Skip to content

Deathfatz!

December 9, 2010

This month, I have mostly been only on the portion of the internet that concerns itself with the OMG-OBESITY-EPIDEMIC!1!!.

That’s because I’m doing a module this year called Practial and Applied Statistics, for which we are asked to practically apply statistics to everyday life. Not that you’d have guessed that from the name or anything. Next week, I’m giving an 8-minute presentation which will in no way mention the word deathfat, but will certainly use the word obesity lots. It’s worth 20% of the module, which sounds like a lot until you work out that this means it counts for about 2% of my degree.

Time permitting, I’ll turn it into a blog post after I’ve presented it, because

a) I like pointing out that “obesity” and “epidemic” are two words that don’t sit very well together, and

b) I get to talk about Kate Harding’s BMI project, and Moxie  the “morbidly obese” cat.

In the mean time, have a statistics-related video that I found on Ben Goldacre’s Bad Science blog (transcript below the cut):

 

[In an office in 1986 London, in front of a desk with chairs on both sides…]

Bernard Woolley: …he thinks it’s a vote winner.

Sir Humphrey Appleby: Ah. that’s more serious. Sit down. [they sit opposite each other]  What makes him think that?

Bernard Woolley: Well, the party have had an opinion poll done, it seems all the voters are in favour of bringing back National Service.

Sir Humphrey Appleby: Well have another opinion poll done showing all the voters are against bringing back National Service.

Bernard Woolley: But they can’t be for it and against it –

Sir Humphrey Appleby: Of course they can, Bernard. Have you ever been surveyed?

Bernard Woolley: Yes. Well, not me, actually, my house. Oh. I see what you mean.

Sir Humphrey Appleby: Bernard, you know what happens. A nice young lady comes up to you, obviously you want to create a good impression, you don’t want to look a fool, do you?

Bernard Woolley: No.

Sir Humphrey Appleby: No. So she starts asking you some questions. [Rises from the desk, walks round to sit on the desk in front of Bernard Woolley.] Mr. Woolley, are you worried about the rise in crime among teenagers?

Bernard Woolley: Yes.

Sir Humphrey Appleby: Do you think there is lack of discipline and vigorous training in our Comprehensive Schools?

Bernard Woolley: Yes.

Sir Humphrey Appleby: Do you think young people welcome some structure and leadership in their lives?

Bernard Woolley: Yes.

Sir Humphrey Appleby: Do they respond to a challenge?

Bernard Woolley: Yes.

Sir Humphrey Appleby: Might you be in favour of reintroducing National Service?

Bernard Woolley: Oh. Well, I suppose I might be.

Sir Humphrey Appleby: Yes or no?

Bernard Woolley: Yes.

Sir Humphrey Appleby: Of course, after all you’ve told her you can’t say no to that. So, they don’t mention the first five questions and they publish the last one.

Bernard Woolley: Is that really what they do?

Sir Humphrey Appleby: Well, not the reputable ones, no, but there aren’t many of those. Alternatively, the young lady can get the opposite result.

Bernard Woolley: How?

Sir Humphrey Appleby: Mr. Woolley, are you worried about the danger of war?

Bernard Woolley: Yes.

Sir Humphrey Appleby: Are you unhappy about the growth of armaments?

Bernard Woolley: Yes.

Sir Humphrey Appleby: Do you think there’s a danger in giving young people guns and teaching them how to kill?

Bernard Woolley: Yes.

Sir Humphrey Appleby: Do you think it’s wrong to force people to take arms against their will?

Bernard Woolley: Yes.

Sir Humphrey Appleby: Would you oppose the reintroduction of national service?

Bernard Woolley: Yes.
[does a double-take]

Sir Humphrey Appleby: There you are, you see, Bernard. The perfectly balanced sample.

Advertisements
No comments yet

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: