Showing 1 - 10 of 21 posts found matching keyword: statistics
Saturday 24 February 2024
I read in the local newspaper that my county currently averages 1 suicide every 14 days. That's on pace for 26 a year. If that seems high, it's because it is.
According to the American Foundation for Suicide Prevention, Americans kill themselves nationally at a rate of about 14 per 100,000, which implies that Coweta County, Georgia, population 155,000, should expect something near 22 suicides per year. For Coweta, that figure is an aspirational number.
What's so bad about living in Coweta? I can only guess.
Of course, thanks in part to our poor healthcare system and our easy access to guns, Georgians kill themselves more often than average Americans. (That's just the price you pay for freedom!) By Georgia standards, Coweta should see 24 suicides per year. So maybe our higher rate is our friendly way of helping prop up those counties that aren't pulling their weight.
Back when I was in a Coweta County high school, the statewide suicide rate was only 13 per 100k (national average 12/100k), yet I knew several people whose parents had killed themselves, and I knew students who attempted it. If people are finding things more bleak and hopeless now than they were then... as a community, maybe as a whole society, we just must be doing something wrong.
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Sunday 4 June 2023
In the middle of the afternoon, I had to stop my car in the road to let two deer cross in a md dash for the woods. They had been frightened by a car coming the other way. As I watched them run for cover, it occurred to me that they were probably right to be frightened, as humans are their primary predator.
There are estimated to be 30 million deer in the United States, and roughly 5 million of them are killed each year by humans. By comparison, there are 340 million humans in the United States, and roughly 120 of them are killed each year by deer. Those numbers certainly work out in our favor.
On the other hand, consider that nearly 75,000 humans are killed each year by a human (including suicides). We also happen to be our own primary predator.
You're 625 times more likely to be killed by a human than a deer. Oh, my.
Maybe running for the woods isn't such a terrible idea.
Monday 2 January 2023
Reading a bunch of critic's best-movies-of-2022 lists made me curious, so I went back and counted. I watched 16 movies released in 2022 in 2022.
Six were documentary/biopics. Four were mysteries. Three were cartoon/superheroes. One was Downton Abbey. And these two were on most of the aforementioned "best" lists:
153/2162. Everything Everywhere All at Once (2022)
Friend Ken was a big fan of this nearly indescribable sci-fi action film, and he has been encouraging me to see it since it was still in limited release. The last movie Ken promoted this much was Into the Spider-Verse, and I'm happy to report that both lived up to Ken's hype. This is bonkers in all the right ways. I'm sure it's destined to become a beloved cult film in the Buckaroo Bonsai tradition.
157/2166. The Banshees of Inisherin (2022)
After a great deal of thought, I think I've decided this might be my favorite film released in 2022 that I watched in 2022. Re-teaming the actors and writer/director of the fantastic In Bruges in a character piece, it's much, much smaller in scope than Everything Everywhere but every bit as enthralling in its own much, much more focused way. (I cannot believe that the Colin Farrell in this and the Colin Farrell in The Batman [or Miami Vice or Daredevil] are the same actor. Give this man all the Oscars!)
More of both of these sorts of films in 2023, please!
Saturday 12 March 2022
Walt Duncan has been an out-of-touch orthodontist since Zits debuted in 1997. At the time, "Walter" had fallen to 273rd in popularity among U.S. baby boy names, according to the Social Security Administration. So, yeah, "old guy" names.
The peak for "Walter" in the United States was 1914, when it cracked the top ten for the only time in the 20th century. (Per ssa.gov: "In that year, the number of births is 8962, which represents 1.312 percent of total male births in 1914.") Perhaps not coincidentally, the most famous Walter in newspaper comics is Walt Wallet of Gasoline Alley, who debuted in 1918.
The lowest point for "Walter" babies was 393rd (0.035%) in 2008, but has rebounded since. I would presume that's the influence of Breaking Bad's Walter White, who debuted that year, but the name "Louis" has followed a very similar trend, also peaking in 1914 (at 20th, 0.8%) before dead-cat bouncing in 2009 (0.042%). Is there a mid-aughts Louis I've forgotten about?
For the record, there were 2,358 "Walter"s born in 1975, representing 0.145% of all children that year, ranking 112th overall. On a personal note, there were 39,588 "James," or 2.439%, 4th overall. "James" has never fallen out of the top 20 since the SSA started keeping records. If there was a Venn diagram of such things, "James Walter" would represent the popular kid being forced to hang out with a four-eyed comic book nerd.
I would definitely read a comic strip about that.
Wednesday 28 July 2021
Autocorrect continues to plague me.
After Simone Biles withdrew from Olympic competition citing mental issues, I tried to Google the definition of "gymnastics twisties."
My autocorrect changed it to "gymnastics titties."
I'm sure they're nice, but that's not what I'm interested in (right now).
If it's true that the average man thinks about sex once every 7 seconds and that computers process information 10 million times faster than humans, how often does my computer think about sex?
Saturday 5 June 2021
That PSA was published in 1949, when the USA had a population around 150 million and 25 million registered cars. For comparison, today there are about 350 million Americans (+133%) with 287 million registered vehicles (+1048%) resulting in over 42,000 traffic fatalities (+30%). Obviously, roads have gotten a lot safer in the past 3/4 century, and I think we all know why.
Thank you, Superman!
