Thursday, 19 December 2013

Surprising facts and factoids

(1) "the average Bucharest resident is comfortably better off than the average resident of Manchester", says the Economist.

(2) "roughly 1 in 200 pregnant young American women claim to be virgins". Shouldn't that be "claims to be a virgin"? Grammar notwithstanding, that's what Slate tells us, adding that "more virgins gave birth to boys (59.8%) or may have learnt they were pregnant during Advent, these trends did not reach statistical significance".

(3) You can be poor and happy - if you are Israeli Ultra-Orthodox. "One possibility is that (some?) religions make people pretty happy. Another is that lack of money does not make you unhappy, provided that a) you can cite a good reason for having a lower income, b) you have peer and family support for your situation/decision, and c) there is no negative selection into the other lower income individuals you will end up hanging around." (From Marginal Revolution.) I suspect if you have point (c) then you will find it easy enough to satisfy points (a) and (b). One can contrive a link to the Christmas story from this factoid as well, but I leave that as an exercise for the reader.

(4) It's better to be top of your class than to hang out with clever people.

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