Statistics Jokes

This started as a request from (Jasaco) to sci.stat.math and sci.stat.consult for jokes in order to "roast" a statistician. It also includes some from rec.humor and rec.humor.funny and their archives and some other sources. A particularly large collection of these come from Joachim Verhagen <> who encourages copying. He also points to Gary Ramseyer's First Internet Gallery of Statistics.

Where possible sources are given. If any of these are misattributed, let me know. If you believe any of them are in breech of copyright, I will be happy to remove them.

Author: Gregory J. Zarow <>

a historian, an engineer and a statistician are duck hunting. a duck rises from the lake. the historian fires first, and shoots 10' over the duck. then the engineer shoulders the shotgun and shoots 10' under the duck. the statistician exclaimed "got him!". ***

"do you like statisticians?" "probably." ***

statisticians do it with correlated residuals. ***

if you are going to hang out with statisticians, you're going to have to get used to a lot of uninterpretable interactions. ***

Statistics are like whores, play with them long enough and they'll do anything for you.

Author: Michael A. Dritschel <>

There was once a group of Biostatisticians and a group of Epidemiologists riding together on a train to joint meetings. All the Epidemiologists had tickets, but the Biostatisticians only had one ticket between them. Inquisitive by nature, the Epidemiologists asked the Biostatisticians how they were going to get away with such a small sample of tickets when the conductor came through. The Biostatisticians said, "Easy. We have methods for dealing with that." Later, when the conductor came to punch tickets, all the Biostatisticians slipped quietly into the bathroom. When the conductor knocked on the door, the head Biostatistician slipped their one ticket under the door thoroughly fooling the layman conductor. After the joint meetings were over, the Biostatisticians and the Epidemiologists again found themselves on the same train. Always quick to catch on, the Epidemiologists had purchased one ticket between them. The Biostatisticians (always on the cutting edge) had purchased NO tickets for the trip home. Confused, the Epidemiologists asked the Biostatisticians "We understand how your methods worked when you had one ticket, but how can you possibly get away with no tickets?" "Easy," replied the Biostatisticians smugly, "we have different methods for dealing with that situation." Later, when the conductor was in the next car, all the Epidemiologists trotted off to the bathroom with their one ticket and all the Biostatisticians packed into the other bathroom. Shortly, the head Biostatistician crept over to where the Epidemiologists were hiding and knocked authoritatively on the door. As they had been instructed, the Epidemiologists slipped their one ticket under the door. The head Biostatistician took the Epidemiologists' one and only ticket and returned triumphantly to the Biostatistician group. Of course, the Epidemiologists were subsequently discovered and publicly humiliated.

MORAL OF THE STORY: Do not use statistical methods unless you understand the principles behind them.

Michael A. Dritschel email: URL:

Author: Ellen Hertz <>

A statistician is a mathematician broken down by age and sex.

Also, I do a lot of travel on my job. There was a article in the newpaper that the chances of having a passenger on a plane with a bomb was one in a thousand. That seemed too high for comfort when you fly around a lot. Then I did a quick calculation and discovered that the probability of having two of them is one in a million. So I went out and got me a bomb.

Author: Bruce White <>

A statistician is someone who loves to work with numbers but doesn't have the personality to be an accountant.

How do you save a drowning statistician? Take your foot off his head. (Oh, sorry, that should be how to save a drowning lawyer.)

The rest of these are jokes I wrote and delivered to a group of statisticians. I don't ask for cash--credit is fine. ;-) (Caveat--frequently, my aim in telling a joke is not laughter, but groans.)

What do you call a statistician on drugs? A high flyer.

How many statisticians does it take to change a lightbulb? 1-3, alpha = .05

There is no truth to the allegation that statisticians are mean. They are just your standard normal deviates.

Did you hear about the statistician who invented a device to measure the weight of trees? It's referred to as the log scale. -

Did you hear about the statistician who took the Dale Carnegie course? He improved his confidence from .95 to .99.

Why don't statisticians like to model new clothes? Lack of fit.

Did you hear about the statistician who was thrown in jail? He now has zero degrees of freedom.

Statisticians must stay away from children's toys because they regress so easily.

