Sunday, September 12, 2010

A chronicle of continuing uncertainty.

Post 558 - Instead of letting these observations plant visions in your sleepless future, remember that correlations deduced from observational studies do not - in fact, cannot - prove causation. All you can really do with data from an observational study is to form a hypothesis, which must then be tested in randomized, controlled trials, to ferret out the truth about whether or not x actually causes y.

These weekly collections aren't always cheerful. However, as Berthold Brecht wrote,
And in the dark times
Will there be singing?
There will be singing.
About the dark times.

U.S. Hotels have been hit hard by the recession. Hotel occupancy fell 8.2 percentage points between 2007 and 2009, and revenue per room fell 18.3 percent, according to Smith Travel Research.

Despite small gains from the previous month, Chief Executive Magazine's CEO confidence in the economy continued to be weak. The monthly CEO Confidence Index rose slightly in August, gaining 9.4 points to 89.2. Apparently, the government stimulus package failed to stimulate CEO confidence.

Almost no one (<1%) trusts company advertisements or statements made on packaging when trying to understand if a product or company is or does what it says. Consumers are much more likely (57%-100%) to trust third parties or themselves 'a lot/the most' than company ads. And 73% consider both product and company claims when making a purchase.

Time spent on Facebook was greater than time spent on Google sites in the U.S. in August 2010 for the first time in history, according to fresh data from comScore. Meanwhile, Yahoo continues its slide from the top of the heap to the bottom.

Make sure your home is properly covered for a disaster For many people, their home is their greatest asset. Yet studies show that 59 percent of today's homes are underinsured by an average of 22 percent.

The number one source of calories in the U.S. comes from high fructose corn syrup primarily in the form of soda. Americans drink an average of one gallon of soda each week, and this excessive fructose consumption is a driving force behind obesity and chronic degenerative disease in this country. surveyed 5,000 women worldwide on the sexiest accents around the world. Here are the results....
1. Irish
2. Italian
3. Scottish
4. French
5. Australian
6. British
7. Swedish
8. Spanish
9. Welsh
10. American

38 percent of America’s carbon dioxide emissions come from commercial buildings and homes. The market for green construction should reach $140 billion by 2013, up from 49 billion in 2008.

A popular estimate of the number of human beings who have ever lived on the planet earth is around 106 billion.

Apple is selling just as many computers to college students as Dell, according to a survey from Daniel Ernst at Hudson Square Research, via Fortune. Ernst says 38 percent of students that bought a computer in the last three months bought a Mac, up from 14 percent in 2007. Ernst surveyed 212 students at seven different universities. It would be easy to dismiss these numbers based on small sample size, but Ernst's research matches a report from Student Monitor which surveyed 1,200 students at 100 schools.

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