What are the odds?

by googler@evpl on Wednesday, November 4 2009, 10:15am. Viewed 741 times.

shark imageEver wonder what the odds are that an adult planning a Halloween costume will be a cat? How about the odds of being killed by a shark? There's a new website, The Book of Odds, that does just that — it gives you odds.

You can do a simple keyword search, an odds search (finding anything that has a 1 in 100 chance of occurring by entering the number 100), or click on "advanced search" to look for additional content (articles and blog posts). Searching all content can be pretty interesting, particularly if you're looking to spice up a speech or a research paper, but there's not a huge amount of that kind of content.

The data comes from a lot of demographic studies, much of it market-based or governmental, and because of that, you tend to see age, gender, income, and location breakdowns that many people won't find that useful and tend to pad the result list.. (They're not consistent breakdowns though, so no comparison of shark attack odds between Indiana and Florida.) 

If you see something in the result list that you want to know more about or want to use in some way, click on the odds for an item and you’ll get a visual representing those odds and a list of unrelated odds that are close or exactly the same as the one you’re looking at. The detail page also has a button marked "Sources & Definitions." Click it and you’ll get information on the source, rounding information, and even an appropriate way to cite the data presented. If you don't find odds for something you think should be there, click on "suggest odds" at the bottom of the page, and they may be able to research it and add it.

If you register and create an account (it’s free) you can start your own book of odds, which allows you to track odds, send odds information to a friend, mark those that you like or those that apply to you, etc. Worth a visit! Oh, and before you leave the Book of Odds site be sure to visit the "About Us" page. I got a chuckle out of this : "Book of Odds is not a search-engine, decision-engine, knowledge-engine, or any other kind of engine…so please don’t compare us to Google(tm). We did consider the term 'probability engine' for about 25 seconds, before coming to our senses."

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