The Indifferent

Fiercely ambivalent since 2010

Category: Science

Probability misunderstood by 114% of people

3D Character and Chance
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SHROPSHIRE. At least 114% of British citizens have no understanding of simple probability, new research published today reveals. A study undertaken by Professor Gordon Delicious, Professor of Statistical Nonsense at the University of Shropshire, looked at how well ordinary people coped with GCSE level mathematical concepts.

“The results are pretty damning”, Professor Delicious explained today. “37% of people were unable to correctly estimate the probability of rolling snake eyes with two fair dice. 54% didn’t understand how to handle probabilities of conditional events, and 23% couldn’t understand concepts of permutations and combinations. In total that gives up a surprising 114% who have made at least one kind of basic error”.

When asked why 69 million of Brtain’s 61 million iinhabitants were unable to perform the tasks, Professor Delicious suggested that education was to blame. “At least 34 children in every class of 30 are failing to learn how to interpret numbers correctly. I think you will agree that is pretty alarming.”

Food still fine to eat for “at least two weeks” after sell-by date, student insists

2006-12-28 At my company's fridge [HDR]
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SHROPSHIRE. The sell-by dates on food products can be safely extended by around two weeks, a student claimed today. Liam Madden, 20, who is studying Astrophysics with Golf Course Management at the University of Shropshire, insisted that the suggested dates were “proper cautious” and that other factors could be used to determine food edibility.

“Those dates really don’t mean anything”, Madden explained to flatmates earlier today, while tucking into a sandwich of week old bacon on two-week old bread, topped off with two-year old ketchup. “They’re just being proper cautious because they can’t cut it fine. In reality, you can just add a couple of weeks on and you’ll probably be fine. Sometimes more than that, sometimes less. It’s a judgement call.”

When challenged by disgusted flatmate Anna Jones, 19, if he was then simply planning to leave food festering in the fridge forever, Madden suggested that other proofing methods can be employed to determine if food is safe to eat. “Furriness is the obvious one”, Madden explained. “Most food that doesn’t start out furry shouldn’t become furry with time. Watch out too for things that randomly change colour, texture, start soft and get hard, start hard and get soft, or just generally smell unpleasant. ”

Madden did concede, however, that some food simply has to be thrown away. “Even in these tough economic times, a line has to be drawn somewhere. It’s up to each man to determine where that line is for himself.”

Britain rocked by continued seasonal weather

Britain today was in the grip of seasonal weather as temperatures once again threatened to plunge as low as -2 degrees Celsius. Some forecasters are reported to be expecting the temperature to drop even further tonight, which would make this the coldest day since last Tuesday.

There has also been travel chaos right across the UK, with a train being cancelled in Scotland and a bus getting a little bit stuck on a hill in South London.

Boffins annouce formula for most bullshit formula

Day 258: Life's Formulas
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HELSINKI. Having already given the world such trivial nonsense as the formula for creating the perfect cup of tea, the formula to find the happiest day of the year, and the “Blue Monday” formula to find the most depressing day of the year, scientists have now finally unlocked the secrets of which of these formulas contains the most useless and pointless bullshit. Read the rest of this entry »

Too cold outside to be thinking about global warming, say world leaders

Welcome to CO2rruptionhagen
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COPENHAGEN. Ice cold temperatures in Northern Europe have emerged today a major roadblock in the stalled climate change negotiations. At this afternoon’s press conference, world leaders surprised the assembled presspack by admitting they were struggling to stay focused on the matter in hand. “It’s been tough,” admitted Hilary Clinton, US Secretary of State. “People are talking about a possible rise of 1.5 to 5 degrees celsius over the next century, but it’s hard to think about that right now.We’re deadlocked on more important questions, like if we remembered to buy de-icer and if we can afford to have that central heating on for a little bit longer”. Read the rest of this entry »