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Top Countries, Pages, and Other Surprising Facebook Stats

Average users has 130 friends, spends 55 minutes a day

(Newser) - Facebook's runaway growth is well documented, but some details still wow, and some are quite odd. Website Monitoring takes a look at the salient facts.
  • Popularity: The US has the most active users, but 70% of Facebookers are international. Sure, the UK comes in at No. 2, but No. 3
... More »

US on Pace to Win Most Olympic Medals

Based on projections and medals so far, US could edge out Canada

(Newser) - Based on an analysis of Olympics projections from across the board, the US could come out on top of the medal count at this year’s games for the first time since Lake Placid—in 1932. Nate Silver averaged medal projections from 9 sources; after two days the US has... More »

US Life Expectancy, Health Costs Not a Pretty Picture

Viral graph shows better stats for numerous developed countries

(Newser) - A graphic that's gaining wide currency on the Internet paints a grim picture of the American health care system, which costs more than any other country's but results in an average life expectancy that's solidly middle-of-the-pack. The graph, originally posted on a National Geographic blog, wasn't clear enough for the... More »

Don't Apologize, Meg, Voting Is Dumb

Whitman's ballot wouldn't have made a difference anyway

(Newser) - Meg Whitman has taken heat for her, ahem, spotty voting record—the ex-CEO wasn’t even registered to vote until 2002—and, of course, she has apologized. But she shouldn’t have, writes Christopher Beam for Slate. Economists have long argued that, from an individual’s perspective, voting is irrational.... More »

Winter Babies' Real Problem? Less-Educated Mothers

Accidental find shines light on old conundrum

(Newser) - For years, economists have been trying to explain why winter babies have it so tough. In study after study, those born in winter consistently perform worse in school, earn less, and are less healthy than peers born at other times of year. Now Notre Dame economists Kasey Buckles and Daniel... More »

DUI Arrests of Women Up 30% in Decade

(Newser) - The number of women charged with driving under the influence has increased nearly 30% during the past decade, Transportation Department officials said today, while the number of men fell 7.5% in the same period. The department says the number of impaired women involved in a fatal crash increased in... More »

Today's Sexy Job: Statistician

With so much data to crunch, firms need them—and will pay up

(Newser) - Forget the nerdy image: In today’s digital world, statisticians are hot, the New York Times reports. Big firms like Google need number-crunchers to parse piles of data, and they’re willing to pay for it—a statistician with a PhD can rake in $125,000 in his or her... More »

What Turning 30 Really Means

(Newser) - What does turning 30 mean, anyway? Sam Greenspan knows, because he got Book of Ages: 30 for his, um, 30th birthday. He runs down 11 factoids on the appropriately named 11 Points website. A sampling:
  • 30-year-olds keep resolutions: Though 26% less likely to make New Years resolutions, 30-somethings are 26%
... More »

House Health Care Vote Looks Like a Squeaker

But slim margin could vanish if bill moves left or right: Silver

(Newser) - A compromise health care bill will likely squeak through the House by about two dozen votes, Nate Silver writes on FiveThirtyEight.com. The Energy and Commerce Committee’s Friday night 31-28 vote is a good model, with its similar balance of Republicans, liberal and Blue Dog Democrats. The committee passed... More »

New System May Revolutionize Baseball Stats

(Newser) - Branch Rickey once complained that “there is nothing on earth anybody can do with fielding,” but that's about to change thanks to a complex new camera and computer system, the New York Times reports. The system, which will be unveiled for baseball executives tomorrow, records the exact speed... More »

Zagat Is Wrong: Peet's Is Better Than Starbucks

Bad methodology gave Seattle giant the survey win: Nate Silver

(Newser) - Zagat’s annual fast-food survey served up its usual batch of surprises, but one stood out for Nate Silver of FiveThirtyEight.com fame. Somehow, some way, Starbucks beat Peet’s Coffee for best coffee chain. A travesty of that magnitude can only mean mistaken methodology, Silver contends; Starbucks is fine,... More »

Huckabee's Plan to Revive GOP Doesn't Add Up

Nate Silver shows why party shouldn't play to social conservatives

(Newser) - Perhaps it's Mike Huckabee's admitted distrust for math, but he's dead wrong about the best strategy to bring back the Republican Party's power, writes Nate Silver on his blog. To make the case that the party shouldn't move to the middle, Huckabee says, "People that are social conservatives are... More »

Are Americans Falling Out of Love With Cars?

Drop in driving could be delayed reaction to gas prices—or not: Silver

(Newser) - Is the fact that Americans are driving less even after the cost of gas has come down a sign that US attitudes are changing, Nate Silver asks in Esquire—or is it just another example of how slowly they respond to changes in fuel prices? “The real test,”... More »

Plane-Bird Collisions Up: FAA

Agency compelled to release statistics after Flight 1549

(Newser) - Collisions between airplanes and birds have increased dramatically since 2000, with the number of instances at 13 major US airports doubling. New York’s JFK topped the list with the most avian accidents—30—since 2000, with California’s Sacramento International the runner-up at 28, the AP reports. Both are... More »

Bank Lending Still Down 23% 4 Months After Bailout

Journal says Treasury's tally hides damage

(Newser) - Banks that received taxpayer aid to restart lending are loaning less than they did before the bailout, a Wall Street Journal analysis finds. The most recent figures available, from February, show a 23% drop in new loans from the lending level in October, when the Treasury Department kicked off TARP,... More »

NBA's Lone Constant: Free-Throw Stats

NBA's success rate has hovered around 75% for half-century

(Newser) - Basketball's free-throw statistics have stayed steady at a rate that amazes academics, the New York Times reports. While most aspects of basketball and other sports have seen records steadily edge up over the years, free-throw shooting hit a plateau of a 75% success rate in the NBA more than 50... More »

Teen Sex: Everybody Else Isn't Doing It

Teen sex is on a downswing

(Newser) - Kids these days, with their sex, their sex, and all their sex. Just look at Jamie Lynn Spears and Bristol Palin—it’s getting worse all the time, right? Nope. The portion of high-schoolers who’d had sex in 2007 was 47.8%, reports the New York Times—down from... More »

Polling Guru Nabs $700K Book Deal

Nate Silver of FiveThirtyEight fame will write two tomes

(Newser) - Polling expert Nate Silver, the statistical mastermind behind FiveThirtyEight.com, has a new number to crunch: $700,000. That’s roughly how much Silver will net in his new two-book deal with Penguin, the New York Observer reports. Silver will pen one tome on the art of prediction, and a... More »

A Baseball Nerd Turns to Election Stats

Nate Silver was right on the Rays; he's now calling the presidency

(Newser) - Give the sheer number of political polls being produced, and the history of many of them proving wrong, it takes a seriously smart statistician (and something of a nerd) to predict the presidential race with any authority. Nate Silver, the man who "revolutionized the interpretation of baseball stats,"... More »

Brits Working Longer Days

UK employees put in 41.4 hours a week, up from 40.7 in 2006

(Newser) - Britons are among the hardest working Europeans, with only Romanians and Bulgarians working longer than the 41.4 hours our former colonizers put in at the office weekly. That's 2 more hours than the average European, the Telegraph reports, and it's up from 40.7 hours in 2006. Workers in... More »

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