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A humorous reference identifies the average person's chances of such events as catching a baseball at a major league game, being canonized as a saint, picking a winning stock, marrying a millionaire, and more. 25,000 first printing.
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Gregory Baer is the coauthor of The Great Mutual Fund Trap: An Investment Recovery Plan. He has served as assistant secretary of the treasury for Financial Institutions, and was formerly managing senior counsel at the Federal Reserve Board. A graduate of Harvard Law School, he is now a partner in a Washington, D.C., law firm.From School Library Journal:
Adult/High School-Forty-four short chapters use statistical probability to determine the chances of achieving or surviving certain life events. The subjects range from the commonplace-sharing a birthday-to the (hopefully) far-fetched-destruction of the Earth. Each section explains the situation, runs the numbers, then tells how to improve the odds. The main purpose of this book is humor, not 100 percent true cause and effect, so the actual conclusions drawn aren't necessarily, and don't claim to be, entirely guaranteed. (For example, if you don't want a marriage to end in divorce, simply moving to Massachusetts, the state with the lowest divorce rate, isn't necessarily going to help.) But the process does explain probability and other statistical concepts in a lighthearted way. Baer uses tables, graphs, pie charts, and narrative to reach his conclusions. The facts and research are well documented and often contain links to Web sites that further explain the issues at hand. Most of the subjects covered have real teen interest, such as "Getting into an Ivy League College" or "Becoming a Professional Athlete," while "Being Poorly Endowed," about penis size, is sure to cause some snickering. The author does use some clunky one-liners that are bound to elicit groans, but the book's real strengths lie not in the dumb jokes but in the facts and statistics, which are interesting enough on their own.
Jamie Watson, Enoch Pratt Free Library, Baltimore
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