Landon in a Landslide
a case-control study comparing lung cancer patients with matched controls
the first randomized clinical trial investigated the role of streptomycin in treating tuberculosis
[Austin Bradford Hill] served as a pilot in the First World War but was invalided out when he contracted tuberculosis. Two years in hospital and two years of convalescence put a medical qualification out of the question and he took a degree in economics by correspondence at London University.
He [Jonas Salk] was later approached by the director of research at the National Foundation for Infantile Paralysis and asked whether he would like to participate in the foundation's polio project which had earlier been established by President Franklin D. Roosevelt, at the time thought to be a victim of polio himself. Salk quickly accepted the offer, saying he "would be happy to work on this important project."
... to determine whether low-dose aspirin (325 mg every other day) decreases cardiovascular mortality
The WHI is the first randomized trial to directly address whether estrogen plus progestin has a favorable or unfavorable effect on CHD incidence and on overall risks and benefits in predominantly healthy women.
... one of the largest U.S. prevention studies of its kind, with a budget of $625 million. A 2014 analysis calculated a net economic return on investment of $37.1 billion for the estrogen-plus-progestin arm of the study's hormone trial alone, providing a strong case for the continued use of this variety of large, publicly funded population study.
Medical research is subject to ethical standards that promote and ensure respect for all human subjects and protect their health and rights. While the primary purpose of medical research is to generate new knowledge, this goal can never take precedence over the rights and interests of individual research subjects.
The United States government did something that was wrong -- deeply, profoundly, morally wrong. It was an outrage to our commitment to integrity and equality for all our citizens. ... We face a challenge in our time. Science and technology are rapidly changing our lives with the promise of making us much healthier, much more productive and more prosperous. But with these changes we must work harder to see that as we advance we don't leave behind our conscience. No ground is gained and, indeed, much is lost if we lose our moral bearings in the name of progress.
the rise in average world land temperature ... is approximately 1.5 degrees C in the past 250 years, and about 0.9 degrees in the past 50 years.
Extensive pollution is not surprising since particulate matter can remain airborne for days to weeks and travel thousands of kilometers.
Eleven million people were uprooted by violence last year , most propelled by conflict in Syria, Iraq, Ukraine and Afghanistan. Conflict and extreme poverty have also pushed tens of thousands out of parts of sub-Saharan Africa and Southeast Asia.
As of Tuesday [Sep. 2, 2015], according to the National Interagency Fire Center, more than 8 million acres have burned in U.S. wildfires in 2015 ... 8,202,557 of them, to be precise. That's an area larger than the state of Maryland.
Women now outnumber men on American college campuses, and more women are studying and working in what were traditionally considered "men's careers." Yet men still out-earn women at every education level, and it may have something to do with the careers that women and men choose.
The global price of a barrel of oil remains near its lowest point since the depths of the 2009 recession ... a result of a supply glut and battle for market share between the OPEC oil cartel and the United States, which has shifted toward the role of global swing producer.
The fracking frenzy in North Dakota has boosted the U.S. fuel supply ... but at what cost?
In some countries, particularly Syria, which once had one of the world's highest literacy rates, many children who ordinarily would be third or fourth graders by now have rarely if ever been inside a classroom.
Interest in and use of article-level metrics (ALMs) has grown rapidly amongst the research community, by researchers, publishers, funders, and research institutions. As this happens, it is critical to ensure secure and reliable data that is trustworthy and can be used by all.
Ebola changed [Belgian scientist Peter] Piot's life ... following the discovery of the virus, he went on to research the Aids epidemic in Africa and became the founding executive director of the UNAIDS organisation. "It led me to do things I thought only happened in books. It gave me a mission in life to work on health in developing countries," he says. "It was not only the discovery of a virus but also of myself." Peter Piot, the discoverer of Ebola, is now the Director of the London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine.
What if it could be easier and safer for everyone to get around?
For some causes of more than 100 000 deaths per year in 2013, age-standardised death rates increased between 1990 and 2013, including HIV/AIDS, pancreatic cancer, atrial fibrillation and flutter, drug use disorders, diabetes, chronic kidney disease, and sickle-cell anaemias. Diarrhoeal diseases, lower respiratory infections, neonatal causes, and malaria are still in the top five causes of death in children younger than 5 years. The most important pathogens are rotavirus for diarrhoea and pneumococcus for lower respiratory infections.
