Maybe no data? Maybe no problem? (statistics)

“Applied statisticians are often confronted with statistical inference problems dealing with situations in which there appear to be no data, or data of only limited usefulness.” An example of ‘Sparsity‘ – in which statisticians find themselves having to deal with datasets which are primarily populated with zeros. That’s to say, they’re ‘sparse’. In such cases, […]

Littlewood’s Law (of miracles-per-month)

Wikipedia describes Littlewood’s Law: Littlewood’s Law, or adage, states that an individual can expect to experience “miracles” at the rate of about one per month. The law was framed by Cambridge University Professor J. E. Littlewood, and published in a 1986 collection of his work, A Mathematician’s Miscellany. It seeks among other things to debunk one element of supposed supernatural phenomenology […]

Counting on: Childbirth and Orgasm

Today’s implicit statistics lesson is contained in a new study: “Childbirth climax: The revealing of obstetrical orgasm,” Thierry Postel, Sexologies, epub May 3, 2013. The author, in Blainville-sur-Mer, France, explains: “Giving birth and feeling an orgasm is a seemingly improbable link. For most women, this notion is perceived as an inconceivable myth. This study, published […]

From the mouths of babes: An existential statistic [British]

The UK’s Quarterly Labour Force Survey includes a variable called “resbby — Whether respondent is baby“. The July-September 2011 survey reports that the value of this variable is YES for 228 of the 105488 respondents. Here is the pertinent detail from that report: Here is that same detail, this time including the full graph: A year later, […]

Psychology: Everything Matters (more or less, or hardly at all)

Some psychologists find ways to find significance in lots and lots of places, says this study: “False-Positive Psychology: Undisclosed Flexibility in Data Collection and Analysis Allows Presenting Anything as Significant,” Joseph P. Simmons, Leif D. Nelson and Uri Simonsohn, Psychological Science, November 2011, vol. 22, no. 11, pp. 1359-1366. (Thanks to investigators Don Shearman and […]

Updated list of new patents for golfballs (Dec. 2012)

The number of new US golfball patents fell back to disappointingly average levels this December – down almost 28% on November’s figures. • Golf balls having at least two core layers formed from HNP compositions • Low lift golf ball • High performance golf ball having a reduced-distance • Multi-piece golf ball comprising low hardness […]