The Darker Side of the News

Seen something interesting in the news or on the intertubes? Discuss it here.

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Yablo
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Re: The Darker Side of the News

Postby Yablo » Tue May 15, 2018 7:55 pm UTC

addams wrote:You can let your Congress People know what you want them to do.

They will hear it.
They might even act on what they hear from you.

Like the man said, "What have you got to Lose."
There are many that will lose a lot!

If working people can not use ChildCare Expenses to balance their budgets,
Many may find it impossible to continue to work. ChildCare is Expensive!

This thing may BackFire and hurt people that can not heal.

I've contacted them a few times in the past (well, one Senator and our Representative), but they either ignore it completely or send a dishonest response. Still, you're right. That's no reason to stop trying.

And you're also right about child care. My wife is a stay-at-home-mom. That's mostly because we feel it's better for our son, but it's also because if she were to work at her previous job (which was a state government job) or the equivalent, it would barely cover daycare expenses. It's just not worth it. Fortunately, my job covers our expenses well enough that she doesn't have to work, but I know we're in a relative minority there.

My first duty is always to my family, but if I can help my family and others at the same time, especially with something as quick and easy as a letter or phone call, I really have no reason not to do so.
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Re: The Darker Side of the News

Postby addams » Tue May 15, 2018 9:22 pm UTC

Thank you, Yablo.
Working poor all over the nation won't know what you have done.

You will know.
I will know.

Thank you and all the other gentle and understanding Civic Minded folk out there.
Who Knows? Your voice might be The Voice that makes a difference.

Like in 'Horton Hears a Who'.
Do you read that book to the small Yablos?
Life is, just, an exchange of electrons; It is up to us to give it meaning.

We are all in The Gutter.
Some of us see The Gutter.
Some of us see The Stars.
by mr. Oscar Wilde.

Those that want to Know; Know.
Those that do not Know; Don't tell them.
They do terrible things to people that Tell Them.

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Yablo
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Re: The Darker Side of the News

Postby Yablo » Tue May 15, 2018 10:25 pm UTC

addams wrote:Thank you, Yablo.
Working poor all over the nation won't know what you have done.

You will know.
I will know.

Thank you and all the other gentle and understanding Civic Minded folk out there.
Who Knows? Your voice might be The Voice that makes a difference.

Like in 'Horton Hears a Who'.
Do you read that book to the small Yablos?

I haven't yet, but anything I read generally goes over well; especially Dr. Seuss.

I used to think this thread was pretty much just for people to see how messed up things can be, but we can see that anywhere we look. Now that I think about it, it's probably at least as much about reporting the darker news that can still be fixed. That adds a lot more value, I think.
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Re: The Darker Side of the News

Postby addams » Tue May 15, 2018 10:35 pm UTC

(sigh...)
Life is, just, an exchange of electrons; It is up to us to give it meaning.

We are all in The Gutter.
Some of us see The Gutter.
Some of us see The Stars.
by mr. Oscar Wilde.

Those that want to Know; Know.
Those that do not Know; Don't tell them.
They do terrible things to people that Tell Them.

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Re: The Darker Side of the News

Postby ObsessoMom » Wed May 16, 2018 4:15 pm UTC


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LaserGuy
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Re: The Darker Side of the News

Postby LaserGuy » Wed May 16, 2018 6:17 pm UTC

Yablo wrote:I've contacted them a few times in the past (well, one Senator and our Representative), but they either ignore it completely or send a dishonest response. Still, you're right. That's no reason to stop trying.


The problem is that you didn't donate a six-figure sum to their campaign prior to contacting them. Apparently that helps get them to listen to you.

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Re: The Darker Side of the News

Postby CorruptUser » Wed May 16, 2018 7:19 pm UTC

I think you are overpaying. It should only cost 4 figs, 5 tops, to own a politician.