Economists Roberto Rigobon and Alberto Cavallo at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology's Sloan School of Management have come up with a method to scour the Internet for online prices on millions of items and then use them to calculate inflation statistics for a dozen countries on a daily basis.
There are good pollsters and good polling organizations out there, and a lot of smart and conscientious people in the profession. But no one, frankly, came close to Andy -- and no organization even begins to rival the Pew Research Center he built.
On average, college graduates earn $1 million more over their lifetimes than high school graduates.
[The Global Competitiveness Report, 2015-2016] ranks the U.S. third in global competitiveness, behind Switzerland and Singapore. Next is Germany, the Netherlands, Japan, Hong Kong, Finland, Sweden, the UK and then Canada.
Perhaps the biggest shortcoming [in US weather forecasting] is in data assimilation ... the process of taking all of the available data and building an initial description of the atmosphere. The model runs from that, but a perfect model of the wrong atmosphere will yield a wrong answer.
The Blanchard era at the IMF was one of unprecedented data-driven analysis of policy problems, done with consummate skill.
Despite growing attention to cleaner energy, two-thirds of the world's electricity is still produced by burning fossil fuels, mostly coal - a proportion that hasn't budged for 35 years. ... Coal-burning power plants are the biggest polluters, [with] 72% of all fossil fuel emissions ... China, the United States and India ... accounted for nearly 50 percent of all fossil fuel emissions.
... collectively, our national drinking habit costs society $249 billion a year. That cost comes primarily from excessive drinking -- bingeing on four or more drinks per evening, or drinking heavily all week long. That total cost manifests itself primarily in things like early mortality due to alcohol ($75 billion of the total), lost productivity and absenteeism at work ($82 billion), health-care costs ($28 billion), crime ($25 billion) and car crashes ($13 billion).
Hurricane Katrina was the United States's most costly and destructive weather disaster in recent history.
Who still doesn't have health insurance? They tend to live in the South, and they tend to be poor.
50,000 runners, moving in waves
This paper documents a marked increase in the all-cause mortality of middle-aged white non-Hispanic men and women in the United States between 1999 and 2013. This change reversed decades of progress in mortality and was unique to the United States; no other rich country saw a similar turnaround. ... This increase for whites was largely accounted for by increasing death rates from drug and alcohol poisonings, suicide, and chronic liver diseases and cirrhosis.
By the end of 2015, the economy -- still leaving too many Americans behind -- has regrettably almost disappeared from the news ... Here, for better or worse, is the state of the union in 10 charts.
Air Pollution kills more people worldwide each year than does AIDS, malaria, diabetes or tuberculosis. For the United States and Europe, air pollution is equivalent in detrimental health effects to smoking 0.4 to 1.6 cigarettes per day. In China the numbers are far worse; on bad days the health effects of air pollution are comparable to the harm done smoking three packs per day (60 cigarettes) by every man, woman, and child. Air pollution is arguably the greatest environmental catastrophe in the world today.
Sunni-led allies of Saudi Arabia have cut diplomatic ties with Shiite Iran, further polarizing the Middle East along the two major branches of Islam. But while almost all of the governments are controlled by one sect, the countries' populations are a mix of Sunnis and Shiites, including sub-sects and other branches, an important factor in the region's conflicts.
The refugee debate creates the impression of unprecedented mass migration. That image is completely incorrect. The real question, when we look at migration globally, is why there is so little of it.
The emergence of political parties and nationally coordinated election campaigns soon complicated matters in the elections of 1796 and 1800. In 1796, Federalist Party candidate John Adams won the presidential election; by finishing in second place, Democratic-Republican Party candidate Thomas Jefferson, the Federalists' opponent, became the vice president. This resulted in the President and Vice President not being of the same political party.
