Welcome To The Gertrude M. Cox Commemorative Hall!
Gertrude Mary Cox (1900  1978) was the first female elected into the International Statistical Institute and was president of the American Statistical Association. She was also the founder of the department of Experimental Statistics at North Carolina State University. Her most important and influential work was in the area of experimental design. In 1950 she and William Gemmell Cochran published a joint work entitled Experimental Design which became a classic text. For additional information on Gertrude M. Cox, refer to http://www.agnesscott.edu/lriddle/women/cox.htm
Now displaying the humorous side of Statistics...  
151) 
Then there was the story of the sociological statistician who retired early from his teaching position at the university. He had grown up on the farm as a youth and still feeling quite chipper, decided to buy a large dairy farm in southern Wisconsin. After a short time the milk and cheese from his herd of cows became famous for miles around. Since his research at the university had demanded the use of many ChiSquare Goodness of Fit Tests, he thought he should commemorate all these procedures. Every year he invited the public to what became the most publicized and extravagant wine and cheese festival in Wisconsin. It was fondly called the GOODNESS OF TIT FEST!!!!


152) 
The secretary of defense gave the president his daily briefing. He concluded by saying: "Yesterday, 3 Brazilian soldiers were killed." "Oh No!" the president exclaimed, "That's Terrible!" His staff was stunned at this display of emotion, nervously watching as the president sat, his head in his hands. Finally, the president looked up and asked, "Just how many is a brazillion?" 

153) 
A freshman college student had the misfortune of having several auto accidents while living at home with his parents. One day his statistics professor told his class that 83% of all auto accidents happen within 20 miles of your home. The very next day the student moved 22 miles from home and never had another accident during his entire college career!!!


154) 
Knock! Knock! Who's there? Em Em who? MLE! The Maximum Likelihood Estimator!


155) 
A cannibal goes shopping for dinner. his wife wants to prepare brains that day. At the butcher's shop he is told that there are three prices: First, there is statistician's brain at 1 dollar per pound. Secondly, they have lawyer's brain at 2 dollars a pound. And finally, he can buy politician's brain at 4 dollars a pound. The cannibal is bewildered at this price range and asks the butcher, "Why on earth should a pound of politician brain cost that much more than statistician brain? Do you really think that the quality is so much better?" The butcher replies, "No, but if you count how many politicians it takes to get a pound..."


156) 
"The best thing about being a statistician," J.W. Tukey once told a colleague, " is that you get to play in everyone's backyard." The colleague retorted, "But Professor Tukey, that is why a statistician is considered a PeepingTop by many guardians of sensitive data in the world!!!!" .


157) 
Knock! Knock! Whose there? (without opening the door) "The census taker." "Go away  I don't want my senses taken." "No, you don't understand, I just want to survey you." "A statistical sample of one isn't valid  go away." "You aren't the only one." "So you are bothering a whole bunch of people, go away." "Look you are unique and I don't want to miss you in the survey." "How do you know I'm unique when you haven't surveyed me yet?" "O, I don't know you are unique, but you might be." "You mean you think I'm an oddball." "No, maybe more like an outlier." "Now you are calling me an out and outlier, go away." "No, I mean you are far from the average Joe." "I hope so, I'm Sally." "Look Sally, we are trying to get population data, how many people live here?" "Gosh, how would I know, I think there are about 15 thousand in Smugville." "No, I mean in this house!" "Oh, that's a question of a different nature." "So, how many?" "Sometimes one, sometimes two, sometimes four, now  go away." "No, I need a precise number." "Ok, how about 1.34" "How did you come up with that?" "I live here sometimes during the week, my sister visits me on weekends, and my mother visits me every second week, my two cats are sometimes here, and my ... and that's none of your business." "Thanks Sally have a great day."


158) 
A Statistics Professor had just completed an exhaustive review session for his students the day before the exam. At the end of the session, he stated emphatically , "One more thing! The exam is openbook and don't forget to bring a TABLE to the test." The students were relieved to hear this bit of good news that TABLES could be used. Next day, the students filed into the room with textbooks and materials under their arms. The Professor greeted them with a sour and very puzzled look on his face. He then loudly pronounced, "Well ladies and gentlemen, I am very sorry, but you will have to take your tests STANDING UP!! They just refinished the floors in all the rooms of the building!!"