The only time a pie chart is appropriate is at a baker's convention.

Never show a bar chart at an AA meeting.

The last few available graves in a cemetery are called residual plots.

Old statisticians never die, they just undergo a transformation.

How do you tell one bathroom full of statisticians from another? Check the p-value.

Did you hear about the statistician who made a career change and became a surgeon specializing in ob/gyn? His specialty was histerectograms.

The most important statistic for car manufacturers is autocorrelation.

Some statisticians don't drink because they are t-test totalers. Others drink the hard stuff as evidenced by the proliferation of box-and-whiskey plots.

Underwater ship builders are concerned with sub-optimization.

The Lipton Company is big on statistics--especially t-tests.

A husband and wife, both statisticians, had the misfortune of passing away within a day of one another. They had always planned to be buried side by side. Unfortunately, the funeral home got them mixed up with another husband and wife with similar wishes. This became known as the first case of split-plot confounding.

Author: Nicholas Cugley <>

Bumper sticker: "Statisticians do it with 95% confidence!"                                                                                         

Author: Jesse Canchola <>

Can't remember where I heard this one, but, whenever I make a "numbers" mistake in my business stats course I teach, I let my students know what type of statistician I am of the three types that exist: those that can count and those that can't.

Author: Jim Box <>

How do you know you're talking to an extroverted statistician? He's looking at YOUR shoes.                                                                           

Author: Joachim Verhagen <>

This is part of my collection. More in the science jokes (Copying is encouraged.)
WWW: (ASCII format, about 600k)
FTP: (600k)

Or at NAME: Gary Ramseyer's First Internet Gallery of Statistics Jokes DESCRIPTION: Statistic jokes. He claims it is the biggest statistics jokes list on the net, but mine is bigger.
MEDIUM: WWW: +++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++

1.2 STATISTICS AND STATISTICIANS ____________________________________________________________________

From: (Alan Silverstein) Hello, this is probably 438-9012, yes, the house of the famous statistician. I'm probably not at home, or not wanting to answer the phone, most probably the latter, according to my latest calculations. Supposing that the universe doesn't end in the next 30 seconds, the odds of which I'm still trying to calculate, you can leave your name, phone number, and message, and I'll probably phone you back. So far the probability of that is about 0.645. Have a nice day.


Did you hear the one about the statistician? Probably....


It is proven that the celebration of birthdays is healthy. Statistics show that those people who celebrate the most birthdays become the oldest. -- S. den Hartog, Ph D. Thesis Universtity of Groningen.


From: Keith Sullivan (


* Ten percent of all car thieves are left-handed * All polar bears are left-handed * If your car is stolen, there's a 10 percent chance it was nicked by a Polar bear

* 39 percent of unemployed men wear spectacles * 80 percent of employed men wear spectacles * Work stuffs up your eyesight

* All dogs are animals * All cats are animals * Therefore, all dogs are cats

* A total of 4000 cans are opened around the world every second * Ten babies are conceived around the world every second * Each time you open a can, you stand a 1 in 400 chance of falling pregnant

Johan <> Infinite Joke List <>


From: |eghorn@pou| (Marty)

Clem asks Abner, "Ain't statistics wonderful?" "How so?" says Abner. "Well, according to statistics, there's 42 million alligator eggs laid every year. Of those only about half get hatched. Of those that hatch, three-fourths of them get eaten by predators in the first 36 days. And of the rest, only 5 percent get to be a year old because of one thing or another. Ain't statistics wonderful?" Abner asks, "What's so wonderful about statistics?" "Why, if it wasn't for statistics, we'd be up to our asses in baby alligators!"


From: "Jerome Schroeder" <>

In my last stats course I was amazed to hear my teacher announce that if we did not like our results, all we needed to do was change our levels of confidence. In short fib. This time to ourselves.


From: "S. A. Maas" <> Two statisticians were travelling in an airplane from LA to New York. About an hour into the flight, the pilot announced that they had lost an engine, but don't worry, there are three left. However, instead of 5 hours it would take 7 hours to get to New York. A little later, he announced that a second engine failed, and they still had two left, but it would take 10 hours to get to New York. Somewhat later, the pilot again came on the intercom and announced that a third engine had died. Never fear, he announced, because the plane could fly on a single engine. However, it would now take 18 hours to get to New York. At this point, one statistician turned to the other and said, "Gee, I hope we don't lose that last engine, or we'll be up here forever!"


