Other Statistical Sites

Dr. Gary C. Ramseyer

Dr. Gary C. Ramseyer was an Emeritus Professor of Psychology with a specialty of statistics and measurement at Illinois State University.

Dr. Ramseyer began teaching at Illinois State in 1965 and retired in 1998. Prior to joining ISU, he taught at the University of Iowa in the College of Education and at University High School in Iowa City, Iowa.


Dr. Ramseyer passed away suddenly in the spring of 2012. In his honor, his websites are being managed by his daughter Vicki S. (Ramseyer) Morrow.

Karl Pearson Hall

Welcome To The John W. Tukey Commemorative Hall!

John W. Tukey (1915 - 2000) was one of the most influential statisticians of the late 20th century. Tukey taught at Princeton and created the university's statistics department. In addition to teaching, he also worked for several of the largest companies in the United States such as Merck and Xerox. In the 1950s, while working for the National Research Council, he became well-known for his criticism of the Kinsey research on sexual behavior which he considered fundamentally flawed. Among his contributions to the field of statistics are robust analysis, stem-and-leaf diagrams and, with James Cooly, the Fast Fourier Transform. For additional information on John Tukey, refer to http://www.swlearning.com/quant/kohler/stat/biographical_sketches/bio15.1.html

Now displaying the humorous side of Statistics...



"We now know that statisticians, among their many other outstanding talents, are also skilled debaters. Thanks go out to Steve Carlson of Bedford, NH for forwarding this joke to me.




Albert Einstein died, and found himself on the train to heaven. In his car, there were four men sitting on separate benches. He walked up to the first who said, "Hello! My name is Bob, and I have an IQ of 186." Einstein smiled brilliantly, and said "Ah-hah! We shall discuss quantum physics together!"Hello, sir. My name is Edward, and my IQ is 150." Einstein smiled, replying "Excellent! We shall discuss mathematics together."

Moving on, Einstein shook hands with the third man, who said, "Hello; my name is William, and my IQ is 119." Smiling again, Einstein replied "Very good! We shall talk together about European history."

The last man looked up glumly as Einstein approached, and said "Hi, my name's Chuck, and my IQ's only 87." Einstein replied sadly "I see -- we shall have to discuss statistics."

"Hmmm! I wonder if Einstein was really dissing the statistical profession or intent on giving Chuck a lesson on the Gaussian curve and telling him gently why he could never become a Gauss? Many thanks to John Schafer for including this joke when he signed my Guestbook.



How true!! How true!! Thanks go out to Alvaro Montenegro Garcia for this contribution.



A physicist, a geologist, and a statistician are talking about whose field is the most fundamental. The geologist says his is because it starts with the creation of the Earth. The physicist says his is the most fundamental because his field starts with the chaos in the universe even before the Earth was formed. The statistician smugly says, "And who do you think caused the chaos?"

Gee, I spent my entire career teaching students a tool that breeds chaos. I would much prefer to think that I taught them something that created well organized mayhem!! (Only kidding.) Anyway, thanks to Arnie Diamond for sending me this joke.



A researcher asked an experienced statistician what procedure should be used to obtain the correlation between two normally distributed variables that were artificially dichotomized. Why did the researcher suddenly rush from the statistician's office and run straight to the pharmacy to buy a bottle of carbon tet cleaning fluid?

The statistician told him a TETRACHORIC SOLUTION was appropriate for his problem!!

If you don't get this joke don't despair. The tetrachoric coefficient is legitimate but is rarely used in modern practice. I happen to own a crumpled original monograph by Thurstone that presents a table for computing this index. Any bidders out there before I auction the item on Ebay?



Why are the mean, median, and mode like a valuable piece of real estate?


All you beginning students of statistics just remember that measures of central tenancy are all POINTS on the score scale as opposed to measures of viability which are all DISTANCED on the score scale. Understand this maxim and you will always know where you are LOCATED!



Why did the statistician do such a horrid job of laying tile on his bathroom floor?


This explains why you never see a statistician's bathroom featured in BETTER HOMES AND GARDENS!



Why did the Statisticians trounce the Accountants by a score of 56 - 0in their annual football game?

