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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 # 65: Abortion dilema November 2002

How is it possible to go through 10 London tube stations in a row beginning with the same letter was the question I asked on my last desk top. One avid reader (he knows who he is) got it right. For some reason which I have never understood, all diaries sold in the UK carry a map of the London Underground at the back. If you live in London, it is quite likely that you have a passing acquaintance with the system and if you don’t, there are maps all over every station. Still, they do look colourful and pretty in your diary. If you want to rush to your diary and waste a few minutes over coffee, you can check the answers at the end of this desk top.

Two interesting questions posed by a reader:

Question 1:

If you knew a woman who was pregnant, who had 8 kids already, three of whom were deaf, two of whom were blind, one mentally retarded, and she had syphilis...would you recommend that she have an abortion?

Read the next question before scrolling down to the answer for this one.

Question 2:

It is time to elect a world leader, and your vote counts. Here are the facts about the three leading candidates:

Candidate A: Associates with crooked politicians and consults with astrologists. He's had two mistresses. He also chain-smokes and drinks 8 to 10 martinis a day.

Candidate B: He was kicked out of office twice, sleeps until noon, used opium in college, and drinks a quart of whiskey every evening.

Candidate C: He is decorated war hero. He's a vegetarian, doesn't smoke, drinks an occasional beer, and hasn't had any extramarital affairs.

Which of these candidates would be your choice?

Decide first, no peeking, then scroll down for the answer.

The answer to the Tube question was:

Piccadilly line:
  Hounslow East
  Hounslow Central
  Hounslow West
  Hatton Cross
  Heathrow Terminal 4
  Heathrow Terminal 1,2,3
And back to...
  Hatton Cross
  Hounslow West
  Hounslow Central
  Hounslow East

The candidates were:

Candidate A: Franklin D. Roosevelt
Candidate B: Winston Churchill
Candidate C: Adolph Hitler

And by the way, the answer to the abortion question: If you said yes, you just killed Beethoven.


Fifteen people were injured during a cheese-rolling contest in Gloucestershire (England), reports The Sun. The participants all fell as they were chasing an 8lb Double Gloucester down a one-in-three gradient on Cooper's Hill. "There are always casualties," explained the organiser. "But it's a great British tradition and we are determined to keep it alive." The race apparently originated as a fertility rite. I wonder if it works.

Check in again at my desk soon!

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