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  • Do you have a handy mnemonic to further distinguish these two concepts from bandykurtic, "having more probability concentrated in the ears than the normal distribution"?

    March 12, 2009

  • This reminds me of a useful mnemonic, should you ever find yourself stumped regarding the meanings of those essential statistical terms platykurtic and leptokurtic, as applied to frequency distributions (natch). You know, of course, that one means "having more probability concentrated in the tails than the normal distribution", while the other means "having more of the probability mass concentrated in the center of the distribution, relative to the normal". But which is which? You are at a loss to remember.

    Never fear! Help is at hand, provided by two of our favorite buddies from the animal kingdom, the platypus and the kangaroo. Leptokurtic means fat-tailed, like the kangaroo, who can le(a)p several paces, powered by his enormous tail. While platykurtic means all scrunched up in the middle, like a platypus, with no tail to speak of.

    On edit: How strange that the comment immediately preceding this one on Wordie, by ecbrenner, should also reference distributional tails.

    March 12, 2009

  • I saw that story on the television yesterday. How frightening. It looks as though they could knock a person out with those massive tails.

    March 11, 2009

  • "A Canberra man was forced to wrestle a badly injured kangaroo out of his house after it jumped through a window and landed on his bed in the middle of the night. Beat Ettlin's family were asleep in their suburban Garran home when they were awoken by the kangaroo early on Sunday morning.


    Mr Ettlin says the distressed animal started bounding through the house trying to look for a way out. 'It was still jumping up and down and into my son's bedroom and it tried to escape there as well,' he said. 'My son was screaming, 'There's a kangaroo in my bedroom',' he said."

    - 'Blood everywhere': angry roo lands on bed,, 10 March 2009.

    March 11, 2009