Someone’s lying to you. What are the odds you can tell? If you’re like the average person, not as good as you probably think. In fact, they’re only about 1 in 1.85, just a little better than a totally random 50-50. That’s according to Paul Kelly, a former Secret Service Special Agent, who served as a course … Read more
It’s become a familiar scene on campuses around the country: a crowd of college women loitering on the green, with hardly a man in sight. But these aren’t women’s colleges—they’re co-ed institutions, where women now so outnumber men that admissions officers are beginning to fret. Today, females make up about 57% of undergraduates, an enormous … Read more
Accidents and death can come suddenly and can shake our worlds. From car accidents to falls down the stairs, acts of terrorism to lightning strikes, unexpected injuries and deaths affect us all. What are the most common causes of accidents and accidental deaths? What are the odds of dying in a year? What should you … Read more
The kiss is one of the most intimate forms of human expression, and there are myriad types. These include the affectionate kiss that parents give to children, the reverential peck that Catholics bestow upon the ring of the Pope, the platonic kind used to greet friends, and, of course, the vigorous cheek-pinch-and-kiss combo practiced by … Read more
Unintentional poisoning is a cause of death with a quiet prevalence. The suspected role of unintentional poisoning in celebrity deaths has garnered headlines that span several decades, from Elvis Presley to Heath Ledger. What is less publicized is the effect unintentional poisoning has on the general population. Today, the odds an accidental death was caused … Read more
Fear of crime: it’s on the rise. But violent crime is dropping. Why the disconnect? We should feel safer. The FBI has been reporting reductions in violent crime for several years. The rate—which covers murder, manslaughter, rape, robbery, and assault—has dropped steadily, from 469 per 100,000 inhabitants in 2005 to 454.5 in 2008. But if anything, we feel less safe. According to … Read more
The odds a person will be killed by a tornado in a year are 1 in 4,513,000. It’s not at all likely you will be killed by a tornado. Or as Dr. Joshua Wurman puts it: “Suicide by tornado would be very inefficient.” Wurman is so confident he will survive an up-close encounter with a … Read more
SETH BAUER Seth has been a magazine and website editor at the forefront of social trends: The Green Guide for National Geographic and Body+Soul for Martha Stewart among them. Seth was the editor-in-chief of Book of Odds in 2009 and contributed articles and blogs. He’s also been an entrepreneur (Cooler, Inc.), and an unusual kind … Read more
Health & Illness, for many of us, is a topic constantly on our minds. Here you will find odds relating to health conditions, diseases, treatments, and potential outcomes. With topics including cancer, diabetes, health insurance, birth and much more, the Health and Illness portal concerns the lives and wellbeing of everyone, yourself included.
Explore the factors that shape our society in Relationships & Society. From institutions to interpersonal relationships, we address questions like: Who are we as individuals and as a nation? How do people define themselves and their links to society? How do people support themselves, both financially and emotionally? Find many of these answers here.