[1] Lest the print media feel excessively smug, I find that their interviews and quotations tend to resemble a printed analog to the same superficial "sound bite" formula that television uses. However, in the print media, misquotations can arise as well as the quotation out of context.

[2] If I have offended you, feel free to hit the "back" button or click on a bookmark that arouses your interests.

[3] These plots are only schematics and do not show any actual data. The frequencies shown generally are not whole numbers, whereas real data should show integer values for frequencies. Moreover, the center of these imaginary distributions is at zero ... an unlikely number in Nevada. What is of interest is the shape, not the details.

[4] Don't be concerned if you can't follow the mathematical symbols. They are not essential to this essay.

[5] If desired, the square root of the variance (which is given the technical name of the standard deviation ) can be used to describe the variability. The standard deviation can be thought of as an average departure from the mean, although that is not precisely correct.

[6] In fact, I recommend that any interested readers capable of doing basic calculus should read the excellent textbook by Dan Wilks, 1995: Statistical Methods in the Atmospheric Sciences, Academic Press.

[7] The fact that scientists disagree about important matters is not unusual, either. In fact, disagreement is typical, not abnormal or a sign of something wrong! Those parts of science about which consensus has emerged are usually not areas of active research simply because a consensus has emerged. If there is agreement, there is no need for further study. Of course, scientific issues are not settled by a majority vote. Even when consensus has been reached about some issue, it may be only temporary; science proceeds under the assumption that all knowledge is open to question. Arguments by authority are worthless and the consensus is not necessarily the right answer! Those looking for simple, black-and-white answers to questions will not be happy with the results of a scientific inquiry, because black-and-white answers are pretty uncommon unless the question has been structured to give such an answer. In many cases, problems for which an unequivocal answer is possible tend to be pretty trivial. Most of the questions people want answers for simply will not yield simple answers, often owing to a lack of necessary information.