America's Divided Recovery: College Haves and Have-Nots reveals that those with at least some college education have captured 11.5 million of the 11.6 million jobs created during the recovery. While jobs are back, they are not the same jobs lost during the recession. The Great Recession decimated low-skill blue-collar and clerical jobs, whereas the recovery added primarily high-skill managerial and professional jobs.
Moving just millimeters at a time, it took the ancient supercontinent Pangea hundreds of millions of years to break apart into today's landmasses. But a study published Tuesday [18 July 2016] shows that the journey wasn't always a leisurely drive. When under extreme strain, the tectonic plates hit the throttle and accelerated to speeds 20 times faster than they were traveling before.
We'll be updating our forecasts every time new data is available, every day through Nov. 8. Our win probabilities come from simulating the election 20,000 times, which produces a distribution of possible outcomes for each state.
Silicon Valley is turning to the dismal science in its never-ending quest to squeeze more money out of old markets and build new ones. In turn, the economists say they are eager to explore the digital world for fresh insights into timeless economic questions of pricing, incentives and behavior. "It's an absolute candy store for economists," Mr. Coles said.
Sixth graders in the richest school districts are four grade levels ahead of children in the poorest districts.
To get a job as a top executive, new evidence shows, it helps greatly to have experience in as many of a business's functional areas as possible. A person who burrows down for years in, say, the finance department stands less of a chance of reaching a top executive job than a corporate finance specialist who has also spent time in, say, marketing. Or engineering. Or both of those, plus others.
While young people, poor people and Hispanics are often singled out for low voting rates, there are millions of nonvoters in every demographic group. In fact, the majority of people who didn't vote in the 2012 presidential election were white, middle-income and middle-aged.
To today's youth, judgeship as an aspiration for a girl is not at all outlandish. Contrast the ancient days, the fall of 1956, when I entered law school. Women accounted for less than 3 percent of the legal profession in the United States, and only one woman had ever served on a federal appellate court. Today about half the nation's law students and more than one-third of our federal judges are women, including three of the justices seated on the United States Supreme Court bench. Women hold more than 30 percent of law school deanships in the United States and serve as general counsel to 24 percent of Fortune 500 companies. In my long life, I have seen great changes.
When people say "The climate has changed before," these are the kinds of changes they're talking about.
In 2015, 46,630,000 people living in the United States were born in other countries.
About 300 million children in the world breathe highly toxic air, the United Nations Children's Fund said in a report ... that used satellite imagery to illustrate the magnitude of the problem. The vast majority of these children, about 220 million, live in South Asia, in places where air pollution is at least six times the level that the World Health Organization considers safe, Unicef said.
Air pollution is the fourth top cause of death globally, after poor diet, high blood pressure and smoking, with more than one in 10 deaths linked to it in 2015, according to the Global Burden of Disease.
"Tom Frieden, director of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, told reporters that the latest data show how tobacco use remains "a persistent and preventable health threat" despite smoking rates being at all-time lows. Of the 36 million current smokers, Frieden said, "nearly half could die prematurely from tobacco-related illnesses, including 6 million from cancer, unless we implement the programs that will help smokers quit."
"Many of the most skilled workers — young people with college degrees — are leaving struggling regions of America for cities, specifically for cities in Southern and coastal states. There are clear economic reasons for their choice. Dense metro areas tend to produce more jobs and make workers more productive. Wages, for all kinds of workers, are also higher. In theory, these incentives should prompt workers of all levels of education to move to metro areas. But moving outside one's region is relatively rare these days, and even more rare for someone without a college degree."
"To quantify how America is changing, we used the diversity index, which measures the chance that two people chosen at random will not be the same race and ethnicity. A high score means a county has people of many races and ethnicities, while a low score means the community is made up of a single dominant group. ... The bright yellow areas had very little diversity in 2000 but are experiencing the greatest rate of change. This pattern is evident from northern New England through vast swaths of the Midwest. It covers 56 million people. That's one-sixth of the country that remained almost completely white all the way to 2000, but is now beginning the gradual change to a multicultural mix."
"Generally speaking, the smartest countries tend to be those that have acted to make teaching more prestigious and selective; directed more resources to their neediest children; enrolled most children in high-quality preschools; helped schools establish cultures of constant improvement; and applied rigorous, consistent standards across all classrooms."
