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#70700 - 05/22/02 05:05 PM Re: enough  
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wwh Offline
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Dear AR: I am crying great big tears that you should suggest I would stoop so low as to as to pass off an urban legend as a genuine occurrence. On my scout's honor, she was my neighbor, and her husband told me about it. I never knew her well enough to judge her mental acuity, but her husband owned a couple automobile agencies, and was very,very sharp.


#70701 - 05/22/02 05:20 PM Re: enough  
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wwh Offline
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Dear ewein: Did you notice I got hypersensitive, and thought AR was razzing me?
A few moments after being indignant, it occurred to me that he was saying that the lady who had thirteen Spades and didn't take a trick became an Urban Legend. She may well have.


#70702 - 05/22/02 05:24 PM Post deleted by SilkMuse  
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#70703 - 05/22/02 05:40 PM Re: enough  
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dr. bill: interestingly, the web sources differ on the probability of being dealt a single-suited bridge hand. One asserts the chance is one in 635 billion; another claims one in 6 billion.

http://www.csicop.org/si/9809/coincidence.html, a bit over half-way down
http://www.jwu.edu/artnsci/math/duston/stats/homewrk/shmwk3.html, questions 13 and 14

Calculating it, I get the former, one in 635,013,559,600.
[= (52 x 51 x 50 ... 40) (1 x 2 x 3 x ... 13)]




#70704 - 05/22/02 05:42 PM Re: The Fates and Thread  
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Dear SilkMuse: what a figure of speech: "a hotbed of vented spleen". Reminds me of ludicrous visual image conjured up by a pathology lecture long ago, about frequent occurrence of gangrene of the legs caused by a fungus infection of the spikes of wheat used to make bread - ergotism. The prof said "Europe was a hotbed of gangrenous legs". I had the visual image of a hot bed containing a couple dozen legs, blackened and enpurpled by the ergot poisoning having interrupted blood flow in arteries, but still writhing about obscenely.
Spleens can be ruptured by severe blow over the spleen. In South Asia when malaria there was untreated, many people had enlarged spleens, so fragile that a common method of murder was to hit victim over spleen with a club. I can't imagine what product would be of incubating spleens in a hotbed.
All said in jest, not to needle SilkMuse.


#70705 - 05/22/02 05:51 PM Re: The Fates and Thread  
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Dear ewein: Now AR is accusing me of having lied about the thirteen Spades. I am about to float down the hall on a torrent of bitter tears. AR says the chances of getting thirteen spades are so astronomical that I cannot be telling the truth. Should I delete all my posts. Like hell I will. And I ask you: can you imagine anybody being willing to expose themselves to such ridicule, as to fabricate that story?
Statistics has been defined as the science of lying with numbers. Take that, AR!


#70706 - 05/22/02 05:52 PM Post deleted by SilkMuse  
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#70707 - 05/22/02 06:12 PM Re: The Fates and Thread  
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So, at the risk of subjecting myself to some ridicule, I ask the assembled wordies:

What is a "hotbed?"

AHD gives us:

1. An environment conducive to vigorous growth or development, especially of
something undesirable: a hotbed of intrigue. 2. A glass-covered bed of soil
heated with fermenting manure or by electricity, used for the germination of
seeds or for protecting tender plants.


But do any of us ever use this word in any way other than in the "a hotbed of..." construction?




#70708 - 05/22/02 06:46 PM Re: 635 billion (or trillion for y'all Brits etc.)  
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Faldage Offline
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Of course the odds in question are not the odds of a given hand being all spades but the odds of a hand of all spades being dealt ever. We need to know how many bridge hands have ever been dealt. I would guess that this is a highly probable event.

Case in point. The present list of birthdays has 61 people listed with definitive birthdays. Without looking, how many pairs do we have on that list? That is, how many birthdays are there that two people share?


#70709 - 05/22/02 07:01 PM Re: The Fates and Thread  
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No accusation of lying, dr. bill. Perhaps an accusation of in all likelihood having had your leg pulled!
(Immediate edit: But I would never recommmend foregoing a perfectly good story merely because it might be apocryphal!)


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