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Re: The Darker Side of the News

Postby Yablo » Wed May 16, 2018 8:40 pm UTC

Yeah. Political economics is funny. The more politicians there are, the less influence any given one can be expected to have. That should drive the price down, but the fact they got elected seems to go to their heads. They get a vastly inflated sense of their value.
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Thesh
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Re: The Darker Side of the News

Postby Thesh » Wed May 16, 2018 8:55 pm UTC

That's just because our democracy itself is deeply deeply deeply flawed. Our system is designed in such a way that the majority of the majority control Congress, that majority itself representing a majority of voters in a majority of districts. Which means that 50%+1 members of 50%+1 of Congress, who represent 50%+1 constituents in their districts end up deciding the agenda. So the ruling politicians themselves only need to be voted in by 12.6% of voters, and the more they vote along party lines the less important any one politician is, and the more important the party identification is.

Combine that with the effectiveness of propaganda and the importance of connections, and it means a handful of very wealthy people can basically buy the country.
Summum ius, summa iniuria.

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Re: The Darker Side of the News

Postby CorruptUser » Wed May 16, 2018 9:23 pm UTC

I think your math is off. You only need 50.1% of congress, and to get that you only need 50.1% of the votes in those districts. Thats 25.1% of the votes. How do you get 12.6%?

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Thesh
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Re: The Darker Side of the News

Postby Thesh » Wed May 16, 2018 9:25 pm UTC

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Hastert_Rule

This is pretty much the default because of our democratic system, even when it's not strictly adhered to. I also ignored the primary system, which has its own issues that aren't so easy to quantify.
Summum ius, summa iniuria.

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Re: The Darker Side of the News

Postby CorruptUser » Thu May 17, 2018 1:56 am UTC

Only as long as the minority-majority doesn't get so pissed that they join with the minority to elect a new speaker during the next election cycle. The Speaker can indeed act like a dictator in their own little world, but the only thing that rule allows is for the majority-majority to grind the House to a halt rather than actually pass the legislation the 12.6% of the population wants.

The 25.1% though, they can control the country with absolute impunity, and can indeed enact legislation that for intents and purposes enslaves 74.9% of the country, to say nothing of backdoor disenfranchisement such as excessive prison sentences or inconveniently located polling stations to enable an even smaller percentage to control everything. That is indeed a problem...

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Re: The Darker Side of the News

Postby addams » Thu May 17, 2018 2:29 am UTC

CorruptUser;
You are eloquent, if nothing else.
Life is, just, an exchange of electrons; It is up to us to give it meaning.

We are all in The Gutter.
Some of us see The Gutter.
Some of us see The Stars.
by mr. Oscar Wilde.

Those that want to Know; Know.
Those that do not Know; Don't tell them.
They do terrible things to people that Tell Them.

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Thesh
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Re: The Darker Side of the News

Postby Thesh » Thu May 17, 2018 2:39 am UTC

CorruptUser wrote:Only as long as the minority-majority doesn't get so pissed that they join with the minority to elect a new speaker during the next election cycle. The Speaker can indeed act like a dictator in their own little world, but the only thing that rule allows is for the majority-majority to grind the House to a halt rather than actually pass the legislation the 12.6% of the population wants.


There are consequences to going against the party, and the point is that the majority of the majority party elects the leadership who decides the vast majority of the agenda, regardless of whether the Hastert rule is being adhered to. I'm not sure that the majority party has ever joined with the minority party to elect moderate leadership, so that scenario is entirely hypothetical. In reality, the majority of the majority has always determined the most of the agenda.
Summum ius, summa iniuria.

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Re: The Darker Side of the News

Postby Soupspoon » Thu May 17, 2018 9:43 am UTC


Mutex
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Re: The Darker Side of the News

Postby Mutex » Thu May 17, 2018 9:54 am UTC

Soupspoon wrote:See, vaping can be bad for your health!

Jeez. Say what you like about cigs, they don't explode in your face and pierce your skull. They'll happily burn down your house of course.

EDIT:
The vape pen that Mr D'Elia was using was modified, meaning it allowed the user more access to the battery and did not regulate the voltage in the same way as other e-cigarettes.

So it seems he messed around with the lithium-ion battery, causing it to become unstable and explode like that. It's a lithium-ion battery issue more than a vape pen issue.

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Re: The Darker Side of the News

Postby Soupspoon » Thu May 17, 2018 11:05 am UTC

Probably so that he could exude a high altitude weather balloon quantity of vapour, or something…

Spoiler:
From the information gleaned from a vaper of my acquaintance (I'm not a smoker or a vaper, so apologies whilst I preach from the apparent high ground over here), there's a dial-up switch that increases the dosing, that also runs the battery down faster. It seems to be logical that 'smoke' quantity ≈ energy throughput, and thus vice-versa.

