a subset of stuff George Will does not understand about science

Tuesday, 27 January 2009
  • An average alone is not sufficient to quantify a statistical distribution.
  • Two points are not, in general, sufficient to characterize a trend.
  • Fluctuation and variation in a dataset is normal and should be expected.
  • Experimentally, a single counterexample is not sufficient to invalidate a hypothesis.
  • Repeatable counterexamples, however, are.
  • Data showing temporal variation on two dramatically different timescales indicate that two different processes influence the data.
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luckiest flight itinerary ever

Thursday, 15 January 2009
  1. US Airways flight # 2640 from Austin, TX to Charlotte, NC.  Flight departs on time at 11:30 and arrives five minutes early at ~2:50.
  2. Grab a coffee and cinammon scone at a Starbucks on the way to the next gate.
  3. Sit down at the gate for US Airways flight # 1490, an Airbus A320 to LaGuardia which has been delayed half an hour to a 4:40 departure from Charlotte.  Hook up to the Internet to check e-mail.
  4. Hear fellow traveller across the aisle get a phone call and exclaim, among other things, “I don’t drink, but I need one now.”  Check the news online to see that a plane of the same model as flight # 1490, leaving from 1490’s destination and going to 1490’s origin, has executed a controlled crash landing into the Hudson River, potentially with no serious injuries.
  5. Hear that US Airways # 1490 has been delayed to a 5:30 departure for LaGuardia.  With a projected arrival of 6:53, this leaves 15 minutes to get to the next gate.
  6. US Airways # 1490 takes off precisely at 5:30 (instead of hours later, thanks to the flight crew), and arrives at LaGuardia at 6:35.
  7. Book it to the gate for US Airways # 4687 to Ithaca, boarding at 7:10 and departing at 7:40.  Arrive at the gate at 6:45.
  8. Buy a sandwich.
  9. US Airways # 4687 leaves on time at 7:40, despite the fact that there was just a frakking plane crash at the same airport only hours earlier.
  10. US Airways # 4687 arrives in Ithaca fifteen minutes early from its scheduled arrival.

ways I have seen vectors denoted in papers and books since coming to grad school

Wednesday, 7 January 2009
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