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NoCoPilot

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PostSubject: Re: Rants Go Here!   Tue Oct 27, 2015 3:54 pm

Continuing on this bandwagon (because I'm bored...) here's a pretty good article on why statistics lie:
LiveScience.com wrote:
Unless you're living in a cave under the heart of Kentucky tobacco country, you know that smoking isn't exactly the best thing for your health. Scientists have succeeded in associating the habit with everything from countless cancers to bad-hair days, or so it seems with some reports.

Nevertheless, during the 33rd annual Great American Smokeout this Thursday, many of the estimated 43 million adult smokers in the United States will choose to willfully continue smoking while grumbling about how the reported health risks are overblown.

In some respects they are right. A public health message has been spun to imply that not only will smoking surely kill you but it will come to spit on your grave after you die. This has caused a backlash among smokers who mock the health statistics and, persuasively to some, attribute most of smoking's ills to bad genetics.

A reexamination of the statistics might help to clear the air.

Didn't kill grandpa

Surprisingly, fewer than 10 percent of lifelong smokers will get lung cancer. Fewer yet will contract the long list of other cancers, such as throat or mouth cancers. In the game of risk, you're more likely to have a condom break than to get cancer from smoking.

That the majority of smokers beat cancer doesn't make for effective anti-smoking campaigning. So the statistics are turned around: Smoking accounts for 30 percent of all cancer deaths and 87 percent of lung cancer deaths; the risk of developing lung cancer is about 23 times higher in male smokers compared to non-smokers; smoking is associated with increased risk of at least 15 types of cancer; or that smoking causes millions of deaths worldwide.

What does this mean? To the happy and dedicated smoker, it means nothing. The Internet is rife with pro-smoking sites dismissing these kinds of facts. There are billions of people, the argument goes, and they have to die of something, even rare diseases.

The smoking gun

Rarely are simple messages heard, such as the fact that about half of all smokers will die from smoking, and of these, about half will die before or around age 50. These numbers come from a landmark 50-year study of physicians in England, initiated in 1951.

Similarly, research from the ongoing Nurses' Health Study, published in May this year in the Journal of the American Medical Association, finds that 64 percent of nurses who smoked died from smoking-related causes. The life expectancy for a smoker in the United States is about 64, which is 14 years shorter than the national average (which includes smokers), according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

Going by these numbers it becomes clear that few pastimes, habits or addictions are deadlier than smoking. Only Russian roulette and scorpion juggling come to mind.
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PostSubject: Re: Rants Go Here!   Tue Oct 27, 2015 3:55 pm

NoCoPilot wrote:
No, according to the data 5 vegetarians would get cancer (ignoring all of the myriad of variables not controlled for), versus 8.2 carnivores, out of a hundred of each.  This is the true scope of the WHO press release.

From the paragraph you posted: "Overall, the lifetime risk of developing colorectal cancer is about 1 in 20 (5%)."

"Overall" means that this is for the population as a whole. The study shows that red meat eaters have a greater chance of being in that five percent than do others. It doesn't mean that 8.2% of red meat eaters will get the cancer.

Yes. Statistics are a bitch.

NoCoPilot wrote:
Eating a Slim Jim while driving, I suspect.
Now you're on to something! I see the connection.
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PostSubject: Re: Rants Go Here!   Tue Oct 27, 2015 4:00 pm

NoCoPilot wrote:
Continuing on this bandwagon (because I'm bored...) here's a pretty good article on why statistics lie:

Regardless of what Will Rogers said, statistics do not lie. The users of statistics promulgate lies by presenting statistics in a manner that suits their causes.
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PostSubject: Re: Rants Go Here!   Tue Oct 27, 2015 4:09 pm

_Howard wrote:
"Overall" means that this is for the population as a whole. The study shows that red meat eaters have a greater chance of being in that five percent than do others. It doesn't mean that 8.2% of red meat eaters will get the cancer.
Yeah you're right.

One would have to figure out what percentage of the 5% were meat eaters, and subtract their slighty-higher rates out of the pool of 100 -- leaving a pool of vegetarians with a lower-than-5% rate. The exact figure would depend on percentages of meat vs. veggieburger.

Listen, a friend of my sister-in-law died this morning at 4:30 a.m. She would have been 100 on December 2nd. I do not want to live to be 99-5/6. Her last twenty years were pretty miserable. QOL means something.

If I can't gnosh a Slim Jim on the byway I'm checking myself out.
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PostSubject: Re: Rants Go Here!   Tue Oct 27, 2015 4:12 pm

_Howard wrote:
Regardless of what Will Rogers said, statistics do not lie.
Thought it was Disraeli.
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PostSubject: Re: Rants Go Here!   Tue Oct 27, 2015 4:15 pm

You're right. And Mark Twain did contribute the remark to Disraeli.
I did not know that. Thank you.
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PostSubject: Re: Rants Go Here!   Tue Oct 27, 2015 4:17 pm

_Howard wrote:
You're right. And Mark Twain did contribute the remark to Disraeli.
"Attribute?" But the quote could not be found among his works. Probably apocryphal, probably Twain's own sense of humor.
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PostSubject: Re: Rants Go Here!   Tue Oct 27, 2015 4:22 pm

Of course it's attribute. Can you tell when I have taken my "meds"?

