William M. Briggs

Statistician to the Stars!

Wrestlers sponsor “earth hour”

I got an email—a press release—from a guy named Dan Forman from the WWF asking me to get the word out about “earth hour.” Up till now, I had no idea pro wrestlers (from the World Wrestling Federation) could care so much about the environment.

Anyway, true to wrestle mania form, Dan is a bit prone to exaggeration. Dan sent me this note about some video (ellipsis in original):

If you haven’t watched the video already I encourage you to. It’s very fast paced and still pumps me up every time I watch it, and I’ve seen it over 300 times…today.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=BjWD8pbK5t8

Thanks for your consideration.

Dan

Now, I watched the video and I can’t recommend it. It’s a montage of a bunch of people turning off various light switches, set to the dulcet sounds of some bad pop song. Dan, though, as you can see, is pretty enthusiastic about it. I replied to his note:

Say, Dan, that’s an awful large number of times to watch a video in one day. Are you sure it was really “over 300 times”?

Best,

William Briggs

Dan shot right back with:

What can I say, I’m addicted to the movie. I know I have a problem and am seeking help. It will be a long, tough road but I will make it. Hopefully some kind journalists will take pitty on me and cover the event so I don’t have to be the only one with this problem…

Just joking around. Have a happy holidays and thanks for your note.

Dan

Dan is a regular guy and can joke about his love of the video clip. But I think he is still a little prone to fibbing; oh, let’s be generous and say he suffers from excess enthusiasm instead. Well, we’ve all seen vast quantities of bodacious bluster emanating from the ring, so this is just his normal way of talking.

Because that video is 3 minutes 13 seconds long, or 3.22 minutes. Watching “over 300 times” thus means he spent over 3.22 x 300 = 965 minutes in front of the computer, which translates into just over 16 hours. 16 hours of watching people switch off lights! All in one day!

I didn’t write Dan back because, frankly, I didn’t want to confuse him or, worse, have him threaten to bash my face in with a horse pipe or some other similar painful sounding object.

Also, I didn’t want to hurt his feelings because asking people to switch off their lights for an hour to celebrate some kind of earth-wrestling thing seems kind of silly.

=======
I originally, idiotically, left a typo in when I wrote “3 minutes 13 seconds” as “13.22 minutes”. Not enough egg nog in my system, I guess. Thanks Iain!

13 Comments

  1. Is global warming dangerous?

    Experts explore the disconnect between values and behavior on global warming.

    Scientists hosted a public briefing this week in Washington D.C., in which they presented scientific findings about Americans’ perceptions of global warming.

    At the briefing, they said that the majority of Americans believe that climate change poses a moderate threat, but that it’s more of a problem for the environment and for people living outside of the U.S.

    That’s according to research conducted by Anthony Leiserowitz, principal investigator at the Center for Research on Environmental Decisions at Columbia University. Leiserowitz studied how Americans perceive risks associated with climate change. Using a mail–in questionnaire, people were asked to describe their first thought or image that comes to mind with the words, “global warming.” It would be interesting for the reader to share their answer to this question in the space below.

    People surveyed also answered questions that gauged the degree of concern they have about global warming. One of the things that Leiserowitz found was that people clustered into what he calls “interpretive communities,” birds of a feather so to speak. These groups include what he called the “alarmists,” who view global warming in apocalyptic terms, and the “naysayers,” who deny that it’s happening or who think that it’s unimportant.

    This year’s media coverage of global warming reached a high water mark with the release of the movie, An Inconvenient Truth. But recent surveys rank global warming 12th among 13 environmental problems, right below urban sprawl.

    One reason why more people aren’t responding to what the media is reporting is that global warming hasn’t been framed as an issue of personal relevance, asserts Matthew Nisbet, a social scientist at American University. Much of the public, in his view, relies on “cognitive short–cuts” such as partisanship or ideology to decide what’s important to them.

    We can do our own informal survey here. What’s YOUR first thought or image that comes to mind, when you think of the words “global warming?”

    see other..
    http://hernadi-key.blogspot.com

  2. “Because that video is 3 minutes 13 seconds long, or 13.22 minutes. Watching “over 300 times” thus means he spent over 13.22 x 300 = 965 minutes”

    13.22 should be 3.22

    Cheers,
    Iain

  3. Briggs

    December 21, 2008 at 11:18 am

    Iain,

    Holy moley! I guess it only seemed like 13 minutes!

    Another idiotic typo on my part. I accidentally typed an extra “1”, which I’ll remove. Thanks!

    3 minutes 13 seconds is 3.22 minutes, and 3.22 * 300 = 965 minutes, or 16 hours and 5 minutes.

    If the video was 13.22 minutes long it would take him almost three solid days to watch over 300 times.

  4. Wait… didn’t the World Wrestling Federation have to change their name because the acronym WWF now belongs to the World Wildlife Foundation?

  5. Aron,
    I Thought it was World wildlife too when I started reading it.

  6. My favorite wrestler is Hornswaggle. I root for the little guy.

  7. Briggs

    December 21, 2008 at 2:57 pm

    Aaron,

    Wildlife? You mean these are the guys who wrestle alligators? No wonder they want to switch off the lights.

  8. “Horse pipe”. My usually fertile imagination has failed to provide an image.

    Rich.

  9. Briggs

    December 22, 2008 at 6:42 am

    Rich,

    Well, sure. Horse pipe. Everybody knows about these. For example,

    From

    steelcasingpipe.com is a division of Iron Horse Pipe & Steel Company. Our website has been designed to help the modern day buyer or purchasing agent access and order most nominal pipe size material in a consistent #1 construction grade steel pipe.

    Painful looking, no?

  10. LMAO.

    Time: March 28, 2009.

    Worf (Klingon): “It is a good day to die.”

    Dan: “Don’t die sometime between 20:30 to 21:30. There will be no light at the end of the tunnel.”

  11. JH:
    Hilarious!
    Mr. Briggs:
    Would it be wise for me to admit that I actually DID think this was from the world wrestling federation?
    I wasn’t being funny when I said that I was mistaken to Aron!
    I am gullible, or else things are so silly now with the climate thing, that nothing surprises me any more. I wondered what some strange wrestler was on!
    I only just watched the video and saw the panda at the end! I’m still laughing.

  12. Briggs

    December 22, 2008 at 10:42 am

    Joy,

    No.

  13. Surely Dan’s message would be better served by him not watching the video for 16 hrs. Imagine the CO2 he would have saved by turning off his computer!!!

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