The Statisticians employed a BALANCED DESIGN in their offense and effectively used risk in their playbook whereas the Accountants ran only one play ENDRUN and kept risk entirely OFF their PLAYBOOK!!!

I just had to get this dig in at the Accountants. Statisticians may look down at their shoes a lot but they are only verifying they are on a good foundation.



A young woman is telling her friend about a new man she is dating. The friend says, "What does he do for a living?"

"He's a statistician," the first girl replies.

"A statistician? Wallowing in numbers all day? He must be awfully boring!" says the friend.

"We-ell," says the first girl defensively, "It's not the numbers that matter. I love what he does with them."

Erica Heffernan sent this joke to me all the way from Sydney, Australia, to counteract some of the "lame" jokes in the Gallery. Thanks Erica but I may have to mail you a single crutch for this one. Any comments from the readers?


A friend of mine told me the other day that my statistics students must really hate me. The friend informed me that a student complained to him that my last test was so hard that EVERYONE scored below the mean and even the standard deviation was NEGATIVE! The student, however, told my friend he was a wee bit optimistic. His score was so low that he just knew that it would regress toward the mean on the next test!!

Well, I am proud that my test set two new world records in the annals of statistics. On the other hand, maybe I should carefully go over the teaching notes that cover these topics. Anyway, a big thank you goes out to Steven C. Marcus for suggesting this joke. Steve, I hoped you don't mind the embellishments that were tacked on.



Why were so many CEOs who held doctorates in accounting fired in 2002 from their companies?

They used "COOKBOOK" texts in the their stat courses and decided to practice their "DOCTORING" skills!!

I really do not want to blame the collegiate accounting programs for all the corporate woes of America. The indiscretions are probably due to simple red-green color blindness or maybe the failure to recognize the existence of a negative number. On second thought, could it just be old-fashioned greed?



Did you hear about the time Pearson was caught for talking out of turn at a statistical conference about discordant relationships?

I guess he was accused of taking Yule's Q!

Wow! This has to be one of the most obscure indices you will ever find in the statistical literature. However, one could always say, "IT WAS THERE FOR THE TAKING." Thanks to John Hansen, a doctoral student at Indiana University, for sending this rate gem.



Who is the most famous Statistician?

George Washington. He claimed he never told a lie and got away with it!

This is a cute little twist on an old standard. My thanks go out to Hal Ashburner from down under in Sydney, Australia, for sending me this nifty little tweek.



Did you hear about the eccentric Statistics Professor that ran frantically through a hotel lobby wearing only Jockey briefs with a cell phone in one hand?

He was desperately looking for bathrobe. His stock broker had just called him and warned him to COVER HIS SHORTS!!!!

The current 2002 bear stock market inspired me to write this little quip. It seems that when we have a rare up day it is attributed to investors covering their shorts. I knew I should have taken that job with Jockey Underwear a year ago selling shorts door-to-door!!!



What's black, brown and red and looks good on a Statistics Professor?

A Doberman.

Now that is strange. I thought a Doberman was a fine cashmere sweater! Anyway, thanks again to Hal Ashburner for this rather sick joke.



A patient asked his surgeon what the odds were of him surviving an impending operation. The doctor replied they were 50/50 but he'd be all right because the first fifty had already died!

There are a lot of variations of this theme floating around. It reminds me of the coin flipping experiment where a gambler is certain that a tail must appear after ten straight heads. Anyway, thanks to Peter Davies from Oxon in the U.K. for sending me this little tidbit.




Aha! now I know the raison d'etre for our beloved field. I wonder, however, if statistics had never evolved, would the earth still be a primordial swam;? Thanks Dietrich Trenkler from the University of Osnabruck for this insightful contribution.



A statistics professor was completing what he thought was a very inspiring lecture on the importance of significance testing in today's world. A young nursing student in the front row sheepishly raised her hand and said, "But sir, why do nurses have to take statistics courses?"

The professor thought for a few seconds and replied, "Young lady, statistics save lives!"

The nursing student was utterly surprised and after a short pause restored, "But sir, please tell us how statistics saves lives!"

