Sunday, May 20, 2007

The Minefield That Is Statistics

Trying to get his head around the idea.

Can you believe the signs? Do you really want to prove it wrong?

My perfumed yeomen, you could hardly believe it possible, but someone left the cat flap unlocked and Sunday has sneaked in, slipped a patented Nightswerve’s Hangover Inducer into my early morning tea and slapped me around the face with a turbot. I’m afraid that I am not at my glittering best. My body is racked by an almost critical case of man flu while somehow last night I managed to overdose on dried frog pills, alcohol and curry. Such is my delicate nature at the moment, I could be forgiven for hallucinating or slipping off to an alternate reality and teach temperance to elephants.

Thankfully, I spotted my statistical highlight yesterday, before I decided to over indulge. The Yahoo Statistics Goblin has decided that my 360 page has had 100 000 views! (Note 1) Thank you for your congratulations, it all helps against the jack-hammer operating on my temples. Given that Yahoo has chosen to keep the ‘interesting’ label sewn into my underpants, I shouldn’t be too surprised. I imagine that I get a number of the curious drop by, shake their heads in disbelief and hurriedly move on.

Yet, I have also managed to acquire a wonderful and diverse set of friends along the way who have stayed amazingly loyal to my synaptic meanderings – even when I fail to read their blogs or forget to respond to their comments due to some poorly timed synaptic tangent. I thank you all from the depths of my heart – you are all truly amazing and I am humbled that you chose me as a friend.

A Turbot trying to remain inconspicuous after discovering the price placed on his very flat head by posh restaurants.

At this point, I should now go through a huge long list of thank-you’s to all my friends. I should single each of you out in turn, link to your pages and offer up a paragraph or two in praise of your talents – but I won’t. (Note 2)

To get added to my friends list is a very difficult affair. If you don’t have a picture in a profile, you don’t get added. If you don’t spend a little effort on introducing yourself on the invite, you don’t get added. If your page hasn’t been updated in a while, you don’t get added. Yet, if I find your page interesting, then I will add you even if it is in a language I cannot read. This is why my friends list contains people from around the globe (I seem to have a number from Vietnam and Iran for some reason).

On this rather special occasion, I would like to draw your attention to one blog in particular, that of MINH NGOC. I find the photographs there absolutely amazing and well worth a look.

One of Minh Ngoc’s amazing photographs. Please visit his blog.

The fact that I am able to easily include a photograph by Minh Ngoc into my blog highlights a problem with the internet – the easy availability of material.

Earlier this week, I came across a story on the BBC website about Rebekka Gudleifsdóttir who had some photographs she posted on her Flickr page lifted and sold without her knowledge. On her blog she writes about her experience and also includes some hints and tips on how to avoid falling victim if you wish to make money from photos on Flickr.

I suppose that plagiarism will always be a problem and that the internet just makes life that little bit easier. I just hope that if we ever spot our friends being ripped off in that way we will let them know – not that I have the slightest idea what you would do about it!

From 14th June 2006, the industry standard Crozzy Standard has been applied to footnotes.

NOTE 1: Now if you are reading this on my mirror blog This probably doesn’t make any sense to you whatsoever. For this I issue the sincerest sorry I can muster. I will then remind you of the Campaign to Alternate Sorry to the Internet (CRASI) started by Sean. Apparently I am patron of this effort, so I urge you all to say sorry often in your blogs and ensure that you link to a sorry video. And if anybody out there has any other videos that you think we should be linking to – please let me or Sean know! Click to return

NOTE 2: Sadly, I do not have the energy for that right now and I am not at all sure just how long my churning innards will allow me to sit in front of my computer. Given how long it took to produce the list of the various coloured whelks, it is probably better that I work in short sharp bursts and wander outside occasionally to relieve the pressure by expelling unwanted gasses. Yes, I realise that this is just too much information for a Sunday morning. Click to return

Please remember Alan Johnston who is still held hostage in Gaza. Freedom of the press to report what is happening is a cornerstone to all our freedoms.

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