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Archive for November, 2010

Wagging the Long Tail

Saturday, November 27th, 2010

People who study statistics often talk about distributions. They are simply the shapes that appear when you turn data into a picture. Each bit of information might be marked down where it belongs on a number line. With enough data a pattern may emerge. That pattern may have many things to say about underlying causes […]

Thinking Outside the Bricks

Sunday, November 21st, 2010

I’ve seen some pretty impressive walls in my life. I admit I’ve never visited the Great Wall in China but I have seen Hadrian’s Wall. It was built during the reign of the Roman Emperor Hadrian to separate Roman Britain to the south from the tribes living in what is now Scotland—short on the scale […]

Quirks of Fate

Sunday, November 14th, 2010

Do you ever think about the occurrences that made you possible? It would be a very, very long list. What if you just concentrate on the odd ones—things with really low probability or very extreme outcomes that are just plain out of the ordinary? What strange things needed to happen to make you possible? I’ve […]

A Line to Draw the Time

Sunday, November 7th, 2010

Timelines can be a great tool for genealogy. Timelines of general history give a quick overview and put events into their proper sequence. They can point out things in the sweep of history that may have influenced an ancestor. They can provide a quick-to-grasp framework for further understanding. Making your own timelines can crystallize thoughts […]