Statistics means never having to say you're certain. [With apologies to Erich Segal]


In earlier times, they had no statistics, and so they had to fall back on lies. - STEPHEN LEACOCK


"The group was alarmed to find that if you are a labourer, cleaner or dock worker, you are twice as likely to die than a member of the professional classes" [The Sunday Times 31st August 1980]


From: (CJ. Bradfield)

Statistics is the art of never having to say you're wrong.

Variance is what any two staticticians are at. (Not that I particularly dislike statisticians... I hate all mathematicians!!) [sorry mum!]


From: (Gary C. Ramseyer) Gary Ramseyer's First Internet Gallery of Statistics Jokes Meaning of some statistical terms:

Homoscedasticity Homogeneous elasticity betweeen different sizes of rubber bands.

Interpolate Breeding a statistician with a clergyman to produce the much sought "honest statistician".

Standard normal deviates A comparison group of sociopaths who were formally normal people.


97.3% of all statistics are made up.


it's like the tale of the roadside merchant who was asked to explain how he could sell rabbit sandwiches so cheap. "Well" he explained, "I have to put some horse-meat in too. But I mix them 50:50. One horse, one rabbit." [DARREL HUFF, How to lie with statistics]


Are statisticians normal?


From: (Jascha Franklin-Hodge) (List of Taglines)

Smoking is a leading cause of statistics. -- Fletcher Knebel

I could prove God statistically. -- George Gallup

43% of all statistics are worthless.

"There are lies, damned lies, and statistics." -- Attributed by Mark Twain to Benjamin Disraeli; from: shap.wolf@*spamguard* (Shapard Wolf) In the original (Benjamin Disraeli, quoted in George Seldes "The Great Quotations," says: "There are lies, damned lies, and church statistics."

In the computer industry, there are three kinds of lies: Lies, damn lies, and benchmarks.

3 out of 4 Americans make up 75% of the population.

Death is 99 per cent fatal to laboratory rats.


Did you know that the great majority of people have more than the average number of legs? [It's obvious really; amongst the 57 million people in Britain there are probably 5,000 people who have only got one leg. Therefore the average number of legs is (5000 * 1) + (56,995,000 * 2) ---------------------------------- = 1.9999123...... 57,000,000 Since most people have 2 legs....... ]


A statistician is a person who draws a mathematically precise line from an unwarranted assumption to a foregone conclusion.


A statistician can have his head in an oven and his feet in ice, and he will say that on the average he feels fine.


From: Catherine Shenoy <> A fellow with his head in the sauna and his heet in the snow will feel pretty good, on average.


From: Chris Morton ( do it collection From: (Richard Pinch) Statisticians do it continuously but discretely.

Statisticians do it when it counts.

Statisticians do it with 95% confidence.

Statisticians do it with large numbers.

Statisticians do it with only a 5% chance of being rejected.

Statisticians do it with two-tail T tests.

Statisticians do it. After all, it's only normal.

Statisticians probably do it.

Statisticians do it with significance.

Probabilists do it on random walks.

Probabilists do it stochastically.

Statisticians do all the standard deviations.


From: (Gary C. Ramseyer) Gary Ramseyer's First Internet Gallery of Statistics Jokes

The Top Ten Reasons why statisticians are misunderstood

1: They speak only the Greek language.

2: They usually have long threatening names such as Bonferonni, Tchebycheff, Schatzoff, Hotelling, and Godambe. Where are the statisticians with names such as Smith, Brown, or Johnson?

3: They are fond of all snakes and typically own as a pet a large South American snake called an ANOCOVA.

4: For perverse reasons, rather than view a matrix right side up they prefer to invert it.

5: Rather than moonlighting by holding Amway parties they earn a few extra bucks by holding pocket-protector parties.

6: They are frequently seen in their back yards on clear nights gazing through powerful amateur telescopes looking for distant star constellations called ANOVA's.