The 'humblebrag' of creating a dense 'smoke'-screen round oneself to prove that one's vaping seems to me to waste an overwhelming amount of the active ingredients (and certainly whatever flavour du jour they seem to think I'd like, while I'm 'passively vaping' their device). Even if it was breathed in (which, from observation, it isn't, a lot just going straight to atmosphere without even the possibility of blowing smoke-rings), all vapour breathed out is wasted and unless the 'hit' molecules preferentially travel across through the lung membranes beyond the vapour/flavour ones. If you're serious about replacing the lack of burning-cigarette nicoteen in the best and cheapest way, you surely want to absorb as much of that smoke as possible before breathing it out.

(It's a finable offence to use vapers in UK railway stations, but I've yet to see anybody be approached with at least a warning, except those I might have dared to personally tell (as they stand right next to the "No smoking" notice that specifically mentions this!), but then neither have the smoke-smokers (also tending to stand by the very same sign). Something's wrong, somewhere, and for once I'm fairly sure it's not with me.)

And if terrrorists haven't considered using modified vaper units as part of their armoury (for the smokescreen, the battery explosion bit just needs a Samsung tablet!) then they soon will, and even without my help in mentioning it just now.

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Re: The Darker Side of the News

Postby Zohar » Thu May 17, 2018 2:15 pm UTC

Soupspoon wrote:See, vaping can be bad for your health!

Vaping isn't good for you even without the explosions. Most e-cigarettes and vaping products contain nicotine, as well as a bunch of other harmful elements.
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Re: The Darker Side of the News

Postby ObsessoMom » Thu May 17, 2018 3:13 pm UTC

Well, that's not good:

Mysterious rise in banned ozone-destroying chemical shocks scientists
CFCs have been outlawed for years but researchers have detected new production somewhere in east Asia.

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Re: The Darker Side of the News

Postby Sableagle » Thu May 17, 2018 4:18 pm UTC

Chinese refrigeration plant?

I haven't clicked the pink, but China's attitude to air pollution is so bad it increases the death rate in Los Angeles.
Oh, Willie McBride, it was all done in vain.

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Re: The Darker Side of the News

Postby Mutex » Thu May 17, 2018 4:41 pm UTC

Sableagle wrote:I haven't clicked the pink

I'm not familiar with this euphemism.

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Re: The Darker Side of the News

Postby Soupspoon » Thu May 17, 2018 4:50 pm UTC

Mutex wrote:
Sableagle wrote:I haven't clicked the pink

I'm not familiar with this euphemism.

Learn how to do that, and you'll never have to buy her gas-station flowers ever again!

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Re: The Darker Side of the News

Postby Coyne » Thu May 17, 2018 11:19 pm UTC

ObsessoMom wrote:Well, that's not good:

Mysterious rise in banned ozone-destroying chemical shocks scientists
CFCs have been outlawed for years but researchers have detected new production somewhere in east Asia.


Sounds like Professor Chaos and General Disarray have struck again.
In all fairness...

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Re: The Darker Side of the News

Postby Soupspoon » Fri May 18, 2018 3:57 pm UTC

More school deaths, in Texas. (Ho hum? Shouldn't be, but feels like it.)

Toddler died of gunshot wound during police chase, in Belgium. (My first impressions are that it was a mix of miscommunication and bad decisions, but only time will tell.)

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Re: The Darker Side of the News

Postby Sableagle » Fri May 18, 2018 4:47 pm UTC

Soupspoon wrote:More school deaths, in Texas.
The death toll makes this the deadliest school shooting since the one in February at Parkland, Florida.


It's May. The death toll in this deadly shooting incident inside a school makes it the deadliest one since that other one in February. That implies that there have been others in between. In fact it implies that of course we all already knew there had been others in between, like "Duh, man, that shit happens like every other week now."

Oh, Willie McBride, it was all done in vain.

