Tag Archives: current events

Risk Assessment

If you need proof that the American populace is terrible at assessing risk, then look no further than the current ebola hysteria. Is ebola a serious disease? Yep. Is it scary that it’s spreading like never before? Yep. But is it worth all the hysteria that we’re seeing, what with the CDC holding press conferences seemingly every half hour to calm America’s nerves? Well, let’s put it in perspective:

# of people in America who die each and every day from the flu or pneumonia: 147

# of people in America who have died of ebola in the history of the country: 1

Yeah, I’d say we’re over reacting just a tad.

Oh This Cynical World

Someone left porcelain dolls outside of eight homes in California and because the dolls resembled little girls who lived in them it creeped out some of their parents. They called the police and of course the police investigated:

Orange County Lt. Jeff Hallock told KTLA that the pattern was “creepy or very unusual” so they began collecting the dolls and interviewing the affected families…

“Following conversation and questioning of several parents, information was learned that focused on a female adult who lived in the local community and attended church with many of the impacted families,” according to a release from the police department…

“Investigators have concluded that her motivation was out of goodwill and that she intended it as a kind gesture,” police said.

This truly says something about our society these days. You can’t blame the parents for being a little spooked by it, or the police for doing their jobs, but it’s hard to believe that a generation ago the first thought wouldn’t have been “I wonder who’s leaving these gifts around?” instead of, “Holy crap some creep’s stalking our daughter.” Again, not blaming the parents, just pointing out that it’s just one more way our society has changed. After all, who lets their 10 year old play outside all day unless they have some sort of GPS enabled locator in his pocket?

The Week That Spanned a Year: 12/29/13 – 1/4/14

Current Events – Everything you need to know about Obamacare in one place – Probably the best, most easily understood piece about Obamacare and what it means for you…with video!

Oh Shit! Issue of the Week Retirement crisis being brought on by aging boomers who didn’t save squat and fewer young workers to fund the retirement system.

Cutest Video of the Week – A dad, his daughter and a pink plastic ukulele.

Stupid Person of the Week – The man who didn’t bring home the beer.

Technology – Year of the Glasshole – Excerpt – “An anecdote: I wanted to wear Google Glass during the birth of our second child. My wife was extremely unreceptive to this idea when I suggested it. Angry, even. But as we got a bit closer to the date, she began to warm to it and eventually landed somewhere in the neighborhood of bemused hostility.”

History – Nattering Nabobs of Negativism Through the Ages From the printing press to the internet and how pundits of their times thought they’d ruin society.

Marketing – How to make things go viral A must read for anyone in the business of getting attention, whether for themselves or their business.

Small Business – 10 Bold Predictions for 2014 – #9, that Obamacare will be very popular with super-small businesses, is spot on.

Oy of the Week – Meet the people who think the US is 2014 years old

Quote of the Week – “Everybody is a genius. But if you judge a fish by its ability to climb a tree, it will live its whole life believing that it is stupid.” – Albert Einstein

Wanna Know the Facts? Ask an Independent

One of those polls that show exactly how uninformed we are has hit the newswires.  It reaffirms, once again, that the average adult in the United States has no idea what's going on in the world unless it appeared on Oprah or Entertainment Tonight. Normally I'd have ignored it but then I saw the graphic titled "Party Identification and News Awareness" that shows the breakdown by political party of what percentage of respondents answered each question correctly.  What it shows is that if you want to know what's going on in the world your best bet is to ask an independent since they were right more often in nine out of eleven categories. (h/t to John Robinson for the pointer to the poll)