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October 31, 2014

Strange But True!

Q. How tall an order is it for men's pro-basketball management to find competitive players for the team? Numerically speaking, are you up to this challenge?

A. Start with the average American adult male being about 5 feet 10 inches tall, with some of course being much shorter, some much taller. But a graph of all heights would show a nice bell-shaped distribution, says John M. Henshaw in “an (equation) for every occasion = 52 formulas + (why) they matter.” Given the average height and the standard deviation of about 3 inches, the full curve shows that just over two-thirds of American men are between 5 foot 7 and 6 foot 1, and that means one-third are not. Half of those men — one-sixth of the total — are shorter than 5 foot 7, and the other one-sixth are taller than 6 foot 1.

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