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I think the more interesting fact from the Credit Suisse report is the fact that “Europe was responsible for 10.9 trillion US dollars of the total global loss of 12.3 trillion US dollars”… that’s 89% of all the wealth lost in 2011!


Where the World’s Millionaires Live—in 1 Graph

Today, the United States and Japan are home to about 7% of the world’s population, but more than 50% of the world’s millionaires.

Read more.

Brooklyn Is the Second Most Expensive Place to Live in the U.S.

Manhattan is number 1.

And if you’re wondering about demographic changes over the past decade:

The Black population declined by 10,000 in Crown Heights North (a loss of almost 12% of the Black population), 8,400 people in Flatbush (decline of 14%), 7,258 people in Prospect-Lefferts Gardens (decline of 12%), and almost 6,000 people (-5,936) in Bedford (decline of almost 15%).

Congratulations, Colorado! You have the lowest rate of obesity in the United States! Only one in five of your residents is obese…

Oh gosh.

The highest:

1. Mississippi, 34.9 percent

2. Louisiana, 33.4 percent

3. West Virginia, 32.4 percent

4. Alabama, 32 percent

5. Michigan, 31.3 percent

6. Oklahoma, 31.1 percent

7. Arkansas, 30.9 percent

8. (tie) Indiana and South Carolina, 30.8 percent

10. (tie) Kentucky and Texas, 30.4 percent

The lowest:

1. Colorado, 20.7 percent

2. Hawaii, 21.8 percent

3. Massachusetts, 22.7 percent

4. (tie) District of Columbia and New Jersey, 23.7 percent

6. California, 23.8 percent

7. Utah, 24.4 percent

8. (tie) Connecticut, Nevada and New York, 24.5 percent

Analysis by the Trust for America’s Health (TFAH) and the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation (RWJF), including a link to the full data set, can be found here. The 2012 F as in Fat report will come out later this summer.

NBC Buys ‘Freakonomics’-Inspired Drama Procedural Produced By Kelsey Grammer | Deadline


In Pariah, the Mayor of San Diego appoints a rogue academic with no law enforcement background to run a task force using Freakonomics-inspired alternative methods of policing. This causes an uproar within the police department as the morally conflicted, conspiracy-minded academic solves crimes by conducting his controversial experiments on citizens of the city.

This idea is so weird that it could be awesome. Next up? A legal drama based on the concepts of Malcolm Gladwell’s “The Tipping Point.”

This idea is actually not that weird. It kind of happened in real life, in real cities (19 cities, actually, plus some counties and states), including New York City and Baltimore. A cop named Jack Maple created a program called CompStat, and it was so nerdy and brilliant that crime-ridden Baltimore adopted it. The story of how it happened will give any datageek a nerdgasm:

When Martin O’Malley was running for mayor of Baltimore, reducing crime was a centerpiece of his campaign. He knew about CompStat, of course, and after he won the Democratic nomination — which in Baltimore is the same as winning the election — he called Maple.   In the fall of 1999, just before O’Malley took office, Maple and O’Malley took a drive around East Baltimore.  “They were playing a favorite game of Maple’s — spot the cop,” Michael Enright, O’Malley’s first deputy mayor, recounted in an interview.  “He liked to see how present police officers were in the most violent parts of the city.   It was extraordinary how few cops you see, how long it would take to see a uniformed presence.”

As they drove and talked about CompStat, Maple commented that CompStat wasn’t just for policing — it was for everything.  O’Malley didn’t buy it.  “Certain things can’t be measured,” he said.

“Name them,” said Maple.

O’Malley mentioned at-risk kids.   Maple started to list potential indicators:  Look at this playground — these basketball hoops have no nets.   What other parks have no nets? What hours is this rec center open?  Are they the same hours as peak time for juvenile violence?

“Anything O’Malley said, Maple could rattle off things that have an impact that the mayor could control,” said Enright.  “We were grappling with how we get our arms around this city and the enormous wheels of government we’d been handed.   O’Malley came back and said, ‘We’re going to do this.’”

