Stats Made Easy

Practical Tools for Effective Experimentation

Sunday, January 25, 2009

Decimal place makes all the difference

I presented a world-wide webinar Wednesday on "An Introduction to Mixture Design for Optimal Formulations" (posted with prior Stat-Ease webinars). As an ice breaker I described the view from my desk of downtown Minneapolis cloaked in a fog of frozen water crystals. One of the participants, our new value-added reseller Peter Trogos of Boston Software Group, expressed curiosity as to how Minnesotans can stand living in our Nation's icebox. It is hard to explain, but here's an example of what works for me -- embracing the elements.

I dressed up for a walk yesterday and my wife Karen got very alarmed. She misread our outdoor digital thermometer as -13 degrees, but I could see it was only -1.3 degrees. The placement of a decimal makes all the difference!

For my fortitude in walking no matter what the elements (like the proverbial postman) I was rewarded with this vista of the soccer field adjoining a nearby preschool. It was fun to think of upcoming days in Spring when it will be filled with energetic kids!

However, I enjoy the solitude of this frozen season, when only the conifers and hardy birds (and manic Minnesotans) remain active.

"It was January and cold in Minnesota, which was redundant."

-- Garrison Keillor as Guy Noir in the 1/24/09 radio broadcast of A Prairie Home Companion


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