How to lie with numbers

Spent more of the evening watching Quarks, a popular-science show. Its topic: “how to lie with numbers”. Some of it was actually quite interesting.

Quiz question: You are offered a job with a yearly salary of 10000. You have two options:
– an increase of 1000 each year (after the first year)
– an increase of 250 each 6 months (after the first 6 month).
Which option do you choose?

Also interesting: Benford’s law, stating “that lists of numbers from many real-life sources of data, the leading digit 1 occurs most frequently and larger numbers occur as the leading digit with less and less frequency as they grow in magnitude, with 9 being the least frequent leading digit.”
More specifically the leading digit 1 has the probability of 30.1%, 2: 17.6%, 3: 12.5%, 4: 9.7%,…,9: 4.6%
Accounting firms apparently use this distribution to check whether the distribution of bill sums is “regular” or shows some oddities (in the tv show they edited 70 out of 10000 bill items (taken from the tv channel’s accounting system) to be just below 5000 in order to simulate a company where people can spent up to 5000 without asking their superiors, and the accounting company detected the oddity.)