7: They are 99% confident that sleep can not be induced in an introductory statistics class by lecturing on z-scores.

8: Their idea of a scenic and exotic trip is traveling three standard deviations above the mean in a normal distribution.

9: They manifest many psychological disorders because as young statisticians many of their statistical hypotheses were rejected.

10:They express a deap-seated fear that society will someday construct tests that will enable everyone to make the same score. Without variation or individual differences the field of statistics has no real function and a statistician becomes a penniless ward of the state.


From: Mathematics Magazine, December 1990. Subject: Statisticians (Excerpted from "Quotes, Damned Quotes" by John Bibby)

If there is a 50-50 chance that something can go wrong, then 9 times out of ten it will. (Paul Harvey News, 1979)

``Give us a copper Guv'' said the beggar to the Treasury statistician, when he waylaid him in Parliament square. ``I haven't eaten for three days.'' ``Ah,'' said the statistician, ``and how does that compare with the same period last year?'' (Russell Lewis)

``I gather, young man, that you wish to be a Member of Parliament. The first lesson that you must learn is, when I call for statistics about the rate of infant mortality, what I want is proof that fewer babies died when I was Prime Minister than when anyone else was Prime Minister. That is a political statistic.'' (Winston Churchill)

``You haven't told me yet,'' said Lady Nuttal, ``what it is your fiance does for a living.'' ``He's a statistician,'' replied Lamia, with an annoying sense of being on the defensive. Lady Nuttal was obviously taken aback. It had not occurred to her that statisticians entered into normal social relationships. The species, she would have surmised, was perpetuated in some collateral manner, like mules. ``But Aunt Sara, it's a very interesting profession,'' said Lamia warmly. ``I don't doubt it,'' said her aunt, who obviously doubted it very much. ``To express anything important in mere figures is so plainly impossible that there must be endless scope for well-paid advice on the how to do it. But don't you think that life with a statistician would be rather, shall we say, humdrum?'' Lamia was silent. She felt reluctant to discuss the surprising depth of emotional possibility which she had discovered below Edward's numerical veneer. ``It's not the figures themselves,'' she said finally. ``It's what you do with them that matters.'' (K.A.C. Manderville, The undoing of Lamia Gurdleneck)


People who do very unusual jobs: the man who counts then number of people at public gatherings. You've probably seen his headlines, "Two million flock to see Pope.", "200 arrested as police find ounce of cannabis.", "Britain #3 billion in debt". You probably wondered who was responsible for producing such well rounded-up figures. What you didn't know was that it was all the work of one man, Rounder-Up to the media, John Wheeler. But how is he able to go on turning out such spot-on statistics? How can he be so accurate all the time? "We can't" admits Wheeler blithely. "Frankly, after the first million we stop counting, and round it up to the next million. I don't know if you've ever counted a papal flock, but, not only do they look a bit the same, they also don't keep still, what with all the bowing and crossing themselves." "The only way you could do it accurately is by taking an aerial photograph of the crowd and handing it to the computer to work out. But then you'd get a headline saying "1,678,163 [sic] flock to see Pope, not including 35,467 who couldn't see him", and, believe me, nobody wants that sort of headline." The art of big figures, avers Wheeler, lies in psychology, not statistics. The public like a figure it can admire. It likes millionaires, and million-sellers, and centuries at cricket, so Wheeler's international agency gives them the figures it wants, which involves not only rounding up but rounding down. "In the old days people used to deal with crowds on the Isle of Wight principle -- you know, they'd say that every day the population of the world increased by the number of people who could stand upright on the Isle of Wight, or the rain-forests were being decreased by an area the size of Rutland. This meant nothing. Most people had never been to the Isle of Wight for a start, and even if they had, they only had a vision of lots of Chinese standing in the grounds of the Cowes Yacht Club. And the Rutland comparison was so useless that they were driven to abolish Rutland to get rid of it. "No, what people want is a few good millions. A hundred million, if possible. One of our inventions was street value, for instance. In the old days they used to say that police had discovered drugs in a quantity large enough to get all of Rutland stoned for a fortnight. *We* started saying that the drugs had a street value of #10 million. Absolutely meaningless, but people understand it better." Sometimes they do get the figures spot on. "250,000 flock to see Royal two", was one of his recent headlines, and although the 250,000 was a rounded-up figure, the two was quite correct. in his palatial office he sits surrounded by relics of past headlines - a million-year-old fossil, a #500,000 Manet, a photograph of the Sultan of Brunei's #10,000,000 house - but pride of place goes to a pair of shoes framed on the wall. "Why the shoes? Because they cost me #39.99. They serve as a reminder of mankind's other great urge, to have stupid odd figures. Strange, isn't it? They want mass demos of exactly half a million, but they also want their gramophone records to go round at thirty-three-and-a-third, forty-five and seventy-eight rpm. We have stayed in business by remembering that below a certain level people want oddity. They don't a rocket costing #299 million and 99p, and they don't want a radio costing exactly #50." How does he explain the times when the figures clash - when, for example, the organisers of a demo claim 250,000 but the police put it nearer 100,000? "We provide both sets of figures; the figures the organisers want, and the figures the police want. The public believe both. If we gave the true figure, about 167,890, nobody would believe it because it doesn't sound believable." John Wheeler's name has never become well-known, as he is a shy figure, but his firm has an annual turnover of #3 million and his eye for the right figure has made him a rich man. His greatest pleasure, however, comes from the people he meets in the counting game. "Exactly two billion, to be precise." MILES KINGTON writing in The Observer, 3 November 1986


