 comments

Understanding polls.

Understanding polls. For those of us who slept through statistics.
posted by skallas on Apr 23, 2004 - 10 comments

Statistics, Damn Lies or a Damn Shame?

How Rich am I? Heard a talk today from the founder of Gapminder, a non-profit company that creates Flash and shockwave pieces that are somewhere between information visualization, socially motivated art, and interactive educational pieces. Be sure to check out the Human Development Trends, and the Dollar Street (photos of real homes of real people who live on $1-2 per day, $2-5 per day, to $100 per day). See also: Understanding USA for more nice pictures of statistics.
posted by zpousman on Mar 25, 2004 - 6 comments

Bayes' Theory applied; 67% chance God exists

Odds are, God exists. So says Dr. Stephen Unwin, a risk assessor in Ohio who applied Bayes' Theory to the question and determined there's a 67% likelihood of ... you-have-to-buy-the-book-to-find-out. Ah, the Devil is in the retail -- er, I mean, the details. As a scientist and a Christian, I'm embarrassed by this junk. His book "includes a spreadsheet of the data used so that anyone can make the calculation themselves should they doubt its validity." I can hardly wait.
posted by tbc on Mar 20, 2004 - 46 comments

a corpulent reaper

American fat asses rapidly dying. The aggrandizing of the scourge.
posted by the fire you left me on Mar 10, 2004 - 44 comments

Monopoly Odds

Monopoly Stats. Now you can play the odds [via boingboing.net]
posted by srboisvert on Sep 19, 2003 - 11 comments

All the hits, all at once!

Statistical analysis killed the radio star. Eigenradio analyzes the frequency content of 20+ stations at once, and mashes it, via math I don't understand, into music that is sometimes eerily beautiful, sometimes cryptically funky, and well, sometimes sounds like an Autechre CD stuck in a blender. Who says media amalgamation is a bad thing?
posted by arto on Aug 13, 2003 - 33 comments

statistics porn

people are leaving san francisco in droves? craigslist published a graph that shows a huge increase in ads for new apartments for rent since jan. 1, 2001. (The recurring sharp dips correspond to the thanksgiving and christmas holidays.) (yes, via boingboing.)
posted by crunchland on Jul 30, 2003 - 71 comments

Government Statistics.

Government statistics.
posted by monju_bosatsu on Jul 24, 2003 - 9 comments

Everything About Everywhere

Nation Master An amazing resource that displays all sorts of comparative national statistics on practically everything, and with an option of selecting any region / list of countries you choose. It plugs itself as "The world's biggest general stat site" (which might or might not be true I don't know), and it has a wealth of data on economics, sports, population, geography and a dozen more categories. Some interesting statistics; Top 100 in Olympic medals per Capita. Top 100 Murders with firearms (per capita). Top 100 Military Expenditures as a percent of GDP . Top 100 Net migration rate .
A heaven for data freaks.
posted by talos on Jul 10, 2003 - 30 comments

Machine Traslation

Is really effective machine traslation just around the corner? Up 'til now computerized language translation has been as amusing as it been useful. Getting the gist of text composed in a different language has been about the most one can hope for. Will this company's efforts with statistical analysis be the breakthrough? Statistical analysis might be the key to stopping spam too. This is changing the way I think about my own communication.
posted by bendybendy on May 15, 2003 - 13 comments

The Hostest With The Mostest And The League Of Nations

Which Country Has The Most Beautiful Women? The best quality of life? The most divorces? The most mobile phones? The highest cost of living? Which one is the most visited? Rank the bastards! After browsing through this website, I'm sure the conclusion that we're all living in the wrong one is inescapable. The statistics and sources may be questionable, but there sure are a lot of interesting lists here! Meanwhile my own country, Portugal, has just been denounced as the the laziest in Europe and the booziest in the world. They lie! They lie! [Actually, it's a fair cop, guv. And it was nice to drag down the Brits with us.]
posted by MiguelCardoso on Apr 17, 2003 - 53 comments

bookwormariffic batman

What I Have Read well not me personally, but some guy has a bunch of stats/info on every book he has read since 1974, all 2031 of em..
posted by zeoslap on Mar 18, 2003 - 18 comments

Prayers for peace

Prayers for peace. I'm agnostic and my feelings on the current Iraq crisis are confused. However, one thing is almost certain: many innocent people will die in the following weeks (months, years), most of them relegated to statistics. The future is uncertain.
posted by poopy on Mar 17, 2003 - 24 comments

