The interviewer added, “Uh, I’m asking for a friend.”

Apparently, a NFL prospect revealed that a team asked him whether he would use a knife or a gun to kill someone as part of his interview. Personally, I want more weird questions like this one. It reminds me of the Browns asking a player what he’d do with a brick. There are so many possibilities; are these questions a weird experiment? Are they genuine? Are team officials trying to decide whether chain mail or Kevlar should be worn in a potential team riot? Perhaps if you’re a knife guy, you are gritty, but people with guns lack the heart to play in the NFL. Maybe we don’t want Plaxico Burress 2.0.

I do not discount the possibility that the interviewer either loves the Untouchables or wants a new innovation to a classic Australian past time .

My Personality Insights and Tone Analyzer

Based on Kevin’s experiment from a few days ago, I decided to try out the personality analyzer. I started with a section of the first chapter of my dissertation and got the following:

You are inner-directed, skeptical and can be perceived as insensitive.

You are philosophical: you are open to and intrigued by new ideas and love to explore them. You are calm under pressure: you handle unexpected events calmly and effectively. And you are calm-seeking: you prefer activities that are quiet, calm, and safe.

You are motivated to seek out experiences that provide a strong feeling of organization.

You are relatively unconcerned with taking pleasure in life: you prefer activities with a purpose greater than just personal enjoyment. You consider achieving success to guide a large part of what you do: you seek out opportunities to improve yourself and demonstrate that you are a capable person.

To be as accurate as possible, I did the same with a later section, and I got this:

You are shrewd, skeptical and tranquil.

You are adventurous: you are eager to experience new things. You are imaginative: you have a wild imagination. And you are independent: you have a strong desire to have time to yourself.

You are motivated to seek out experiences that provide a strong feeling of prestige.

You are relatively unconcerned with both tradition and taking pleasure in life. You care more about making your own path than following what others have done. And you prefer activities with a purpose greater than just personal enjoyment.

I think these are absolutely fair points to make: shrewd, skeptical, inner-directed, and tranquil fits me to a tee most days.

The later section got me these results on the tone analyzer:

2015-11-21 22_44_55-Tone Analyzer

Because of the nature of my dissertation (which involves military history), I get a pretty angry score.

I had fun testing both of them, and as Kevin noted, I can’t gripe too much about the results.

This might be the greatest thing ever

Just read this article and look at the charts. Find yourself asking questions like How robust is my smile? or Is happiness a good thing? or How do I decrease my neuroticism by .2% and thus be the least neurotic player on my team?

I really, really, want to take this test and figure out what my results are. I’m just not sure I’m qualified to judge my own skeptical smile. Is it skeptical enough? Is it too skeptical? I MUST KNOW.

So long, Adam Dunn

Fivethirtyeight has a nice write-up of Dunn’s career. Part of me wonders if Adam Dunn’s career — a pretty good one at times, 2011 excepted — is about as good as the Rob Deer/Russell Branyan type could expect. Dunn had some speed, too, earlier in his career with Cincinnati.

Looking at his statistics, I can’t help but marvel at somebody who was so terrible at making contact being so valuable a baseball player. Not to mention that he never had a positive dWAR in his entire career.

I wonder if, now that he’s retired, he’ll shed some light on why his career took a huge nose dive in 2011. Even the “rebound” he’s enjoyed in the past few years has hardly been earth shattering. 2012, though… how do you almost slug .500 when you’re hitting just above the Mendoza line?!

Adam Dunn will need to buy a ticket to get into the Hall of Fame, and I’m totally okay with that. I don’t want to fetishize batting average, but if your career average is .237, I’m not even sure if you make it into the Hall of Very Good. Maybe the Hall of Statistical Oddities?

100% of the people reading this post are reading this post (and other lies about statistics)

A friend recently shared an article about the Ice Bucket Challenge that claimed only 27% of the money raised is going towards research. Here’s the article. 

Here’s the headline: 


$95 Million Later: Only 27% Of Donations Actually Help ‘Research The Cure’

I was pretty angry. The tone of the article is really awful too, slamming the ALS foundation for these heinous crimes. Yet, there’s some additional facts tucked away in a pie chart that give the lie to the headline. 19% of the funds raised go to patient and community outreach; a viable use of funding, don’t you think? 32%, the largest chunk of the funding, goes to public education. How dare they spend the money trying to make people aware of the disease and its effects! That’s what Wikipedia and webMD are for! Oh, and the $95 million figure they quote isn’t what they actually break down in the chart either — it’s only the expenses for the year ending January 31, 2014.

Given that pie chart, in fact, 79% of the donations go directly to aiding sufferers of the disease or increasing awareness; that’s pretty good. The foundation is rated very highly by Charity Navigator too. 

The salary for the CEO is pretty insane — $300k+ is nuts for a non-profit. However, it’s only a tiny slice of the total pie, and not nearly as bad as scaremongers would have you believe. If we, in the United States, don’t want to use tax dollars to contribute to health care, funding of organizations like this one is a great way to contribute.