Statistical Swag

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Boo Thangs,

I’m sorry I’ve been neglecting my blogging post of late – I’m in the midst of two summer classes at the moment (Statistics and Macroeconomics) and since they’re only 5 weeks long, they are quite intensive, so unfortunately that’s where the majority of my free time goes. Though I guess that’s not exactly free. Good news though, I finished my Microeconomics summer class and received an A in it :D Let’s hope I do just as good this session!

I decided I wanted to try theoretically killing two birds with one stone today, so this blog post may be relatively boring for some of you (hopefully not all). I have a statistics exam tomorrow and I need to study. However, instead of doing the run of the mill study routine, I thought I would turn it into an academic blog post. The exam is on the beginning material of the class, so don’t worry, it’s not incredibly intense. Also I won’t be insulted if you skip over this, but I think it’s at least worth giving a quick looksie ;)

OK. SO STATISTICS:

First, statistics is the embodiment of principles and methods concerned with extracting useful information from data; it is a descriptive measure or characteristic of the sample. It’s important, and it is used all the time, everyday, to help keep the wheel of our society spinning. I bet you can think of at least one example.

There are two different basic areas of statistics – descriptive and inferential. Descriptive statistics deals with methods of organizing, summarizing and presenting data such as describing shape, the average value or a spread of data. In descriptive, you have all the information already and no inferences are made. Descriptive stats are things like graphs, charts and tables. Then, there is inferential stats, which is a body of methods for drawing conclusions about a population based on information available in a sample taken from that particular population. We do this because a population can be so large that we cannot measure it in its entirety. When we gather our information for inferential stats, we generally use simple random sampling, which basically means each item of a population is equally likely to be chosen, there is no predisposition/bias. Other samplings exists, such as systematic, cluster, stratified and multistage.

Now let’s move into data, the information that is obtained by observing values of a variable. There are two types of data – quantitative and qualitative. Qualitative is simple enough; it is non-numerical, categorical or nominal. You list the distinct values and their frequencies and then divide the frequency by the total number of observations to get the relative frequency distribution. Then, there is quantitative data, which is numerical and where the variables are broken down into either discrete (whose possible values can be listed even though the list may continue infinitely) or continuous (whose possible values form some interval of numbers and usually deals with decimal points). For qualitative data, we look at frequencies or “counts”, where in quantitative we look at means and standard deviations. Which leads me to my next point…

Descriptive measures in stats are measures of central location, which are the mean (average), median (middle of data), and mode (most frequently occurring). If the distribution is symmetrical, the mean will equal the median. Then there are measure of variation, which are range (distance between minimum and maximum), sample standard deviation (measures the extent to which values differ from the mean) and the inter-quartile range (the third quartile minus the first, which is a range of the middle 50% of the data). There is also something called the five number summary, which includes the first, second and third quartile, along with the minimum and maximum.

I want to talk about standardized variables, z-scores and how to actually obtain the standard deviation, but I think that’s maybe for another day. Or maybe never for this particular blog. Either way, enjoy the rest of your summer Sunday! x’s and o’s.

Harry Potter Pick-Up Lines

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Fellow Nerds!

I came across this article that features a crap ton of hilariously awesome pick-up lines that are as the title alludes to… Harry Potter themed. Obviously, I love them (some are gold, others are merely bronze, but all are still creative) and thus, they needed to be added to my blog. Enjoy! Or don’t. Either way, I do.

1. Wanna go manage some mischief together? I solemnly swear I’m up to no good.

2. Are you a Snitch? Because you’re by far the greatest catch here.

3. Call Ollivander, because I think my wand has found its master.

4. Girl, are you sure you’re a muggle cause I’d swear that ass is magical!

5. I’m not wearing an invisibility cloak, but do you think I could still visit your restricted section tonight?

6. Are you sure you’re not a Dementor? Because I’m sure I’d die if you kissed me.

7. Did you order some Felix Felicis? Cause you’re about to get lucky!

8. Did you just use the stupify charm or are you a natural stunner?

9. I don’t need accio to make you come.

10. What do you say we disapparate out of here?

11. I might as well be under the Imperius curse, because I’d do anything for you.

12. I can be your house elf. I’ll do whatever you want and I don’t need any clothes.

13. You must play Quidditch. I know a Keeper when I see one.

14. Is this the Hogwarts Express? Because it feels like you and I are headed somewhere magical.

15. I’m very interested in exploring your Chamber of Secrets.

16. Wow, when I said “Accio hottie”, I didn’t expect it to work!

17. I could make you scream louder than a mandrake!

18. We may not be in Professor Flitwick’s class, but you sure are charming!

19. I need to learn Occlumency, because I can’t get you out of my thoughts.

20. The Sorting Hat has spoken, and it says I belong in your house.

21. Are you a basilisk? Because when I caught sight of you, I froze.

22. I may not be the boy who lived, but I can still be your chosen one.

23. You must be my horcrux, because you complete me.

24. Did you say “Petrificus Totalus”? Because you’ve made me stiff.

25. Is your basilisk interested in exploring my Chamber of Secrets?

26. Wanna make me moan like Myrtle?

27. Speak Parseltongue to me and I’ll let my snake out.

28. Are you a Dementor? Because you just took my breath away.

29. What do you say we go look for the Room of Requirement?

Over and out ;)

Skinny Love

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Lovelies –

I wanted to share with you a song; a song that I really, truly love, and I have for many years now. It’s had its moments where it makes me cry – though not always – yet it is just so powerfully beautiful that it has to be admired. It also makes me wish I was good at ballet.

