• by J.V. Cunningham (1911 - 1985)

    Plato, despair!
    We prove by norms
    How numbers bear
    Empiric forms,

    How random wrong
    Will average right
    If time be long
    And errors slight;

    But in our hearts
    Curves and departs
    To infinity.

    Error is boundless.
    Nor hope nor doubt,
    Though both be groundless,
    Will average out.

  • Students estimate the probability that a Hershey's KissTM will land on its flat base when spilled from a cup.  Almond and plain Kisses are compared.

  • by Lawrence Mark Lesser

    At our next infant wellness visit,
    the pediatrician plots
    our only child’s weight on
    paper ruled
    by increasing bands
    with concavity ill-suited
    for extrapolation.

    Kilograms or pounds,
    it’s 40th percentile, down
    from the 60th percentile.
    Having delivered well
    into “advanced maternal age,” my wife
    frowns (“we aren’t feeding him enough!”).
    I say it just fell

    half a sigma and
    we’re still well
    within the fat
    part of the bell curve –
    it’s normal –
    this won’t be one
    of our worries.

  • by Lawrence Mark Lesser

    Some maintain hate
    Speech doesn’t cause
    Violence, that
    Casualties aren’t

    ‘Cause we can’t
    Predict the

    Yet another othering
    When words trigger
    Someone past the post hoc
    Point of madness.

    This “random” violence isn’t:
    Did the shooter flick
    A spinner to choose
    His aim?

  • Q: What does a father teach his kids to understand the world of uncertainty? 

    A: ProbabiliDAD!

    Larry Lesser