"Well," the professor's voice grew loud and somewhat angry, "STATISTICS KEEPS ALL THE IDIOTS OUT OF THE NURSING PROFESSION!!!"

I was always told by professors in other disciplines that statistics was the ultimate screening device. The frequency of occurrence of this question in my introductory statistics course prompted me to write this joke. I think it is wonderful that statistics truly does save lives but how can I give this response to a music therapy major?



A consulting statistician and his client sat down together for the first time.

Client: "I desperately need your help interpreting the significant three-way interaction in this factorial ANOVA. What are your fees?"

Statistician: "One hundred dollars for three questions."

Client: "Isn't that a little steep?"

Statistician: "Not really! Now what is your third question?"

The client's third question was probably "Where is the door?" This is a sad situation where lack of two-way interaction prevented the discussion of three-way interaction! Yes, I admit this one is all mine!


The statistician was asked by his friend why he always used the urinal on the far end.

He replied: "Oh, that is a no brainer. There is half the probability of being sprayed by someone else."

Once again this illustrates how repressed statisticians are. They would never be could in the middle of a group for fear the person on either side would strike up a conversation. Thanks to Graeme Quinlan from Australia for passing this on.



A statistics professor dies and so the test scheduled for that day is cancelled.

A student rings the department at 5 minute intervals to ask if the test is on. the guy answering the phone asks him, "Why the bloody hell are you ringing so often? I've told you 16 times the professor has passed away! What are you doing, some sort of research, are you experimenting on me? What the bloody hell is it?"

"Nah, the student replies, no research. I just like to hear you say it."

This is another Hal Ashburner joke from down under. It sure makes statisticians feel unwanted!



How many tents will a campground hold?

Ten tenths since that adds up to a whole!!!

Sorry, I lost the attribution on this one. However, you may wonder what this has to do with statistics. A possible incorrect answer to this question would be "one tenth(tent)" since in a one-way analysis of covariance with one covariate, the pooled within groups regression coefficient is not obtained by adding the separate regression coefficients within each group but rather by dividing the pooled numerators of each of the within group coefficients by the pooled denominators of each of the within group coefficients. In our example, using regression-type pooling, 1/10 + 1/10 +1/10 + ...for ten terms = 10/100 or 1/10 but that is absurd! Now isn't that special! I am sure you followed me. Is it any wonder that students have trouble with statistics when they are presented with esoteric "word salad" like the above? Please don't take my ramblings seriously. I am only having FUN!!!



What do you call a tea party with more than 30 people?

A Z party!!!

This is a great one from Stacey Ecott. I always thought a Z party was a roomful of slumbering statisticians listening to a keynote address at a convention.



"It has now been proven beyond a doubt that smoking is the major cause of statistics." -- Author Unknown

Huh? It seems to me that I recall hearing another version of this statement. However, this certainly supports my opening paragraph in the Gallery that gazillions of statistics are created every day. Many thanks to Michele McIndoe for sending me this quote.



Two random variables were gossiping and thought they were discrete by whispering but I heard their chatter continuously.

Thanks go out to Dan Hayden for sending me this cute variation of a segment of Joke #28. However, Dan was discrete by not sending me his affiliation.



Two world famous statisticians and a not so famous statistician were slowly wandering on the ancient land between the Tigris and Euphrates rivers. All three were tired and their faces were aged and wrinkled from their long productive and exhaustive careers. Each wanted to show the others were the steel cache of his most celebrated work was buried in the sand.

The first, R.A. Fisher located his marker and dug with trembling hands a six-foot hole and found his treasure...a reinforced heavy box containing sheet after sheet of journal studies using his Least Significant Difference (LSD) technique. All three smiled smugly and celebrated with muffled mumbling.

The second, J.W. Tukey led the weary men about a mile further and spotted his marker. He dug furiously with every ounce of strength he could must another six-food hole. To no one's surprise, his prize box was uncovered with published paper after paper of results using his Honestly Significant Difference (HSD) method. All three again smiled smugly and celebrated with muffled mumbling. The group was now staggering in the sand and suffering severe muffled mumbling.

