Search This Blog

Monday, May 29, 2017

The Making of "Fake" News and Science...

The world is awash with "fake" science and "fake" news.

Here's good documentation of how fake science is created and marketed:

http://io9.gizmodo.com/i-fooled-millions-into-thinking-chocolate-helps-weight-1707251800

The scribd version of the original is here.

The original journal, after accepting and publishing the "fake" study then did this (retracted it and claimed it was never published via some controversy):  Here's the cached "published" version...

In any case if you actually took the time to read through what was done you can see how easy it is to "fake" numbers.  This is not new and I have written about it often over the years.

Of course, "fake" news is even easier to create as there isn't any kind of "peer review" available to screen out nonsense.  At least the "fake" science world pretends to do this.

Here's a news example from Facebook.  "Trump" news about leaking classified information to the president of the Philippines:  (as of 5/29/17 you can find the content here http://mobile.reuters.com/article/idUSKBN18K15Y - but it will probably change again.)


If you look I quote a specific line from the article.  But today, some several days later, the Reuters.com article now says only this:

"U.S. President Donald Trump told his Philippine counterpart that Washington has sent two nuclear submarines to waters off the Korean peninsula, the New York Times said, comments likely to raise questions about his handling of sensitive information.

Trump has said "a major, major conflict" with North Korea is possible because of its nuclear and missile programs and that all options are on the table but that he wants to resolve the crisis diplomatically.

North Korea has vowed to develop a missile mounted with a nuclear warhead that can strike the mainland United States, saying the program is necessary to counter U.S. aggression."

(There was a section trashing Trump and another section describing how someone had gotten "an accurate representation of the call" as I quote above - now it's, surprise, surprise, "anonymous").

Poof!

Gone.  Just like that! The silly fake news parts have magically changed; though no "sources" are even identified to explain what is said...

The original date "Wed May 24, 2017 | 3:25 PM EDT" has not changed but the content has!  The original Facebook post is actually dated before the current time stamp so it's probably not the first change:


This is not news...  It's a game.

A game to fool the ignorant and stupid.

What more proof do you need?

Demonstrable "fake" science.

"Fake" news that edits itself (I am sure more than me pointed this out).

Good thing this was "corroborated by someone who has actually led SSBN ops" - except all the content is now gone.  No one says anything about this I can find.

Friday, May 12, 2017

Facebook: Tracking Your Physical Location

Is this who's talking to you on Facebook?
So a while back I went to a funeral.

I knew a few people well, the rest only casually or not at all.

A few days later I went to a burial - same people.

The next day people I didn't know related to the funeral showed up on my list possible Facebook friends.

I never emailed them, I never called them, I never even talked to them!  The only relationship I had with them is I was physically near them.

Now they are on my Facebook ("Are you my friend?")

The only way Facebook can know this is because our phones are on sending information where we are physically and Facebook is matching others near by with our "friend" lists.

So we are being tracked.

Think about it...  Where are these "friend" suggestions coming from?

We are being monitored.

I wonder if they (Facebook) can turn on your microphone?

Surely they would never do that!

"Oh look! So-and-so is standing next to your friend Joe..."  Facebook: "Is so-and-so your friend?"

Where do you go?

Are you in the bathroom?

Which stall?

What do you look at?  We (Mark Zuckerberg) doesn't like that?  So look at this "sock puppet" nonsense instead...

Oh, my friend wrote that?

Did they?

Indeed...   Who's the real puppet master?  Do you like is liberal agenda?


Sock puppets...

It's how Facebook controls you.

He controls millions, no billions of them.





Monday, May 8, 2017

Grandparents: Risking Children's Health

In the 1970's Ms. Wolf had our first child.  We went to the doctor - of course we were young and poor and without insurance.  We paid the bills on my meager $2.10/hour salary.

The hospital stay was about $700 USD.  This included only one night (labor began late, she pushed, baby was born early).  Mrs. Wolf went home the next day.  We were poor, she was young, we relied on everyone's sturdy constitution.  Everyone did wonderfully.

I received the bill and paid about $35/month until the hospital was paid for.  I am sure we took the baby to the doctor as well, probably at six weeks and one a year there after.  (Some of the details may be wrong - it was over 40 years ago...)

Mrs. Wolf knew what she was doing - she was a clever girl.  Trained by women who grew up in wooden shacks in the south and had to "make do" with nothing when raising kids.  These women had a sharp eye for things that were actual problems versus BS - and I learned to listen.

