Friday, October 17, 2008


CNN today reported that a man had put dog excrement on his neighbor's truck. I realize that this may be sensational, but is it really news?

Suppose that, around the world, 200,000,000 live in such surroundings that, realistically, they might have a neighbor who could have a truck. Then assume that one out of every thousand of these people might be a whacko who might do something--if not the exact same thing--of equal disgustitude once in their lifetime. If these whackos each live an average of 70 years, they will live an average of 27,920.5 days (including the added days provided by leap years).

Now, dividing the 200,000,000 population by the whacko factor of 1,000, we get 200,000 "critical" whackos. Dividing that number by their average lifespan in days, we get an estimae that 200,000/27920.5 = 73.01 events like this would happen every day.

My assumptions might be a little off, but even if I am off by a factor of 10, would something that happens 7.3 times per day be "news?"

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