Wednesday, February 22, 2006

against the law

Here is your fun fact of the day...apparently this guy named Frank Benford noticed one day that the number 1 appears much more often than you might expect as the first digit in any numbers you are likely to encounter in daily life. Given some random numbers, you might think 1 out of every 10 would have the number 1 as the first digit...not so says Mr. Benford. In fact, if you look at things like census data, news papers, and even the Dow Jones daily average, the number 1 appears about 30% of the time as the first digit. A formal mathematical version of Benford's findings exists in the form of Benford's law, and is often used in statistical analysis to find cheaters and such. So, the next time you plan on cheating on your taxes, which is probably quite soon I would imagine, make sure you familiarize yourself with Dr. Benford or you might have the IRS kicking your ass.

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