Blog Posts by Book of Odds

  • Will the economy dampen your Halloween plans?


    Most adults in the US, 1 in 1.57, or 63.8% plan to celebrate Halloween this year doing a variety of activities. People report they will cutback on spending due to the state of the US economy. However planned expenditures per adult are actually increasing from $56.31 in 2009 to $68.21 in 2010, an 18% increase, but about the same as spending level as in 2008.

    The popularity of celebrating Halloween among adults (18 and over) has been increasing steadily, from 1 in 1.9 (52.5%) in 2005 to 1 in1.61 (62.1%) in 2010. Halloween is equally popular among men and woman, but more popular among the young. Adults 18-24 are the most enthusiastic about Halloween with the odds 1 in 1.21(82.9%). The odds decline slightly to 1 in 1.25 (80.1%) for adults 25 -34. Plans decline steadily with age and less than half, 1 in 2.56 (39.1%) of those 65 and older

    The most popular Halloween activity is handing out candy to trick-or-treaters, with 1 in 1.39 (72.2%) of adults in America who plan to celebrate

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  • Divorce court

    The supermodel and the billionaire seemed headed for a nasty divorce. For months, Stephanie Seymour and Peter Brant had traded sensational accusations: he'd changed the locks on their Connecticut mansion, tried to spy on her, and worked to turn their three children against her; she'd been through rehab twice, stolen and destroyed objects from his art collection, and cheated on him.

    Suddenly, after more than a year of public feuding, they decided to reconcile. Why?

    The couple asked "that their privacy be respected." But if Brant is a typical man, here's one likely reason: he didn't want to get screwed in divorce court. The odds a man will report that he thinks that men get screwed by the courts in divorce are 1 in 1.22, or 82%.

    It's not always a case of he-said, she-said. A fair number of women, 1 in 2.5, agree that men get screwed. On the other hand, 1 in 2.27 women think the two sexes get fair and equal treatment, while just 1 in 6.25 men think so.

    Incidentally, those

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  • Can women reduce the risk of breast cancer if her relatives have it?

    The good news is the vast majority of women will not develop breast cancer in their lifetime - 88% based on data from the National Cancer Institute. But some face a higher risk than others, including women with one or more first degree relatives (mothers, daughters, and sisters) who have developed the disease.

    Breast cancer develops from mutations in cancer-associated genes, and a few of those gene mutations are associated with a family history of breast cancer. Can anything be done to reduce that risk?

    A major meta-analysis (a study pooling data from multiple studies) by the Collaborative Group on Hormonal Factors in Breast Cancer set out to quantify the increase in risk when one or more first degree relatives have been diagnosed with breast cancer and determine what factors, if any, can influence that risk. It turns out, among women with one or more first degree relatives with breast cancer, the risks vary by several factors, and some are controllable.

    Number of

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  • Breasts, glorious breasts


    Ah, breasts: They can nourish our babies, hold up even the slinkiest of strapless dresses, and get us served in crowded bars. Pre-adolescent girls eagerly await their arrival, and yet once they're there, a majority of women spend the rest of their lives wishing they were different. That's right, the odds a woman 18-65 is unsatisfied with her breasts are 1 in 1.43-that's 70%!

    And since breasts, unlike the most attended-to male appendage, are always available for public observation-unless they are hidden beneath a burqa or some other tent-like garment-their shape, their size, and their perkiness (or droopiness) quotient are always being scrutinized.

    Conventional wisdom suggests that heterosexual men are enticed by big breasts. Maybe it's an Oedipal thing, who knows? Whatever the reason, a full-busted woman has been known to attract far more attention than her lesser-endowed girlfriends.

    But does size really matter? After all, it was French men who advised us that the ideal

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  • Breast cancer: Know the odds


    Pink, the traditional color of baby girls and fairy princesses, has also become synonymous with breast cancer. Pink ribbons pinned to pink t-shirts have certainly contributed to heightened public awareness of the condition, and nationwide events like the hugely popular Susan G. Komen Race for the Cure® and the Yoplait yogurt Save Lids to Save Lives® pink lid campaign allow everyone to get involved. With the 1 in 8.23 odds that a female will receive a medical diagnosis of breast cancer in her lifetime, chances are high the disease will touch your life, or the life of someone you know. Even men have a 1 in 769.2 chance of being diagnosed with breast cancer.

    For all the instant recognizability of pink and the outpouring of public support, many people do not know much about breast cancer. Unlike with many other kinds of cancer, there are no easily identifiable breast cancer risk factors. While hormone therapy, obesity, alcohol consumption, and genetics have been found to increase a

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  • How safe are children's toys?


