Lesson learned: The first half of a New York Times headline sounded just great, “Air travel surges by 123 percent!” But read on: “(Beware of misleading data like that)”
Marking the rise and fall of events by using percentages is an old dodge in the misinformation game. Economist Neil Irwin explains why you have to look behind the headlines, at the raw numbers — especially in these unusual times.
Air travel has surged. In one week the number of U.S. passengers rose from 95,000 to 212,500. Indeed, a hefty increase. But to put the increase in perspective, during the same week last year, 2.4 million passengers went through the same turnstiles.
“Get ready for the same effect to apply to all sorts of numbers — most notably with economic data,” cautions Irwin. Read the whole story here and become a more-skeptical consumer of news.
“Fresh Air: How Meditation Can Ease Pandemic Anxiety” How timely is this? Terry Gross interviews Dan Harris, an ABC News correspondent and meditation advocate. Harris approaches the practical values of meditation — a way to understand your fears and stresses and recognize them when they arise. Says Harris: “Meditation doesn’t make the uncertainty go away. It’s not like I meditate and I’m walking through this pandemic like a unicorn barfing rainbows all the time.”
“The Daily: Trump’s purge of the watchdogs” New York Times White House reporter Maggie Haberman talks about the Friday night firing of Inspector General Steve Linick and others by Trump since taking office. Linck was close to finishing a report on the possibly illegal sale of billions of dollars in weapons to Saudi Arabia. Other independent watchdogs who Trump feels were disloyal to him have been fired.
“PRETTY COOL PUZZLE,” said Tom ICILY:
New York Times Crossword puzzle for May 19: Finished in 34:58. Fairly easy clues and a fun wordplay theme — adverbs that sync with the clues. An example, “You’re making a grave mistake,” said Tom ________________. Answer: CRYPTICALLY.
These little punsters even have a name in Crossword circles (or squares): “Tom Swifties.” Some more examples: “I just ran over my father,” Tom said transparently. And “Let’s gather up the rope,” said Tom coyly.
Left the building on a mission today. Went to pick up the mail. There was none. Stopped into Ahoro pharmacy to restock medications. They had everything in stock! And dropped by Dusty Puppies to pick up Moppit from her spa day — a bath and summer grooming. Because, man, it is hot out there.
Geeky joke created collaboratively with my hometown and Facebook pal Marybeth Valentine:
Question: What do you do on a Mobius treadmill?
Get it? Maybe this drawing by M.C. Escher will help:
Anyways. The point is, I designed an exercise program this morning, inspired by M.C Escher and my own growing lunacy, I suppose. It may or may not be a gag. We’ll have to wait and see if I actually make use of it.
See, we have five staircases around our house, mostly outside. They have a total of 177 steps and require 108 walking steps to connect them all. So I created a circuit of ups and downs and walkarounds and named it M.C. Escher-cise. Marybeth suggested the “Mobius treadmill” a play on the infinite loop we used to marvel at as kids.