Numbers Don't Lie

Tuesday, January 31, 2006

Can Omega-3 fatty acids make kids popular ?

Starting this year, 38 boys at Eaton Hall Special School in Norwich, UK will take the fish oil every day for six months and their behavior will be monitored. Fish oils are known rich in Omega-3, a kind of fatty acid.
It turned out after studying the effects of Omega-3 intake on 9,000 mothers and their children, researchers found taking enough Omega-3 fatty acid can not only boost children's brain power (by 6 point in verbal IQ), motor skills, but also social skills. Low intake of the crucial fatty acid appeared to lead to more problems of social interactions - such as an inability to make friends.
Research showed 14% of 17-year-olds whose mother had eaten small quantities of Omega -3 during pregnancy demonstrated this sort of behavior. This compared with 8% of those born to the group with the highest intake.
Well, after genes, you are what you eat.


Obesity epidemic of US

Americans spend around $50 billion every year trying to lose weight, 3 in 10 Americans belong to a gym or health club, still, 60% of the U.S. population aged 20 and older is obese, and almost 400,000 Americans die due to obesity every year.

Source: How We Get Fat , Socratic Technologies


Girls Rule !

According to a recent article, boys across the nation and in every demographic group are falling behind. In elementary school, boys are 2 times more likely than girls to be diagnosed with learning disabilities, and 2 times as likely to be placed in special-education classes. High-school boys are losing ground to girls on standardized writing tests. And on college campuses, men who 30 years ago represented 58% of the undergraduate student body now make up only 44%.
During past few years, women have been launching their own business at 2 the rate as men. Between 1997-2004, the estimated growth rate in the women-owned firms was 2 times that of all firms (17% vs. 9%), and the employment at women-owned firms expanded at the 2 times the rate of all firms (24% vs. 125).


Monday, January 30, 2006

How forgetful are alcohol drinkers ?

Adolescent drinkers showed 10% decrease in ability to recall information, comparing with those who don't drink.
Based on the measuremnet done on teenage drinkers, the size of hippocampus of drinkers is 10% smaller than non-drinker. Hippocampus is the part of brain that handles memory and learning.

Source: Health Magazine, January/Febuary, 2006


Sunday, January 29, 2006

The dumbest reason to buy a stock

When shopping, we all look for values; but when buying stocks, 90% of us, estimated by author and investor Robert Kiyosaki, invest for stocks' price movement, not value.

In case you haven't heard before, let me write down here what Warren Buffett once said: "The dumbest reason in the world to buy a stock is because it's going up."


Saturday, January 28, 2006

Web users are quick to judge

Internet users can take just 0.05 second to decide whether they like the look of a website, research found, and this first impression have a lasting impact. In comparison, it takes a human 0.05 second to read one word. This result suggests that humans make very quick judgements based on some sort of emotional reaction, which is independent from our cognitive system. This ability to respond rapidly may help us human dealing with dangerous situations in the evolutionary terms, but it makes web designer's job much tougher.


Friday, January 27, 2006

Are Venice's museums more stimulating than Viagra?

In year 2000, the Roman Institute of Psychology released the results of a national (Italy) study involving 2,000 museum visitors. They found 20% of those visitors had embarked on an "erotic adventure" in a museum. Researcher called this kind of emotional arousal the ‘Rubens Syndrome’, a term derived from the sensuous, superannuated nudes painted by the Old Master. Researcher also believe the percentage number could be higher for foreigners from more emotionally contained countries.
In comparison, the study show Italy’s irresistible museums are more erotically charged than nightclubs, where 18% of respondents reported encounters.


Thursday, January 26, 2006

Male intelligence and sexual prowess

A study found that males, at least among bat species, make an evolutionary trade-off between intelligence and sexual prowess.
In bat species with monogamous females, males had testes (reproductive gland) ranged at 0.11% - 1.4% of their body weight, and brain size was about 2.6% of body weight; but for species where the females had a large number of mates, males had testes ranged at 0.6% - 8.5% of their body weight, and brain size dipped to 1.9% of body weight. Bats invest an enormous amount of energy in testis, and the investment has to come from somewhere.
I don't have similar numbers for other mammals (including humans). Care to guess, anyone ?