159) 
How is a normal probability distribution like a lion? They both have a MEAN MEW.


160) 
It is 1941 and the Germans are bombing Moscow. Most people in Moscow flee to the underground bomb shelters at night, except for a famous Russian statistician who tells a friend that he is going to sleep in his own bed, saying that "There is only one of me, among five million other people in Moscow. What are the chances I'll get hit?" He survives the first night, but the next evening he shows up at the shelter. His friend asks why he has changed his mind. "Well," says the statistician, "there are five million people in this city, and one elephant in the Moscow Zoo. Last night, THEY GOT THE ELEPHANT!"


161) 
What is the name of the only known motel chain that caters to professional draftsmen? Hotelling's T^{2}!


162) 
Several weeks ago I received one of those infinitely forwarded emails that makes the rounds throughout the year. This one had some great graphical optical illusions along with a fascinating piece about how the human mind processes reading material. The following paragraph of prose was given in large print and the recipient was asked to read and attempt to understand the material even though the letters in each word were out of order and the words were thus atrociously garbled misspellings: Cdnuolt blveiee taht I cluod aulaclty uesdnatnrd waht I was rdanieg. The phaonmneal pweor of the human mnid, aoccdrnig to a rscheearch at Cmabrigde Uinervtisy. It dn'seot mttaer in waht oreder the ltteers in a wrod are, the olny ipromatnt tihng is taht the frist and lsat ltteer be in the rghit pclae. The rset can be a taotl mses and you can sitll raed it wouthit a porbelm. Most of my friends could read this with understanding and rather quickly I might add. Then I had them read a statistical bit of literature: Miittluvraae asilyans sattes an idtenossiy ctuoonr epilsle is the itternoiecsno of a panle pleralal to the xlyapne and the sruacfe of a btiiarave nmarol dbttiisruein. In general, the outcome changed dramatically with my friends sputtering and spattering the words with great difficulty and most ending up throwing in the towel! Remember the same rules were followed but with a not so glorious ending! HOW COULD THIS HAPPEN? HAS STATISTICS RUINED A REASONABLE PREMISE?


163) 
TEACHER ARRESTED IN NEW YORK NEW YORK, NY  A public school teacher was arrested today at John F. Kennedy International Airport as he attempted to board a flight while in possession of a ruler, a protractor, a box of plastic pocket protectors, and a graphing calculator. In a morning press conference, the Attorney General said he believes the man is a member of a spin off group, St. Atistic, of the notorious AlGebra movement. He did not identify the man, who has been charged by the FBI with carrying weapons of math instruction. He also revealed that the situation was extremely tense and touchandgo for a short time since the plastic protectors were discovered halfmelted. "AlGebra and particularly St. Atistic are problems for us," the Attorney said. "They recruit mean deviants who are then well trained in the use of multiple modes to search out an absolute value. They use secret code names like 'x' and 'y' and refer to themselves as 'unknowns', but we have determined they belong to a common denominator of the axis of medieval with coordinates in every country. As the Greek philanderer Isosceles used to say, 'There are three sides to every triangle.'" When asked to comment on the arrest, the President said, "if God had wanted us to have better weapons of math instruction, He would have given us more fingers and toes." White House aides told reporters they could not recall a more intelligent or profound statement by the President.


164) 
If a statistics course were a prerequisite for having sex, this country would not have a BIRTH CONTROL problem!! is was an actual quote by a former graduate student of mine in a second statistics called Statistics II offered by our department. Interestingly enough this fellow was among the highest achieving students in the class. I had to email him (Dennis Wright) to recover the exact wording of this joke. Thanks Dennis for your immediate reply. I think his statement was intended to illustrate the perceived difficulty of a statistics course in any curriculum.


165) 
Did you know Santa once took a statistics class? He had trouble remembering which hypothesis should have the equal sign so he would keep repeating: the null hypothesis, the null hypothesis, the null hypothesis. In fact, to this day you can hear him say Ho, Ho, Ho!


