13 September 2014

flies, damn flies and statistics

The house fly lands on your knee and sets about preening its proboscis. You swipe at it with lightning speed yet it evades your slap, taking off as if you were a slow-motion buffoon. Ten seconds later it alights on precisely the same spot, to the very millimetre, as if taunting you.
Here's a trick for those of us in humid climates who made the mistake of opening our screen doors for fresh air. Close your screen and watch the little fecker. If he nears the now closed screen, swoop by and open it. He will be attracted by the draft and fly right out. Fact.
Never mind damn flies! Damn pseudo celebrities! Today we've been shown that Miley Cyrus's real bottom is even more hideous than the prosthetic ones she clips on on stage. Ghastly. There are some side-splitting images doing the rounds of the silly girl's head photo-shopped onto the plucked torso of an oven-ready chicken. Believe me, the naked similarity is hard to dispute! And as for her curious snake-like tongue, it spends more time out of her mouth than in it.
How many people do you need to assemble before two are likely to share the same birthday? Surprisingly few. It's about the number of possible pairings. 23 people produce 253 possible parings, just over half the number of days in the year. So if you are in a group of 23, there is a better than 50/50 chance that someone has the same birthday as you.