The group was now staggering in the sand and suffering severe thirst from the desert heat. However, the third statistician known only as Winsor, pleaded with the other two to go just a ways further. They reluctantly agreed and sure enough after a half mile, Winsor became elated and THOGUTH he spotted his marker. He began to slowly claw and toss the sand aside. After three hours he reached the six-foot depth...but no cache. His mottled face was seating from fatigue but he continued for another six feet...but alas, no cache.

Winsor's body was now shaking violently from exhaustion but he insisted on going a final six feet (eighteen feet in all). He pawed and flailed for six more hours and finally collapsed at the bottom of the hole...but no hint of a cache. At the top of the hole Fisher and Tukey lay prostrate. They choked and sputtered obscenities for several minutes. Applications of the Winsorized Major Difference Procedure were nowhere to be found!

The Lesson Of This Story: NO WMD'S COULD BE FOUND....IT WAS ALL A MIRAGE!!!!

I must admit to taking full responsibility for this unsettling tale. Isn't it strange that all the LSD's and HSD's were found but nary a WMD? Poor Winsor should have focused on his truncated distributions rather than attempt to produce WMD's!!



Day of the quiz::

Professor: "OK students, you have fifteen minutes to plot the bivariate distribution between A and B, fifteen minutes to compute the correlation between A and B, and 5 SECONDS to compute the kurtosis of B."

One student stands up very worried: "Excuse me Professor, how can we possibly compute a kurtosis in 5 SECONDS?"

The Professor looks at the class very reassuring: "No need to be worried, kids, IT TAKES ONLY A MOMENT!!"

Sorry this joke got lost in my notes. But, I want to take this moment to thank Marcello Gallucci of the Free University in the Netherlands for this little tidbit of humor.



Why did the statistician take Viagra?

Since his sample was large, he did not want to be rejected with a small p-=value and be declared practically nonsignificant!!

Thanks to Philip J. Politis from the URI Fisheries Department for passing this joke along. However, I will not tough this with a ten-foot pole.


A statistics professor was describing sampling theory to his class, explaining how a sample can be studied and used to generalize to a population. One of the student in the back of the room kept shaking his head. "What's the matter?" asked the professor. "I don't believe it," said the student, "why not study the whole population in the first place?" The professor continued explaining the ideas of random and representative samples. The student still shook his head.

The professor launched into the mechanics of proportional stratified samples, randomized cluster sampling, the standard error of the mean, and the central limit theorem. The student remained unconvinced saying, "Too much theory, too risky, I couldn't trust just a few numbers in place of ALL of them."

Attempting a more practical example, the professor then explained the scientific rigor and meticulous sample selection of the Nielsen television ratings which are used to determine how multiple millions of advertising dollars are spent. The student remained unimpressed saying, "You mean that just a sample of a few thousand can tell us exactly what over 250 MILLION people are doing?"

Finally, the professor, somewhat disgruntled with the scepticism, replied, "Well, the next time you go to the campus clinic and they want to do a blood test...tell them that's not good enough...tell them to TAKE IT ALL!!"

This has to rank with the very best of the stat jokes and is also very instructive. Many thanks go out to Kenn(Doc) Finstuen for sending me this jewel. Kenn, who is a consulting statistician from San Antonian, Texas sent me a package of materials several years ago that were misplaced until recently. Sorry Kenn, this should have been in the Gallery much earlier.



In China, even if you are a one out of a million kind of guy,there are thousands more just like you!!

Gee, this is sad. In the US, I would settle for being a one out of a thousand kind of statistician and know there are not thousands more like me. Thanks to Dennis Lankin from the UC at Berkeley for this play upon numbers.



A new Ph.D statistician had just taken a position with the Bureau of Standards. one of his first tasks was to familiarize himself with the volumes of measurement standards for the vast array of objects in the world. He was immediately curious about his own profession and looked up "statistician." Among the list of physical characteristics, he came across a shocking figure...The mean weight of all statisticians in the world is 3 POUNDS. He gasped in disbelief. He thought surely this was a typographical error and that the first two digits had been omitted. Then he squinted and noticed a small asterisk by this figure. He quickly directed his eyes to the bottom of the page. He sighed a breath of relief as the footnote boldly stated, "INCLUDES URN."

