I have a problem. Anytime I think of the word platykurtic, I immediately think of this cartoon. I saw it many times as a youngster and for some reason always got a big kick out it. Now, the fact that platykurtic kind of sounds like FLATykurtic which describes the flat nature of a platykurtic normal curve makes it easy for me to remember that a platykurtic curve is a flatykurtic curve. I think that’s pretty clear so enjoy the cartoon yourself.
Sometimes, I can be real pain to eat with. There are a ton of things I hate, including some common favorites like onions, mushrooms, turnip, parsnip, rhubarb. On the other hand, there are a ton of things I love including chicken noodle soup, hotdogs, nanaimo bars, blueberries, and olives.
However, I know someone who doesn’t really hate anything. And there really isn’t that much on the love list either. Try cooking a favorite meal for someone whose tastebuds put everything right in the middle of the normal curve!
This is how I discovered that tastebuds are just one more human characteristic that apply nicely to the idea of kurtosis. My tastebuds are extremely platykurtic with lots of things on both extremes of the curve. And other folks have taste buds that are extremely leptokurtic with lots of things at the middle of curve.
I have a silly way of remember which is which. “Plat”ykurtic sounds a lot like “Flat,” which is even more fun if you say it like “Flat like your head” direct from the Bugs Bunny cartoon where Bugs tries to convince Columbus about the shape of the earth. And then, if you still need a way to remember “Lept”okurtic, just remember that someone who lept had to jump really high. Today’s statistics lesson has been brought to you by the number blue and the letter 7.