The inflation calculator says that $700 USD is now the same as about $2,900 USD - the same as the cost of a fancy gaming PC or Apple laptop.  Today that same hospital visit would cost around $30,000 USD - the price of a decent new car.

I was reminded of this when I came across this article about how "modern" kids are put "at risk" by foolish old grandparents "Study: Grandparents’ old-school parenting putting kids at risk."

How interesting...

Since the 1970's medical costs have increased ten-fold over inflation.  We are now 35th in the world in terms of health care.  We are obese.  We have tens of thousands of opioid deaths a year (using 80% of the worlds supply).  We take too many pills for everything, we take pills to address the symptoms of pills.  There are millions of children on "anti-psychotics" and ADHD medications (see this).  We are the least efficient at delivering healthcare in the industrialized world (see this).

When something like vaping comes along to help people stop smoking we kill it off.

We are failures.

Complete and total failures.

So what about this article?

God forbid grandma should just leave the kids cut knee uncovered (without a "bandaid").

The NY Times agrees with grandma (see this).

Far fewer of us were overweight when old school "healthcare," i.e., "none," was in effect.  I remember my friend Steve taking off his surgical wrapping off his hand in school to show us how his tendons worked (you could see them moving).  No one died.  No one cared.  We still went out for recess.  A bottle of iodine, a few other things in the "medicine cabinet" you you became an adult without a hospital trip save for the occasional broken arm.

There was charity.

People were also realistic: "don't be stupid in the first place."

Today poor Steven would be on opioids and in a clean room.

Grandma figured if you didn't poke your eye out you'd do all right.  Had a high fever?  Into the tub you went with a "cool bath" - not ice water.  If you were dumb, the world would teach you.  Grandma would just smile...

Today we live longer but are less healthy by far.

Grandma and grandpa lived better in later years before - and it was okay to die when it was time.  Family helped out.  You were sad but grandma was old.

Today grandma is on dope.  Three OC-80's a day and at the rehab if needed.

No, the idiotic "healthcare" model is putting everyone at risk - most of all grandma and "the kids."

The kiddies grandma lets run loose around will be healthier because of her.

It's only a "cult of ignorance" that makes us dumber.  After all, "doctors" went to college - makes them smarter than us, right?  They know everything...

(Remember only 1 in 20 medical studies are actually accurate - the rest "fake news...")

The real "cult of ignorance" are the buffoons who believe that US "education" is actually helping the country do anything but become more stupid each day.

Without critical thinking people believe the BS put out by the modern "media" - who for the most part cannot add, subtract or create an original thought.

But at least they know what lever to pull in the voting booth so we're all good.


Monday, May 1, 2017

9/11 Made Me a "Denier..."

From my personal blog 18th of August of 2006:  At the time I first encountered this I too "believed."  However, the discovery of this BBC programme was so enlightening I simply had to change my thinking.

Since this was written much has happened.  The various "climate gate" emails chief among them.   Of course, when you think about this many of my posts on "bad science" also come to mind...

Enjoy!

-----------------------

Below is an excerpt from a BBC programme called Horizon (link here). It discusses the effect of having all US airplanes (as well as airplanes from other countries as well, I suppose) grounded for three days right after 9/11. They discuss some unquantified temperature measurements from 48 states (about 5,000 measuring stations) from areas "that was[sic] most dominantly affected by the grounding".

Excerpted from the previous link

DR DAVID TRAVIS (University of Wisconsin, Whitewater) We found that the change in temperature range during those three days was just over one degrees C. And you have to realise that from a layman's perspective that doesn't sound like much, but from a climate perspective that is huge.

BCC NARRATOR One degree in just three days no one had ever seen such a big climatic change happen so fast. This was a new kind of climate change. Scientists call it Global Dimming.

Follow the link for a complete context to the comments below.

Hmmmm..... this sounds like a very subjective measurement (areas dominantly affected by the grounding). Though it seems obvious that fewer jets means less pollution and contrails; hence more sunlight reaches the earth's surface; hence more of the sun's energy reaches the earth. Particulates (like coulds) help keep the heat absorbed by the earths surface from radiating back into the sky (this is why, all things being equal, cloudy winter days are usually much warmer that days without clouds). So without the layer of particulates, the earth heats and cools more quickly.