From: (Clark Goble) You know how dumb the average guy is? Well, by definition, half of them are even dumber than that. -- J.R. "Bob" Dobbs


From: (Larry Caldwell) Half the population is below median intelligence. Well over half the population is above average. This is due to the fact that there is a limit to human intelligence, but no limit to human stupidity.


From: Kirk Lindberg ( Q: What is the definition of a statistician? A: Someone who doesn't have the personality to be an accountant.


Did you hear about the Statistician that couldn't get laid? He decided a simulation was good enough.


From: rogers@sasuga.Hi.COM (Andrew Rogers) "She was only the statistician's daughter, but she knew all the standard deviations."


From: (Hendrik De Vloed) All probabilities are 50% ... either something happens, or it doesn't!

From: brc2@Lehigh.EDU Correction... My doctor told me I only have a 50% chance of making it- but he said there's only a 15% of even that.


From: & (Timo Salmi) & Juhani Heino <> A:I'll bet that 99% of people who read the question don't! T:That's a mean thing to say. J:Yes, it was. I guess that person is too regressed. As a matter of fact, I'm 75.4 % sure about that. T:Incidentally, did you know that using non-linear regression in research is currently out of line.


From: (Jody Levine) 80% of all statistics quoted to prove a point are made up on the spot.


From: (Helmut Richter) Did you know that 87.166253% of all statistics claim a precision of results that is not justified by the method employed?


From: (Brian Sherwood Christiansen) According to recent surveys, 51% of the people are in the majority.


From: The Lone Locust of The Apocalypse <> A new government 10 year survey cost $3,000,000,000 revealed that 3/4 of the people in America make up 75% of the population.


From: (troy trimble) According to a recent survey, 33 of the people say they participate in surveys. According to a recent survey, a number of people said they despise participating in surveys. Accurate figures are not yet available as several of the surveyors remain in intensive care and are not available for comment. A recent survey of their boss indicated that 100% of bosses have openings available for future surveyors.


From: (Tony Colle) Your question reminds me of when I was in undergraduate school in a large, unnamed State University Center along the Southern Tier of New York State, somewhere between Syracuse and Scranton. We took a survey about apathy on campus. Of the surveys sent out, only 2% were returned and the overwhelming majority of the respondents said they didn't care if there was apathy on campus.


From: Sunita Saini <> A stats major was completely hung over the day of his final exam. It was a True/False test, so he decided to flip a coin for the answers. The stats professor watched the student the entire two hours as he was flipping the coin...writing the answer...flipping the coin...writing the answer. At the end of the two hours, everyone else had left the final except for the one student. The professor walks up to his desk and interrupts the student, saying: "Listen, I have seen that you did not study for this statistics test, you didn't even open the exam. If you are just flipping a coin for your answer, what is taking you so long? The student replies bitterly (as he is still flipping the coin): " Shhh! I am checking my answers!"


