“Correlation does not imply causation”, but when it comes to bedbugs

One of the most frequently heard observations about statistics is that “Correlation does not imply causation” – in other words, that just because two observations are observed simultaneously, it doesn’t necessarily mean that one is caused by the other.  Nevertheless, sufficiently high degrees of correlation do make one wonder. In that light, Orkin’s latest “Top 50 Bed Bug Cities List” made me wonder. For the second year in a row, Baltimore tops Orkin’s Top 50 Bed Bug Cities list, released today. New York fell four spots, while Dallas-Fort Worth joined the top 10. San Diego and Albany rejoin the list,

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That’s how they roll in Siberia

Police were not amused. Police in Siberia have fined a local blogger for cruising the streets ofTyumen inside a bathtub, stirring a social media storm in his support. Online images published this weekend showed the shirtless man washing himself inside a tub fitted with wheels and towed by a van through the city’s streets. A video montage depicted the bather, blogger Eduard Filippov, ordering food at a drive-thru from inside the tub, greeting nearby pedestrians and shooting at cars with a squirt gun. “Do whatever you want, they’re still going to judge you for the rest of your life,” he wrote

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Bicycles as you’ve never seen them before

It seems Chinese cities are clogged with hundreds of thousands of bikes-for-rent that no-one wants to rent, and which have therefore been abandoned.  Yahoo has a photo essay about them that’s fascinating.  Up close, they’re just junked bicycles . . . . . . but when photographed from afar, after being sorted into like colors, etc., they look just like fields of weird flowers. Click either image for a larger version.  There are many more photographs at the original article.  Open each in a new tab or window for a bigger view. French-born photographer Mathias Guillin, 49, lives and works in Shanghai —

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Doofus Of The Day #1,023

Today’s award goes to an anonymous idiot in England. A canal boat user accidentally drained [a] 200-year-old waterway – causing £3m [about US $3.9 million] worth of damage – after leavinglocks open. Water ended up gushing down the Shropshire Union Canal, washing away the banks and leaving a huge gaping hole in the waterway. Trees along the canal were torn from their roots, hundreds of fish died and boats were lifted from their moorings. The ‘human error’ by an unknown Shropshire Union Canal user – thought to be on a boat or barge – will cost £3 million to repair. . . . About 15

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About that Puerto Rican hurricane death toll

I can’t help but agree with President Trump when he cast aspersions on the newly increased death toll attributed to Hurricane Maria in Puerto Rico last year. In a tweet, Trump said: “3000 people did not die in the two hurricanes that hit Puerto Rico. When I left the Island, AFTER the storm had hit, they had anywhere from 6 to 18 deaths. As time went by it did not go up by much. Then, a long time later, they started to report really large numbers, like 3000.” . . . That number was produced by public health experts at George Washington

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A blast from the past – naval history edition

The chase and sinking of the German battleship Bismarck was one of the highlights of naval combat in World War II.  Accompanying her for most of her maiden (and final) voyage was the heavy cruiser Prinz Eugen, one of five ships of the Admiral Hipper class.  In her prime, she was a powerful and good-looking ship, as seen below. Prinz Eugen was captured by the Royal Navy at the end of the war, and handed over to the USA as part of war reparations.  She was used as a target in the 1946 nuclear tests at Bikini Atoll in the Pacific Ocean, and later sank in Kwajalein Atoll, where

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