'The top 10 real things we don't believe in' blog discussion

This is the discussion to link on the back of Martin's blog. Please read the blog first, as this discussion follows it.




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  • MandelbrotMandelbrot
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    No. 8
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=5C5_dOEyAfk

    (OK, it's not a "tonne of lead", but ...)
  • edited 7 November 2011 at 1:42PM
    John_PierpointJohn_Pierpoint Forumite
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    edited 7 November 2011 at 1:42PM
    Just in case you have trouble jumping back and forth from forum to main site; here are the "unbelievable truths":


    1. I don’t believe planes can fly.
    2. Cheryl Galbraith: "If you roll a die five times and it rolls a six each time, the chances of it rolling a six on the sixth roll is still just one in six."
    3. Natalie Humphreys: "Mobile phones can let you speak to people on the other side of the world – without wires!"
    4. Carol Ewens: "I can’t believe ‘I can’t believe it’s not butter’ is not butter."
    5. Natasha Ready: "That rowdy oik with the scruffy jeans and shocking attitude was once my adorable firstborn baby.."
    6. Wendy Wilshaw: "Pausing live TV while you answer the door to trick or treaters, then carrying on as if nothing happened. It’s like having your own time machine."
    7. Matthew O’Reilly: "If there are just 23 people in a room then the probability that two of them share a birthday is 50% and you only need 41 people to make the probability 90%!"
    8. Martin Lewis (me): "Drop a feather and a tonne of lead in a vacuum and they’d both fall at equal speeds."
    9. Peter Watts: "Each time we have a general election the government win."
    And finally, to remind us all that a fact is only a fact until it’s disproved…
    10. John Rose: "And someone once thought the earth was flat."

    1. I don’t believe planes can fly.
    4. Carol Ewens: "I can’t believe ‘I can’t believe it’s not butter’ is not butter."
    I can it looks like someone is making serious money by adding a water based yellow emulsion paint, made of some sort of oil, to the mix.

    5. Natasha Ready: "That rowdy oik with the scruffy jeans and shocking attitude was once my adorable firstborn baby.."

    Don't panic - stick with them. If you do perhaps it will only take 10 years for the oik to turn back into a responsible, hard working, career minded, intending to make a difference adult.
    It can be difficult for a mum, but the more you realise that "it" wants to be treated like an adult and the more you set the ground rules to force "it" to behave as a responsible adult; rather than an infantile dependent, the more likely and the sooner the transformation is likely to take place.
    There is evidence that the more stressful the adolescence, the stronger the character that eventually emerges.


    7. Matthew O’Reilly: "If there are just 23 people in a room then the probability that two of them share a birthday is 50% and you only need 41 people to make the probability 90%!"

    Something similar happens with a room of random people having gone to the same secondary school - sometimes you just have to believe in statistics.
    Lies, damned lies and statistics:D

  • Dave_C_2Dave_C_2 Forumite
    1.8K Posts
    2 Cheryl Galbraith: "If you roll a die five times and it rolls a six each time, the chances of it rolling a six on the sixth roll is still just one in six."
    Agreed for good dice with a low number of rolls. If it rolled a six 99 times I would bet on the 100th roll being a six as obviously the dice is loaded.

    Dave
  • hermantehermante Forumite
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    Mandelbrot wrote: »
    No. 8
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=5C5_dOEyAfk

    (OK, it's not a "tonne of lead", but ...)

    I can't believe that astronauts used to go to the moon regularly, yet 40 years later the best we have is Virgin Galactic.
  • ZTDZTD Forumite
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    8. Martin Lewis (me): "Drop a feather and a tonne of lead in a vacuum and they’d both fall at equal speeds."

    Not true at all. The lead falls to the bottom in all instances, but the feather either sticks to the wall of the bag, or goes round and round if it's a Dyson...
    "Follow the money!" - Deepthroat (AKA William Mark Felt Sr - Associate Director of the FBI)
    "We were born and raised in a summer haze." Adele 'Someone like you.'
    "Blowing your mind, 'cause you know what you'll find, when you're looking for things in the sky." OMD 'Julia's Song'
  • 7. Matthew O’Reilly: "If there are just 23 people in a room then the probability that two of them share a birthday is 50% and you only need 41 people to make the probability 90%!"

    Something similar happens with a room of random people having gone to the same secondary school - sometimes you just have to believe in statistics.
    Lies, damned lies and statistics:D

    I just can't get my head around this one at all, my head is melted trying to think about statistics again having not studied maths for a couple of years. I think I'll stick with tutoring my 10 year old niece, I do understand that level of maths.
  • 8. Martin Lewis (me): "Drop a feather and a tonne of lead in a vacuum and they’d both fall at equal speeds."
    Now then, that one is unbelievable :p. Where on Earth are you gonna get a vacuum big enough to contain a tonne of lead and allow it to move freely about so's you can get some decent measurements alongside the feather?

    The only place you might easily find somewhere to conduct such an experiment is in the vacuum of Space - then guess what? Having got them up there, they'll probably both just float a bit and if they do start to fall back to Earth then unless it is a special shape and hits the atmosphere just so, the lead will likely bounce off into Outer Space or burn up completely on re-entry vaporizing and polluting the upper atmosphere, while slowly and surely the feather might win the race sometime next week or next year :D

    In practice then I'd say a belief in No.8 only works on the moon or somewhere like that and only the Chinese can afford to go there thesedays :p
  • tenuissenttenuissent Forumite
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    Birthdays: there are about 25 people on my allotment site and FOUR of us have the same birthday in May, two being exactly the same age. We held a birthday BBQ to celebrate, ending in an undignified Rain Dance to put an end to the drought (it worked).
  • John_PierpointJohn_Pierpoint Forumite
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    tenuissent wrote: »
    Birthdays: there are about 25 people on my allotment site and FOUR of us have the same birthday in May, two being exactly the same age. We held a birthday BBQ to celebrate, ending in an undignified Rain Dance to put an end to the drought (it worked).

    Some people are simply irrational:rotfl:
  • Some people are simply irrational:rotfl:
    They being a cohesive group of barbecuing rainmaking allotment-cultivators born of a certain equinox, I think we might certainly call the telling of this strange tale a tad ethnographic :p
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