166) 
A team of researchers from a large eastern university in the U.S. has recently published a monumental finding. The team discovered what the leading cause of divorce is. It is marriage!!! You see, everyone who has been divorced has been married first.


167) 
When a statistician is pounding a nail with a hammer but misses the nail and hits his thumb, what do we call it? Sampling error. When a statistician is pounding a nail with a hammer but misses the nail and hits his thumb 10 CONSECUTIVE times, what do we call it? A Biased Statistic. How do we correct for the bias? Tell the statistician to place his thumb directly on the nail and then strike his thumb with the hammer!!!


168) 
Upon being mugged several weeks ago by the Cauchy Distribution, the Normal Distribution had these comments: "I am still not back to normal yet but I do have my moments and the point of inflection in my voice has improved considerably. I just wish I had taken some ordinance along that night to fend off the attacker." 

169) 
I really can't see the attraction 

170) 
50% of marriages end in divorce. Thus if you don't file for divorce, your wife will.


171) 
It is believed by many humorists that statistical jokes are usually a flop in large nightclubs. Thus, if you examined graphically the frequency distribution of the number of statistics jokes told by every standup comedian in the USA, what would be the shape of the frequency polygon? ShapelessIt would be a degenerate point distribution many units on the frequency scale above 0 on the score scale!


172) 
How many tents will a campground hold? Ten tenths since that adds up to a whole!!!


173) 
HOW DIFFERENT PROFESSIONALS VIEW ONEHALF A GLASS OF WATER A professional runner views the glass as half empty since the water is from the tap and not from a natural spring. An attorney views the glass as half empty since he believes his compensation is never enough. A mathematician can just not decide since the glass can never be EXACTLY half full or half empty. An accountant views the glass as half full but with tiny red asterisk chips floating on the surface. A statistician views the glass as half full but with bubbly foam all the way up to the brim.


174) 
FOR THOSE WHO KNOW EVERYTHING THERE IS TO KNOW ABOUT STATISTICS Question: Is the Normal Curve every a Skewed Distribution? Answer: Always!! The Lower Half of the Normal Curve is Negatively Skewed and the Upper Half is Positively Skewed!!


175) 
SOME BEHAVIORAL TRAITS OF A STATISTICIAN TO PONDERPART II (1) Does not like to be first or last to arrive at a party for fear of being an outlier. (2) Is obsessed with how many miles per hour a human hair grows! (3) Tends to follow other people when walking in a group because of a strong leaning toward a posteriori tests after rejecting the overall H_{0}. (4) Becomes despondent when lecturing on the normal curve because he knows down deep in his lifetime he will never encounter an EXACTLY normal set of reallife discrete scores. (5) As a behavioralscience statistician, harbors deeply rooted jealousy of a biometrician because the latter is blessed with ratio or interval scale data while the former muddles around with ordinal and normal data.


176) 
What's the difference between a dead possum and a dead statistician lying in the road? Answer: There are skid marks in front of the possum. part to commemorate a respected profession.


177) 
My scatterplot's not monotonic


178) 
It is a wellestablished fact that Statin Drugs ($27.8 billion sales worldwide in 2006) lower the BAD cholesterol level by 20  50% in most individuals upon continuous treatment. In fact, in a recent TV ad for a certain Statin Drug endorsed by Dr. Robert Jarvik (the artificial heart man), it was stated that this drug "reduces the risk of heart attack by 36%... in patients with multiple risk factors for heart disease but no heart disease." "Zowie, exclaimed a friend watching the TV ad, this is comparable to penicillin. Since they called these drugs Statins because they are "Statistics Insured," why not add this to our drinking water supply and let everybody from babies on up benefit??"


179) 
What happens if you find the inverse of a variancecovariance matrix? You get an upside down statistician balancing on his head and looking up and admiring his black patent leather wingtipped shoes. Since he was now nonsingular his friends were anxious to mingle with him and free him from his reputation as an introvert.


180) 
A wise woman once said if all the statisticians in the world would claim all the DEGREES OF FREEDOM then the CEO's of all the corporations would have none. The Chiefs would be forced to go on a merit system tied to valid earnings and upon severance for poor performance would receive a black life preserver instead of a golden parachute.


