James Explains Probability Amongst Other Things

James Explains


Hang on to your hats, it’s explaining time!

Although if I’m brutally honest, I can’t begin to explain why I opened with that particular line.

But I will try and explain some other stuff that people have asked me this week.

And I will do it right now!

First up, and inspired by last week’s scatalogical insights, Pete asks:

How come some people do not believe in the poo fairy?If it was utter **** , fairy nuff, but we all know it holds water. Which raises another question…..why does poo hold water?

To be honest Pete, I found it difficult to research an actual answer to your question without making myself feel a bit ill. So I think you may need to ask the poo fairy yourself. Although I did actually make the poo fairy up, so I would suggest we just forget this whole unpleasant episode.

Jay, meanwhile, is more concerned with matters preceding digestion and asks

How do people make it on baking shows who have no baking skills?

I’d like to imagine it’s a philanthropic gesture by the show’s producers to improve the state of baking as a whole, by allowing inferior bakers to learn and be inspired by more able bakers. But it’s probably just a cheap and cynical attempt at retaining viewers by injecting some ‘comic relief’ into the show.

Bryntin imagined that someone else asked him a question that he was unable to answer so he has now kindly passed the imaginary person’s query on to me. It is as follows:

If you are deciding something ‘on the balance of probabilities’, by definition, being balanced, the probabilities are exactly 50/50. How do you then decide which of the things you are deciding between is ‘on the balance of probabilities’ when the probabilities are obviously balanced?

Now, I should be able to explain this, having been a secondary school maths teacher at some point in my, admittedly chequered, career. But my lessons were so boring, even I wasn’t paying all that much attention. I do remember something about probability trees. Maybe you should grow one of those in your garden.

Gigglingfattie meanwhile is disturbed by this question:

James, why is it, when at work 1.5 hours after you were supposed to go home, you are rightfully exhausted but after the 3 minute walk home and getting into bed, I will be wide awake hating myself for not being able to go to sleep?

I think the problem is the hating yourself. Don’t do that. Own the insomnia. Get up, have a coffee and spent the night writing poetry instead. It doesn’t even matter if the poetry is actually any good. Bad poetry is an art in itself. Just look at my regular Wednesday posts…

On another note, you really need to stop doing the ‘working late’ thing. That kind of work ethic will only ever end in tears. Or, if you are going to work late, then do what I do and nap at work. It probably helps to have a meeting room available, and a key to that meeting room, and a work calendar that proclaims that you have a meeting scheduled, when really you don’t. But there are other ways to nap at work.

These Were Humans left this question in last week’s comments, but perhaps should have sent it to me via Twitter instead, (because, yknow, it’s bird related…):

Is it just me or is the concept of birds suddenly appearing every time someone is near (as in the song Close To You) utterly terrifying (as in the Hitchcock movie The Birds)?

I’d have to agree, it does feel like those birds have more of an agenda than just wanting to be close to the aforementioned person. Unless the person is actually the ‘feed the birds’ woman off of Mary Poppins, or the slightly strange, but ultimately kindly bird woman off of Home Alone 2: Lost in New York. But I don’t think anyone other than birds would especially want to be close to either of them. Although tuppence a bag is an absolute bargain…



Do you have a question that only James can explain? Well don’t just stand there gawping, ask it in the comments below!


  8 comments for “James Explains Probability Amongst Other Things

  1. Bear R Humphreys
    March 20, 2018 at 8:49 pm

    I like the idea of a probability tree but I’m not sure my soil is balanced enough. I should probably test it.
    Another question to answer James, if you don’t mind.
    I’ve always wondered. Why can’t you stop once you’ve popped?
    I would have thought that was pretty much the end of your balloon trip myself.

    Liked by 1 person

    • March 20, 2018 at 9:04 pm

      I’ll give it some thought but I can’t disagree with your hypothesis at this stage…

      Liked by 1 person

  2. gigglingfattie
    March 20, 2018 at 10:10 pm

    Haha! Unfortunately, when you are a nanny, napping at work will get you fired rather quickly. And if no parents are home I have to stay – again, its frowned upon for the nanny to leave the kids without adult supervision haha

    Liked by 1 person

    • March 20, 2018 at 10:39 pm

      The trick is for no-one to notice that you’re having a nap! Maybe create a life-sized papier mache replica of yourself to ‘watch’ the kids. It just needs careful planning…

      Liked by 1 person

      • gigglingfattie
        March 21, 2018 at 12:35 am

        Haha that is a good trick. I will look into it

        Liked by 1 person

  3. Bryntin
    March 20, 2018 at 11:53 pm

    James, I notice that you had a comment from a Bear R Humphreys earlier. He looks very familiar. Do you think that he and I may be related? If we are then he’s probably the stupid type who doesn’t know which account he’s commenting under I reckon. Thankfully I appear to have got the clever jeans.

    Liked by 1 person

    • March 21, 2018 at 5:57 am

      He does look alarmingly familiar. But I imagine it’s just an eerie coincidence. I’m pretty good at reading between the lines and I have no reason to believe that there is any connection here. Unfortunately my clever jeans are in the laundry basket at the moment…


      • Bryntin
        March 21, 2018 at 9:03 am

        I’d just like to point out that I used the misspelling of ‘genes’ deliberately for comic effect and to give James an easy gag set-up. I am in fact clever as well as being the most modest stable genius you’ve ever met.

        Liked by 2 people

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