This completely blew my mind. Okay, pretend you’ve turned to the financial section of the newspaper and you’re looking at all the stock prices. Now imagine that we took the first digit of each number and fed them into a computer and counted how many times each digit (1-9) appeared. You’d expect there to be a pretty random yet equal distribution, right? Wrong. The digit “1” will appear 30% of the time, and each of the subsequent digits in decreasing percentages. “9” only occurs 5% of the time. This works for stock prices, baseball statistics, and just about any other random collection of data you can dig up. Isn’t that nuts? Apparently it also works on accounting books, which is how the IRS can tell if you’ve been fudging the numbers. Craziness. How do I know this? The Snook randomly brought it up in dinner conversation the other night and I’ve been obsessed with it ever since. Here’s a page of more information about the phenomenon. Now see if you can sleep at night.