181) 
What are stadium statistics? They are ball park estimates that are foul and land in the stands or on the roof!


182) 
Student A: What is the name of the theorem in statistics that states the sum of squares total is equal to the sum of squares between groups plus the sum of squares within groups (i.e., h^{2} = a^{2} + b^{2})? Student B: Oh that is easy. That is called the Pythagorean Theorem. Student A: I am sorry but that is wrong. You must have the right triangle for the Pythagorean theorem to hold and we did not assume that here. Student B: OK so I had the wrong triangle. If you assume the right triangle then this statement becomes the Pythagorean Theorem. Student A: You are now correct and it demonstrates how closely intertwined the relationship is between geometry and statistics!


183) 
An FCurve was complaining to a Standard Normal zCurve one day at the shopping mall. The FCurve said, "I am really envious of you. Here I am with a big bulge on one end and a drain pipe on the other end and you have a perfect symmetrical figure." The zCurve replied, "Yes MR. F but you are a far more prestigious curve in that you are the star in major applications like ANOVA and ANCOVA." "Well Mr. z, another thing that gripes my soul is that you never need any degrees of freedom and I always have to lug around two distinct dfvalues on my back!" "Mr. F," the zCurve responded, "that is very misleading. You know very well that a zCurve is nothing more than a mature tCurve with an infinite number of degrees of freedom. now that is a real load to carry. Take some away from me and I still have an infinity left!" The FCurve paused shortly with his mouth wide open, then smiled broadly, and said in a conciliatory voice, "Mr. z, Let's go down to the ice cream shop and I will treat you to an Orange FFreeZZ! I guess statisticians really could not get by without either one of our curves."


184) 
A boy asked his statistician father, "Why is my body not wellproportioned just like my brother's?" His father's response, "Because, when you mother had your pregnancy, its distribution was skewed!!"


185) 
A statistician was reliving a weird and vivid dream for an accountant friend one day. He explained, "In this strange dream, 20 or 30 accountants were sitting stark naked together in a large room at separate computers. But the eerie and contradictive part of this scene was that the accountants were all on the same auction website on their screens, each attempting to sell a spanking new package of a single pair of 'Jockey Shorts' that each was waving in his hand." The statistician in a puzzled tone continued, "I just could not understand why the accountants just didn't slip on their pair of shorts instead of selling them on the Internet. This is the most vexing part of the dream!" The accountant, with a sly little grin, immediately piped up, "Oh that has a simple interpretation. This is a perfect example of NAKED SHORT SELLING!"


186) 
Each of two squaws had 2 sons sleeping inside tepees about 20 yards apart. A third squaw had 3 sons playing outside between the two tepees. A statistics student remarked that this happy scenario demonstrates very nicely The Basic Theorem of ANOVA: The TOTAL sons of squaws is equal to the sons of squaws WTIHIN plus the sons of squaws BETWEEN. That is, 7 = 4 + 3!!!!


