Showing 1 - 10 of 10 posts found matching keyword: statistics
True statement: in 2017, you are 4x more likely to be a victim in a mass shooting (1 in 169,000) than be struck by lightning (1 in 700,000). I'm sure the NRA will move to correct that problem by buying up the country's supply of lightning rods.
While it's tempting to say that America has a gun problem, keep in mind that there are some things out there worse than guns. Of course, I'm talking about deer.
I've mentioned before that StateFarm has calculated the average American has a 1 in 169 chance of being struck by a deer. Those odds are terrifying, and I think they go a long way to explaining why America is obsessed with guns.
Just yesterday, the New York Post ran the headline "Deer gores unarmed hunter to death". As bad as it sounds, a closer read reveals the goring took place in France. France is far more restrictive about guns than America is. If that poor hunter had lived in America, he'd probably still be alive today. (Unless he was involved in a mass shooting.)
It was reported last year that a lightning storm killed 323 reindeer in Norway. That's a lot of deer, but it isn't enough. It's been estimated that there are 30 million deer in America. At 1 in 700,000, it'll take 21 trillion bolts of lightning to get them all. Obviously, lightning's going to need some help. We're going to need all the guns we can get our hands on to win the Great Deer Uprising.
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The September issue of Reader's Digest includes an excerpt from Ben Bratt's book Nabokov's Favorite Word is Mauve. In typical clickbait fashion, the magazine titles its article "Have Bestsellers become Dumber?" There's a maxim in journalism that any question posed in a headline can be answered with the word "no." In this case, the answer is a slightly more complicated "kind of."
The argument Bratt makes is that most bestselling books these days are written on a 6th grade reading level, a significant decline from the 8th grade reading level of most bestsellers half a century ago. Personally, I hesitate to blame this on the "dumbing down" of readers. As a child, I was taught that any writing intended for a mass audience should be written on a 7th grade level. I suspect that modern authors have taken that advice to heart and, in the interest of finding an audience, doubled down. After all, if a 7th grade level reaches the average reader, a 6th grade level casts a wider net.
Of course, reading this made me wonder about my own books. Now that I'm an author myself, where does my personal style fall? To answer that question, I took my first three books and ran them through an online text parser. It gave me an "A" for readability but complained that my words have too many syllables. I didn't realize that was a problem. Perhaps naively, I assumed that words had all the syllables they needed.
Over the course of the three books (255,437 words in 25,235 sentences), I averaged 1.4 syllables per word. That's too high? I like Green Eggs and Ham as much as the next guy, but I also like most of my meals to be slightly more complicated.
Otherwise, what did the text parser tell me about my writing? My books are 37% nouns or pronouns, 21% verbs, 7% adjectives, and 6% adverbs, and they should take about 20 hours to read. That information gives no hint about whether my stories are entertaining, just that humans won't pull out their hair trying to make sense of my grammar. That's better than nothing, I suppose.
Oh, it also told me that my writing averages a 7th grade reading level. Surprise, surprise.
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What with the rampant street crime, organized gangs of psychotics, and corrupt officials, no one in their right mind would want want to live in Gotham City.
"The Lawmen of the Sea," Batman #20, 1943
Three suicide attempts a week? That seems like a lot, even for
New York Gotham City. What does the internet have to say about that?
From www.nj.com: The three jumps [from the George Washington Bridge] in less than a week's time [week of June 18, 2012] is not typical, [Port Authority Spokesman] Della Fave said. "It's been a tough year on the bridge," he said.
Overall, the New York City Department of Health and Human Hygiene reports that the city's suicide rate was 6 in 100,000 citizens in 2011. Compare that to the national average of 12 in 100,000. The city with the highest rate is flat, dry Las Vegas, with 35 in 100,000.
It sounds like if Batman is really interested in making a difference, he should spend some time in Sin City.
These statistics from my year-long movie watching experiment in 2012 may interest no one but me, but it's my blog. So there.
First up is actors. You can see the totals for January through June here.
- July: Arthur O'Connell, Ryan Gosling (2)
- August: Lillian Gish (2)
- September: Karl Urban, Maureen O'Hara, the Thunderbirds cast (2)
- October: Jonah Hill, Lionel Barrymore, Owen Wilson, Rance Howard, Regis Toomey, Stephen Colbert (2)
- November: Tilda Swinson (2)
- December: Dee Bradley Baker, Myrna Loy, William Powell (3)
- Total: William Powell(8); Kristen Stewart, Myrna Loy (7)
Comedies continued to be the big draw for me, 82 in all. What can I say, I like to laugh. Dramas was a distant runner up overall, although there were as many months in which I watched more action movies than any other type as there were months where dramas were the leading category (2 each).