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Re: The Darker Side of the News

Postby SuicideJunkie » Fri May 18, 2018 5:02 pm UTC

Sableagle wrote:Own_v_use.png

Dividing by population on one side and not the other makes that chart quite biased.
Germany at around 80M vs US around 300M, puts that much closer to the ownership ratio.

Considering population shows Canada isn't as far ahead of the US on this as we'd like to think.

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Re: The Darker Side of the News

Postby addams » Sun May 20, 2018 5:38 pm UTC

A Cat Attack has made the Mass Media.
https://www.adn.com/nation-world/2018/0 ... f-seattle/

I have Strong personal views that go against the Party Line.
In the last 100 years in North America, according to the agency, roughly 25 fatalities and 95 nonfatal attacks have been reported.
I call BullShit.
I Know, for a Fact, those Big Silent Killers hunt single human hikers preferentially.
There have been More that 25 dead in the last one hundred years.

I understand Why the authorities don't want to freak out the Natives.
We might go back to hunting them with Dogs. That's bad. Still...

It is Dark and Creepy;
And; it may serve to alert the Formites to a very real danger of Solo Hiking in the Western US.

It is easy for the Strong and Healthy to get 8 to 10 miles (15-16 kilometers) from the trail head into Cat Country.
Oh, you Europeans; You don't have Cats, Bear and Crocodiles. We Do! They will hunt and kill humans for fun.

Twenty-Five Dead?
Pfft! That's a Joke.

There were eight in that one canyon in L.A.
No one ever told. The 'got' the Cat and moved on.

Millionaires are afforded privacy in life and in death.
Just, Be Careful when in the Americas. Don't hike alone!
Life is, just, an exchange of electrons; It is up to us to give it meaning.

We are all in The Gutter.
Some of us see The Gutter.
Some of us see The Stars.
by mr. Oscar Wilde.

Those that want to Know; Know.
Those that do not Know; Don't tell them.
They do terrible things to people that Tell Them.

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Re: The Darker Side of the News

Postby Sableagle » Sun May 20, 2018 7:47 pm UTC

addams wrote:You don't have Cats. We Do!

I've noticed.
Image
addams wrote:Don't hike alone!

That was one of the rules.
Oh, Willie McBride, it was all done in vain.

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Re: The Darker Side of the News

Postby Grop » Sun May 20, 2018 9:21 pm UTC

addams wrote:Oh, you Europeans; You don't have Cats, Bear and Crocodiles. We Do! They will hunt and kill humans for fun.


We have finished terraforming for quite a while. When are you doing your part of the world?

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Re: The Darker Side of the News

Postby commodorejohn » Sun May 20, 2018 10:19 pm UTC

Grop wrote:
addams wrote:Oh, you Europeans; You don't have Cats, Bear and Crocodiles. We Do! They will hunt and kill humans for fun.

We have finished terraforming for quite a while. When are you doing your part of the world?

Well, we started on it a couple hundred years ago, and were making pretty good progress (Pa Ingalls would be impressed how much harder it is to encounter cougars in rural Wisconsin these days,) but in the interim people suddenly got all sore about it for some reason...
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Re: The Darker Side of the News

Postby addams » Sun May 20, 2018 10:57 pm UTC

Yes.
We were well on our way to exterminating all non-domestic life forms.
Then we went all soft.

Now, we have Eagle, Osprey and Heron in the sky.
We have Panther, Wolves and Bear in the Forest.

(sigh...) I'm of two minds about the whole thing.
We can't turn our back on the Ocean. Sneaker waves kill!
We can't mindlessly wander into the wilderness. (sigh..)

Hiking with Dogs helps a lot.
And; Never ever hike alone.

On the Up Side;
The ruthless Crocodile is not a problem where it snows.
In my experience, Crocodile don't like to climb.
Any steep incline away from the water will do.
Life is, just, an exchange of electrons; It is up to us to give it meaning.

We are all in The Gutter.
Some of us see The Gutter.
Some of us see The Stars.
by mr. Oscar Wilde.

Those that want to Know; Know.
Those that do not Know; Don't tell them.
They do terrible things to people that Tell Them.

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Re: The Darker Side of the News

Postby Thesh » Fri May 25, 2018 7:06 am UTC

https://www.reuters.com/article/us-cana ... SKCN1IQ0E0

Bomb detonated at Canadian restaurant. Two light-skinned men detonated a bomb at an Indian restaurant; I'm guessing white nationalists.
Summum ius, summa iniuria.