From: (Marky Mark) There was this statistics student who, when driving his car, would always accelerate hard before coming to any junction, whizz straight over it , then slow down again once he'd got over it. One day, he took a passenger, who was understandably unnerved by his driving style, and asked him why he went so fast over junctions. The statistics student replied, "Well, statistically speaking, you are far more likely to have an accident at a junction, so I just make sure that I spend less time there."


From: (Philip Clarke) A famous statistician would never travel by airplane, because he had studied air travel and estimated the probability of there being a bomb on any given flight was 1 in a million, and he was not prepared to accept these odds. One day a colleague met him at a conference far from home. "How did you get here, by train?" "No, I flew" "What about your the possibiltiy of a bomb?" Well, I began thinking that if the odds of one bomb are 1:million, then the odds of TWO bombs are (1/1,000,000) x (1/1,000,000). This is a very, very small probability, which I can accept. So, now I bring my own bomb along!"


From: (Philip Clarke) The average Australian has one testical and one breast and less that two legs!


From: (Stuart A. Bronstein) The average statistician is just plain mean.


From: (Mike Forslof) I always find that statistics are hard to swallow and impossible to digest. The only one I can ever remember is that if all the people who go to sleep in church were laid end to end they would be a lot more comfortable. - Mrs. Robert A. Taft From the _Concise Columbia Dictionary of Quotations_. No source for Mrs. Taft's statement is given, so I assume it was made in conversation:


From: (Barry Fetter) IDEA SAVING BANK ( Statistics are like alienists - they will testify for either side. - Fiorello H. La Guardia (1882-1947) Fate laughs at probabilities. - Bulwer-Lytton (1803-1873) Eugene Aram Torture the data long enough and they will confess to anything.


From: (Steve B) I am one of the unpraised, unrewarded millions without whom statistics would be a bankrupt science. It is we who are born, who marry, who die, in constant ratio. - Logan Pearsall Smith

Statistics are like a bikini - what they reveal is suggestive, but what they conceal is vital. - Aaron Levenstein


Statistics in the hands of an engineer are like a lamppost to a drunk--they're used more for support than illumination. -- Bill Sangster, Dean of Engineering, Georgia Tech

From: (Alfred M. Kriman) With all due respect to the dean, the ``more for support than illumination'' lampost line was used by the poet, classicist, and hilarious curmudgeon A. E. Housman. He used it in the introduction to the first volume of his critical edition of Manilius, published around 1910 +/- 10. (He used the metaphor to characterize the work of earlier editors.)

From: Peter Stewart Lively ( "He uses statistics as a drunken man uses lamp-posts' for support rather than illumination." -Andrew Lang (1844-1912)


From: Lucas Aranha <>

The statistics on sanity are that one out of every four Americans is suffering from some form of mental illness. Think of your three best friends. If they're okay, then it's you. Rita Mae Brown

Statistics show that we lose more fools on this day than on all other days of the year put together. This proves, by the numbers left in stock, that one Fourth of July per year is now inadequate, the country has grown so. Mark Twain (1835-1910)

Facts are stubborn, but statistics are more pliable. Mark Twain (1835-1910)

Statistics show that of those who contract the habit of eating, very few survive. Wallace Irwin (1875-1959)

The government [is] extremely fond of amassing great quantities of statistics. These are raised to the nth degree, the cube roots are extracted, and the results are arranged into elaborate and impressive displays. What must be kept ever in mind, however, is that in every case, the figures are first put down by a village watchman, and he puts down anything he damn well pleases. Sir Josiah Stamp

Like other occult techniques of divination, the statistical method has a private jargon deliberately contrived to obscure its methods from non-practitioners. G. O. Ashley

UNKNOWN Sources ::

-- Numbers are like people; torture them enough and they'll tell you anything.

-- 50% of the citizens of this country have a below average understanding of statistics.

-- Statistical Analysis: Mysterious, sometimes bizarre, manipulations performed upon the collected data of an experiment in order to obscure the fact that the results have no generalizable meaning for humanity. Commonly, computers are used, lending an additional aura of unreality to the proceedings.