There are several troubling aspects to this. First, its hard to imaging the "global warming" scientists missing out on something this important (see previous posts). Second, what does this do to the "standard" climate models, i.e., is it accounted for?? Third, maybe carbon dioxide is keeping the planet habitable while the climate is really being destroyed (thrown into an ice age) by aircraft contrails.

Another troubling aspect is that somehow these local effects are thought of by scientists as "climatic". What is described in the BBC article is an extremely temporary, local effect which affects the "temperature" of the earth by a degree or more C (temporary because things go back to "normal" when air traffic returns). This effect can be generated by flying a few thousand (not sure on the exact number) airplanes at high altitude for a few hours each day. This means that someone could easily control the amount of energy reaching the earth's surface.

Over all, this seems to create a "hole" in the "climate models".

Global Dimming!?!

Apparently its a surprise to scientists that as the amount of pollution (particulates in particular (no pun intended)) increases less sunlight reaches the surface of the earth. This remarkable fact is now called "global dimming". Global dimming means less solar energy is reaching the surface of the earth. Where does it go if not to the surface? Why, its reflected back into space.

Maybe the fact that since the 1970's the amount of particulates has decreased (due, for example, to the clean air act) - hence the dramatic increases "global warming".

Bottom line - no one really knows....

Wednesday, April 26, 2017

Bad Science is Fake News and It's Killing Us

From the study linked below
On November 17th of 2010 I wrote this on my personal blog (skip this if you've already seen it - I discuss this more along with a new study down at the bottom):

-----------

We see the ads on TV all the time: your high cholesterol might be the cause of heart disease, heart attack, and, worst upon worst (at least if you're a guy), even erectile dysfunction.

Pretty scary stuff, isn't it?

But are the ads true?

There was a big study of CHD (Coronary Heart Disease) AMI events (heart attacks or Acute Myocardial Infarction (AMI)) called INTERHEART.  It followed some tens of thousands of cases and people over many years.  The results identify risks associated with activities and tests.

Now this is where things become interesting.

The study identifies risk factors - now its very important to understand that a risk factor is not a predictor of something and not cause something.  A prediction says that if I hold a hammer over my foot that it will hit my foot if I let go - I predict the result based on some information.  A cause is different.  For example, if I jump off the roof and break my leg the jump from the roof caused the broken leg (you can argue that the impact of my body on the ground  and the fact that my leg took up all the force was really the cause, but at a macro level my leg broke because of the jump).

risk factor merely represents the numerical chance something might happen based on examination of a large group.  (Chance here is a number between zero and one, commonly shown as a percentage, i.e., .1 = 10%.)  Sort of like saying 10% of the people at a baseball game buy hot dogs.  We don't know which people will buy hot dogs but we can generally assume that for any given baseball game about 10% will buy hot dogs - everything else being equal (for example, there are no sales of hamburgers that day).  This is why stadium vendors can buy just about the right amount of food so none is wasted and they don't run out.

In epidemiology risk factors are calculated as follows:

We take a statistically significant group of people (you can use common sense here - for something like heart disease you wouldn't study just five people - you'd study a large number).  Just how large a number is not really important here, all we need to know is the number is large enough for statistical purposes.

We'll pretend in this post that 100 people are subjects in the study because math with 100 is relatively easy.

So let's say (we are making this up) that 20 people have AMI events of our 100 subjects.  That's 20 / 100 = .20 = 20%.  So we say that in general you have a 20% risk of an AMI event - based on our population (more on this in a bit).

Let's also say that 25 people in our example smoke (about like the percentage in the real world) and we'll pretend that 15 people in this smoking group have AMI events.

So the number of people that smoke and have an AMI event is 15, or 15 / 100 or .15 or 15% of the population.

If we divide the 15% (people who smoke and have an AMI event) by the 20% that just have an AMI event we get .75 or 75% risk factor that if I smoke I will have an AMI event.

Now, based on this, the billion (or trillion) dollar questions is this:  Does our study show that smoking causes an AMI event?

The answer is clearly no.  Our study does not determine the cause of anything.  It merely multiplies some observed numbers together and computes something we call a risk factor.

And, in this case, was does that mean?

Actually nothing.  I could now tell you, for example, that our 100 subjects all were born with serious congenital heart problems known to cause AMI events.

What would you think of my study example now?

What you are seeing is correlation.  Correlation means, in this case, that when one thing happens there is an observed relationship with some other thing happening.  A correlation is an observation.