I think this easily EARNS a grade of "A" as a statistician joke. I now understand why textbooks and instructors are obsessed with examples of drawing Balls from Urns when probability theory is introduced. If you think this is a lame joke, I will take all the blame but remember I am an Odd Ball that has always drawn Chips from Bowls.



What is a triple-blinded, completely randomized case-control clinical drug trial?

One in which the patients do not know which drug treatment they are receiving, the nurses do not know which drug treatment they are administering, and the physicians conducting the study do not know what they are doing!!!

I have always wondered why physician's recommendation from medical research studies changes almost every six months. Thanks to Kenn Finstuen from texas for another dandy. This should immediately be recognized by Stanley and Campbell in their work that classifies types of experimental designs.;



IRS statistics show that the average American now works 3 and 1/2 hours every day for the government, which comes out to 1 and 1/2 more hours than civil servants do!!

This is really a shocker. I always knew civil employees were underpaid but there now appears to be a fringe benefit. I am sorry I don't have an attribution on this neat comparison.



Democrats believe there is only one poll that matters...It takes place on Election Day.

Republications also believe there is only one poll that matters...However, it takes place in Florida on Election Day.

Statisticians regretfully throw up their hands in despair because they concede what REALLY matters is a biased poll with a sample size of nine...The members of the Supreme Court!!

I will take full responsibility for creating this one. The question is could it happen again??



A naive researcher approached a statistician one day about analyzing some data.

Researcher: "How do I test the difference between four treatment group means?"

Statistician: "Perform an Analysis of Variance."

Researcher: "But I don't want to test the difference in the group variances!"

Statistician: "You aren't! you are comparing the ratio of the variation between the group means to the combined variation within the groups to see if it is beyond chance."

Researcher: "You simply don't understand. You persist in talking about variation which does not interest me in the least!"

Statistician (Exasperated and Angry): "OK I have an alternative for you which is called the Inter ocular Test. Just examine any difference in the means and if it STRIKES YOU RIGHT BETWEE N THE EYSE, declare it significant!!"

Isn't it rather ironic that the significance of the differences between a set of means can be tested by the ratio of two variances? Sir Ronald Fisher was very cagey when he perfected this seemingly contradictory procedure. This little story is my own so you know where to shoot the barbs.



A ONE-WAY ANOVA shouted at a TWO-WAY ANOVA: "STOP! Turn around -- You are going the wrong way!"

The TWO-WAY ANOVA yelled back: "Sorry! I will turn when I see an interaction!"

Well, maybe ANOVA's should be required to pass a drivers test. Who would have dreamed ANOVA's would be driving fancy cars in the 21st Century. The attribution on this one points a one-way error at yours truly!



Statistics play an important role in genetics. For instance, statistics prove that numbers of offspring is an inherited trait. If your parent didn't have any kids, odds are you won't either.

This is a neat little quip. Thanks Hugh W. Graham, a Quality Engineer from Abbott, for passing this one along.



Three of the Most Embarrassing Outcomes for a Statistician and Their Workarounds:

(1) Result: The intercorrelations between a fairly large set of variables has exactly 5% of the coefficients that are significant at the .05 level. Solution: Try to remain upbeat. Lighten up and use the .10 level of significance and stress to the readers that these results represent an early exploratory study!

(2) Result: In a 3x3x4x4x5 Factorial ANOVA the Five-Way Interaction turns up significant at the .01 level. Solution: Curse under your breath that you used a five-factor design. Then instruct your graduate assistant to conduct FIVE Four-Way ANOVAs, one for each of the five levels of the 5th independent variable, to take two aspirin, and call back in the morning!

(3) Result: The F-test for a One-Way ANOVA with five treatment groups is significant at the .05 level but NONE of the pairwise comparisons between the five means is significant. Solution: Cry hard and then work your tail off to find some obscure, meaningless complex comparison that is significant such as the average of the first three treatment means is significantly different from the average of the last two treatment means!