Less than six months later, O’Malley and Enright presided over the first meeting of Baltimore’s CitiStat.

source: NY Times

And yeah, it was a cop who created the system, and not a “rogue academic” (who will undoubtedly still be the Indiana Jones/hot-dorky academic) but come on, kudos to the cop who was pushing for statistics. STATISTICS. In an environment that may not be the kindest, particularly towards data-geeks. That takes some conviction and brains. And hopefully the main character on this new tv show will be as colorful and badass as I imagine Lieutenant Maples to be. (Lt. Maples has, in fact, already inspired a character on another tv show, but what’s one more?)

Stat of the Day: 3,600

A state-by-state survey by The Times shows that about 3,600 horses died racing or training at state-regulated tracks over the last three years.

Another sad stat from the same article:

On average, 24 horses die each week at racetracks across America. 

And this quote:

“It’s hard to justify how many horses we go through,” said Dr. Rick Arthur, the equine medical director for the California Racing Board. “In humans you never see someone snap their leg off running in the Olympics. But you see it in horse racing.”

Fancy hats or no, these are horrifying stats that beg the question: why do we continue to allow this to happen?

(Source: The New York Times)

The likelihood of 20-somethings moving to another state has dropped well over 40 percent since the 1980s… The stuck-at-home mentality hits college-educated Americans as well as those without high school degrees… the proportion of young adults living at home nearly doubled between 1980 and 2008, before the Great Recession hit. Even bicycle sales are lower now than they were in 2000. Today’s generation is literally going nowhere.

Todd G. Buchholz and Victoria Buchholz

Harsh! Right?!

I was troubled by the opinion piece by the Buckholzes. They oversimplify and over-glorify mobility. Don’t get me wrong. I am not condoning contentment, comfort, or fear that discourages the professional and personal progress possible with displacing yourself from familiar environments. If there is a great job opportunity (or heck, even LOVE) somewhere other than where you are currently at, and it (or he or she) seems like a wonderful fit for you, then I think it would behoove you to strongly consider relocating.

That said, as someone who two months ago moved to a new city for a job, I know that moving is not easy. For one thing, it’s EXPENSIVE: there’s the transportation cost of moving my shit. There’s first month’s rent, sometimes a last month’s rent, and also the security deposit, which ranges from one month to two month’s rent. You might need to restock your home: mattress, desk, kitchen appliances. It adds up!! And I don’t even have kids to worry about: schools, childcare, etc. Imagine a family has kids and they lived near the grandparents, who babysat the rugrats for free. Moving to another state would add the cost of childcare to my list of expenses. The point is: moving is EXPENSIVE. It’s not simply a factor of someone’s character or sense of entrepreneurship. And it’s not always an option.

And living alone is expensive. No wonder so many of my generation is still living at home. We can’t afford not to. And also…. is it THAT bad to be co-habitating with your elders? 

And then, of course, there’s… love. I’m not talking about following Romeo across the country. I’m talking about the love we have for places. I LOVE New York City. It gives me tingles, and not just because of the dirt in the air. Not everyplace is NYC, but that’s besides the point. The point is that we develop attachments to locations, and that isn’t necessarily bad. Places, after all, can be sticky. It hopefully means that we are willing to invest our time, energy, and money to making these places more prosperous and joyous places to live and work. And we possess the local knowledge that comes with being so familiar with these places, the local knowledge that make innovative, democratic solutions possible. And so what if I don’t want to move to Nebraska? Get off my back, please.

That said, I also challenge any stats that say my generation is any less curious. My cohort has been given more opportunities to study abroad, and we have taken advantage of it in record numbers (see chart below). We’re still active with the Peace Corps as well as domestic volunteer programs like Volunteers of America and Teach for America that take us to the far reaches of the United States where spunky energetic types are needed. 

Are we slowed down by the recession? Undoubtedly. But come on. Don’t throw down the towel for this team because of DRIVING STATS. 

The data also show that humans and gorillas differ in only 1.75% of their DNA, much less than previously believed. Humans and chimps, our closest living relatives, differ in only 1.37% of their genomes.

Image: Lucy the Chimpanzee

Scientists have decoded the DNA of the western lowland gorilla, a feat that could boost conservation efforts for the endangered apes as well as broaden researchers’ understanding of human origins.

Now go and listen to Lucy, one of my favorite podcasts, and also one of the most moving, enlightening, and saddest episodes from any radio program. 

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