Dogs make correlations: If I walk to the container holding the dog food they think I am going to feed them - so they stick close by.  The dog mind predicts that I will feed them when I do this.  But walking to the dog food container does not cause me to feed them.  Similarly if I walk by the dog food container all the time and don't feed them the dogs will soon realize that their correlation is not useful and abandon it.

The INTERHEART study shows cholesterol is a risk factor in AMI events.  (The ratio of HDL/LDL is used as well as another kind of cholesterol ratio - both provide about the same risk factor.)

Does this mean that cholesterol causes AMI events?

No, it does not.  In fact, emphatically NO.

For all we know based on this study bad cholesterol ratios may also be a symptom of the same thing that actually causes AMI events.

And that's the problem.

Unfortunately, big pharma latches on to things like this study and makes the assumption that reducing the risk factor will make you healthier.  Actually, they probably know its not true, but since making you think its true is not a crime...

That's why things like Lipitor make your good cholesterol go up and you bad cholesterol go down.  The thinking is that reducing a risk factor for an AMI event makes your chance of having an AMI event smaller.

But that's nonsense because there is no causal relationship between the cholesterol ratios and AMI events.

And since there is no causal relationship its just what we might call "magical thinking" on your part, the part of your doctor, the part of big pharma.  Magical thinking (according to the link) is "causal reasoning that looks for correlation between acts or utterances and certain events. In religion, folk religion and superstition, the correlation posited is between religious ritual, such as prayer, sacrifice or the observance of a taboo, and an expected benefit or recompense. "

Wikipedia associates magical thinking with witch doctors and voodoo - but isn't it apropo here?

So there you are.  Taking a medication linked to a problem you probably don't already have.  Linked by magical thinking, and magical thinking alone to a drug that makes them big money.

And to top it all off - things like Liptor has nasty side effects!

Now one imagines that the maker of Liptor does not like to see things on this list in general nor does it like to see a long list.  So my guess is that the manufacturer worked very hard to remove everything that's on the list due to magical thinking on the part of the consumer taking the drug.

Sadly the list is too long to put into this post - look here to see it.

So, at least as far as I can see, there is a real cause and effect related to these side effects: If you don't take Lipitor you wouldn't report them - just like if I didn't jump off the roof I wouldn't have a broken leg.

---------------

So today I came across this study: "Saturated fat does not clog the arteries: coronary heart disease is a chronic inflammatory condition, the risk of which can be effectively reduced from healthy lifestyle interventions"

Since I wrote the original post I moved out from under the "saturated fat" model of medical and life thinking.  There are a variety of rules about eating which make sense (and are covered in the personal blog and which I will move here over time) but the "red meat is bad" one is simply BS.

From the study:  "Coronary artery disease pathogenesis and treatment urgently requires a paradigm shift. Despite popular belief among doctors and the public, the conceptual model of dietary saturated fat clogging a pipe is just plain wrong. A landmark systematic review and meta-analysis of observational studies showed no association between saturated fat consumption and (1) all-cause mortality, (2) coronary heart disease (CHD), (3) CHD mortality, (4) ischaemic stroke or (5) type 2 diabetes in healthy adults."

"No association" is strong stuff.

Decades of Lipitor and such are complete and utter bullshit.

Think about it.

Bad science.

Bad science education.

No one can tell this is BS.

And here we are.

Since I have changed my lifestyle to ignore the BS its has been much, much healthier, much more active, much better.

Wonder why this isn't "picked up" on the standard news feeds...???

Bad science is kill us.

Medical studies: 1 in 5 or 1 in 20 accurate.

But, you say, this may be one of them.

No, for a lot of other reasons, many related to magical thinking, it's not.

The drugs, medications, etc. being sold to the American people and the people of the world is the nonsense.

Fake news.

Turned into reality.

Tuesday, April 25, 2017

Oregon: Crushing The Engineering Spirit

A couple of years ago I wrote how, in their infinite wisdom, the morons (legislators) in charge of Oregon attempted to make nicotine a controlled substance in order to stop the spread of vaping.

Apparently their stupidity extends beyond vaping and into general engineering as well.

From Motherboard: Man Fined $500 for Crime of Writing 'I Am An Engineer' in an Email to the Government

From the article: "In September 2014, Mats Järlström, an electronics engineer living in Beaverton, Oregon, sent an email to the state's engineering board. The email claimed that yellow traffic lights don't last long enough, which "puts the public at risk."

