It’s All About Execution…and Other Things As Well

Let me say something.  The death penalty is dumb.  And slow.  And really, really, F*$cking expensive.

California alone has spent over $4 billion on it since 1978.  Capital crime trials, appeals, extra security, and all the myriad of things associated with the death penalty slow the process down and cause the costs to balloon.

Now, thanks to this law firm you can compare your salary with those costs and really see exactly how expensive it can be.  Fun…

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Interestingly, they found that despite the billions spent on the death penalty, California has only executed 13 prisoners – a whopping $307.7 million per execution.


The Ups and Downs of the Great Recession

First, we had the great depression.  Then, after a series of large and small scale economic crises – along with the occasional bursting bubble (I’m looking at you dotcoms) – we had the “Great Recession” of the late 2000′s.

According to the New York Times, most of the jobs lost due to the recession have been regained but not all industries have made a full – or even partial – recovery.  By smashing 255 separate charts into one mega-ultra-fancy one, The Upshot gives us a peak at the haves and the have nots of recession recovery.

Economic Recovery


It’s quite pretty, unless you are in one of the industries that is dark red – not a good time to be in land subdivisions, bookselling or VoIP.

The most interesting take away?  The nail salon industry is WAAAAY up.  I guess people get their nails did more often in a good economy.

Get Rich or Die Early

This just in from the “I probably knew that but it’s interesting to see data to back it up” department.  Rich people live longer than poor people.  According to the New York Times (but based on a looooong study published in the Journal of the America Medical Association, America’s richest men live over 15 years longer than the poorest 1 percent.

Rich People Live longer
Source: New York Times

One of the explanations for this disparity – one that is getting wider each year is simple.  Wealth buys better medical care, which allows people to live into old age. But it also makes fundamental changes in how people live. Flying in the face of the stereotype of cigar puffing, booze swilling rich folk, affluent people seem to live in healthier ways. They exercise more, smoke less, feel less stress and -despite being fat cats – are less likely to be obese.

Perhaps the most interesting take away is that where you live has a much bigger impact on the life span of the poor.  Rich people can live wherever they want and still lead long lives, while the poorest one percent in some parts of the country have life spans similar to those of people in third world countries.

Source: New York Times
Source: New York Times

Texas-Sized Crime: The Most Dangerous Cities in Texas

As the saying goes – everything is bigger in Texas.  Trucks, hair, guns and many other things hold true to that motto.

Texas criminal attorney Paul Darrow’s team took a look at the big cities in Texas (over 100k population) and gave us some “Texas-sized” charts and tables ranking the most dangerous.  SPOILER ALERT: Odessa is the worst, but Amarillo is the rapiest (seriously: over 115 rapes per 100k, when the national average is 27!)

Violent Crime Rates in Texas by City
Violent Crime Rates in Texas

Interestingly, they weighed factors like overall and violent crime (via the FBI UCR database) against size and budget of the police force as well as several socioeconomic factors.  Despite have – by far – the most overall violent crime, Houston ranks number four on the list.  This is due, according to the post, to having the largest police force and middle of the road poverty, unemployment and high school graduation rates.

If you learn one thing from this, however, let it be to carry pepper spray in Amarillo!

Can't Spell Amarillo with out the (r)A(pe).
Can’t Spell Amarillo with out the (r)A(pe).

Reach out and Touch Some-BAAAHH-dy: Beastiality Is Not Illegal In These States

Look, I love animals.  You love animals.  But we don’t LOVE animals, right?  We aren’t ready to take this relationship to the next level and get physical, are we?

Well, if you are ready, then I have some great news for you.  Beastiality – a physical expression of love between man and beast – is not EXPRESSLY illegal in 10 states:  Texas, New Mexico, Nevada, Wyoming, Kentucky, Ohio, West Virginia, Vermont, New Jersey, and New Hampshire (note: N.J. and N.H. have legislation pending).

beastiality is not illegal here:

Interestingly enough, these states also have the sexiest sheep in the nation.  Coincidence?  Ewe decide.

Cruel Intentions: Animal Cruelty in the U.S.

It’s never O.K. to abuse an animal, but it isn’t always expressly illegal.  While every state in the U.S. has an animal cruelty felony provision on the books, not all animals are covered and not all abuse is illegal (although sometimes reporting it is).

The Legal Radar took a look at animal cruelty and the laws in each state.

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(A full state data table is available on the source URL)

The article also looked at the link between animal abuse and domestic abuse as well as cruelty’s status as an indicator crime.

Moral of the story?  Be kind to Milo, Otis, Babe, and all the rest of the animal kingdom.

What Percenter Are You?

The last few years, there has been a lot of talk about the nation’s one-percenters – income wise, not the Outlaw Motorcycle Club.  An income of 250k plus puts in the top one percent of earners in the U.S.

Ever wonder how your income stacks up?  The Wall Street Journal created a tool to let you find out.
(click the image to use the tool)

Screen Shot 2016-03-30 at 9.38.27 AM Screen Shot 2016-03-30 at 9.38.36 AM

The also breakdown your percentile by education level, generation, and heritage.

Alcohol-ey Crap!!! Americans Name Booze the Biggest Drug Threat

Despite the rampant war on drugs, ever increasing heroin overdose deaths, and cartel shenanigans , Americans have found that alcohol is the biggest drug threat facing the nation.

According to the Wonkblog, the most recent NORC survey – 76 percent of those surveyed view alcohol as a serious threat in their communities.  Perhaps they are right, as nearly 90,000 people die of alcohol-induced causes each year, second only to tobacco on the list of America’s deadliest drugs.

Somewhere, cartel honchos are celebrating – probably with an apple-tini.

In A Roundabout Way, These Intersections Are Terrible

City planners put roundabouts in to make them safer.  While it’s true that they reduce speeds and probably reduce crashes that cause fatalities, it turns out they make U.S. drivers really, really, really, really bad at cars.  A Dayton personal injury law firm took a look at the Ohio intersections with the most accidents and found that two of the top ten were roundabouts…and right next to each other.

Two of the most dangerous intersections in Ohio are roundabouts.
Roundabouts are hard.

Could it be the clustering of pizza joints?  Nope.  It’s the roundabouts.

H/T to Reddit


What’s in a (Place) Name?

Live in Fairfield?

That could be any one of over 30 places in the U.S. As the most common place name, Fairfield joins the likes of Franklin, Washington, Salem, and Madison among the top 10 most common place names in United States.


Why so many town founders wanted to name their town Milford may remain a mystery for ever.

Most Common U.S. Place Names
Most Common U.S. Place Names
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