From: Jan-Eric Nystrom <> Did you hear about the politician who promised that, if he was elected, he'd make certain that _everybody_ would get an above average income? (And nobody laughed...) -- Joachim Verhagen ( WWW: (with science humor)

Author: Hauke Reddmann <>

A mathematician and are sitting in an airport hall waiting for their flight to go. The non has terrible flight panic. "Hey, don't worry, it's just every 10000th flight that crashes." "1:10000? So much? Then it surely will be mine!" "Well, there is an easy way out. Simply take the next plane. It's much more probable that you go from a crashing to a non-crashing plane than the other way round. So you are already at 1:10000 squared." (I might add that the mathematicians flight got abducted by some aliens doing some nasty experiments on him, which proves that poking fun at somebody else is much more fun than poking fun on you :-)

-- Hauke Reddmann <:-EX8 BRANDNEW,IMPROVED SIG! Send all spam to Send all personal e-mail to Send all e-mail for our chemistry workgroup to

Author: David J. Devejian <>

Bread Is Dangerous

Important Warning for those who have been drawn unsuspectingly into the use of bread:

1. More than 98 percent of convicted felons are bread users.

2. Fully HALF of all children who grow up in bread-consuming households score below average on standardized tests.

3. In the 18th century, when virtually all bread was baked in the home, the average life expectancy was less than 50 years; infant mortality rates were unacceptably high; many women died in childbirth; and diseases such as typhoid, yellow fever, and influenza ravaged whole nations.

4. More than 90 percent of violent crimes are committed within 24 hours of eating bread.

5. Bread is made from a substance called "dough." It has been proven that as little as one pound of dough can be used to suffocate a mouse. The average American eats more bread than that in one month!

6. Primitive tribal societies that have no bread exhibit a low incidence of cancer, Alzheimer's, Parkinson's disease, and osteoporosis.

7. Bread has been proven to be addictive. Subjects deprived of bread and given only water to eat begged for bread after as little as two days.

8. Bread is often a "gateway" food item, leading the user to "harder" items such as butter, jelly, peanut butter, and even cold cuts.

9. Bread has been proven to absorb water. Since the human body is more than 90 percent water, it follows that eating bread could lead to your body being taken over by this absorptive food product, turning you into a soggy, gooey bread-pudding person.

10. Newborn babies can choke on bread.

11. Bread is baked at temperatures as high as 400 degrees Fahrenheit! That kind of heat can kill an adult in less than one minute.

12. Most American bread eaters are utterly unable to distinguish between significant scientific fact and meaningless statistical babbling.

In light of these frightening statistics, we propose the following bread restrictions:

1. No sale of bread to minors.

2. A nationwide "Just Say No To Toast" campaign, complete with celebrity TV spots and bumper stickers.

3. A 300 percent federal tax on all bread to pay for all the societal ills we might associate with bread.

4. No animal or human images, nor any primary colors (which may appeal to children) may be used to promote bread usage.

  1. The establishment of "Bread-free" zones around schools

-David J. Devejian

How to be a Statistician (believed to be true) (Jonathan R. Partington)

A friend of a friend, who is a probabilist, made a bet that he could write a publishable paper in Statistics within 24 hours.

He did this as follows: first of all he went to his filing cabinet and found some unfinished work on probability distributions which he'd given up because he couldn't prove anything. He then invented a 'cover story' involving sheep and fruit trees, and wrote a Statistical paper on the subject, including the results he couldn't prove together with 'heuristic' arguments, i.e. hand-waving. He then sent it to a well-known journal which shall remain nameless but for the sake of argument we'll call Biometrika.

Some time after he received an acceptance letter for his content-free paper, with a comment from the editor that he hoped the author would revise the paper to make it less theoretical. So he had won his bet.

How to upset a statistician (Mik Butler)

The next time someone starts quoting statistics at you, just remind them that 78% of people who quote statistics make them up.

Henry Bottomley (me) talking about work:

The difference between an economist and a statistician: people believe what economists say about the future, but not what statisticians say about the past.

You can't prove everything with statistics, but you can always find something good (or bad) to say.

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