Today (26 May) the new notion of sticky balls statistics (kleverige knikkers, in Dutch) was born. Well, the notion already existed: overdispersion due to the confounding factor time. But the new name should make it easier to get the idea across to sharp legal minds. The prosecution in the Lucia de Berk case only knew about the statistics of pulling nice new shiny balls out of a vase. The latest research shows that the balls were sticky. (Actually, the nice hospital administrators and policemen had a bit sticky fingers too, but that’s another issue). It was chance all right. Just a little bit of bad luck. Bad statistics. That was very bad luck. Doing Tarot cards was not a good idea either (especially in combination with keeping an odd diary and having overdue Stephen King books from the library in your bookshelf). Illustrations: the Chinese delicacy “sticky balls” eaten at the Spring Festival, and aptly symbolizing “reunion”: fromChengdu (the white ones), and Suzhou (green).