Statistics in Discussions . . .

. . . aren’t always helpful, like recently when someone told me that only two percent of sexual assault accusations are false . . .

Spoiler: There is some support for that estimate but it is not the number that I would quote.

Continue reading Statistics in Discussions . . .


Crunching the numbers of the 2015 Election

In October 2015 the liberals won 184 seats in the Canadian Parliament of 338 seats. The CBC called it a “decisive majority” (link). The National Post wrote that the Liberals “steamrolled to a stunning majority victory” (link). From my perspective, those conclusions seem hyperbolic.

Continue reading Crunching the numbers of the 2015 Election

Dendroclimatology in my sideyard!

An opportunity to investigate the value of using tree rings to measure relatively long-term temperature trends almost fell into my lap a couple of weeks ago; a windstorm blew down my neighbour’s tree. It was about forty years old, seventy feet high and on the north side of my house. The trunk is around 30 inches across at the base and the tree rings were clearly visible. I measured its tree ring widths for the last twenty complete years (1997-2016), and correlated it with the maximum annual temperature in Ottawa (link) of those years. Fascinating!

Continue reading Dendroclimatology in my sideyard!