Quote :
Figures often beguile me, particularly when I have the arranging of them myself; in which case the remark attributed to Disraeli would often apply with justice and force: "There are three kinds of lies: lies, damned lies and statistics."
- Mark Twain's Own Autobiography: The Chapters from the North American Review
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PostSubject: Re: Rants Go Here!   Tue Oct 27, 2015 4:27 pm

Sanjay Gupta got it right when he wrote:
With an epidemic of obesity and sugary foods, isn't processed meat the least of our nutritional concerns?

Gupta: There are far greater concerns when it comes to our nutrition. What the WHO is saying is that processed meats cause cancer and the risk goes up 18% if you eat it daily. But, context is important. If five people out of 100 get it now, then roughly six people out of 100 would get it if we all eat bacon. It pales in comparison to heart disease, which remains the biggest killer of men and women in the United States.
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PostSubject: Re: Rants Go Here!   Tue Oct 27, 2015 4:32 pm

Amazing. Gupta seldom gets anything right.

The WHO didn't say that this is some horrible pox killing off the populace. They merely said that there is a small, but measurable, increase in your chance of getting these cancers if you eat red meat on a regular basis. If it is reported correctly, that is what people will take away from it.
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PostSubject: Re: Rants Go Here!   Tue Oct 27, 2015 4:33 pm

Quote :
"The good news is that three-quarters of the world is ocean, so the odds are that it's going to land somewhere in the ocean and the ocean is a big place," he added. "Statistically I think there's no point in worrying about this one."
Source
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PostSubject: Re: Rants Go Here!   Tue Oct 27, 2015 4:35 pm

"The object is quite small, at most a couple of meters in diameter..."

Which is fine if it lands more than two meters from your head.

WTF, indeed.
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PostSubject: Re: Rants Go Here!   Tue Oct 27, 2015 4:36 pm

_Howard wrote:
The WHO didn't say that this is some horrible pox killing off the populace. They merely said that there is a small, but measurable, increase in your chance of getting these cancers if you eat red meat on a regular basis. If it is reported correctly, that is what people will take away from it.
WHO classified processed meats as 'carcinogens.' I think that might be unwarranted, given the statistical data.
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PostSubject: Re: Rants Go Here!   Tue Oct 27, 2015 4:38 pm

"No point in worrying" about a 25% chance of space junk, but a 1.18% chance of cancer is headline news.
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PostSubject: Re: Rants Go Here!   Tue Oct 27, 2015 4:38 pm

Carcinogens are defined as "a substance capable of causing cancer in living tissue."

It doesn't say that it has to kill half the population.

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PostSubject: Re: Rants Go Here!   Tue Oct 27, 2015 4:39 pm

NoCoPilot wrote:
"No point in worrying" about a 25% chance of space junk, but a 1.18% chance of cancer is headline news.

The space junk doesn't have a 25% chance of hitting you.
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PostSubject: Re: Rants Go Here!   Tue Oct 27, 2015 5:29 pm

Howard:
A happy work environment is where the conditions in the workplace that allow an individual to be treated differently because of a protected subject or class.

That bastard up there is a sentence that was brought down upon me like a plague from one of my paralegal professors. It's not really unique except that it was on a quiz and for some reason that chapped my hide worse than just seeing the crap grammar day to day.

My new rant is how much I despise the dumbing down of college and the people who profess to be college teachers. One of my law teachers has been at her paralegal job a grand total of 6 years. Clearly an expert. You can tell because most of her sentences look like this: I HAVE ATTACHED AN UPDATED OUTLINE!!!!!!! PLEASE NOTE THAT THE MAILING ADDRESS FOR YOUR FINAL PROJECT HAS BEEN CHANGED!!! YOU MUST MAIL IT TO THE HOLMES COMMUNITY COLLEGE ADDRESS ON THIS UPDATED FORM!!!

Anyone want to volunteer to explain to her that the proof of the mailing date is called a postmark?
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PostSubject: Re: Rants Go Here!   Tue Oct 27, 2015 5:31 pm

PS her assignment for us is not to actually write a legal brief but rather that we read one and write a paragraph reporting to her whether or not the reading of it helped us understand the concept or not. I shit you not.

Your tax dollars at work.
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PostSubject: Re: Rants Go Here!   Wed Oct 28, 2015 4:58 am

Drivers on TV.

Whenever you see two people in a car on TV or in a movie, the driver always turns to face the passenger when speaking.

