What Are the Odds?: The Chances of Extraordinary Events in Everyday Life

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9781573929332: What Are the Odds?: The Chances of Extraordinary Events in Everyday Life
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We're barraged with statistics every day about health risks, life expectancy, and the chances of success, but to most of us all these numbers and percentages mean very little. If you're curious about how statistics can significantly impact your life but don't want to wrestle with the equations in a dry-as-dust textbook, this lighthearted, tongue-in-cheek, whirlwind tour of entertaining statistics has everything you need.

Not only will you be amused by J. H. Weaver's many entertaining examples, but you'll actually learn something about how statistics work. Even the most math phobic individual won't be able to resist delving into the many provocative topics covered, including:

Dating--What are the chances of finding your perfect mate?
Health--What are the odds that you will have surgery performed this year?
Success--What is the likelihood that this book will be a best-seller?

Weaver admirably succeeds in proving that statistics can be fun, while showing that a knowledge of the probabilities for any given situation can help you avoid risks and increase your chances of a successful and enjoyable life.

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About the Author:

Jefferson Hane Weaver (Fort Lauderdale, FL) is the highly acclaimed author of many popular science books, including Conquering Statistics, The Story of Physics, and The Story of Mathematics.

From Publishers Weekly:

What could be better than a book on probability that doesn't bother with lots of pesky equations? There are only a few sentences here on those dreaded "standard deviations" and even then, only to dismiss them. Weaver purports to examine the probability of (mostly) improbable phenomena, such as the likelihood of getting hit on the head by a meteor, of having simultaneous multiple sex partners, of writing a bestseller and getting murdered on the job. Since probability theory has little to offer in the evaluation of such phenomena, Weaver is freed from having to calculate much of anything, leaving plenty of space for his opinions on such topics as why we have violent crime when the government gives financial assistance to poor people, or whether nursing home injury rates are high because old men are trying to have sex with old ladies who might not be their wives. Now and then, Weaver does throw in some numbers (although he doesn't discuss his sources), e.g., that Americans have sex an average of 59.1 times a year so what's that one tenth, Weaver wonders rather predictably, kissing, hugging, fondling? But then again, as Weaver himself says, "Statistics are tools and they are admittedly of limited effectiveness, particularly when used by persons of limited effectiveness."

Copyright 2001 Cahners Business Information, Inc.

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