Wednesday, 29 October 2014

A slightly random post...

What is randomness ?
We use random numbers in geography when carrying out geography fieldwork - this is used to identify points within a field area and aid sampling techniques.
I used to do fieldwork on salt marshes with sixth form groups and we would use random number tables to choose our locations. But how random were those numbers ? And did we use them correctly ?

Randomness is an interesting statistical concept.
Does pressing the random number key on a calculator really generate a truly 'random' number ?
There was a useful article on the nature of randomness.

Wind Turbines and bird deaths are a story which has been used to indicate the downsides of this form of alternative energy. Do birds really fly into the turbines and get killed in any sort of numbers ?
How random would this act be ? Or are there particular places that are more at risk of bird strike ?

How about this for another way to explore randomness...

I bought some pack of Random sweets. These are made by Nestle. They contain apparently a random set of strange jelly items. How random are they ? Would be interesting to find out how many of the packs are similar...

Similar sweets may be available in your own country of origin.

For a slightly better explanation of all things random, you should take a read of this recent post by Jess Whittlestone on the fact that we tend to see patterns in everything.

Image: Alan Parkinson

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