"The economists say rising concentration of income among the richest Americans explains 70 percent of what has been a steady decline in absolute mobility from the baby boom generation to millennials, while a slowdown in economic growth explains just 30 percent."
"With new, advanced manufacturing jobs arising in pocket areas nationwide, a new kind of manufacturing worker, one with a college degree as well as advanced technical skills, is needed. Communities that have landed these jobs often credit local job training programs, in partnership with community colleges and other schools, with helping build worker skills."
"At present, Jewish adults (ages 25 and older) have a global average of 13 years of formal schooling, compared with approximately nine years among Christians, eight years among Buddhists and six years among Muslims and Hindus. Religiously unaffiliated adults — those who describe their religion as atheist, agnostic or 'nothing in particular' — have spent an average of nine years in school, a little less than Christian adults worldwide."
"Barack Obama campaigned for the U.S. presidency on a platform of change. As he prepares to leave office, the country he led for eight years is undeniably different. Profound social, demographic and technological changes have swept across the United States during Obama's tenure, as have important shifts in government policy and public opinion."
"'There is a real problem with the elite privates and flagship publics in not serving as many low-income students as they should,' John B. King Jr., President Obama's education secretary, told me. 'These institutions have a moral and educational responsibility.' Because the elite colleges aren't fulfilling that responsibility, working-class colleges have become vastly larger engines of social mobility. The new data shows, for example, that the City University of New York system propelled almost six times as many low-income students into the middle class and beyond as all eight Ivy League campuses, plus Duke, M.I.T., Stanford and Chicago, combined. ... There is a reason that City College and California's universities evoke such warm nostalgia: They fulfilled the country's highest ideals — of excellence, progress and opportunity."
"In recent decades, the discovery and development of new antibiotics have slowed dramatically as scientific barriers to drug discovery, regulatory challenges, and diminishing returns on investment have led major drug companies to scale back or abandon their antibiotic research. Consequently, antibiotic discovery — which peaked in the 1950s — has dropped precipitously. Of greater concern is the fact that nearly all antibiotics brought to market over the past 30 years have been variations on existing drugs. Every currently available antibiotic is a derivative of a class discovered between the early 1900s and 1984."
"In many parts of the world, particularly in poorer countries, attainment of even the most basic education is still far from universal. Indeed, roughly one-in-five adults (19%) around the globe have no formal schooling at all, according to a recent Pew Research Center report on education that also studied its relationship to religion. While virtually all adults in Europe (98%) and English-speaking North America (99%) have at least some education, four-in-ten in the Middle East and North Africa (41%) and in sub-Saharan Africa (41%) have not completed even a year of primary school."
"The proportion of American adults with high-speed broadband service at home increased rapidly between 2000 and 2010. In recent years, however, broadband adoption growth has been much more sporadic. Today, roughly three-quarters of American adults have broadband internet service at home. ... As is true of internet adoption more broadly, home broadband adoption varies across demographic groups. Racial minorities, older adults, rural residents, and those with lower levels of education and income are less likely to have broadband service at home."
"In 2012, the Delaware DOE began rigorously analyzing its data, revealing that nearly 2 out of 10 students considered to be highly qualified for college — those who received combined mathematics, critical reading, and writing SAT scores equal to or higher than 1550 (on a scale of 2400) — were not pursuing a postsecondary education. This finding prompted a statewide campaign to educate students about how to apply for college and financial aid, accompanied by targeted outreach and support to facilitate enrollment. ... 2016 was the third consecutive year in which every graduating Delaware high school senior who was highly qualified for college applied to at least one postsecondary institution."
"When you turn on a light or charge your phone, the electricity coming from the outlet may well have traveled hundreds of miles across the power grid that blankets most of North America — the world's largest machine, and one of its most eccentric. ... In October, New York State had the seventh-highest residential prices for electricity in the United States, at 18.28 cents per kilowatt-hour, according to the United States Energy Information Administration. Con Ed's rates for New York City were 24.736 cents per kilowatt-hour, just below Hawaii's, the most expensive in the country (27.54 cents). On the cheaper end of the scale are Louisiana (9.33 cents), Georgia (11.07 cents) and California (13.94 cents)."
