The Relationship Between Binge Drinking and COVID-19 Cases May Be Linear, But…

NOTE: This blog post has apparently been living rent-free in Dr. Glazer’s head for a couple of days. Instead of pointing out that his thesis may be incorrect, Dr. Glazer keeps pointing out that I mention that the data have to be normally distributed for the linear regression to work. In fact, the residuals from [...]

Black Boxes and the Cochran-Mantel-Haenszel Equation

When working with statistical software programs, you should do one or two calculations by hand just to make sure the software is working properly. The last thing you want is to have an error happen because you didn't illuminate the inside of the black box.

One-Way ANOVA Analyses, by Hand and in R

A student asked for help with a statistical analysis the other night, and I was happy to help. However, he threw me a curveball when he told me he needed to conduct an ANOVA test using only summary data. That is, all he had was the table of results (from a publication) and not the [...]

Biostatistics By Hand? Yes, Please!

When I was studying medical technology, my professors and mentors emphasized the need to learn to do by hand all of the procedures that automated instruments did. Those instruments, which are veritable robots, can do a complete cell count in a few minutes. Doing a complete cell count by hand takes at least an hour [...]

A Quick Explanation on Why 95% Confidence Intervals Get Smaller (For Non-Epidemiologists)

I've been tutoring some students in online MPH programs for a few weeks. We started talking about 95% confidence intervals. All you need to know when reading a confidence interval is that it is used for telling you (the reader) where we (the researcher) are 95% confident that the true measure is located. Here, let [...]

That’s Weird. Radical Islam Is Not an Existential Threat, According to WHO and the World Bank

There's this thing that you do when you work in public health. You try to look at the top causes of death and disability so you can better understand what you need to do in order to save lives "millions at a time" or some such. To do this, you need to be mindful of [...]

The things that will kill you

Just listening to the news, you'd think that all of us were going to get killed tomorrow from a massive terrorist attack. Heck, some of my colleagues have been going on so much about Zika that they make it seem like we're all going to die from Zika... Or that a whole generation of children are [...]

Of numbers and proportions

Last week, after the events in Dallas, Texas, where 5 police officers were shot dead, the Chief of Police in El Paso, Texas, decided to make a statement. Unfortunately, he decided to label the "Black Lives Matter" (BLM) movement as a hate group. This is unfortunate because we're at a point in history where there [...]

Guns and swimming pools

Quick, what's the difference between a gun and a swimming pool? Don't answer that. It's a stupid question. Anyone with a grade school education -- or even no education -- should be able to tell the difference between the two. However, there continues to be this comparison between guns and swimming pools in trying to [...]

What a coincidence! I was looking for a video like this

Here's a video that explains how things that are rare are not that rare.