By the end of June, I hadn't seen any director's work more than two times. By the end of the year, I smashed that ceiling, seeing more than 2 films from four separate directors (W.S. Van Dyke , Frank Capra , Morgan Spurlock , David Gordon Green ). Van Dyke directed the best of the Thin Man movies, and was very skilled with giving the actors room to work and showing the clues to the mysteries, without making it entirely obvious that was what he was doing. I enjoyed his work.
Given that I've seen all 5 Twilight movie this year and that they were all written by Melissa Rosenbrerg, it seems a no-brainer than she should be the most-watched screenwriter of the year. And she was. The only other writer I saw more than twice was Frank Capra's frequent partner in crime, Robert Riskin (4). For the record, I saw multiple films from 20 different writers, and Paddy Chayefsky and William Rose both stand out from the crowd.
In case you were wondering, the studio that released most of the pictures I saw was Warner Brothers (35), although MGM (34) ran a close second. I've always had a soft spot for WB films, probably because I must share some of their sensibilities. They do own DC Comics, after all.
It must be something of the Obsessive Compulsive in me, but I really enjoyed keeping track of the movies I watched, maybe more than I enjoyed watching them. Even if I don't set any goals for 2013, I might keep tracking, just for giggles. We'll see what we shall see, won't we?
Halfway through the year, it's time for statistics! Specifically, I was wondering what I've been watching this year. So here's a few notes on the year so far, broken down by month:
I suspected that I'd watch few films with my favorite actors in them, as I've already seen most of their movies. (How many movies has Bruce Campbell been in that I haven't already seen?) That has proven to be roughly the case. The following list shows the actors I've seen the most each month, and the number of films I watched them in.
- January: Justin Timberlake (2)
- February: Jason Bateman, Ernest Borgnine, Frank Conroy, Jane Lynch, Fred MacMurray (2)
- March: The Twilight Saga cast (4)
- April: Natalie Wood, Keenan Wynn (3)
- May: Joel McCrea (3) [not coincidentally, McCrea was TCM's Star of the Month in May]
- June: Mickey Rooney (3)
- Total: Allen Covert, Anna Kendrick (5)
Definitely, I have a preference for comedies. I've seen 47 movies I've categorized as comedies and 36 dramas. In only two out of six months, I've seen more dramas than comedies. In those two months, comedy was the runner-up category.
So far, the only month in which I've seen multiple movies by the same director was February, when I saw the original A Star Is Born and the very excellent The Ox-Bow Incident, both by William Wellman. While I've seen multiple films by 10 different directors, I've yet to see 3 films from any single director.
The only month in which I've seen multiple movies from the same writer was March, when I watched the 4 Twilight Saga movies adapted for screen by Melissa Rosenberg. After watching 163 movies, I've seen multiple movies from only 3 different writers.
We'll take another look at the films at the end of the year and see who ends up atop the pile.
The multi-state Powerball Lottery -- which you can play in Georgia -- has raised the price of their tickets, doubling the cost to $2. They assure the public that with the cost increase comes better odds for players. That would be great if twice the cost made the odds twice as good, but no. The old odds of winning were estimated at 1 in 192,000,000. The new odds are 1 in 175,000,000. Who can afford NOT to play at those odds?
The difference in those two numbers is 12,000,000, an improvement of almost 6% against the original odds. To put that in perspective, Americans have about a 6% chance of dying of a stroke. That means that you have a 94% chance of dying of anything other than a stroke.
No matter how you look at it, 1 in 175,000,000 is long odds. According to the National Safety Council, you have a far better chance of being killed by a hungry crocodile than winning the new Powerball lottery. Mathgoespop.com estimates that an average American probably has better odds of bowling a perfect game than winning the new Powerball lottery. All gambling sites recommend that you avoid slot machines because of their terrible odds, odds which are, you guessed it, far better than winning the new Powerball lottery.
But I guess no one is playing the lottery because of the odds. They are playing because there is a chance, no matter how slim, that they will make a $40,000,000 return on a $2 investment. And that sounds like an offer too good to pass up. So if you'll excuse me, I'm going to run down to the store. Maybe I'll buy two tickets: 1 in 87,500,000 sounds like my kind of odds.
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As you have probably heard, Coca-Cola has turned their world headquarters at One Coca-Cola Place into a giant animated commercial for Coca-Cola. I watched the show from across I-85 at the Varsity with a Coke in my hand. I think that a Varsity chili dog and a 26-story Coke commercial defines my ideal concept for "dinner and a movie."