187) 
One legacy of the Iraq War will be the unstated but implied "socalled" Rumsfeld Test. This was suggested serendipitously from a Department of Defense new briefing on Feb. 12, 2002. The Secretary stated, "Reports that say that something hasn't happened are always interesting to me because as we know, there are known knowns; these are things we known we know. We also known there are known unknowns; that is to say we know there are some things we don't know. But there are also unknown unknowns  the ones we don't know we don't know." (This sounds like gibberish but Rummey is on to something here.) Now Mr. Secretary, to validate your intelligence work, we suggest that you look at a fourth category of perceiving something unknown that is really known (Yes, we said that), and this gives us the basis for a neat 2x2 chisquare test. This would be the famed nonparametric test of independence whose table of observed (O) and expected (E) counts of Intelligence Items appears for each cell in the above diagram. Now theoretically, if our intelligence system is operating with high efficiency, for any large set of intelligence items, the perceived observed proportion of known knowns should significantly exceed the perceived observed proportion of unknown knowns and correspondingly the perceived observed proportion of unknown unknowns should significantly exceed the perceived observed proportion of known unknowns. This is the desired direction of the dependence (Look at main diagonal of table). Remember under the assumption of independence of perceived and true items, the expected E for any cell is the row sum of O's that cell is in times the column sum of O's that cell is in divided by the overall sum of all the O's. This is repeated to get the expected E for each cell. We then substitute into the formula x^{2} = Σ [O  E)^{2}/E] to get the test statistic Frequency ChiSqaure with df = 1. Finally, this value from the data table is referred to either the 95th or 99th percentile from the Table of the ChiSquare Distribution. For Rummey's sake we hope and pray that this obtained value is larger than the critical percentile. If it is... WHOOPEE!! RUMSFELD's INTELLIGENCE TEAM HAS BEEN VALIDATED!! But wait just one moment. We have ONE thing to check yet. Bad Dependence can also occur! If the perceived observed proportion of unknown knowns should significantly exceed the perceived observed proportion of known knowns and correspondingly the perceived observed proportion of known unknowns should significantly exceed the perceived observed proportions of unknown unknowns (Look at secondary diagonal of table), significant masculinizing of the true nature of the items has occurred. THIS WOULD MEAN UTTER FAILURE OF THE INTELLIGENCE TEAM!! SO THE RUMSFELD TEST IS FRAUGHT WITH DANGER FOR INEXPERIENCED STATISTICIANS. WE MUST ONLY APPLAUD RUMSFELD'S SUCCESS WHEN KNOWN KNOWNS AND UNKNOWN UNKNOWNS PILE UP SIGNIFICANTLY IN THE TABLE. THIS IS INTUITIVELY OBVIOUS BUT MUST ALWAYS BE VERIFIED AFTER A SIGNIFICANT TEST.


188.  Husband returns home from a doctor's visit with a sad face. Wife: "What did the doctor say?" Husband: "I have Dyscalculia. It's a math disorder." Wife: "How bad is it?" Husband: "The Doctor said not to worry. 100 out of every 15 people have it.">


189) 
Don't kid yourself. The deep recession of 200809 is really a depression. Then to witness business guests clapping at the close of the NY Stock Exchange at the podium every single day is like statisticians clapping for nonsignificant results on hypothesis tests!


190) 
In a Standard Normal Curve, the total area under the curve is ONE. Why then has it never been proven that no matter how far you go out away from the middle of the score scale at 0 in either direction there will always be some portion of the area under the curve beyond either point? NO ONE HAS EVER WALED OUT THAT FAR YET!!!


191) 
Statisticians, as a group, tend to be reserved and keep their feelings under wraps. But because they are trustworthy, they have always been viewed by other mathematicians as guardians of the subset of real numbers between 0 and 1 inclusively. One issue that does elicit extreme fervor one way or the other among statisticians is some of the probabilities that are represented by these numbers they protect. They passionately love ALMOST uncertainties (.05, .01, .001) or ALMOST certainties (.95, .99, .999). They have utter disdain for values like .10 or .90 because of the false hope that these values spawn in a researcher's mind. Finally, there is unmitigated hatred for the value .50. It absolutely give statisticians no direction whatsoever to lean and it forces them to admit defeat and say decisionmaking is nothing more than a flip of a coin.


192) 
We know that a Type 1 error is rejecting a true null hypothesis H_{0} and a Type II error is retaining a false H_{0}. What then is a Type III error? Just so statisticians have an odd number of errors for closure, it is a researcher paying absolutely no attention whatsoever to Type I and Type II errors in hypothesis testing!!!!


193) 
Why does the Normal Curve not need any degrees of freedom? It is very content and smug about its status... It is ALREADY a tCurve with infinite degrees of freedom so a few more would not help!


