First up: USA Today reports that dozens of large US cities have no soldiers who have died in Iraq. The paper concludes that it’s because the US army tends to recruit from poor areas with limited economic opportunities. Cities, as hotbeds of opportunity, are not rich recruiting grounds.
Sure, that makes sense. It’s probably the case. But I link to the story not to stand on my soapbox and decry the military’s predation on poor kids. Rather, I wish to point out an epidemiologic error. Just because cities disproportionately have fewer (or zero) fatalities in Iraq, it does not necessarily follow that cities provide proportionately fewer soldiers. The data presented in the article lend themselves to many interpretations, among them that city folk are somehow more skilled at not getting killed.
Yes, it is much more likely that in fact US soldiers disproportionately arise from smaller communities. My point is that, once again, a newspaper has erroneously put forward a scientific analysis. That they probably put forward the correct analysis by accident is beside the point.
Last night I scared myself shitless watching The Mothman Prophecies. This is the sort of movie that really creeps under my skin: no psycho killers or monsters jumping from behind trees, or torrents of blood or gore, just some masterful psychological and paranormal terror.
It helps that it’s based on true events that took place in Point Pleasant, West Virginia, in 1968. I’ve been reading up on the Mothman phenomenon since watching the movie, and have somehow conflated it with sleep paralysis, another uberweird phenomenon that I have some personal experience with. Conclusion: the world is a weird, wonderful and sometimes terrifying place.
Also in entertainment news, I was giggled to see in the most recent episode of Stargate: Atlantis that the international crew manning the station in the Pegasus galaxy actually uses Canadian currency!