Thursday, March 11, 2010

Excuse me, baldy, but I think you dropped something?

Whenever someone drops something on the subway, especially while walking through the station, it's always interesting to watch just how many people keep going on about their business and don't even stop to let said person know they've dropped their glove/scarf/hat/whatever.  Every once in a while there will be one person who feels compelled to point out the forsaken item to its oblivious owner. But, most of the time, there seems to be a general diffusion of responsibility, where everyone is waiting around for the other guy to say something and then no one does.

My nerdy side has therefore determined there is a strong positive correlation (r =.8+) between the more normal of an object dropped to the likelihood someone will point it out to them (if my high school Statistics AP class memory serves me right, the formula would be something like Correlation(r) = [ NΣXY - (ΣX)(ΣY) / Sqrt([NΣX2 - (ΣX)2][NΣY2 - (ΣY)2])] - but I'm just going from memory here, obvs

Anyway, turns out this item:

would be given a value of about r =.00001 in the above formula, as not one person was willing to return it to its rightful owner. Jerks. But then again, do you really blame them? "Excuse me, ma'am, but I think you dropped your...weave? jessica simpson clip on hair? Balding cap? Pet?"

Yeah, fair enough....I probably wouldn't have said anything either.

(ps. thank you to Ian for sending in this photo.)

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