"Abraham Lincoln, George Washington and the two Roosevelts, Franklin and Theodore, have kept their lock on their positions as, respectively, the four best presidents in American history, according to a new ranking by 91 presidential historians. Barack Obama took the No. 12 spot in his first time on the survey. The poll, released on the eve of Presidents' Day weekend, is the third one conducted by the wonky public-affairs cable network C-SPAN over the past 17 years."
"There are 2,473 billionaires in the world by a new count, and how they got their money and what they plan to do with it are matters of global importance."
"Analyzing 70 years of transcript records from more than 400 schools, the researchers found that the share of A grades has tripled, from just 15 percent of grades in 1940 to 45 percent in 2013. At private schools, A's account for nearly a majority of grades awarded."
"Antibiotic resistance is a pressing global public health problem. This first report on trends in antibiotic use in the United States brings together diverse sources of information in both human health care and animal agriculture settings. It complements and informs efforts to set evidence-based goals aimed at reducing unnecessary antibiotic use. Lowering the use of these drugs will slow the emergence of resistance."
"Women make up at least 40% of the workforce in more than 80 countries, according to a Pew Research Center analysis of labor force statistics from 114 nations with data from 2010 to 2016. Across all of these countries, the median female share of the workforce is 45.4%."
"The U.S. government produces some of the best and most complete data in the world -- information that helps the economy work well. Trustworthy statistics are a vital national asset. Congress, take note."
"10 billion visualizations at your fingertips. To find the right visualization, enter a term on Graphiq Search to see all matching results. When you've found the right visualization, copy and paste the embed code onto the page where you'd like it to appear. It's that simple."
"For years, it was hard to find a woman among Norway's corporate supervisory boards. Then came the quota: A law in place since 2008 stipulates that the boards of state-owned or publicly traded companies must be comprised of at least 40 percent women. A survey by Credit Suisse Research also confirmed that the gender ratio in Norwegian boardroom is, in fact, almost equal. No other country has a higher proportion of women in its boardrooms."
"Three key elements combine to create a rain-laden storm like Harvey: the warm waters of the Gulf of Mexico, quick hurricane winds and a weak late-summer jetstream. Even though Harvey is located to the southwest of Houston, the city is getting most of the rain because the right side of storms are usually the strongest."
"Just how unprecedented is this? Well, remember the flooding that New Orleans experienced with Hurricane Katrina? Most places saw about 10 to 20 feet of water thanks to levee failure, inundating about 80 percent of the city. Now, if we took the amount of rainfall that Texas has seen and spread it over the city limits of New Orleans, it would tower to 128 feet in height -- roughly reaching as high as a 12-story office building."
"Only a few decades ago, the middle class and the poor weren't just receiving healthy raises. Their take-home pay was rising even more rapidly, in percentage terms, than the pay of the rich. The post-inflation, after-tax raises that were typical for the middle class during the pre-1980 period -- about 2 percent a year -- translate into rapid gains in living standards. At that rate, a household's income almost doubles every 34 years. In recent decades, by contrast, only very affluent families -- those in roughly the top 1/40th of the income distribution -- have received such large raises."
"At 38 colleges in America, including five in the Ivy League -- Dartmouth, Princeton, Yale, Penn and Brown -- more students came from the top 1 percent of the income scale than from the entire bottom 60 percent."
"Tuesday's quake was also closer to the surface -- 31 miles down, compared to 43 miles down -- than the Sept. 8 quake. Shallower quakes cause more shaking at the surface than deeper ones of the same magnitude because seismic waves lose energy as they travel."
"Arctic sea ice has been in steep decline since the late 1970s, when satellite images were first used to study the region. NASA says that the extent of ice covering Arctic waters has fallen by 13 percent per decade. The 10 lowest ice minimums -- measured each September, after the summer thaw -- have all been recorded since 2007."
"Americans make up about 4.4 percent of the global population but own 42 percent of the world's guns. From 1966 to 2012, 31 percent of the gunmen in mass shootings worldwide were American."
