Saturday, July 19, 2008

The Odds Are Better and Worse Than You Think

If we were to believe all the government and scientific studies warning us of the danger of this and that, what innocuous item or substance we have using for years and survived will kill us, we would never leave our homes, breath the air, drink the water, eat the food, and would, in fact, have died out as a species years ago.

Not long ago, we were all going to die from bird flu, West Nile virus, preservatives in hot dogs and baloney, even newsprint would cause cancer to kill us. But really, the chances of any particular danger actually harming or killing any particular person is minuscule. We love the odds, though.

Natalie Josef at Divine Caroline was recently describing the amusement her friends brought by buying lottery tickets in the mistaken belief this was a good retirement strategy. She came up with these odds of various dangers and stupidities faced by all of us everyday.
Odds of dying from a dog bite: 1 in 20 million
Odds of becoming a saint: 1 in 20 million

Odds of becoming president: 1 in 10,000,000
Odds of dying from parts falling off an airplane: 1 in 10,000,000

Odds you will be injured by a toilet this year: 1 in 10,000
Odds of finding a four-leaf clover on the first try: 1 in 10,000

Odds of spotting a UFO today: 1 in 3,000,000
Odds of dying from food poisoning: 1 in 3,000,000

Odds of dying from a shark attack: 1 in 300,000,000
Odds of dying from Measles: 1 in 300,000,000

Odds of a child being in a fatal automobile accident: 1 in 23,000
Odds of being wrongly declared dead by a Social Security data entry mistake: 1 in 23,483

Odds of writing a New York Times best seller: 1 in 220
Odds of dating a millionaire: 1 in 215

Odds of getting AIDS from heterosexual sex without using a condom: 1 in 5,000,000
Odds of dying from contact with hot tap water: 1 in 5,005,564

Odds of winning an Academy Award: 1 in 11,500
Odds of bowling a 300 game: 1 in 11,500

Odds of injury from using a chain saw: 1 in 4464
Odds of dying on a bicycle: 1 in 4472

Odds of being murdered: 1 in 18,000
Odds of dying in a car accident: 1 in 18,585

Odds of getting arthritis: 1 in 7
Odds you don’t have health insurance: 1 in 7

Odds of dying from heart disease: 1 in 3
Odds of an American woman developing cancer in her lifetime: 1 in 3

Odds that you will die from the collision of an asteroid hitting the earth in the next one hundred years: 1 in 500,000
Odds of a non-felon being murdered with a gun: 1 in 500,000
Odds of being in a plane crash: 1 in 500,000
I'm comforted to know the odds of being hit by falling airplane parts are so low because I live under the landing pattern of John Wayne Airport. On the otherhand, I'm now afraid of my toilet.

My father died last September, but Social Security insists my Mom died. Big sister is battling the bureaucracy to un-dead our mother. By the time she gets un-deaded, Mom will probably have passed and the Social Security will prosecute big sister for perpetrating a fraud.

The odds of being scalded to death by hot tap water may be very small, but that is no comfort to Jaquez Mason, killed by his mother in a scalding hot water bath. He was only three.

There's a small chance of dying in an asteroid strike, but former Apollo astronaut, Rusty Schweickart, is heading a campaign to track nearly 3000 NEOs, near Earth objects, 97% of which will never hit Earth. It's the 3% that might perhaps someday hit Earth. "It’s Schweickart’s view that for those pondering whether or not the threat of NEO impacts is “a real issue” and whether it needs to be dealt with now, the proper answer to both queries is “yes” and “yes.” He believes the asteroid diversion project will save the planet.

Quite frankly, though, I thought my chances at sainthood were alot better.


h/t to Indigo Rose for the Odds story.



The life of Indigo Red is full of adventure. Tune in next time for the Further Adventures of Indigo Red.

7 comments:

The Griper said...

john kerry beat the odds twice. he not only dated millionaires he married them. what's the odds of that?

Gayle said...

Good grief, Indigo! Your mother didn't die and she has to prove it? That's got to be absolutely frustrating!

I have a question though: How does one get injured by one's toilet?

Indigo Red said...

By the same token, Griper, Kerry shot himself on three separate occassions in VietNam and failed to kill himself. What are the odds?

Knowing my sister, it's probably more amusing than frustrating, Gayle.

Another website claimed that 40,000 Americans are injured every year by their toilets. I can only guess the toilets were defending themselves or perhaps were abused when they just bidets and grew up to be attack toilets. Whatever, no toilet is created evil. They must be taught to harm. At least, that's what my Liberal friends tell me.

Anonymous said...

Toilets don't kill people. People kill people. They will get my toilet when they pry it off my cold dead butt!

Indigo Red said...

LOL! Early morning laugh sets the day. Thanks, Anonymous.

Mike's America said...

What are the odds that the "news" media will cover the election fairly?

Indigo Red said...

That would be the same as the odds of Hell freezing over, what with gllobal warming and all.