## Smelly Jocks?

I often scan the daily newspapers for good, bad or funny examples of the use of statistics. Today in papers such as the Courier Mail and the Herald-Sun, we find the breaking story “Over half of men wear same undies for 3 days”.

The stats are claimed to be from “a Galaxy study of 1100 men released today”. Here are some of the statistics quoted:

*  46 per cent of men followed their mother’s advice and were never caught out and about without clean undies on

*   3 in 4 men would prefer to spend the money on beer or a burger

*  7 per cent of men admitting to wearing women’s underwear at some time

*  The average man has 11.7 pairs of undies

This statistic amused me. I had to go and check how many pairs I had. 10 pairs. Oh Oh, I am below average? I also showed this statistic to a male collegue. His comment: “Yeh, that would be about right. I have 12 pair but some of them have holes – that would account for the missing 0.3! And the following statistic backs this up:

So to sum up have you got any good examples of statistics or mathematics in the news?

Of course one of the best bloggers online – Kerry Cue – has a blog titled Mathspigs, which specialises in such news articles.

I have been teaching Mathematics in Victorian secondary schools for 30 years. I use the www to make my maths lessons better. I hope this blog will give other teachers some ideas to try in their own classes.
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### 3 Responses to Smelly Jocks?

1. mathspig says:

Hey Jeff,

I was scanning online for maths and newspapers today and found your entry on undies. I think if you surveyed the class .. anonymously … you might get a normal distribution out of this. I’d call it a Bell Curve or, maybe, a Smell Curve!!!!!!

Keep up the good work of making maths fun.

Cheers

Kerry Cue
aks Mathspig

PS: You might find my latest entry … 10 Movie Cliches Debunked by Maths an interesting end of year challenge.

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