Thursday 12 November 2020
The Georgia Secretary of State has decided that the "risk limiting audit" of the state's 2020 general election for President of the United States will include every single vote cast and be recounted by human hand. If memory serves, the current Secretary of State's election slogan was "Bring Backus the Abacus." (Which, to be fair, was more progressive than his predecessor, whose platform was "You Voted For Who I Say You Vote For.")
According to the SoS's website, 4,991,854 Georgians voted in the election. If one person were to count one ballot per second continuously, it would take that person 58 days. Of course, he'd be dead then, so he might not want to do that.
If ten people were working together, they could complete the task in a week. A hundred could get it done in one intense work day (with overtime). Too bad they can't put 1,000 people in a room with all 5 million votes. Done in under 2 hours!
Each county has to count its own ballots. If Coweta County is lucky enough to get 6 salaried employees together (in state-mandated teams of two) to recount their 76,799 ballots, they'll need 2 full work days (with no water breaks). Coweta is the 17th largest county in the state, so expect several counties to take longer. Lucky tiny Taliaferro (159th of 159 in population) should be able to count to 928 within an hour.
All this number crunching just to validate that maybe we will, finally, definitively know by next Friday where Georgians collectively stand on the question of which old white guy they want in the federal executive mansion. Personally, I'll take the one who can count.
Monday 4 May 2020
As I type this, the United States has 1.188 million confirmed cases of COVID-19 and 68,276 deaths. More Americans have already died in the past 2 months from COVID-19 than died in the entire Vietnam War. And it's not over yet. By the time you read this, those numbers will be worse.
A quick computation of those figures reveals a current mortality rate of nearly 6%. If you've been paying attention (what else have you got to do?), you may remember that back at the beginning of March, the World Health Organization was estimating a 3.4% mortality rate — an estimate our wise president chose to call "a false number" in a live television interview with Sean Hannity on Fox News. He objected to the WHO number not because it was too low, but because it was much, much to high. "I would say the number is way under one percent," said the president.
(Footnote for future historians: That comment was made on March 4. A month later, April 14, Trump withdrew funding to the WHO claiming that they failed to report the true danger of the virus back in January. Quote: "The reality is that the WHO failed to adequately obtain that and share information in a timely and transparent fashion." By that logic, I guess we should stop funding the current American president, too.)
Testing continues to be a problem, so we can't really be sure that the 1,188,122 number I referenced above is the true extent of the contamination. If we assume that the actual mortality rate is closer to 3.4% previously observed in other countries, it would mean that over 2 million Americans currently have or have had the disease. That's over a million hidden, untreated, pandemic-spreading cases. Sure seems like someone should be thinking twice about opening those shopping malls, Governor Kemp.
Also unreported in all those grim details is another victim of COVID-19. Specifically, I'm talking about my flattop.
I haven't seen a barber in over a decade, but in an act of solidarity with coronavirus-positive Tom Hanks (and maybe a little laziness), I decided to go ahead and trim my hair down to the scalp. Does it make me look more bald or less?
These days, the fact that I'm alive and well enough to worry about such things feels like an accomplishment.
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Monday 5 August 2019
In the past 48 hours, at least 35 people were shot in Dayton, Ohio and another 46 were shot in El Paso, Texas. Those are the headlines, but they're only the tip of the Titanic-sized iceberg that is gun violence in America.
Excluding suicides, over 26,000 people have been shot in the USA this year to date, which puts us on pace for 44,000 by the end of December. By those numbers, an American has a roughly 1 in 74,000 chance of being shot each year. That's only slightly worse than the odds that you'll die in a motorcycle accident. Except, of course, that to die on a motorcycle, you have to first be *on* a motorcycle. The person who shoots you will generously donate the necessary bullet.
Right now, it seems there's not a whole lot you can do to avoid getting shot. Night clubs, bars, and retail stores seem to attract shooters, but so do schools and churches. Outdoor festivals are popular, and your workplace is a death sentence waiting to happen. Sadly, you're most likely to get shot in your own house by a member of your family, so staying home is no help.
About all you can do for sure is stay away from other people entirely, and even that is no guarantee. My friend Randy, who lives a good fifteen minutes from anything I would call civilization, has had people shoot into his house from the street 100-yards away, apparently just to see if they could. Guns are cool!
Personally, I love attending live sporting events. So far, those have been generally bullet-hole free, but that's clearly only a temporary condition. I hope I don't get shot at a football game. I probably won't; many people ride a motorcycle their whole life without dying on one. But if the worst does happen, know that I was shot doing what I loved: running in panic from someone shooting people. U-S-A!
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Monday 4 March 2019
The National Safety Council says that the odds of an American dying from a fall are 1 in 114. That's about twice as likely as the chance of death from a gun assault (1 in 285) but five times more common than the chance of dying while going for a walk (1 in 556). The specific odds of dying from falling down the stairs is 1 in 1,662. Yesterday morning, I nearly became a statistic.
I woke up early to take July outside to go potty before the bad weather rolled in. I didn't bother to change shoes and wore my slippers in the dewy grass. Returning to the house, I wiped her wet feet but not mine. Then we both went back downstairs to return to bed. Thanks to my slippery slippers, one of us went faster than the other.
Spoiler alert: I didn't die. But I do have an uncomfortably twisted ankle and abrasions on my elbows. And I've certainly learned a valuable lesson. From now on, the dog can go potty in the rain.