    The Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC) has announced the recall of more than 10 million toys made by Fisher-Price®, including approximately 7 million Trikes and Tough Trikes toddler tricycles, 950,000 Healthy Care, Easy Clean, and Close to Me High Chairs, and around 100,000 Little People Wheelies and Stand 'n Play Rampways. In addition, approximately 2.8 million infant toys featuring inflatable balls, including Baby Playzone Crawl and Cruise Playground and Baby Gymtastics Play Wall, have been recalled. The complete list, including pictures and descriptions of the products, can be found at the CPSC website.

    The massive recall is being done in cooperation with the manufacturer.

    The odds that a child will die due to an accident involving toys in a year are relatively low: just 1 in 2,755,000 for children younger than 15, thanks in part to years of stringent standards imposed by the Child Safety Protection Act of 1994. The odds a child will end up in the ER in a year for

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  • The most sexual partners in history

    What's your number?

    It's not uncommon for people to have 15 or more sexual partners in their lifetime: 1 in 10.87 women and 1 in 4.42 men 15-44 have had as many. But some people go through way more than that-hundreds or thousands, possibly tens of thousands of sexual partners in a lifetime.

    Who are they? Who are the contenders for, and who holds, the all-time record for most sexual partners? What's the greatest number of partners possible?

    Having sex with thousands of people is, let's face it, a little ridiculous. Only 1 in 25 women and 1 in 33.33 men are even comfortable with their partner hitting the century mark-having had 100 previous partners. But thousands? Alfred Kinsey met many men who claimed to have slept with 1,000+ men or women. Prostitutes-and, if we can believe 'em, Gene Simmons and Charlie Sheen-may reach 5,000 or so.

    But 10,000+ sex partners? Whittling that many notches into a bedpost would require some seriously unique conditions. And a lot of time. And

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  • Lets talk about sex...Revenge sex


    revenge sex;revenge sex;

    When Oracle President Charles E. Phillips reconciled with his wife, his longtime mistress shelled out a fortune to get her revenge. YaVaughnie Wilkins, dubbed a " vengeance-by-billboard artist" by the website Gawker, reportedly paid around $250,000 to hoist photos of her and Phillips high above the streets of New York City and Atlanta. The billboards also advertised a website which was plastered with 8 years' worth of love notes, postcards, ticket stubs, and tons more photos, including of the mansion YaVaughnie and Charles had allegedly once shared.

    "Vengeance is an act of justice," according to the 18th century writer Samuel Johnson. "Revenge is the act of passion." As we know, justice often doesn't come cheap, and given that not everyone has the bucks for a billboard, many spurned lovers turn to a free alternative. And it may or may not involve a little passion.

    We're talking revenge sex. It's ugly, but we all know it's out there. A guy gets dumped by his girlfriend, and

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  • How common is workplace sexual harassment?


    The Mad Men days of chasing the secretary around the desk may be (mostly) past, but sexual harassment remains common in the 21st century workplace. Even though most companies have explicit anti-sexual harassment policies, the odds an employed female reports ever experiencing it at work are 1 in 5.88. (Women file the majority of sexual harassment claims-1 in 1.19, or 84%.) The board of computer giant Hewlett Packard recently fired the company's CEO, Mark Hurd, on charges of sexual misconduct, and the public sector is far from immune; the executive director of Philadelphia's housing authority was accused in April 2010 of "serial predatory sexual misconduct."

    Though high-profile cases like those continue to crop up, many men have become sensitive to the inappropriateness of sexually suggestive behavior, especially towards subordinates. The odds a man will report that he is very careful about not giving others grounds for an accusation of sexual harassment in the workplace are 1 in

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  • Who should pay for the date?


    It's not always easy to know what to do when the check comes.

    Dating etiquette can be slippery on this point. Every few generations, it seems like the rules change completely. Need proof? Crack a courtship manual from the 1800's, and you'll find nuggets like: "A lady, for instance, cannot with propriety accept presents from a gentleman previously to his having made proposals of marriage." Yikes.

    Chivalry may have a new look these days-few waistcoats are thrown onto mud puddles anymore-but picking up the tab can still make a nice impression. Yet splitting the check isn't so unforgiveable, either. With so many different expectations out there today, and with the true cost of the date on the line, what makes the difference between effective courtship and date-night suicide, wallet-wise?

    Occasionally a date will see things in black-and-white-1 in 10 women believes a man should pay for every single date, and 1 in 6.25 men agrees that he should-but more often than not they can be

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