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Impossible? by Julian Havil

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Chapter 2

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SIMPSON’S PARADOX

Statistics are like bikinis. What they reveal is suggestive, but what they conceal is vital.

Aaron Levenstein

Apocryphal Stories

It is difficult for the non-cricket fanatic to appreciate the trauma associated with the biannual cricket competition between the arch-rivals England and Australia, universally known as the Ashes. On 29 August 1882 (at home) a full-strength England cricket side was for the first time beaten by Australia, which caused the British publication The Sporting Times to run an obituary for English cricket which included the words ‘The body will be cremated and the Ashes taken to Australia’. On the ...

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