Not just a-holes, but warmongers too

Not just selfcentered, but warmongers too. SUV owners are more likely the the general populous to support the war in Iraq (60%). When small SUVs are eliminated, the figure jumps to (80%). Probably not a causal relationship, but interesting none the less.
posted by delmoi on Feb 4, 2003 - 36 comments

Front-line troops disproportionately white

Front-line troops disproportionately white, not black. While blacks are 20% of the military -- compared with 12% of the U.S. population -- they make up a far smaller percentage of troops in combat jobs on the front line. In a host of high-risk slots -- from Army commandos to Navy and Air Force fighter pilots -- blacks constitute less than 5% of the force, statistics show. Blacks, especially in the enlisted ranks, tend to be disproportionately drawn to non-combat fields such as unit administration and communications. ''If anybody should be complaining about battlefield deaths, it is poor, rural whites,'' says Charles Moskos, a military sociologist at Northwestern University in Illinois.
posted by dagny on Jan 22, 2003 - 48 comments

Euro Diffusion

Euro diffusion: "On January 2002 twelve European countries [plus San Marino, the Vatican and Monaco] have welcomed the euro as their new coin. The euro coins have a national side, which is different for every country... So there are fifteen different euro coins that can be used in every one of those 15 countries. Therefore, unlike in the past, the coins will not be collected and brought back to their home country. The coins will slowly but surely be spreaded over the 15 countries. This is the diffusion of the euro, the euro diffusion[.pdf file]." A statistician's playground, this unique historical opportunity, is leading to interesting collaborative internet projects
posted by talos on Dec 19, 2002 - 17 comments

The First Measured Century

The First Measured Century contains quite a bit of information about American society; population, work, education, religion, health, money, politics, crime and more. Everything from the median marriage age to the percentage of Americans who believe it is wrong to go to the movies on Sundays (13%).
posted by edlundart on Oct 23, 2002 - 5 comments

Hubbert's Peak: the impending oil shortage

Hubbert's Peak: the impending oil shortage Is this the REAL reason behind the push to invade Iraq? In 1956. M. King Hubbert, a respected petroleum geologist, predicted - to within a year! - the peak in US oil production: 1970. US oil production has declined every year since. Using the same statistical methods, others now predict a world peak in oil production within a decade or even as early as 2006.
posted by troutfishing on Oct 18, 2002 - 21 comments

Cooking the Books

Cooking the Books The Office of National Statistics feels that the UK population is a little too small - so they're inventing one million people to fill the gap. Why did they do a census if they were going to make it all up?
posted by tabbycat on Sep 23, 2002 - 9 comments

"Do loose numbers do more harm than good?"

"Do loose numbers do more harm than good?" That's the question asked by Norimitsu Onishi in a thought-provoking article in today's NY Times (reg req). Inflated numbers have often had an impact on policy and people's thinking, but when the truth comes out it can make a difference, for good or ill. (More inside.)
posted by languagehat on Aug 18, 2002 - 8 comments

The link between geekiness and Aspergers Syndrome (a mild form of autism) is fairly well known, if not scientifically proven. But now, a study reported in tbe BBC says that there's a wildly high incidence of childhood autism where geeks are mostly mating with other geeks...
posted by baylink on Aug 17, 2002 - 40 comments

The Football Prospectus is up and running.

The Football Prospectus is up and running. The good folks who work on the Baseball Prospectus have turned their attention to NFL. This is their inaugural effort. Their contrarian thinking and in-depth statistical analysis has (slowly) started to creep its way into MLB coverage. Can their unique take and historical perspective change football's conventional wisdom as well?
posted by herc on Aug 16, 2002 - 9 comments

What is the estimated US Population at this very moment?

What is the estimated US Population at this very moment? Find out at the official site of the US census. More fascinating information available by checking out the 2000 census homepage. As a post-script, what are your favorite sites for collecting interesting statistics?
posted by cell divide on Aug 8, 2002 - 16 comments

Odds of Death Due to Injury, United States, 1998

Odds of Death Due to Injury, United States, 1998 Your lifetime odds of dying from:
Air and space transport, 1 in 5,092
Poisoning by solids and liquids, 1 in 344
Drowning, 1 in 9,396
Firearms, 1 in 202
Jumping from high places, 1 in 7,402

posted by Blake on Jul 24, 2002 - 52 comments

Firearms exempted from Consumer Product Safety Commission. Why?

