The Funniest Posts about Data and Statistics in 2012

What a Laughing Cat Looks Like

Marlowe the stats cat here. My human left his laptop unattended again, so I thought I'd share a few of my favorite posts that appeared on The Minitab Blog during 2012. These are the ones that made me laugh even while teaching me something about statistics or quality improvement. 

We don't get a lot of credit for it, but the fact of the matter is that we cats really do have a pretty good sense of humor. See the photo? That's why you don't catch us cats laughing that much. Now, we're not big on slapstick or pratfalls (we tend to leave that kind of comic relief to the dogs, thank you very much), but we certainly appreciate wit and wry commentary.

And if it includes a valuable lesson along the way, so much the better. 

Predicting Warranty Claims with Warranty Analysis5. How to Predict Warranty Claims (and Keep Cool Doing It)

Full disclaimer: this post was written by my human, Eston Martz. But he does an accurate job relating the nightmare we experienced this summer when our air conditioner went out. I would note that even though he says he felt like he was melting, he still found time to do a warranty analysis before exchanging the defective unit and cooling me down. And he doesn't even have fur.  Except maybe on the insides of his ears. 

Poisson Rates Example with Zombies4. Poisson Rates and the Undead

We use the Poisson distribution to analyze the mean number of occurrences of some event in a given amount of time, volume, area, or other limiting factor. Given my own nightmares about zombie salmon, Andy Chesire's example of using the 2-sample Poisson Rate to track the number of zombies occupying a two-acre area makes sense.  All too much sense. 

cpk and ppk as explained to deputy fife3. Mayberry, Ppk: Making Intuitive Sense of Capability Output (Episode 1)

Rarely have I laughed as hard as I did over this truly unique explanation of capability output, which Patrick Runkel cast in the guise of an episode of the Andy Griffith Show. 

Talking to Kids About Six Sigma

2. How to Talk with Your Kids about...Quality Improvement and Six Sigma

Cats are born knowing all the essentials about life, and the additional knowledge we acquire thereafter is just gravy. Not so for humans, and there comes a time when a parent needs to sit the progeny down and tell 'em what's what. It can be difficult to clearly explain Six Sigma and quality improvement, but in this post Dawn Keller relates how she discussed this most sensitive of topics with her daughter. 

Best of Times Worst of Times

1. It Was the Best of Times, It Was the End of Times

This cautionary tale of drawing insupportable conclusions from data analysis was a real eye-opener. In fact, I expect I'll be a little bit nervous until the days start getting longer, even though, as Greg Fox points out, a competent analyst will disagree with the conclusions reached in this post. 



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