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Re: The Darker Side of the News

Postby sardia » Fri May 25, 2018 1:23 pm UTC

Thesh wrote:https://www.reuters.com/article/us-canada-explosion/two-men-set-off-bomb-in-restaurant-in-canada-15-wounded-idUSKCN1IQ0E0

Bomb detonated at Canadian restaurant. Two light-skinned men detonated a bomb at an Indian restaurant; I'm guessing white nationalists.

It can't possibly be a white terrorism group , like white ISIS, no way...
All these people claiming mental illness are aberrations says every white person.

It's kinda pointless here, since we are preaching to the choir.

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Re: The Darker Side of the News

Postby Tyndmyr » Fri May 25, 2018 4:38 pm UTC

SuicideJunkie wrote:
Sableagle wrote:Own_v_use.png

Dividing by population on one side and not the other makes that chart quite biased.
Germany at around 80M vs US around 300M, puts that much closer to the ownership ratio.

Considering population shows Canada isn't as far ahead of the US on this as we'd like to think.


Yeah, that's...a ridiculously odd way to use statistics. Normalizing both sides against population is far more reasonable.

You do that, and while the US becomes far less of an impressive outliers, the US is still definitely unusually violent. Presuming you accept the numbers as good, of course. Number of mass shootings depends largely on how you count them, and estimates vary extremely widely, with the outliers on the higher side being from organizations that directly advocate gun control.

If you look at it from the perspective of most deadly killings in recent years, you'll get a somewhat more objective take. Presuming you take terrorism and what not out of it, I suppose. Though the line of what, exactly, is terrorism and what is a "normal" mass killing is somewhat fuzzy IMO. If you include all of those, wartorn areas will dominate, of course. Also, I believe the source predates the recent Israel troubles, which would rate an inclusion on the list if one counted them.

https://www.washingtonpost.com/graphics/2017/world/mass-shootings/img/mass-shootings-980.jpg?c=372

Edit: Changed to link because their chart wasn't one coherent graphic, annoyingly enough.

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Re: The Darker Side of the News

Postby Sableagle » Fri May 25, 2018 7:14 pm UTC

Tyndmyr wrote:Number of mass shootings depends largely on how you count them, and ... the line of what, exactly, is terrorism and what is a "normal" mass killing is somewhat fuzzy IMO.
Some people seem to think it's mostly a matter of whether or not the murderous munatic shouted "Allahu akbar!"

Meanwhile, here's my own chart, from a different source:

Guns_and_homicides.png


Blob diameter is total homicide rate, 1 pixel per 1 homicide per 100,000 people per year. Minimum blob size is 1, so some of those are larger than they should be.

It's sort of a neat little graph if you cut off everything below the label on the vertical axis.
Oh, Willie McBride, it was all done in vain.

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Re: The Darker Side of the News

Postby Coyne » Sat May 26, 2018 3:57 am UTC

Sableagle wrote:It's sort of a neat little graph if you cut off everything below the label on the vertical axis.


You might try it log scale on both axes, but I suspect it wouldn't be nearly as impressive.
In all fairness...

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Re: The Darker Side of the News

Postby Sableagle » Sat May 26, 2018 9:31 am UTC

I'm a farm boy. I use axes on logs.

Not shown on that graph: Honduras ...

... because they fell off the bottom of it ten years ago.

In Honduras, the annual rate of firearm homicide per 100,000 population is

2012: 72.08
2011: 73.79
2010: 65.10
2009: 54.60
2008: 45.85

In the United States, the annual rate of firearm homicide per 100,000 population is

2012: 3.70
2011: 3.55
2010: 3.59
2009: 3.75
2008: 4.01

In Scotland, the annual rate of firearm homicide per 100,000 population is

2012: 0.0
2011: 0.06
2010: 0.06
2009: 0.02
2008: 0.02

In Iceland, the annual rate of firearm homicide per 100,000 population is

2012: 0.00
2011: 0.00
2010: 0.00
2009: 0.00
2008: 0.00


I have a world map with green markers for "Been there" in one overlay layer and red paint for "Not going there" in another. I use it to choose future holidays. Honduras is painted red. Twice.
Oh, Willie McBride, it was all done in vain.