194) 
An energetic young statistician was hired at a large corporation. On his first day of work he was greeted by the senior statistician who decided immediately to put him through his paces. He asked him to double check the files in several dustgathering boxes on the second floor that were boldly labeled, "NONSIGNIFICANT STUDIES." He told the young man that the files in these boxes were destined for the incinerator unless he could find mistakes or evidence in the summary reports that would salvage them back to the land of Recommended for Replication. The young statistician began his arduous task. After inspecting five of the studies, the results were quite surprising. He yelled at his senior that he found several studies with probabilities below 1 in a 100 or, most alarming to him in one study, as low as 1 in a 1000 recorded as nonsignificant and the null hypotheses retained in all of these. This was outrageous since these low probabilities exceed almost anyone's definition of improbable. What was going on? The senior statistician looked squinteyed at the rambunctious and perturbed young statistician and exclaimed, "Young man I respect your extensive training in the statistical field, but the first thing you should have realized where you joined our organization is that we are on the BINARY SYSTEM here and consequently 1 IN 4 AND 1 IN 8 ARE NOT IN ANYONE'S BOOK IMPROBABLY!!!


195) 
Imagine The Shock: Cardiology researchers at the U.S. Armed Forces Institute of Pathology (AFIP) ordered 24 whole hearts for a medical experiment. Many months passed, and then one day, 5 semitractor trailer rigs arrived at the receiving dock and started unloading 24 large wooden crates. The chief scientist and his statistician went to the dock to sign for the wooden crates. The chief scientist and his statistician went to the dock to sign for the shipment. Amazed at the number of huge packing cases, they checked the consignment bill of lading. Sure enough, it was a shipment of one each, quantity 24, WHALE hearts.


196) 
There was a bright student named Bobby


197) 
See Santa at the North Pole by his sleigh


198) 
What famous person was credited with telling the very first statistics joke and what was it? Sigmund Freud the Father of Psychoanalysis. A hotheaded patient of his when lying on the couch got cold feet and failed to reveal the origin of his pent up rage. Freud admonished him and ordered that before they continue he should place his head in a bucket of ice and his feet in a stove and that would on the average make him feel fine!


199 
Testing a statistical hypothesis is like flushing a watersaving toilet... It must be run past you a number of times before it becomes clear. an innovative line of toilets that are essentially guaranteed to be plunger free. They are so high performing that they can flush a bucketful of golf balls in 1.6 flushes. Statistical methods should be so efficient, huh? See a


200) 
Two graduate students were spending their spring break in a large city in southern Florida. One night they decided to visit a casino for a little relaxation and fun. However, being college educated, they knew the games always favored the "House" so they set limits on their play and analyzed which games were inclined to have more favorable odds toward the player. As they walked into the casino amidst darting lights and piercing sounds, the students spotted a strange game near the entrance that they had never seen before. A metal drum rotated on a spindle attached to a table with 100 identical balls inside the drum with dollar amounts stamped on each ball. The frequency and probability distribution were as follows:
Instructions stated that for a charge of $12, the player was entitled to rotate the drum a number of times to mix the balls thoroughly and then reach through a latched door on the side of the drum to pick a single ball, sight unseen. The attendant running the game would then pay the player the dollar amount stamped on the ball. Finally, the drawn ball was returned to the drum and the entire process was repeated per interest in the game. The students decided that if the game were deemed close to being fair, each would play the game 15 times for a total of 30 trials and any winnings would be split evenly. The first student looked worriedly at this buddy and remarked, "I never have subscribed to the notion of an expected value in gambling games. The concept is entirely too subjective and unreliable. In our case the value that is expected is a $160 total loss over all 30 trials. My reasoning is that we will draw primarily $1's and $5's (the modes) and a couple $10's and this would get us up to about $100 of winnings overall. But this is $260 short of the $360 expenditure we would put out over 30 trials! On the other hand, the "House" has a value that is expected that is even higher than this first estimate. The "House" reasons that since $2 is the median value of the balls, 40% of the draws are below this. Thus, $12  $2 = $10 and 30 x $10 = $300 is the expected total winnings for the "House." "Either way, the expected values do not favor us." The second student nods his head and retorts, "Good friend, I agree with you that the expected value is just not welldefined. However, I would tend to pick the mean of $13.18 to help evaluate our chances of winning. Since this value is barely larger than the cost to play of $12 and the odds are 99:` against our winning on any trial, the game tips decisively toward the "House." THERE WAS A PAUSE. THE STUDENTS LOOKED AT EACH OTHER, SHRUGGED THEIR SHOULDERS, AND WALKED AWAY!