Wednesday, January 25, 2006

The naked truth

54% of women said they think about weight and fitness while in shower. For men, you guessed it, they split their time day dreaming about sex (57%), and thinking about work (57%).
Source: Olay Shower Secrets Survey


Tuesday, January 24, 2006

Health bits

23% -- the increases of obesity risk for every 2 hours of TV watching per day.
50% -- the increase in heart attack risk caused by exposure to noise from traffic.


Blue Monday

Researchers observed that the risk of a heart attack is 33% higher on Monday than on any other day, because of the suddenly rising stress of work. Suicides are also 10% higher on Monday than the weekly average, caused by mood changes.


Monday, January 23, 2006

How long it takes a man to decide if a woman is worth a second date?

Men take only 15 minutes to decide if a woman is worth a second date. For women, it take an hour or so to decide whether to get together again.
Here are some other US dating statistics from the source:
63% percent of married couples meet through friends;
44 % of adult Americans are single (so pretty much everyone have a chance to find someone if looking hard enough);
40 % of those singles use online dating services. A latest add-on to the dating service industry is a web site exclusively for isolated farmers, it received more that 10,000 hits a day when the news broke out last year.
It is nice to be a man - there are 86 unmarried men for every 100 unmarried women.


Saturday, January 21, 2006

No link between glioma and mobile use

Brain tumous are pure biological phenomena, mobil phone are physical devices, I never believed that mobil phone will cause brain tumour.
A recent study of 2,782 people across the UK found 0 (none, zero) link between the risk of glioma - the most common type of brain tumour - and length of mobile use.
Among cancer sufferers the tumours were more likely to be reported on the side of the head where they held the phone, but this study said people over-reported phone use on the side their cancer developed.


Friday, January 20, 2006

Which one is cleaner - a office desk or a office toilet ?

There's 400 times the amount of bacteria on your desk than there is on your office toilet.
Source: Elisa Zied, American Dietetic Association spokesperson and registered dietician.


Thursday, January 19, 2006

Drugs and genders

42% vs. 29% - the percentage of risk of suffering major depression that can be attributed to genes, in women vs. Men, according to a study by researchers from Virinia Commonwealth University School of Medicine.

Another study found that Aspirin can reduce men's heart-attack risk by 34%, but it has no impact on men's stroke; for women, Aspirin can reduce their stroke risk by 17%, but it is not effective against women's heart attack. (Source: heard from WBBM780 - a Chicago radio station.)

Currently, when Doctors describe drugs for patients, they don't distinguish men from women. They only distinguish children from adults. Given the fact that men and women having different physical makeup (as shown above), I think we should re-evaluate all drugs to see how different they are when it comes to different genders.


Eating lunch at desk - distasteful

Instead of enjoying the sunshine, physical activity and socializing, 75% of US office workers in eat lunch at their desks ( or bacteria buffet) as often as two or three times a week, a survey from the American Dietetic Association finds.


Wednesday, January 18, 2006

Marrying for money works

A study shows that a person who marries — and stays married — accumulates nearly 2 times more personal wealth as a person who is single or divorced. A big reason married people accumulate more wealth than others is simple economies of scale — one household is cheaper to maintain than two.

For those who divorced, they lose, on average, 3/4 of their personal net worth. This is due to costs associated with divorce and starting over.


How many descendants did Genghis Khan has ?

Genghis Khan, the Mongol emperor who conquered most of Asia in the 13th century and has nearly 16 million descendants, said Dan Bradley, the scientists from Trinity College Dublin. Here is the proof: scientist found recently that 8% of men in the central Asia shared the same Y chromosome as the dynasty linked to Genghis Khan. Mind you that Y chromosome is always passed on from fathers to sons.
Dan Bradley and his team also found that this kind of 'Genghis Khan Effect' existed in Ireland, where Niall of the Nine Hostages (a 5th-century warlord) has 3 million men worldwide among his offspring.
There used to be a link between profligacy and power. But now, if you're successful you don't always have more children.


Tuesday, January 17, 2006

Idle hands

According to a 2005 survey conducted by Siroto Survey Intelligence (Purchase, N.Y.), employees with 'too little work' were 43% satisfied with their jobs; for people with 'too much work' to do, the satisfaction rate is 60%.


What to stop worrying about ?