The highlight of the presentation was when the projection turned the building into a humongous glass slowly slowly filled with sweet, life-giving Coca-Cola. It looked great, but I couldn't help but wonder how much Coke it would actually take to fill the Coca-Cola Headquarters. So I broke out a calculator.
Public records indicate that the Coca-Cola Headquarters are 403-ft tall. The Atlanta Journal-Constitution reports that the projection surface covering all 4 sides of the building is approximately 210,000-ft in surface area. Assuming that the building has as a square footprint, that makes each side about 130.27-ft long, and gives the building a volume of something near 6,839,175 cubic feet. To put that in terms that a Coke drinker like me can understand, to fill up One Coca-Cola Place with Coca-Cola would take:
- 96,831,935 family-sized 2-liter bottles!
- 327,425,504 individual serving 20-oz bottles!
- 545,709,172 aluminum 12-oz cans!
- 1,007,463,087 classic 6.5-oz glass contour bottles!
I don't know about you, but all that math sure makes me thirsty!
Prior to this post, I have used 628 distinct keywords here on wriphe.com. That seems like way too many, until I realize that I've been blogging for nearly 9 years. That's almost 70 unique keywords a year! I didn't know that I had that much to say. (I suspect that several of you reading this plan to tell me that you already knew that I talk too much. Well, fuck you.)
Of those keywords, 392 have been used exactly once. Those include some words that I'll eventually use again, like "bizarro," "owens," and "posts I could probably get sued for" and some words that I probably won't, like "fushigi," "pat boone," and "superman returns totally sucks."
I could just tell you what the top 10 keywords used by wriphe.com are, but isn't it more fun to guess? Just type your answers into the box below, and click submit to see if you're right. Capitalization doesn't count, but spelling does. I'll give you one hint: "poodles" didn't make the list.
1. (110) ________
2. (100) ________
3. (85) ________
4. (73) ________
5. (67) ________
6. (tied, 62) ________
6. (tied, 62) ________
6. (tied, 62) ________
9. (59) ________
10. (54) ________
Now I'll just tag this blog entry with the unique keyword "keywords," just so that when I revisit this topic in 2020, you'll be sure to see something new.
Not too long ago, I stayed awake until practically daybreak running calculations on the statistics of Risk dice rolls. And because I'm such a great person, I'll share what I learned with you: Always roll as many dice as you can.
Rolling 3 attack dice versus 2 defense dice, the most dice that can be rolled in one attack, the defender will win at least one of the attacker's pieces nearly 73% of the time. (The defender will win both rolls almost 37% of the time to the attacker's 27%.)
In fact, the defender will win at least 1 piece at least 42% of the time, no matter how dice are rolled. The defender will win all of the pieces outright at least 32% of the time. That's almost a full 10% over the attacker in both cases.
If the attacker is worried about attacking and losing any pieces, his opponent must be able to defend with only one die. The attacker has at best a 27% chance of total victory if his opponent is defending with two dice, no matter how many dice the attacker employs. (If the attacker rolls 2 or more dice against his opponent's single die, he'll still win less than 58% of the time.)
So I'd recommend putting at least 2 armies on every territory you control, then play a game of slow and steady expansion, relying on defense rolls and card redemption.
Now, don't you feel smarter? I just feel tired.
In the comic book Justice League Quarterly #9, six members of the Justice League are told they are infected with a virus that causes insanity in one in six people exposed to it. Blue Beetle, aka Ted Kord, the League's resident brain at the time, immediately tells the other 5 members (Booster Gold, Flash, Fire, Guy Gardner, and Ice) that one of the group is going insane. He presents it as an absolute certainty. And the others buy that. (Granted, this is probably the reason that these 6 Justice Leaguers were chosen for this story. Not known for their thinking caps, these 6.)
Apparently, the Justice League needs to get Ray Palmer back, because Ted Kord's understanding of probability is a little weak. A disease that maims one in six people is not a certainty to affect exactly one person in any sampling of six people. There is a chance that none of the six will nut up just as there is a chance that all of the six will go off their rocker. Sure, there is a better than average chance that at least one of the six will be affected, but it is hardly a certainty.
I suggest that this complete misunderstanding of probability is the fundamental reason that Beetle was killed a few years back. He probably assumed that since he had been shot at many times before and was never killed, he could not be killed by a bullet shot at him. Sorry, Ted. You're dead.
It is exactly this sort of careless premise and sloppy writing (by industry heavyweight Mark Waid no less) that causes many people to decide that superhero comic books are for children. Only a kid would fall for Beetle's assertion as an absolute, right? No adult would enjoy reading this sort of trash, would they? Let me tell you, I've worked in bookstores, and the answer to that question is "Yes, almost exclusively."