# Probability

• ### A Given A

Lyrics and music ©1997, 2007 Lawrence M. Lesser​

Sportscaster bragged all night
'Bout the one prediction he got right:
He said, "The more they've scored, the more they've won."
Probability of A given A is 1.
Probability of A given A is 1.

Writer made his Bible a find-a-word:
"TWIN", "TOWERS" and "PLANE" converged
When he let computers run.
Probability of A given A is 1.

You'll find reason, you'll find fate explaining why your side won
Like nothin' to do if nothin's new under the sun.

"Fear breeds fear, war breeds war,"
Said the call-in poll on Channel 4:
Father's legacy to son.
Probability of A given A is 1.
Probability of A given A,
Possibility of A given A,
All the same to me: always points to one.

• ### Why Richard Cory Offed Himself Or One Reason to Take a Course in Probability

by Jasper D. Memory (1935 - )

A hypochondriac at heart, he thought
(Though symptom free) he had a dire disease,
And after fruitless weeks of worry, sought
Some test to take to set his mind at ease.

He forthwith found one that would do the trick,
And accurate (at oh point nine) to tell
Those having the disease that they were sick,
And just the same, the well that they were well.

That of a hundred like him, only one
The implication when the test was done

And positive! therefore, consumed with dread,
And now convinced his blackest fears were right
(By faulty logic fatally misled),
He shattered silence that calm summer night.

• ### Numerical Landscape

by Eveline Pye

Like a tracker, I smell the earth
on my fingers, listen for the slightest
echo as I stare out at a world
where bell-shaped curves loom

as mountains and negative exponentials
foretell dangerous descents, imminent
disaster. All around, cliff edges crash
down to restless seas while a solitary

outlier shines in the southern sky: a freak
of random sampling or a guiding light?
Are others buried deep, confounded
by experimental design?  On my path,

a decision tree, so many branches
spring from its trunk, so many choices.

• ### The Law Of Statistics

(for Sally Clark 1964 – 2007)
by Eveline Pye

You, Sally Clark, solicitor,
a year later, dies in his bouncy chair.

Paediatrician for the crown,
Sir Roy Meadow, tells the jury
two cot deaths in the same family
would occur only once in a century.

Odds are one in seventy-three million,
lower than the lottery, beyond all
reasonable doubt. An easy decision:
You must be guilty.

At Styal Prison, the horde screams,
Here's the nonce! Die woman, die!
They bang on the door, clamber up,
gawp as you cringe in a holding cell.

At the second appeal, your body
is free but your mind has crumpled.
You drink until you die,
your third son, left without a mother.

I tell this story to my medical students,
show death by natural causes
was more likely than murder.
Silence

• ### Relaying the News

Q: How does a statistics department chair relay news about unforeseen policy changes?

A: With a memorandom!

Larry Lesser

• ### Locker Security

How did the statistics student respond after his locker was broken into at school and his belongings scattered?

He restored order by replacing his combination lock with a permutation lock!

Judah Lesser

• ### Mutually Exclusive

Why did the mutually exclusive events break up?