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Abe the Lion Tamer
Level 5: 720 points
Last Logged In: January 27th, 2017
TEAM: The Disorganised Guerilla War On Boredom and Normality TEAM: B0S TEAM: San Francisco Zero TEAM: ARKHAMZERO TEAM: SCIENCE! TEAM: The Ultimate Collaboration Team TEAM: Real Name TEAM: Lab Coats! TEAM: Public Library Zero TEAM: SF0 Skypeness! TEAM: The Society For Figuring Out How To Get Those Damn Badges TEAM: Silly Hats Only TEAM: AA0 TEAM: Dancing on Lovecraft's Grave BART Psychogeographical Association Rank 1: Commuter EquivalenZ Rank 1: User The University of Aesthematics Rank 2: Dealer Biome Rank 1: Hiker Society For Nihilistic Intent And Disruptive Efforts Rank 1: Anti

15 + 71 points

The Museum of Statistical Anomalies by Abe the Lion Tamer

September 3rd, 2009 1:42 PM

INSTRUCTIONS: Find a statistical outlier. Capture it and create a display for it that elucidates its irregularity. Also, name it if necessary.

Work with other players to create the Museum of Statistical Anomalies by combining your displays.

Abe the Lion Tamer's hair has long been a statistical outlier in a number of ways. Most notably, I present the first official writeup of research on the subject performed over the past several years:

There is a semi-common hairstyle in which chopsticks or pencils are used to twist the hair back in a bun of sorts.
I estimate that in such a fashion, the average person could support 3-8 pencils in his or her hair for an extended period of time.

A google image search for "pencils in hair" shows a number of images; the hairdo sporting the most pencils is this:


I count 22 pencils in the photo, and extrapolate that nearly as many may be hidden in the back, bringing the total number up to 30.

A more thorough google images search reveals an average of 14.2 pencils displayed per unique photo (with 9 being the maximum for bearers of straight hair).

This gives us a range of pencil storage and pencil storage demonstration of 3-30 pencil capacity, with an average likely around 10-20.

Several years ago, a few amateur researchers decided to test the limits of Abe's hair by inserting pencils into it. After the addition of 52 pencils, no more could be found.
Alas, the hair was not of optimal length, and over the next few minutes several pencils fell out

More recently, a more rigorous study was attempted with a larger number of pencils and a larger amount of hair. Alas, only 175 pencils could be found, and these were all held in placemain_n1062900073302183901.jpg quite nicely

A test of head inversion loosened no pencils; all stayed put

While the research used to acquire data on Abe's hair is not entirely new, the research on the general population's pencil storage ability was conducted specifically for this task, and only therein was the hair in question demonstrated to be a statistical outlier (175 lies far outside of the 3-30 range).

- smaller

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8 comment(s)

posted by susy derkins on September 4th, 2009 7:17 AM

I wonder how many pencils could a goatee held in place. But that's a different line of research.

(no subject) +1
posted by Secret Agent on September 4th, 2009 9:02 PM

I don't know about pencils, but back in my days of playing lots of pick-up-sticks we had a rule that you couldn't claim the points unless the stick stayed in your 'hair' some way, and beard/goatee/moustache was my only recourse. Will try to scan when back at home. It was definitely enough to win a few games anyway.

(no subject)
posted by Ben [Sunshine] on September 4th, 2009 2:23 PM

Points for making me laugh really hard.


(no subject)
posted by done on September 5th, 2009 1:44 PM

Haha! Well done! It's science!

(no subject)
posted by Abe the Lion Tamer on September 5th, 2009 5:54 PM

Ah yes! Forgot about that... added the team to the task.

(no subject)
posted by Sombrero Guy on September 7th, 2009 1:30 AM

This is great! My hair is a bit like that when I let it grow enough.
When it gets to it's longest, I'll have to see how many I can fit in it, although I don't think I'll beat 52, let alone 175...

(no subject) +1
posted by Poisøn Lake on September 7th, 2009 12:08 PM

yet another reason to avoid the flat iron; added storage capacity.

(no subject)
posted by Wolf on September 29th, 2009 5:12 AM

I couldn't stop laughing at the surrealism of having 175 pencils in your hair.