How Random Is Random?

This Chap is led to ask the question by his recent international travel experience, which involved TSA’s “Random” testing, of some sort, both departing and returning. And while the Chap was standing there watching his handbag being swabbed, he began to wonder — what are the odds that true “Random” testing would lead to two “Random” checks in a journey? Flattering though it may be for someone in the Gubmint to consider the Chap warrants additional scrutiny, the statistician in him got to wondering… Or to put it another way, at what point on encountering yet another request to “step to the side” might a Chap question the uniformed person’s assertion of “randomness”?

Just as a side note – my spell checker just suggested that uniformed was incorrectly spelt and suggested uninformed. This chap thinks that in many cases they might be synonyms?

To continue! Now, this Chap’s statistics are of a more specialized, psychological-type thing. Fortunately, the Other Chap, being a certified Math Whiz, may be presumed to have the Chops to figure this one out. We have every confidence. So, take it away, Maestro!

No pressure there then ….

No. None at all.

Have to see that this chap was immediately reminded of another chap, back in the 70s when hijacking was prevalent – including bombs on board. Turns out his knowledge of stats was – to say the least – rudimentary.

Go On

Well, I wasn’t intending to stop!

Anyway, suffice to say, said chap had yet another chap as a good friend who was very fearful of flying in these times. To quote him ….

I am so afraid of flying these days. I just don’t want to fly knowing there is such a high probability of a bomb being on board the plane and that I might die.

The statistician had a think and came up with his solution, suggesting that all the other chap needed to do was always carry his own bomb with him …. because though the chance of one bomb being hidden on a plane was getting higher every day … the chance of two bombs … well now – that was close to zero. Problem solved.

Wow. Brilliant. Did it work?

Graham. Seriously? Now I see why you reached out!

As far as I can see, the stats support the idea that as far as random selection is concerned there is indeed reason to be suspicious, but still in the area of possibility. Now – next time you go through LHR – and you are pulled aside, it might well suggest that there is something more than randomness going on.

Pick a person. Any person. Just not me, again.

It’s All In The Set Up

A few days in London is a blog post by Gotham Gal, who writes;

The greatest thing we can do as citizens of the world is to go and visit other cities, learn about their cultures, see different landscapes and experience something else.

Makes total sense to this chap …in fact couldn’t agree more.

Confused therefore as to why she then she goes on to write;

We got into town, dropped off our bags and went to lunch at Kiln.

and then went on to write a long boring post about Kiln, complete with pictures of what they all ate.

cake.jpeg

This chap pursued the post to the end … expecting to find deep revelations and / or a connection to how the food, drink, company and ambiance all connected to her opening paragraph.

This was the final paragraph ;

We walked around a bit before meeting friends for dinner at Hide, a new spot across the street from Green Park. Big on wines and flowers. Nice seeing friends and drinking many bottles of wine before walking home for the evening.

Time to remove her from my news feed.

Unclear On The Principle

The signs were very clear, any small containers with liquids needed to be removed from the luggage and put into a separate see-through plastic bag – duly provided below said signs. You then – and only then – move on to the security check line.

A woman, four places in front of this chap must have missed the signs and is asked to unpack her luggage and ‘decant’ right there in the security line.

You would have thought that seeing her going through this might have jogged the woman three places in front of this chap into action.

Negatory.

Maybe seeing two women unpack their bags on the inspection line might have reminded the woman two places in front of me.

Seemingly not.

The woman immediately in front of me turned to look at me and said

“Could I apologize on behalf of my gender.”

Apology accepted. We watched, without movement, along with the small line behind us as the other lines moved through at a pace.

Let This Be A Warning

True Story:

Mr. Bojangles stands across the bar from me, waxing lyrical about the inadequacy of his manager.

Tight 3 piece suit. Windsor knot on his Pink tie. Large Gold (colored) watch on one wrist, large Gold (colored) chain on the other. He needs to understand that more meaningful language and less profanity is a good thing to use when communicating. There is more F’ing and Blinding in his sentences than Chris Lochhead fits into his Legends and Losers podcast.

More even than this? Maybe he should take the challenge.

Pah! I stopped listening to that as well.

Well, you know there is some evidence that there is a positive link between profanity and intelligence…

With all due respect, Doctor Watson, what the video above – and the other doctor is talking about is fluency in swearing ….. that is the number of different swear words used … and with that I have to agree and ‘caaaaaan’t’ argue – it is not ‘cock’ and bull. Then again, have a gander at this!

“All due respect…” — such a reliable sign you’re about to be dissed.

Glad you spotted it! … anyway, he should pay attention.

Don’t Judge A Book By Its Covers

This chap has another blog – People First – over here, where recently he has been writing some short – very short – stories based on conversations he has had with people he meets.

He just wrote this story based on a semi overheard conversation – which somehow didn’t seem to fit the thread of the other site – but seemed perfect for here … so, without further ado …

“What you mean is that you don’t know!”

“What will he say?”

“Seriously?”

“Well look – he’s going to be OK … but … “

“How could you?”

Half heard exchanges. Well – not really exchanges, the words were all coming from the little guy. The ‘alpha dog’.

gang-tattoos

The big guy. The one with ‘the tats’ is silent, just looking – unclear if he was listening but lets say if you passed him on a street, you’d probably cross the road. He is absolutely not someone you want to meet on your own around the allies and arches of London Bridge. Which is where the three of us were heading. Continue reading “Don’t Judge A Book By Its Covers”

Sometimes You Overlook The Obvious

This chap just had a read of this. It is a Russian propaganda guide to stealing your roommates Burrito.

It struck him that they missed the obvious one:

“Roommate mysteriously falls from radioactive park bench, dies of broken neck. D-Notice issued.”

Never eschew the obvious. Or the unbelievable. Both can defeat the application of Occam’s Razor. Not that it can’t be misapplied, of course…

Continue reading “Sometimes You Overlook The Obvious”

Salt and Pepper

The chaps are oft brought to write about observations they see, read and hear. This piece is different. This piece is a simple story of a real-life experience. That said – as always – we hope the opinion seeps through!

This chap won’t name the place, to protect the innocent. Suffice to say, a restaurant known for their breakfast and highly rated at that.

Breakfast served, and this chap asked if he could get some Salt and Pepper.

Once the waiter understood that when asking for Salt and Pepper, this chap meant that he would like some Salt and Pepper, said waiter wandered off (this chap assumed) to get some Salt and Pepper. Continue reading “Salt and Pepper”