The above are my own dreaded results. I am sure the readers have their own convoluted and shocking statistical anomalies. Please e-mail me your most feared and or realized statistical outcome and I will put it in the Gallery.



Variance is what any two statisticians are at. How sad because this automatically violates the assumption of homogeneity of variance. However, if the statisticians are robust then everything will work out between them.

Thanks to Sweta Sorab of GE Energy Services Marketing Forecasting for forwarding me the first line of this quip. I added several lines to continue the fun-poking at the statisticians.



An elderly statistician complained to a younger statistician one day that he was having a "senior moment" when he forgot what integrating the normal probability density function produced. The younger statistician said not to worry because all he had to do was to set "junior moment" on his moment generating function and it would spit out "area under the curve." The elderly statistician stared vacantly for a few seconds then confessed that this moment generating function had no such setting and suggested that the younger statistician may have also just had a "senior moment."

This little exchange I wrote is dedicated to Professor Robert V. Hogg of the Statistics Department at the University of Iowa who taught me all about moment generating functions. Professor Hogg was an outstanding instructor and his upbeat attitude and interjection of fun into his lectures first gave me the notion that just maybe statistics did not have to be dry and humorless.



I don't know why people are so negative about statistics and statisticians. I'm only a first-year student, and statistics has already taught me everything I need to know about life -- always Proceed with Caution and reject H0!

Thanks to Priscilla Mok at the Hong Kong International School for sending me this little testimonial about the field of statistics. Don't forget, Priscilla, to mention that the statistical literature is laced with all those positive Chi-Squares and F-ratios that also perk up your day.



Three statisticians went hunting. When they arrived at the forest three deer stepped out in a line directly across from the three statisticians. The statistician on the right fired and hit his deer, then the statistician on the left fired and hit his deer. At that point the statistician in the middle said, "Well, boys, we all got our deer, let's go home!"

Ok! This one may take a while to even elicit a smile. in fact, it took me over a day to realize what was funny here. Just think about basic analytic geometry and the "a ha" will hit you. Bruce Hunn sent me this clever story from the Army Research Laboratory in Ft. Huachuca, AZ. Many thanks!


You can always TELL a statistician...

But you can't tell him much!!

I might add that if you tell a statistician TOO MUCH he would feel cheated out of making an inference. Thanks once again to Doc Finstuen fro this truism from "ALAMO" country in Texas.



A reader of this Gallery sent me a very amusing story...

He took advantage of one of those online offers...a free credit report. He was delighted to learn that his credit rating was better than 100% of those who had received such a report...which obviously included himself. "Whoopee!!!, he exclaimed, my credit rating was better than MY OWN!!! It just doesn't get any better than that."

Harley (I need your last name), thanks for this cute anecdote. This does hit on a point that I have been frequently asked about. Can a person's score in any distribution fall at the 100th percentile or more precisely can his score have a percentile rank of 100? If you subscribe to classical test theory, the answer is technically NO. Supposed that person A had a top score of 23 on a 25 item test with the remaining 49 other students scoring below 23, Then assuming the scores are continuous, person A's true score would be between the real limits of 22.5 and 23.5. The only way that person A's score would have a percentile rank of 100 would be if his true score was between 22.5 and 23. Since it is just as likely that his true score is between 23 and 23.5, we generally compromise and assume 1/2 of his score is between 22.5 and 23 and the other half is between 23 and 23.5 (a wacky assumption but more plausible if you had several scores of 23). Thus the percentile rank of a person A would be (49 + (1/2 x 1))/50 = 49.5/50 = 99. Most modern authors subscribe to the above line of thinking but as we all know, statistics is heavily laden with many assumptions.




(1) Picks the numbers 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, and 6 in the State Lottery?
Hey, what's wrong with these? This set of six numbers is just as likely as any other set of six numbers from 1 - 52 such as 35, 8, 44, 23, 32, and 10! A statistician just likes order in his life.

(2) Carries a Brannock Device (The New and Improved Expert Shoe Salesperson Quiz) in his car trunk rather than a small air compressor.
It is more important that his passengers have correct fitting shoes rather than having the correct amount of air pressure in his tires!

