# Articles on Statistics

## How hard is it to scramble Rubik’s Cube?

Scrambling it is much easier than solving it. But it still involves some fascinating questions, such as the number of random moves needed to consider the cube truly messed up.

## From election upsets to climate chaos, rolling the dice helps us appreciate the odds

Wages, starlight and polls can all be interpreted using statistics. While probabilities, medians and noise can be challenging, a simple dice can provide insights into statistics.

## Merry Christmaths: the statistics of Secret Santa

How likely is it that everyone in a family Kris Kringle will draw their own partner? It took a roomful of mathematicians to find out.

## Have we become too paranoid about mass shootings?

You're just as likely to be a victim of a mass shooting as you are to be struck by lightning. So why do nearly 50% of Americans say they're afraid of being caught in the crossfire?

## How one NHS anaesthetist is fighting international medical research fraud

John Carlisle's method for spotting potentially fraudulent figures has already been adopted by two top medical journals.

## What’s the most dangerous day of the year? Watch out on these ones

When asked to identify the most dangerous day of the year, we realised this research hadn’t been done.

## Polish village hasn’t seen a boy born in nearly 10 years – here’s how that computes

A little bit of statistics can explain the great mystery of why only girls are being born in Miejsce Odrzanskie.

## How population data can help countries plan and tweak policy

South Africa’s data collection is constantly improving. That's especially true when it comes to metrics that weren't collected or were distorted for political purposes during apartheid.

## Cricket’s Duckworth-Lewis method: how to work out who wins when rain interrupts

When bad weather hits, there's a complex formula organisers turn to to make lost game time fair.

## Teenage pregnancy doesn’t have to mean catastrophe – research shows it can be an opportunity

Despite what the statistics suggest, many teenage parents say having a baby has transformed their lives.

## An analysis of nearly 4 million pitches shows just how many mistakes umpires make

Umpires don't need to be replaced by robots, but some troubling findings indicate that they could use a little help.

## The replication crisis is good for science

Rising evidence shows that many psychology studies don't stand up to added scrutiny. The problem has many scientists worried – but it could also encourage them to up their game.

## Is it the end of ‘statistical significance’? The battle to make science more uncertain

Two prestigious journals have suggested abandoning the traditional test of the strength of a study's results. But a statistician worries that this would make science worse.

## Data reveals the value of an assist in basketball

Why are three-pointer shots from the corner more efficient than the ones above the break? The answer: More than 90 percent of corner three-point shots are assisted.

## Statistics ruined baseball by perfecting it

An obsession with statistics has made teams better than ever -- but the game is now more tedious for fans to watch.

## Baseball’s biggest problem isn’t pace of play – it’s teams tanking

Roughly one-third of the league won't be trying to win this season. What's fueling this trend?

## Counter-terrorism Prevent strategy receives a boost from the courts – and statistical evidence

The scheme has many critics, but the numbers show that it's working well.

## Want to quit a bad habit? Here’s one way to compare treatments

It's hard to decide which treatment to choose when trying to quit smoking or lose weight. The term 'number needed to treat' could help you decide what is most likely to work.

## 3 reasons why people fall for politicians’ lies about statistics

Psychological phenomena like confirmation bias and the Dunning-Kruger effect make it easy for people to fall for deliberate or inadvertent lies in the news.

## How long before we break the two-hour barrier in the men’s marathon?

Number crunching the winning race time for marathon athletes can tell us when the men are likely to break the two-hour barrier. But what about a target barrier for women marathon runners?

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