However, participants were less likely to be on a jetliner, and instead were on a biplane or helicopter (0% v 100%; P<0.001), were at a lower mean altitude (0.6 m, SD 0.1 v 9146 m, SD 2164; P<0.001), and were traveling at a slower velocity (0 km/h, SD 0 v 800 km/h, SD 124; P<0.001).” Yes, I know.
Laughing at a statistical satire is incredibly nerdy. In any event, there are indeed lessons to be learned from this.
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In such an experiment, a random sorting leads to only some subjects getting the real intervention being tested. James Lind, surgeon on the HMS , staked out his place in history by giving some scurvy patients citrus fruits. Then all the sailors got citrus, as it became obvious that scurvy was preventable through the inclusion in the diet of vitamin C via consumption of oranges, lemons and—of key importance to etymologists—limes, which led to all British sailors, and then all Brits in general, to become known as Limeys.
“We were unable to identify any randomised controlled trials of parachute intervention,” the authors admitted.