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Monday: August 1, 2011

Turns out that coin tosses don't really provide fifty-fifty odds.Turns out that coin tosses don't really provide fifty-fifty odds.

As usual, it's humanity that messes things up. When flipped by a machine, coins come up heads a solid fifty percent of the time, and tails the other fifty percent. Put the fate of the coin in grubby human hands and the odds tip slightly in favor of the side that faces up just before the coin is flipped. The side that was face up at the beginning of the flip has a fifty-one percent chance of landing face-up at the end. Humans are not as precise as machines, and so the coin rotates around several axes instead of one.

Posted to Weekdaily filed in Science @ 1:37 PM | Tags (9) | coin | toss | io9 | odds | science | flipped | human | error | machines |  | Discuss (0) |  | facebook | twitter | 8 Clicks | Posted by Vin


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