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.

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.

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”

Barry, Not Phyllis

I don’t think Barry Diller is any relative of Phyllis … but you never know.

That said, I did think this was an interesting read.

It’s interesting how much about people can slide by, even if you are paying attention.

For example, I did not know that he was married to Diane von Furstenberg and hangs out with Josh Kushner (important … NOT Jared) – that he cloned his dogs and so started a ‘trend’.

Maybe ‘trend’ is the wrong word … doesn’t that imply that ‘everyone’ is doing it?

I do like that he and Geffen met as teenagers in the William Morris mailroom in Los Angeles, we even agree on movies …

Calling “Red Sparrow” “awful” and “The Shape of Water” “beautiful but silly,” he says he wouldn’t want to run a movie studio now.

… and there’s a lot more. Go take a read. You won’t be disappointed.

If Trump Wants A Grand Parade…

Then a grand parade, by golly, he should have.

Of course, in a version suitably sized to the attendance at his inauguration, and tailored to both his musical taste and knowledge of military technology. The Chaps are happy to offer a preview.

So, a grand-ish parade, then.

At best…

No, no need to thank us. Our pleasure.

You can read the original story here.

Did you note the marching on that Naval chief?

Certainly did. Cadet Bone Spurs could probably do as well.

Well, if it were not for him being who he is…

Orwellian

… Or Just A Podcast About George Orwell?

George Orwell wrote some of his most renowned essays for the British left-wing publication Tribune between 1940 and 1947, including Books vs Cigarettes, You And The Atom Bomb and the regular As I Please column. These works were compiled by Paul Anderson in the book Orwell in Tribune.

And you can listen to a conversation between Paul and the chaps at Little Atoms … in it’s entirety … here. Well worth it.

It was first broadcast in 2006 and just republished this week. This chap has long been a fan of Mr. Orwell – having read ALL of his books before he hit his twenties. That said, not a scholar … soooo … I am scheduling this post to come out in about a week’s time …. in the hope that the other chap – who is far better versed than this chap in topics of this ilk can add some meaningful fodder for our delecation.

Seperately … Relating to a book on Orwell by Paul Anderson, this also makes for an interesting read. He had me in the opening sentence.

George Orwell’s schoolfriend, Cyril Connolly, wrote that the duty of a writer was to produce a masterpiece. He famously identified one of the main obstacles as “the pram in the hall”.

But you’d probably have to be a Brit of a certain age to catch the image.

I Am My Own Grandpa

Greg – he’s the chap over at Futility closet published this today.

Reminded this chap of this ….

Sorry – misheard a SHIT song – HIT – got it.

Please don’t judge me on the quality of the song

Well, what should we judge you on then?

To be clear – the song was written by Dwight Latham and Moe Jaffe and first appeared in 1947, and apparently was inspired by something he read by Mark Twain Then again , Wikipedia goes on to reveal that something similar was published in 1822 here in America, which was in turn seems to have been copied from the London Literary Gazette.

Plagiarism has been alive and well for a while then?