Firearms exempted from Consumer Product Safety Commission. Why? Erik Zenger lost consciousness for only a few minutes when his black powder gun misfired on a Utah County shooting range, burying a 3-inch steel spring bolt in his cheekbone. . . There is no national agency or organization either man could have consulted to find out if a rifle or handgun had been recalled. Firearms are specifically exempted from the Consumer Product Safety Commission, said agency spokesman Ken Jiles, and no other federal agency is empowered to gather information on safety hazards of weapons. Neither the National Rifle Association nor the National Sports Shooting Foundation tracks such information or has lists of gun recalls. Consumers must rely on retail stores and manufacturers to determine if weapons have malfunctioned or injured anyone.
posted by onegoodmove on Jun 10, 2002 - 43 comments

More pedestrians died in traffic accidents in the US in the year 2000 than all of the people who died in the terrorist attacks on 9/11.

More pedestrians died in traffic accidents in the US in the year 2000 than all of the people who died in the terrorist attacks on 9/11. 10 times the number of people killed in 9/11 attacks died due to motor vehicle attacks that same year. And yet some say the US government is on a course that will take away many of our civil rights in order to protect us from the boogie-monster terrorists. OF COURSE, the terrorist attacks were a horrible nightmare, and of course we want our police forces to prevent even worse attacks in the future, but before we start thinking about creating a Brave New Police State, maybe now is a good time to have a little perspective.
posted by crunchland on Jun 10, 2002 - 66 comments

Falling Coconuts Kill More People Than Shark Attacks

Falling Coconuts Kill More People Than Shark Attacks

Does anyone remember the media generated shark attack hysteria hype from last summer? It turns out that a lot more people get killed every year by falling coconuts. Ow!
posted by mark13 on May 25, 2002 - 21 comments

"Children Drink 25% of Alcohol Consumed in the U.S."

"Children Drink 25% of Alcohol Consumed in the U.S." At least according to the attention-grabbing headline of a press release recently issued by the National Center on Addiction and Substance Abuse. The only problem is that it wasn't true. The organization had miscalculated the data, and the figure was actually closer to 11%. It was also misleading, since the word "children" included 18, 19, and 20 year-olds (who presumably do most of the drinking). Aside from yet another lesson in the inherent malleability of statistics, what conclusions should we draw from this study? Should we accept that teenagers are going to drink, and teach moderation? Or is stricter enforcement of the 21 age-limit the way to go? I'm also interested in the views of those living in (more enlightened?) countries with a lower drinking age.
posted by pardonyou? on Mar 1, 2002 - 22 comments

Utah Leads Nation in Rate of Anti-Depressant Use.

Utah Leads Nation in Rate of Anti-Depressant Use. It is interesting (to me) in that the people doing the study credit a "Mother of Zion" syndrome of married Mormon women putting on the happy face regardless of how happy they truly are. My state is up at the top also. Could be all the rain I guess. . .*sigh*
posted by Danf on Feb 20, 2002 - 45 comments

Understanding USA

Understanding USA is (almost) worthy of Tufte (presentation wise), but best of all you can download the whole book in PDF format. As a non-American I ask, does this help us understand the USA or is it all just statistics? (more inside).
posted by Zootoon on Feb 16, 2002 - 33 comments

Alterslash

Alterslash takes all the hard work out of reading Slashdot. On a single page, it compiles the day's headlines, along with the top five rated comments on each, and graphs the signal % over time for each thread. Think of it as an automatic digest, showing just the best of Slashdot, each day.
posted by mathowie on Jan 25, 2002 - 15 comments

Divorce: Not So Bad For Kids?

Divorce: Not So Bad For Kids? this report, detailed by USA Today says "After studying almost 1,400 families and more than 2,500 children. — some of them for three decades — trailblazing researcher E. Mavis Hetherington. finds that about 75% to 80% of children from divorced homes are 'coping reasonably well and functioning in the normal range.' Eventually they are able to adapt to their new lives." Of course, many of us with single parents could have probably told you this a long time ago but here are numbers, controversial to the "pro-family" establishment of course.
posted by owillis on Jan 14, 2002 - 17 comments

At $92.60 a Vote, Bloomberg Shatters an Election Record.

At $92.60 a Vote, Bloomberg Shatters an Election Record. Ross Perot spent about $3.59 per vote in his 1992 presidential race. The $68,968,185 price tag was more than Forbes and Corzine spent on their 2000 campaigns. Do candidates that essentially buy their elections gross you out, or do you feel better knowing that their money didn't come from PACs?
posted by jennak on Dec 4, 2001 - 29 comments

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