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Re: The Darker Side of the News

Postby Soupspoon » Sat May 26, 2018 1:49 pm UTC

Yeah, well, Honduras has only four volcanoes and no actual glaciers, if this is the best info I can find, so it doesn't have as big a problem as Iceland with causing you problems in visiting other countries!

:P

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Re: The Darker Side of the News

Postby Sableagle » Sat May 26, 2018 4:09 pm UTC

I did a similar chart for states within the USA, as the differences between Hawaii and Texas had been discussed. They don't have "guns per person" data for the states but do have a different figure which is still useful.

Guns_and_homicides_by_state.png


From what I've heard, Idaho's quite a nice place.

Judging by the spread, there are other major factors involved here. Idaho and the Dakotas, in particular, manage to have a lot of guns and very low homicide rates, whereas NJ, IL and MD have a lot of firearm homicides for relatively few guns. Pennsylvania stands out as being in the middle of the firearm homicide rate spread but with the smallest overall homicide rate blob, meaning guns are used in a higher proportion of killings, I guess. Wyoming has a lot of guns, or guns in a lot of homes anyway, and is a much safer place than Arkansas (in terms of shootings but maybe not in terms of driving in winter). Then there's Alabama, where killing people with or without guns is apparently in. Then there's Mississippi, one-upping Alabama, and then ...
In the United States, the percentage of households with one or more rifles is reported to be

2012: 20.5%
2010: 19.4%
2008: 25.2%
2006: 20.4%
2004: 21.0%
2002: 22.2%

In Louisiana, the percentage of households with one or more guns is reported to be

2004: 55.04%
Somehow Louisiana's over double the average per household and pretty normal per adult. Fewer, larger households, or is there a curious bias being introduced by states with larger populations having fewer armed households? Either way, what are they doing down there all on their own? Honestly, you guys, I know that whole Purchase thing turned out to be a bit of a one-way deal, but that was decades ago and by now I'd hope you could get those figures down below "1 per 20,000 per year" like the rest of the country.

While the Dakotas and Idaho are making it really clear that "Guns in many homes" don't necessarily kill people, if you ignore Louisiana there's a big, empty space left of and below the Hawaii - New Jersey - Maryland - Mississippi arc where states with few guns just don't have high homicide rates. I'm not going to try to draw a trend line on that graph.

Image

I'd say probably the data should be plotted against prosperity, population density, education achievement rates or even latitude.

Still, though, the Hawaii - Wyoming and New Jersey - Arkansas groups look like they may have their own trends. What are they, blue states and red states?

Also, that big, empty space in the bottom left is there to tell ...

Can we all just pretend D.C. doesn't exist, just so I can point at a big, empty space there? Thank you.

... there to tell us all that you don't get high homicide rates with few guns.

-----------------------------------------

In other news from the dark side aka London,
UK government 'dismally failed' Afghan interpreters who worked for British Army, warn MPs

Afghan interpreters who risked their lives while serving for the British Army have been “dismally failed” by the UK government, MPs have warned, as it emerges a scheme designed to offer them protection has not brought a single one to safety in Britain.

During the UK’s involvement in Afghanistan, British forces were supported by some 7,000 locally employed civilians (LECs), about half of whom fulfilled vital roles as interpreters, who were often exposed to “extremely dangerous” situations.

“Our intimidation policy is designed to ensure that former Afghan local staff are safe to live their lives in the country and we provide tailored security advice and support to individuals.

“We thank the committee for their report, which notes that more than 400 interpreters and local staff have relocated to the UK with their families under another scheme, and we will now review the report and its recommendations.”


That's "more than 400" out of "some 7,000" of them, then?
Oh, Willie McBride, it was all done in vain.

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Coyne
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Re: The Darker Side of the News

Postby Coyne » Sat May 26, 2018 4:53 pm UTC

I agree with you about scatterplots that look like that. Bugs the daylights out of me when they come up with a linear regression on something like that.

But, "Rexthor, the Dog Bearer?" Looks like, "Waiter, the Soup-Spiller" to me.
In all fairness...


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