According to David Ropeik of Harvard Center for Risk Analysis, people's fear are often out of proportion with actual risk. For instance, people are scared of sharks attack, but the odds of becoming a shark snack are only 1 in 3.7 million. In contrast, the odds of dying in a car crash are 1 in 88, but few people are afraid to drive. Sharks attack stick in our heads because they are rare and make news. For car accidents, we are so used to it that we no longer sensitive to it.
In 2002-2003, SARS has killed 774 people(none in US), yet it's scary, since it's unfamiliar. Good old influenza doesn't faze us as much, but in the US it kills 36,000 a year.


Monday, January 16, 2006

The up side of spoiling children

The up side for spoiling children is that parent may bring up future managers and leaders, according to experts at the Institute of Psychology in Rome. Of the 300 successful managers interviewed, 62% confessed they were spoiled by parents in their childhood and got all they asked for. In general, spoiled children are generally more confident about themselves. They grow up with the idea that there is always a second chance for them and that they can always ask more from people.


TV ruin your sex life

You already know this, don't you ? -- a study by an Italian sexologist has found that couples watch TV in their bedroom have sex 1/2 as often as those who don't. Violent films on TV will put a stop to sexual relations for 1/2 of all couples.


Fat People Rule?

With about 2/3 of U.S. adults overweight, Americans seem more accepting of heavier body types, a recent NPD survey shows. Over a 20-year period, the percentage of Americans who said they find overweight people less attractive steadily dropped from 55% to 24%.


Sunday, January 15, 2006

Marriage and life span

Marriages shorten women's average life span by 7 years, in comparision with un-married women. For men, the reversal is true. Marriages elongate their life's span up to 7 years, in comparision with un-married men.

Heard from: Delilah, a Chicago's radio station host


Why the elderly are more car-accident prone

Starting at their 60s, many people will lose some of their eyesight and the ability to judge the speed of oncoming cars. Complex judgments, like executing a quick left turn, can take these driver 50% more time than they take a 20-year-old. Also, The average 75-year-old needs at least 3 times more light than a 25-year-old to see the same objects.

Source: Reader Digest (July, 2003)


Songs that crawl in your head and stay

According to a University of Cincinnati survey, 98% of us have had a song stuck in our heads to an irritating degree. Those kind of song tend to be simple with a repeating melody or motif, which triggers brain to repeat it on its own. One of the worst offenders is a song called "It's a Small World".


Kissing to the right

Onur Gunturkun (a psychologist at Ruhr University), after spying on kissing couples in US, Germany and Turkey, found that when couples kissing, 65% tilt their head to the right, while 35% went left.
Here is the explanation from Onur Gunturkun: before born, we as fetuses in the womb begin to tilt heads, usually to the right. Most of us the grow to favor the right hand, foot, eye and ear.


Saturday, January 14, 2006

Smoldering embers ?

29% of us think about a former love at least once a week.

Source: American Consumer Opinion, 2003


Friday, January 13, 2006

Men's mind-set toward medicine

According to a recent Lou Harris poll, men were 3 times more likely than women to avoid doctors when they had persistent minor medical symptoms.
Men's (this kind) of mind-set toward medicine may partially explains why, of every 100,000 people, 297 men die of heart disease each year, but just 163 women. Cancer, likewise, takes 238 men per 100,000 compared to 163 women.


Teens' career choice

4% of teenage girls chose engineering as their top career choices, according to the 2006 Lemelson-MIT Invention Index, which gauges Americans' attitudes toward invention and innovation. The most popular choice for teen girls are medicine or health care careers (25%). For teen boys, engineering is the No.1 choices (24%).
While believing in the power of science and technology, only 9% of teenages want to grow up as scientists.


Tuesday, January 10, 2006

Are people happier than before ?

Here is the latest survey from University of Chicago's National Opinion Research Center - there's more misery in people's lives today than a decade ago. Overall, the percentage who reported at least one significant negative life event increased from 88% to 92%. Most of the problems were related to increased incidents of illness and the inability to afford medical care; mounting bills; unemployment; and troubled romantic relationships.
Remember happiness is in the gene ? (or money can't buy happiness.)


Music and personality

Compared with other music fans, opera aficionados are 3 times more likely to endorse suicide as a solution to family dishonor, according to Steven Stack, a prolific social science research authors at Wayne State University. Stack explains dramatic personalities are drawn to opera, not influenced by it.

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Win in high school, lose in life ?

