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Work in the media? Struggle with statistics? Stan's irreverent (and often irrelevant) review of the latest media reports, news and gossip may not help at all... Stan the Statistician

Stan # 4: Cricket and Diana (?) 21 October 1997

Those nice people at AdWeb (I know they are nice because they told me so) have told me that I have been archived - and I didn't feel a thing. Quite what I have done to deserve this treatment I don't know. I wasn't sure how I should behave now, so I wore a different hat.

Did you know there are ten ways for a batsman to be out at cricket (a strange game devised in England for masochists). What are they? Answers in the next edition of 'Stan'. And, of course, there are no prizes - I am not running a charity here!

Can you name the seven dwarfs? I'll give you a clue, Spotty, Snotty, Rock, Gropey, Loopy, Lousy, Beaky, Sloppy, Crabby, Creepy, Crappy, Wheezy and Greasy were not among the original seven - more's the pity. In an idle moment, you may like to make up your own favourite list of dwarfs who never made it. List of 'real' dwarfs next time.

Another contribution from Mavis the Mathemetician (taken from the Yorkshire Post (England)) and referring again to that strange game called cricket:

Cricket stewards under fire after panto cow is injured by Andrew Norfolk and Richard Rae.

Two stewards at Headingley cricket ground were last night accused of gratuitous thuggery after they threw a spectator dressed as a pantomime cow into advertising hoardings with such force that he was unconscious for almost half an hour.

Branca Resik, 34, from Bicester in Oxfordshire, had to be given oxygen as he lay unconscious on the outfield just after the end of play in the second day of the Test Match between England and Australia. Last night he was in a stable condition at Leeds General Infirmary.

Mr Resik and his friend Darren Thompson, from Bridlington, had been entertaining a good-natured crowd throughout the day by strolling in front of them during breaks in play. According to Mr Thompson, at the end of the day's play he and Mr Resik decided to amuse spectators by 'grazing' quietly on the outfield.

Mr Thompson, who was the front end of the "cow" said: "As soon as we stepped over the hoardings, four stewards flung themselves at us. They were so hyped up it was unbelievable.

"Two of them threw Branca as hard as they could at the hoarding, which is backed by two thick metal bars. It was like a brick wall. We came last year, and everybody seemed to think it was a lot of fun, so we brought 'Daisy' again."

Mr Thompson's account was confirmed by several witnesses.

Mr Resik, who works for Pro-Drive, the rally team behind world champion Colin MacRae, had been staying with another friend, Martin Cressey, in Otley. Mr Cressey said the action had been gratuitously and appallingly violent. The stewards were not members of the Special Projects Security company, employed during the day but came from sources including Harrogate Rugby Club. They were criticised by some spectators and Yorkshire County Cricket Club chief executive Chris Hassell.

Mr Hassell said: "I will be speaking with all the stewards this morning to tell them to ease off in a physical way - because that only encourages more people to run on to the field."

The officer in charge of policing at the ground, Superintendent Jeff Oliver, said: "We have already spoken to two of the stewards who were involved, and they admitted that they had tackled the men. "If there is evidence that they may have committed a criminal offence - in other words if there is evidence of assault rather than it was an accident - then they could be charged."

Copyright 1997: Yorkshire Post Newspapers Limited.

My theory is that the stewards were Hindus who, of course, consider the cow to be sacred. But they could have been Aussies who had consumed too many 'tinnies' and were feeling amourous. It can be a lonely life in the outback.

Last word on the death of Diana, Princess of Wales which caused such an amazing out pouring of grief in the UK and across the World. I think we now have more media than we have news to fill the time and space, so major personalities command huge attention. This means that everyone is well acquainted with the minutiae of their lives and feels that they are a part of their families. So, Diana's death became a personal loss for everyone. Her life was dogged by misfortune and taken away just as she appeared to be finding happiness which made her death all the more poignant. Elton John's special recording of Candle in the Wind which he sang at the funeral, always an emotional song, is expected to be the biggest seller of all time. It was written originally for Marilyn Monroe who died at the same age as the Princess - 36. The pillar the car hit in the underpass was the 13th. Diana's first official engagement was to represent the Queen at the funeral of Princess Grace of Monaco who died in a car crash 15 years ago, to the month. Spooky. By another co-incidence, I was in Monaco last week and visited the grave of Princess Grace. I hope I persuaded the local tourist office to include this piece of trivia in their guide's training programme (the bit about the funeral, not the bit about my visit, though no doubt in years to come, my contribution to the human condition will be recognised for its true value - bugger all).

I also met a very independent lady from Kentucky who always kept her watch to Kentucky time which I'm sure you know is currently Eastern Daylight Saving Time, no matter in which part of the World she found herself in. This meant that she engaged in some complicated arithmetic to estimate local time. I didn't like to ask if this was because she couldn't be bothered twiddling that little wheely thing on the side of her watch, whether it was to help with jet lag (though God knows how) or whether she thought that Kentucky time should take precedence over Greenwich Mean Time or Co-ordinated Universal Time which the rest of the World uses. Each to her own.

This brings me to my only Kentucky joke ... Which are the more intelligent, chickens or beavers? Beavers. Why? Well whoever heard of Kentucky Fried Beaver? Now aren't you pleased I don't have any other Kentucky jokes? At least it was clean! Sorry!

Check in again at my desk soon!

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