Järlström provided complete documentation and analysis of his findings (see image below from Motherboard).  His wife got pinched for running a red light and he thought that the way the lights worked were unfair.


The result of this?

A letter from Oregon's State Board of Examiners for Engineering and Land Surveying (here) explaining that since Järlström had not registered with them (the OSBEELS) he was committing a crime and would be fined $500.

Mind you Järlström is an "electronics engineer."

So what if someone where to report something like this - a real danger (the Tacoma Narrows bridge collapse)?



I guess they'd get fined too.

Seems like the right thing... doesn't it?

So what does Oregon the State think is an engineer?  According to OSBEELS (see this) their idea of an "engineer" involves (as of 2015):

1. "Practice of engineering" or "practice of professional engineering" means doing any of the following:
(a) Performing any professional service or creative work requiring engineering education, training and experience.
(b) Applying special knowledge of the mathematical, physical and engineering sciences to such professional services or creative work as consultation, investigation, testimony, evaluation, planning, design and services during construction, manufacture or fabrication for the purpose of ensuring compliance with specifications and design, in connection with any public or private utilities, structures, buildings, machines, equipment, processes, works or projects.
(c) Surveying to determine area or topography.
(d) Surveying to establish lines, grades or elevations, or to determine or estimate quantities of materials required, removed or in place.
(e) Surveying required for design and construction layout of engineering and architectural infrastructure.
(f) Performing photogrammetric mapping.

One might imagine that they meant "civil engineering" because they talk in adjacent paragraphs about land surveying but that's not what is explicitly said.

In Oregon if you provide a "professional service or creative work requiring engineering education, ..." or "Applying special knowledge of the mathematical, physical and engineering sciences to such professional services or creative work as consultation, investigation, testimony, evaluation, planning, design and services during construction, manufacture or fabrication for the purpose of ensuring compliance with specifications and design, in connection with any public or private utilities, structures, buildings, machines, equipment, processes, works or projects." you must be an OSBEELS-registered engineer.

Offering handyman services to the widow next door to calculate the distance her porch swing will travel, mudding drywall (because you need physics to figure out how much mud to use), or even paying the neighborhood kid to sweep a side walk to clear it of debris someone might trip over clearly qualifies as "engineering" under 2015 ORS 672.007
Acts constituting practice of engineering, land surveying or photogrammetric mapping.

Poor Järlström never saw it coming!

Now he's a criminal.  And let's bet that the OSBEELS "code of ethics" (if there is one) prevents criminals from being engineers.

So Järlström is out!

I guess I better not go to Oregon or get paid for doing the work I do there for I would be a criminal also.

I wonder if the lay people at the OSBEELS who get paid to "ensure compliance with specifications and designs," - like did you use the right bathroom, did you follow the instructions on the toilet plunger box, did someone write a letter using the word "engineer" incorrectly, etc. get a pass.

But not Järlström.

Poor bastard.

This type of control via groups like OSBEELS is used to control competition all the time (see this).  All the clubby members of the OSBEELS don't want folks like Järlström questioning their authority.

If they allow that then issues such as the one Järlström brings up expose the OSBEELS short comings.

(Hey I get letting professionals design things related to public safety, but there are reasonable limits one would hope.  On the other hand snowflakes graduating probably can't do real engineering so maybe for them the OSBEELS makes sense.)

No one will trust an engineer if they appear to make mistakes, e.g., building something like this (from this):


(Imagine this thing full of water! This is not from Oregon... but I think even those without engineering credentials would agree this looks a bit cagey.)

Oregon has their own dam failures like this:


Then again, perhaps the OSBEELS is not doing such a good job (see this): "Half Of Oregon's Critical Bridges Could Collapse In Quake"


Perhaps the OSBEELS better get their own, existing "portfolio" of engineering problems in hand before going after guys like Järlström.

Just saying...

Monday, April 24, 2017

On the Naming of Carrots...

I came upon a fascinating article about some guys (link here: https://peerj.com/preprints/2748v1/) claiming to do “science” that demonstrates, at multiple levels, why “modern science” is mostly just silly nonsense.

First off you need to understand me: a self trained engineer with forty years of commercial experience across numerous disciplines: electronics, software, color, audio, music.

I have been writing commercial software for so long I have substantial intuition about how data will behave on a very, very large scale.

I am a bad ass, hard core, a mercenary.  It's what I do.