Gallup's pollsters asked about 1000 adults whether they think popularity during the teen years correlates with success later. 37% of respondents said kids who were popular in high school end up being less successful than those who were not popular. 25% of respondents, echoing the conventional wisdom, said the popular kids wind up more successful. 24% scored it a tie.


Americans are in debt

The average US. Houshold carry 12 to13 credit cards, with average of $7,200 outstanding balance on those cards, which charged average of 18% interest rate.
Source -


Sunday, January 08, 2006

How many new titles (books) are published each day ?

There are about 490 new titles are now published every day in US. It is believed that less than 1 in 100 books that are submitted for publication actually end up in the print; some experts place it at 1 in 1,000 books.

It has been estimated that only 10% of books published ever end up selling enough copies to earn back the advance paid to the author.
There are 24 million people in the US describe themselves as creative writers, but less than 5% of these writers have ever published.
Source: Brian Hill & Dee Power, authors of "The making of a bestseller"


Saturday, January 07, 2006

How long did you dream last night ?

The average person usually spends more than 2 hours every night dreaming.

Source: National Institute of Neurological Disorders and Stroke


Friday, January 06, 2006

Women initiate 2/3 of divorces.
Source: Dalma Heyn, author


Thursday, January 05, 2006

Erotic images cause car accidents

You guessed it, and researcher have recently measured it - erotic images (those smutty underwear billboard, etc.) on the roadside cause about 0.5 second of distraction, which might be the reason for some car accidents on busy streets. People being shown shocking photographs tend to miss the images that come right after - the so called emotion induced blindness.

Source: Psychology Today, Jan. 2006


American Teens

31% of American teenagers believe they'll become famous on day.
20% of teens would like to be the president.
Source: Psychology Today, Jan. 2006.


Humans are 98% chimp

In Sept. 2005, the 1st analytical comparisons of the chimpanzee and human genomes were published in Nature. The results were unsettling: man is 98.77% chimpanzee. Since chimps and humans parted ways on the evolutionary chart about 6 millions years ago, most Homo sapiens proteins have accumulated a grand total of 1 unique change.

Of course, humans are not merely chimps. This Nature's publication revealed that natural selection didn't go about redesigning us base pair by base pair; rather, by changing how our genes are expressed (when, where, how much). By so doing natural selection achieved profound effects with minimal rewriting.

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Tuesday, January 03, 2006

How many people got killed because of drunk driving ?

17,000 people were killed, and 1/2 million people were injured in 2005 due to drunk driving. Source:


Not getting over it

Women are more likely than men to resent their mothers -- 26% of women and 19% of men resent their mothers. Feelings of resentment fluctuate over time.



Discrimination at workplace

15 % of US workers have experienced some form of discrimination in the workplace in 2005, according to a Gallup Poll conducted in conjunction with the 40th anniversary of the establishment of the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC). Promotion and salary are most likely areas of discrimination.
The poll found that women are more than twice as likely to report that they have been discriminated against in the 2005 (22%) as are men (9%). Asians, within other racial and ethnic groups, are almost triple as likely to complain that they have been discriminated (31%) against as are whites (12%).


Will you take flight for new career opportunities in 2006 ?

76% of employees are looking for new employment opportunities, according to the recent 2005 U.S. Job Recovery and Retention Survey released by the Society for Human Resource Management . Sixty-five percent of HR professionals indicated they were concerned about the voluntary resignations at their organizations. To prevent a mass exodus, almost half of the organizations surveyed are implementing special retention processes to keep their employees.
As far as I can remember, the percentage of employees looking for new jobs is always greater than 50% in any given time. There is probably a modest job growth in 2006; this means only small fraction of those 76% of employees can really get new jobs. Unless, which is very unlikely, everybody jump ships at the same times, like playing the music chair game.


Husbands and wives

Husbands tend to estimate family wealth 10% higher than their wives do. Men place higher values on assets, while women do the same with debt.
Source: Jay Zagorsky, Ohio State University

Wives are more likely than husbands to eat food that has fallen on the floor.


Sunday, January 01, 2006

Terminal Illness

29% of JFK (New York) airport travelers didn't wash their hand in the bathroom; that number was 26% for passengers in O'Hare (Chicago) or San Francisco airport, 19% for Dallas/Fort Worth, but only 4% for passengers in Toronto.