Friday Four

Friday, September 28, 2012

1. Are preelection polls that show Obama in a lead systematically skewed? A participant in HBL points to a site that purports to address this issue, which I have also seen Dick Morris, and others raise. I see nothing on the site about how the polls are "unskewed", but the results are consistent with what others I have read say they should be.

2. Also through HBL, I hear that Martin Lindeskog recommends an hour-long documentary, Aristotle's Lagoon.

In the 4th century BC the Greek philosopher Aristotle traveled to Lesvos, an island in the Aegean teeming, then as now, with wildlife.

His fascination with what he found there, and his painstaking study of it, led to the birth of a new science - biology.
It's an hour long and it is free.

3. Statistician John Cook, says of the book Guesstimation 2.0:
I started to add up the number of problems by looking at the table of contents, but it would be more in line with the spirit of the book and say that since it has on the order [of] 10 [chapters] and on the order of 10 problems per chapter, it has about 100 questions.
4. Over at The Futility Closet is an interesting look at life in Chicago, back in the middle of the Nineteenth Century, when entire sections of town were raised several feet to improve drainage for public health reasons:
Surprisingly, this went pretty well. "An entire block on Lake street, between Clark and La Salle streets, on the north side of the street, was raised at one time, business in the various stores and offices proceeding as usual," wrote historian Josiah Seymour Currey. "The facility with which buildings, light and heavy, were raised to the grade established became the talk of the country, and the letters of travelers and correspondents for newspapers abound with reference to the work going on and the odd sensations of going up and down as one passed along the streets."
Walking about was odd, too: The sidewalks were raised last.

-- CAV


Dismuke said...

The entire city of Galveston was also similarly raised in the aftermath of the terrible 1900 hurricane which is still the worst natural disaster to hit the USA. Here is an article that briefly describes the process: A few photos can be seen here:

Gus Van Horn said...

I recall reading about that upon hearing about how Galveston's response to being nearly wiped off the map compared to that of New Orleans after Katrina.

"Although there was some government aid, the home owners themselves had to bear the cost of raising their houses.>"

Not only is such a project inconceivable without government "aid" and "planning" today, I also shudder to imagine either project happening at all in today's atmosphere of work-by-permission and environmental impact studies.