I design, build and support large, complex data-intensive commercial computer-based systems.  Commercial in this context means that I get paid on the results.  If the system doesn’t work then I lose - no one pays me, especially not to waste their time or money.

These systems often involve large complex data sets on which a variety of statistical calculations are performed.  They tend to operate for many years, often without intervention.

This includes systems which utilize what is effectively “programmed intuition.”  What I mean by this is that regardless of the size of a set of data used to develop and design the system there are always things which you cannot know.  Sometimes I have to write software that uses “guesses” to complete or bound calculations when all the data needed to verify something is unavailable.

A few examples of this:

1. A system I designed, in production for eight years, to repair Japanese fonts in a printing system used to produce a substantial number of cell phone bills in Japan.  I don’t know Japanese or how to write it.

2. A system, in production for nine years, to “color correct and match” documents printing at 1,000 feet per minute when traditional color management systems fail.

Enough!

Hopefully you get the idea...

So today I found the above article through Ars Technica’s description here (https://arstechnica.com/science/2017/04/the-peer-reviewed-saga-of-mindless-eating-mindless-research-is-bad-too/).

So what’s my blog post about?

Somebody named Brian Wansink from Cornell University (link: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Brian_Wansink), a consumer psychologist, apparently made some blog posts which alerted other “researchers” to some question some of Wansink's published scientific results.  Wansink runs some sort of “lab” at Cornell that has to do with the “science” of convincing children to eat carrots by giving them (the carrots) clever names, hiding the goody bowl so you won't each too many snacks (sigh), and so on.

Apparently Wansink is a “rock star” in this area of “science”.

The researchers questioning the results, Tim van der Zee, Jordan Anaya, Nicholas J. L. Brown, published this article (also https://peerj.com/preprints/2748v1/) as a response.

The idea of their paper critical of Wansink is that it has data values that don’t add up (like the data in the tables in his paper) or they have strange mathematical problems.

For example, if my data set is “44.16 18.88 46.08 14.46” and I calculate the “mean” (add the numbers and divide by 4 in this case) I should not get any odd numbers because there are no odd numbers involved (all the input values are even and I am dividing by four).

Fair enough so far.

If Wansink’s numbers and papers have these sorts of problems then van der Zee, et al. are in correct in being critical.

But that’s not my point here.

The really, really troubling aspect of this is the “really cool” Wansink data set (link: https://web.archive.org/web/20170312041524/http://www.brianwansink.com/phd-advice/the-grad-student-who-never-said-no) and the subsequent “analysis” data set by van der Zee (see this at github: https://github.com/OmnesRes/pizzapizza).

There is virtually no data here!

The sample sizes are like twenty (20) items.

(Please feel free to review my other posts here on this - follow the links.)

And with this few data items the Wansick papers are full of math errors (and, no, I didn’t check van der Zee’s math).

Yet some of the “results” of Wansick's "science" are used, according to the Ars article, in more than “30,000 schools across the US.”

That’s bad enough, but these other guys (van der Zee) expend enormous effort going through the Wansink’s paper and picking them apart.

But again, there’s no significant data in the paper to pick apart (even less data in the paper because Wansink didn’t include his raw data so they only look at the numbers printed in the paper), so what’s the point?

Apparently they don’t notice this is a problem.

So how is their “science” or “methods” of picking apart Wansink's any different than what they accuse Wansick’s of?

Incredibly tiny data sets used to make a lot of noise.

Gee, I wonder if this is how "climate science" is done?

But I digress...

This is absolutely astonishing!

Acclaimed scientists that cannot add.

That cannot realize that insignificant data is, in fact, insignificant and should be ignored.

Guys sitting around counting pizza slices and carrots.

More guys sitting around counting the lines of numbers in "scientific papers" about carrots and pizza slices...

Reminds me of how I got my PhD in "Shuttle Runs"...

Decades ago a neighbor who was in the university "PhD" program asked me to come over one night.

As it turned out he needed some "math help" on his PhD thesis.

Gee, I worried, I wonder if I know how to help him.

After much hemming and hawing he pulled out his "research."

A small table of times for the "shuttle run" in some gym class.

Perhaps three or four tables of about 10 or 20 numbers each.

Please, he asked, if you have the time, could you help me calculate the "mean"?

I breathed a sigh of relief...

Yup, no problem.

So I guess that along with all the little carrots I too have a PhD (some day I'll tell you the story of my second PhD...)