More fun with statistics

From xkcd, of course. The title is “Conditional Risk” which is a morphing of “Conditional Probability” into the current situation.

I love watching lightening storms. But the most adventuresome I get while doing that is setting on my front step.


2 thoughts on “More fun with statistics

  1. That’s one of those things where the odds change greatly depending on circumstance. Kind of like how being the victim of a violent crime is a low probability event, which assumes you don’t walk through crappy inner-city neighborhoods as a hobby. I was nearly hit by lightning hiking up (which quickly turned into a hike down once I heard thunder) Mount Helena in Montana. I asked my resident local Andrew for the quickest way down the mountain. He didn’t mention it would go down the part that was clear cut. While moving through this section, a bolt came down and blew apart a rock probably 50 feet in front of me. I had thrown my hiking pole away at this point, because it seemed like a bad idea to carry a lightning rod. Loudest clap of thunder I ever heard. I consider myself lucky. I figure my odds of being struck were probably quite high.

  2. I once stood next to a water tower on top of a hill during a lightning storm while taking pictures. I’ve gotten considerably better at it since then. I have always stated though that was probably not the brightest thing in the world to do. Usually I just sit on the back deck and watch them roll by. If the flash and clap get below about 7 seconds (1 1/2 miles) I go inside. This was true even for the hill incident, the problem is that doesn’t prevent a freak bolt from hitting the tower anyway.


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