"Our estimates are based on the results reported so far, the results of the previous election and demographic data. Unlike reported results, they attempt to account for precincts that have not yet reported their votes. The shaded area in the gauge below shows the range of our forecasts. Right now, our most likely estimates span Northam +12 to Northam +3.2. The darker region shows the middle 50 percent of our forecasts. The more we know, the narrower our range will be." [election night, Virginia governor's race, Nov 7, 2017, 7:02 pm]
"The more we emit now, scientists say, the more severe cuts will have to be later. That's because of the very long atmospheric lifetime of carbon dioxide, which means we can only emit a fixed amount in total if we want to stay within key climate goals ... Rahmstorf said there are currently about 600 billion remaining tons of carbon dioxide that can be emitted if the world is to have a good chance of keeping warming considerably below 2 degrees Celsius, and with some 40 billion tons of emissions each year, that leaves just 15 years."
"[Coffee is] one of the most important raw materials being traded globally. The market for roasted beans is worth over 50 billion euros and each year, around 1 trillion cups of coffee are drunk around the world. In Germany alone, each adult drinks an average of 162 liters annually."
"Creativity is broadly distributed. Opportunity is not. ... We do a pretty good job at identifying the kids who are good at throwing a football or playing a trumpet," Case said. "But we don't do a particularly good job of identifying the kids who have the potential of creating a phenomenal new product or service or invention."
"The U.S. has more foreign students enrolled in its colleges and universities than any other country in the world. ... From 2008 to 2016, the number of new foreign students at U.S. colleges and universities increased 104% — far outpacing overall college enrollment growth, which was 3.4% during the same period, according to U.S. Census Bureau data. ... Students from China, India and South Korea accounted for more than half (54%) of all newly enrolled foreign students pursuing degrees at U.S. colleges and universities in 2016."
"As of the end of 2016, 97 out of 167 countries (58%) with populations of at least 500,000 were democracies, and only 21 (13%) were autocracies, both post-World War II records. The rest either exhibited elements of both democracy and autocracy (26%) or were not rated. Broadly speaking, the share of democracies among the world's governments has been on an upward trend since the mid-1970s."
"The United States, to put it bluntly, has grown callous about the lives of its children. We mourn their deaths when they happen, of course. But it's an empty mourning, because it is not accompanied by any effort to prevent more suffering -- including straightforward steps that every other affluent nation has taken. Guns are a big part of the callousness, but only a part of it. They are one of three main reasons the United States has become 'the most dangerous of wealthy nations for a child to be born into,' according to a study in Health Affairs. The other two are vehicle crashes and infant mortality."
"Akamai's globally distributed Intelligent Platform allows us to gather enormous amounts of data on many metrics, including internet connection speeds, network connectivity/availability issues, and IPv6 adoption progress, as well as traffic patterns across leading web properties and digital media providers. Each quarter, Akamai publishes the State of the Internet Report based on this data. ... At a country/region level, South Korea continued to have the highest average connection speed in the world at 28.6 Mbps -- a 9.3% increase compared to the fourth quarter of 2016, while Singapore maintained its position as the country with the highest average peak connection speed at 184.5 Mbps."
"... with the help of software typically used by professors to nab cheating students, two writers have discovered an unpublished manuscript they believe the Bard of Avon consulted to write "King Lear," "Macbeth," "Richard III," "Henry V" and seven other plays."
"Based on a 30-year average, first leaf in the continental United States normally starts in the southern tip of Florida around the beginning of the second week of January, followed by South Texas about a week later. It usually reaches New York in early April. Parts of the high Rockies in Colorado, Wyoming, Utah and Montana are the last to show spring growth, at the end of May."
"The biggest racial preferences in this country have nothing to do with college admissions or job offers. They have to do with political power. These racial preferences are the ones that dictate the makeup of the United States Senate. Thanks to a combination of historical accident and racism, the Senate ... allows a minority of Americans — white Americans — to wield the power of a majority."
"Only about 60 percent of U.S. adult citizens voted in the last national election, a turnout that ranked in the bottom third of the world's developed countries."
"An updating estimate of the congressional generic ballot, based on polls that ask people which party they would support in an election."