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Q&A: 'Sam Crow' really an acronym

Ron Perlman is Clay Morrow in the TV series Sons of Anarchy.

FX

Ron Perlman is Clay Morrow in the TV series Sons of Anarchy.

'Sam Crow' really an acronym

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I have watched every episode of Sons of Anarchy. However, I still do not understand where the name "Sam Crow" came from. What did I miss? Why do they refer to themselves as Sam Crow?

Sam Crow is another way of saying SAMCRO. It's a shortened version of the Sons of Anarchy's full name: Sons of Anarchy Motorcycle Club Redwood Original. The TV series was at first called Forever Sam Crow but, according to creator Kurt Sutter, changed the name to avoid conflict with a real-life motorcycle club that claimed the first title was a copyright infringement.

Clunker funds not taxed

Will I have to claim the $4,500 that the auto dealer deducted for the "clunker" that I traded under the Cash for Clunkers program as income on my taxes?

No, there are no federal taxes applied to the rebate.

Statistical logic of polling

A recent AP-GfK poll sampled 1,006 people to report how 300 million Americans felt about political topics, with a sampling error of plus or minus 3.1 percentage points. How can they come up with reliable numbers with such a small sample?

Good polls pick the people they interview randomly, using sampling, and include enough people to make the results meaningful.

For the AP-GfK polls, pollsters randomly select people using telephone numbers, because almost everyone can be reached by phone. A computer randomly generates a list of numbers from landlines and cell phones. If pollsters call a number and find more than one adult shares that phone, another random procedure is used to select only one of them to interview.

When pollsters do this, the laws of statistics says the responses are similar to the answers they would have gotten if they had interviewed the entire population, within a certain range. That range is expressed by the margin of sampling error, which you see in articles about polls.

Those statistical laws have been proven right over many years and in many applications, not just in polling. Those laws also say there is a known, small chance pollsters will get answers that fall outside the expected range, which helps explain why polls sometimes don't agree.

Once pollsters have gotten answers from their sample, they compare ages, race and other demographic factors to the overall population. If there are major differences, the data is adjusted to make sure the sample resembles the overall population. That's known as "weighting."

One counterintuitive thing about sampling is that the expected accuracy of a sample has very little to do with the size of the population being studied. As long as the pollsters follow the rules, samples of just 1,000 people can accurately represent the views of many millions.

Q&A: 'Sam Crow' really an acronym 11/09/09 [Last modified: Monday, November 9, 2009 4:16pm]
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