I was taught never to take your eyes off the road. You can speak and listen just fine without turning your head. It's bad practice to let a conversation distract your driving. Why do they promote such behavior by making it seem universal?
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PostSubject: Re: Rants Go Here!   Wed Oct 28, 2015 8:13 am

Packaging.

The current mania for packaging foodstuffs in plastic bags.  Usually, they can't be opened without scissors, and once opened they cannot be reclosed.  More often than not the bag tears along a seam, spilling all of its contents.  You very often have to repackage the food to a ziploc you have bought.  That's just crappy packaging.

And over-packaging everything is a mania, too.  OMG, printer cartridges come shrinkwrapped in a cardboard box, with a separate shrinkwrapped cartridge inside that.  Then you have to pull the protecting plastic cover off the cartridge and the plastic cap that covers the print head.  OMG, ink could be free if it wasn't for all this packaging.
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PostSubject: Re: Rants Go Here!   Wed Oct 28, 2015 8:54 am

Jenni,

You have my sympathy. I can remember several occasions in college when the professor was incompetent, or maybe just lazy.

Your post reminds me of a final exam I had in an upper-division PolySci course. It was a take-home test and there were eight or ten questions of which you picked six to answer. You were limited to four pages for your answers. After reading all the questions and finding them all to be ambiguous, I wrote eight or ten pages explaining why the questions could not be answered. Apparently, my "test rant" was good enough, as he gave me an 'A' for the course - and I had received a 'B' on the mid-term.

It is surprising how often you run into an instructor who can't teach. Sad.
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PostSubject: Re: Rants Go Here!   Wed Oct 28, 2015 10:39 am

NoCoPilot wrote:
Drivers on TV.
And it seems that they are getting worse about that. I noticed on a program just a few nights ago a driver spent nearly a minute looking at the passenger. Ridiculous.

One of my rants about television, and movies to a lesser extent, is the manner in which military speech is misused.
When using military time - and this was taught to us the first day of boot camp - you never substitute the word "Oh" for zero, and you never end the time with the word "hours." The correct phrase for four in the morning would be "zero four hundred." Anything else is incorrect, unless you also specify the time zone, such as "zero four hundred Zulu," which indicates Greenwich Mean Time (in casual conversation, the "zero" is often omitted, but is formally incorrect). The correct phrase for four  in the afternoon would be simply "sixteen hundred."  They get it wrong constantly on television. A couple of weeks ago I heard a character say, "Oh sixteen hundred hours." Couldn't be more wrong, except maybe by adding "o'clock" to it.

A more esoteric mistake I see is in the addressing of an officer in conversation. It's easy when the rank is captain or major, etc., but when you have a qualified rank, such as Lieutenant Commander, it's different. If you use the officer's name, then the full rank must be given, such as "Lieutenant Commander Jones." If you use only the rank, omitting the name, then the proper address is just "Commander." I saw an episode on the tube in which just the opposite was done: the person was addressed as "Lieutenant Commander" and as "Commander Jones."

Enough trivia.
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PostSubject: Re: Rants Go Here!   Wed Oct 28, 2015 10:50 am

Music categories.

I'm giving the online music database, Music Collector, another try.  I really should try to catalog my CDs, as well as my LPs.  Their sister program works well for DVDs.  I've tried the music database at least 2 or 3 times before, and always get discouraged by the amount of work required to get anything useful.  Unlike the DVDs, CDs do not autopopulate with all of the information a person might want.  Wayyyy too much typing.

But I thought maybe I could just do the bare bones, artist + title.

But it make you choose (or chooses for you) a "music genre" -- which is another source of pet peeve for me.

WTF is "Alternative"?  How does that differ from "Adult Alternative"?  What is "Independent"?  And don't get me started on heavy metal sub-genres...

"Funky Breaks"?

"General Jazz," "General R&B" and "General Rock"?

"Pop-Punk," Pop-Funk" and "Pop Rock"?
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PostSubject: Re: Rants Go Here!   Wed Oct 28, 2015 2:21 pm

Is THIS the program you're using? According to the promo, it does everything for you when you stick the CD in the drive. Are you telling me that the promo is exaggerating? For shame. Rolling Eyes
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PostSubject: Re: Rants Go Here!   Wed Oct 28, 2015 2:38 pm

Yes, that's it (Mac version anyway) and I've been playing around with the "scan" option.  It's slow (much slower than scanning the bar code on DVDs) because it does not read the info off the disc, but instead goes out to an online database (probably GraceNote) and populates the track data.  Now this is fine with commercial CDs, but I have a thousand or so self-made CD-Rs that aren't in GraceNote (although, mostly, the track IDs ARE embedded in the metadata...).

Plus, it does not populate a list of musicians (why not?  The DVD database populates actors.)

Or date of recording (which is often different on CDs from the release date).

There are tons of fiddly bits a person could go down the rabbit hole with -- SPARS code, producer, country, purchase price & store, etc.  Scary.  I'm just OCD enough that I hate to see all that capability and feel a tug to use it.  MUST NOT GO THERE.
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