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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 # 52: Dead Horses October 2001

The tribal wisdom of the Dakota Indians, passed on from one generation to the next, says that when you discover that you are riding a dead horse, the best strategy is to dismount. However in modern business, because heavy investment factors are taken into consideration, other strategies are often tried with dead horses, including the following:

  1. Buying a stronger whip.
  2. Changing riders.
  3. Threatening the horse with termination.
  4. Appointing a committee to study the horse.
  5. Arranging to visit other sites to see how they ride dead horses.
  6. Lowering the standards so that dead horses can be included.
  7. Reclassifying the dead horse as "living-impaired."
  8. Hiring outside contractors to ride the dead horse.
  9. Harnessing several dead horses together to increase speed.
  10. Providing additional funding and/or training to increase the dead horse's performance.
  11. Doing a productivity study to see if lighter riders would improve the dead horse's performance.
  12. Declaring the dead horse carries lower overhead & therefore contributes more to the bottom line than some other horses.
  13. Rewriting the expected performance requirements for all horses.
  14. Promoting the dead horse to a supervisory position.
  15. Hiring a consultant to tell you the horse is dead.

  • On average, a womans breast has vertical movement of 8cm when she runs. Therefore, over the course of a marathon, her nipple would actually travel 4 miles further.
  • Commuters will not be amused to know Railtrack (UK) has come up with a brand new excuse for trains running late - too much sun on the line. Apparently the rails overheated and caused a 20mph speed limit to be imposed. Whatever next? Too much wind? I’m waiting for the excuse that trains are late because of trains on the line.
  • A Belgian man claims he has set a new world record by rolling over in bed nonstop for 25 hours. Walter Franck, from Balegem kept up a rate of 58 to 60 rolls a minute rolling from one side of the bed to the other. A spokesman for Guinness World Records said, "It’s a category we haven’t got yet." And I thought I was restless in bed.
  • In every episode of Seinfeld there is a Superman somewhere.
  • A duck's quack doesn't echo, and no one knows why.
  • The only 15 letter word that can be spelled without repeating a letter is uncopyrightable.
  • The reason American firehouses have circular stairways is from the days of yore when the engines were pulled by horses. The horses were stabled on the ground floor and figured out how to walk up straight staircases.
  • The airplane Buddy Holly died in was the "American Pie." (Thus the name of the Don McLean song.)
  • Each king in a deck of playing cards represents a great king from history.
    Spades - King David; Clubs - Alexander the Great; Hearts - Charlemagne; and Diamonds - Julius Caesar.

Check in again at my desk soon!

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