(3) Loves riding a roller coaster because the quick ups and downs remind him of his arm motions when drawing normal curves on the blackboard.
Now, if he could only draw a straight score-scale line on the board he would have it made!

(4) Displays fickleness when he relishes showing his class that in baseball, Pete Rose's 44-game hitting streak was slightly more improvable than Joe Damietta's 56 game hitting streak but yet would vote to keep Rose out of the Hall of Fame.
What? This is unbelievable! The key is that Rose had a lifetime batting average of .300 whereas Dimaggio's was .325 and this differential does not overcome the more games that Rose played in that season.

(5) Shows an almost exclusive preference for hypothesis testing over confidence intervals in making inferences as most applied statisticians do. But then is speechless when a student remarks, "But sir, if we reported confidence intervals then we wouldn't have to fuss with Type I and II Errors or the Power of the test!"
How true! How true! But we must always support Neyman and Pearson and forever keep their names in front of the statistical community.



Why do most statistics professors at Case Wester Reserve University have a clean record, but a few get put in prison for life?

There is an uncommon level of VARIANTS in the area!

Thanks go out to John Newbrough, a statistics student at Case Western Reserve, for relating this demographic oddity for the Gallery. This has to imply that Western Reserve is Number One in the respect shown for the discipline.




BELL: Fancy meeting you underneath me. I never did understand why someone perverted er, an INVERTED me and created you. You aren't worth much!

WELL: You must have had your BELL rung! One of your allegedly famous applications is approximating a sampling distribution for certain hypothesis tests and the power curves for many of these tests are well, a WELL CURVE.

BELL: Oh WELL, I forgot that! More critically, WELL, your central tenancy is all messed up. Neither your mean or median represents you. Only your modes at the extremes characterize you. My curve is neat and tidy with all those indices identical. That is a real BELL RINGER!

WELL: WELL BELL, you are still living in the 18th and 19th centuries. You don't realize how distributions are changing. For example, the distribution of wealth is becoming WELL since the middle class is disappearing and only the extremely wealthy and the impoverished poor are increasing at the ends. Also, the approval ratings of elected officials is becoming WELL since feelings are polarized at the extremes with not much in the middle. I could go on and on.

BELL: WELL, you are threatening the limits of my practical range! Maybe, we can talk again under more NORMAL circumstances.

WELL: BELL you had your MOMENTS but we shall talk again. Meanwhile let us tell all statisticians to tie each set of our ends together and use the combined distributions as a CHRISTMAS TREE ORNAMENT! Good Day!

Well, folks, how many of you have even heard of the WELL CURVE? I was doing some Web surfing recently and found this interesting article by Jim Pinto printed in the San Diego Mensan, Aug. 2003. Seemingly, Mr. Pinto has coined the expression WELL CURVE for an inverted Normal Curve and touted its usefulness. Maybe this curve is becoming so prominent that it should now be included in statistics textbooks. Anyways, this conversation between the two curves is strictly my own little piece of "humorous" statistical nonsense."



Checking some questionnaires that had just been filled in, a census clerk was amazed to note that one of them contained figures 121 and 125 in the spaces for ":Age of Mother, if Living" and "Age of Father, if Living."

"Surely your parents can't be as old as this?" asked the incredulous clerk.

"Well no," was the answer, "But they would be IF LIVING!"

Is this telling us that census data is biased on age of parents? Thanks Michele McIndoe for sending me this neat little joke.



A statistician is a professional who diligently collects facts and data and then carefully draws confusions about them. -- Author unknown thank goodness!

How ungrateful! Here we statisticians work our tails off to make sense out of samples and use sophisticated techniques to make valuable inferences about populations and people tell us that we confuse them. How dare they?



My pain and confusion covary
At levels both looming and scary
To pass this exam
I'll be needing some scam --
Oh statistics! I should have been wary.

Thanks Deborah Apthorpe from down under at Macquarie University in Sydney, Australia, for sending me this cute little limerick. If this Joke Gallery can display Knock! Knock! jokes, we certainly can make room for a few statistical limericks. Debby suggests that instructors of statistics have their students write these competitively in class as a learning device. Great idea!