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Wednesday, September 24, 2008

APPENDIX. A. WHAT ARE THE RISKS?

What are the odds for your living a long life? It is estimated that the lifespan for Neanderthal man was 20, classic Greek and Roman, 28, and Medieval England, about 33. A millennium later, the world in 1900 had a life expectancy of 30 years. Today it is from 63 to 67 years, depending on the reference. Oh, turtles live more than 150 years, as Harriet did (the Galapagos land tortoise picked up by Darwin, who lived to 188) and Tui Malila (the Madagascar radiated tortoise presented to Captain James Cook, 192); the baobab tree, 4000 years; and coral reefs, 100,000 years, although one way of interpreting the latter is that the life of our human society has a lifetime, thus far, of at least double that.

Here are the worst and best life statistics from the U.S. Census Bureau:

COUNTRY LIFE EXPECTANCY

........................................2005 .....2025
...................................................(predicted)

Zambia .........................37.2 ........37.1
Malawi .........................37.6 ........36.6
Mozambique .................37.5 ........45.4
Korea, North .................70.7 ........51.3
South ...........................74.4 ........74.0
United States ...............77.1 .........76.1
Singapore .....................80.1 ........78.5
Japan ...........................80.7 ........80.0
San Marino ..................81.1 .........81.4
Andorra .......................83.5 .........83.5

San Marino, the world’s oldest republic, founded in the 4th Century, with a population of 29,000, is located in north central Italy. It has signed the Kyoto Protocol, and, maybe, is a nation to consider in the best place to live. Andorra is supposedly impoverished, and has no income taxes. It is located next to France and Spain and has a population of 66,824, but, some of them are there to dodge taxes. Females there have a life expectancy of 86.56 years. Yes, impoverished, though not as bad as before World War II.

It is also interesting that the life expectancies of the U.S., Singapore and Japan are expected to drop by 2025, and that of North Korea from 70.7 to 51.3. But let me have you ponder over all this, for this is not a treatment of demographics.

There have been many studies on the odds of dying in the U.S. The World can extrapolate their own chances. For example, were you to die, these one chance in “x” reasons would be why: (National Center for Health Statistics, CDC; American Cancer Society; National Safety Council; International Federation of Red Cross and Red Crescent Societies; World Health Organization; U.S. Geological Survey)

Heart Disease ...............................5
Cancer .........................................7
Stroke ........................................23
Accidental Injury ..........................36
Motor Vehicle Accident ...............100
Suicide ......................................121
Fire/Smoke .............................1,116
Electrocution ...........................5,000
Drowning .................................8,942
Air travel ................................20,000
Flood .....................................30,000
Legal Execution .....................58,618
Tornado................................. 60,000
Lightning ...............................83,390
Venomous sting/bite ............100,000
Earthquake ..........................131,890
Dog attack ..........................147,717
Asteroid Impact ...................200,000
TSUNAMI ...........................615,488

See, I told you not to worry about tsunamis, for the once in 10,000 year asteroid could well be, maybe, more dangerous, according to the Holocene Impact Working Group. Definitely not worthy of your particular concern. Ah, but a massive gamma-ray burst, which could emanate from within our galaxy, wiping out the ozone layer, causing acid rain and rapid cooling our atmosphere. The last time this “might” have happened was, oh, 440 million years ago, supposedly wiping out life on Earth. Not to worry, though, for the consensus reaction was that ABC was scare-mongering in a two-hour program aired on August 30, 2006, as a 2020 special on how life on Earth could end. I should add that the contents include quoting Michio Kaku about wandering Black Holes right next to us in our own Galaxy. Well, the nearest known Black Hole is 1600 light years away (about a quadrillion miles). People are attracted to these kinds of programs.

Another way of looking at all this is that you have only a one in 17,625 chance of getting killed this year by being an occupant in a car, 1:440,951 in a plane, and 1:10,283,615 in a train. But in your entire lifetime, it is: car (1:228), air (1:5,407) and train (1:133,035) (National Safety Council). Would you bet $2 on a 100:1 horse? Probably not. So don’t worry about those 228:1 odds regarding car crashes. On the other hand, one in two hundred and twenty eight is something you can’t too lightly take.

Finally, the National Transportation Safety Board has reported that the expected frequency of a hull-penetrating asteroid strike to an aircraft over the U.S. is once every 59,000 – 77,000 years. The moral of all these numbers is that transportation deaths should not be a pathological concern, plus, you absolutely don’t need to worry at all about dying in a tsunami in the continental United States. Somewhat disappointing though, is that if we end crime, eliminate wars and remediate global climate warming, YOU WILL STILL DIE BECAUSE OF THE ABOVE CAUSES. Hmm, is it too late to believe in the afterlife? Or discover eternal life. Well, read SIMPLE SOLUTIONS for Humanity.
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Hagupit made landfall in Southern China and is bringing considerable flooding there and North Vietnam. Tropical Storm Jangmi just formed west of the Philippines, is expected to attain Category 3 Typhoon status in a couple of days and affect Northern Philippines, then Taiwan.
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Crude oil remained relatively stable at $106/bbl, while the DJI slipped 29 to 10825.
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