The song is called “Skinny Love”; it was originally released in America from Bon Iver’s 2007 debut album called  For Emma, Forever Ago. It was written by Justin Vernon, who happens to be a genius and part of the folk band Bon Iver. Then, in 2011, an English musician called Birdy released a cover and made it extra famous. A few other covers have been released but in my opinion, the original is the best.

First, here’s the original music video by Bon Iver:

Yeah, it’s an “artsy” video; but remember, they’re a folk band.

There was a lot of speculation as to what the song meant, so while Pitchfork was interviewing Justin, they asked. Here’s the conversation:

Pitchfork: Christy once told me that she immediately knew “Skinny Love” was about her when you first sang it to her. It took you a while to mention people like Christy– and especially your ex Sara Emma Jensen– in public. What made you able to talk about it?

JV: I’m not afraid to talk about it, but how do you guarantee it’s accurate? To say that “Skinny Love” is about Christy would not be entirely accurate. We dated and she’s an incredibly important person that I lived with for a long time, but it’s about that time in a relationship that I was going through; you’re in a relationship because you need help, but that’s not necessarily why you should be in a relationship. And that’s skinny. It doesn’t have weight. Skinny love doesn’t have a chance because it’s not nourished.

While listening/watching the first video, you probably couldn’t pick up on all the words. To kill two birds with one stone, here is Birdy’s version (notice the pun??), so you can listen to it while seeing all the lyrics.

Finally, here are two more covers that have gained popularity. I personally love the Das Kapital cover, it’s got a little womp in it that’s fun. The Edward version has a crap ton of views, so the general public seems to enjoy that one.

Well… now that I’ve saturated your day with Skinny Love, enjoy the rest of it!

Weight Training: Just Do It

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Bonsoir, Mes Amis

I should probably be going to bed, well, 40 minutes ago, but my eyes aren’t quite ready to shut down for the night, so here I am. My body, on the other hand, is pretty darn exhausted. I went rock climbing this evening with Max – I hadn’t gone since Saturday, and whenever I take a larger gap the first day back is always a little rough. Entirely worth it, though ;)

Which sorta, kinda leads me into the point of this post. As you probably now, I work out. I rock climb as often as humanely possible, but I also weight train at my fitness gym roughly two times a week. Yes, I said weight train.

For some reason, people tend to have this silly idea that weight training can make women look like female mega-bulky buff machines. I’ll let you in on a little secret: I pretty much exclusively weight train and I am definitely not buff . Am I strong? You bet. Do I have muscles? Mmmhm. However, I do not look remotely buff. I look toned, thanks to weight training.

Too many individuals are under the impression that cardio is the way to slim down and look like models. News flash: there is this thing called photo shop, cardio only works a portion of your muscles, and to achieve even that you need to rotate machines frequently, and also, those models don’t eat. Like, at all. I eat whatever the hell I want when I want, and I’m pretty content with myself. Granted, I eat healthy things, but my food is delicious. Boo-yah! In my opinion, cardio is pedestrian, so I only use it for a warm-up, or if I’m feeling less enthused I will pop a squat on the stationary bike and read a book (two birds, one stone). That being said, it does have its place in the world; it’s just not the way to achieve results.

Okay, I’m getting a little off topic here. Back to selling you on resistance training. First of all, what is resistance training?

It is an activity that involved some form of resistance against a muscle contraction.

You can use many types of equipment for resistance/weight training, such as free weights, weight machines, cable machines, rubber resistance bands, or even the weight of your own body, as well as gravity.
I would recommend incorporating all of the above mentioned into your workout, for they all have their own unique benefits. For instance, machines allow you to slowly add weight, free weights help with stability, cable machines allow you to move in several different planes of motion, which can activate certain stabilizing muscles as well as core strength, and resistance bands are said to aid your central nervous system.

Now, let’s look into some of the benefits associated with this glorious thing known as weight training.

  1. Via weight training, you buildup body strength as a whole as well as core stability. This leads to a healthy spine (shoulders back, head up, chest out!) and a body that won’t behave in a dysfunctional manner.
  2. When you build muscle mass, you are promoting healthy and strong bones. Ladies over the age of 40 who are at risk for osteoporosis: this applies to you.
  3. Resistance training increases your anaerobic power, which is highly beneficial if you are an athlete, either competitively or in a recreational sense.
  4. Working out with weights works your brain! It makes your brain healthier and helps it function at a higher level, as well as increasing coordination and alertness; and who doesn’t love that.
  5. Your flexibility will also increase (believe me; I used to be atrocious in the flexibility department, and weight training has worked wonders), which leads to healthier muscles and a better range of motion. Please make sure you stretch regularly though, and preferably when your muscles are already a little bit warmed up.
  6. Lifting weights helps with a multitude of changes in body composition, such as decreasing body fat percentage and increasing lean muscle mass. What does this mean? You will be looking fabulous.
  7. Finally, overall you will just feel better! Working out releases serotonin, the happiness neurotransmitter, and you can’t hate that.

… Thus ends my spiel on why you should weight train. If anyone has any specific questions (or if you want me to woop yah into shape at the gym), don’t hesitate. For now though, I must be hitting the hay. Au revoir!