There was a story the other day about a woman trying to cross the border. She looked nervous as she walked by with her stroller. It probably had something to do with the 10 pounds of pot she was using the stroller to hide.

Now, to make that work, I'm not sure if she used a real baby. But one thing that would've been good, would be to have a dirty diaper. It probably wouldn't throw off the dogs, but at least the border inspectors would let you thru quickly.

A few people at the border recently got popped with cocaine. A Ford Explorer had 51 pounds of powder in a compartment under the back seat.

Another person got caught when their huge truck was filled with sharks. The sharks had cocaine inside them.

When I turned on CNN this morning, they did a report about sharks being like serial killers. Their reasons for saying this:

A zoology journal reports they stalk their prey, they attack during optimal conditions (when it's dark or the light is low, and the prey is all alone). And they learn from each kill.

I'm not sure how they came to the realization that sharks learn from each kill.

Every summer, you hear about shark attacks on the news. And you always hear the same thing. The newscaster says something like "Shark attacks are extremely rare. You have a better chance dying from a bee sting." Or they might say "Your chances of dying from a shark attack are 1 in 1,000,000."

The problem I have with these statistics, is a bit like the argument I had in that blog about women supposedly making less than men. You have to look at how they compile such stats.

I'm guessing with the shark attack stat, they look at the number of people attacked each year around the world. Then they look at how many people are on the planet. So...there might be 35 attacks in one year. And with billions and billions of people on the planet, it looks like that's just a drop in the bucket.

But shouldn't the statistics not include people that live in Nebraska?

For shark attack statistics to be relevant, they should only deal with people that go into the ocean. If you live in California, but only swim in the pool, you aren't counted.

And if that's how they compiled the stats, I'm sure it would still be something like 1 in 100; but it would be a more accurate statistic.

More like this:

Comments

rickeysays June 22, 2009 @ 11:21 a.m.

You don't really think 1 person in 100 that goes in the ocean get's attacked by a shark, do you?

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Josh Board June 22, 2009 @ 2:56 p.m.

Uh...no. I guess not.

If I had to hazard a guess, with people that regularly go into the ocean (not just someone on a vacation that goes ankle deep into the beach at La Jolla) -- that would include surfers, swimmers, etc...I would guess shark attacks are probably 1 in 1,000. Maybe just under that.

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Ponzi June 22, 2009 @ 5:50 p.m.

What about landsharks? They attack everyone.

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gardenparty June 22, 2009 @ 6:55 p.m.

here's some more realistic data for you josh. It's about 100 people world wide per year In 2007, 7 million visitors to the Hawaii beaches and 8 shark attacks occured. Florida is supposedly regarded as "shark attack central", averaging about 33 reported attacks per year and over 50 million beach goers. In 2007 there were 5 attacks in California. How many people went to the beach that year. it sound like alot of people going to the beach but if you think about it, maybe not so much. The Florida tourist bureau say about 50 million people visit . If only 25% actually go to the beach but go 2 times, that's 25 million right there. Then how many Florida residents go to the beach and how many times. looking at it that way 50 million doesn't seem so outrageous. The same would aply to cali. I think it's alot more than 1 in 1000.

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Josh Board June 22, 2009 @ 8:15 p.m.

First off, thanks for the numbers. It does put a perspective on it all. But...something to keep in mind is, I said "going into the ocean." The last time I was at a beach in Del Mar, I was in water at my feet, running with my dog. But before that, the last 25 times I had been to beaches here in town, I hadn't stepped foot in the water. So all those people on the beach in Florida, are laying out and getting sun, people watching, building sandcastles, and everything else but actually going into the water.

Again, I'm saying the stat would only involve people that have gone into the water, not just visited beaches. Although, you're right, the numbers would probably still be less than my 1 in 1,000 guess.

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gardenparty June 23, 2009 @ 12:08 a.m.

I agree about actually going into the water, what I meant by go to the beach was actually go in the water. A Texas A&M University professor of wildlife and fishery sciences who has studied sharks says that most attacks occur in 3-4 feet of water. The Florida Museum of Natural History does extensive study of shark attacks. One of their data sets was kind of interesting. In 2000, an estimated 264 million people went to US beaches. There were 70,000 rescues, 74 drownings, 58 non-drowning fatalities but only 23 shark attacks with 0 fatalities. That's about 1 in 11 million odds. Even if only 10% of the people going to the beach go into the water, it's still more than a million to 1 odds on getting attacked. And if people go in more than once... well you get the picture. I agree that to really know exactly you would have to have some very specific parameters, but in anything involving the general public, how often does that happen? It's always an estimate or an extrapolation. Since 1926 there have been 97 confirmed shark attacks reported in California with only 8 fatalities. The last fatality in San Diego was 50 years ago and there has never been a fatality off an Orange or LA county beach. and only 6 attacks in the last 80 yrs. So I think you would agree that statistically speaking, you are more likely to drown than get attacked by a shark if you go into the water. Yet how many times have you worried about drowning?

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SDaniels June 23, 2009 @ 12:26 a.m.

Veterinarian Dave Martin was killed last April by a presumed great white at Fletcher Cove, Solana Beach...

http://www.cnn.com/2008/US/04/25/ca.shark.attack/index.html?eref=rss_topstories

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SDaniels June 23, 2009 @ 12:28 a.m.

And before Mr. Martin, "the last time someone was killed by a shark off San Diego was in 1994, when a 25-year-old woman died after being attacked by a great white shark in Ocean Beach."

Not quite 50 years ago, gardenparty.

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Josh Board June 23, 2009 @ 1:44 a.m.

Yeah, I guess you're right, gardenparty. I didn't really compute it all. But, as SD above points out...I always seem to hear about all these shark attacks, and each time, they say "This is the first time in 50 years," and my first thought is "Didn't one get reported last year?" Obviously, it was probably a different place, as I doubt these newscasters are getting their facts wrong.

It just sounds like when we have a hot day, and the weatherman says "This is the hottest it's been on June 15th in 85 years."

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bigblimpin July 5, 2009 @ 10:48 a.m.

Prior to Martin's death, "The last fatal shark attack along California took place on Aug. 15, 2004, in Mendocino County at Kibesillah Rock, according to the state Department of Fish and Game. The victim was a man diving for abalone with a friend.

On Aug. 19, 2003, a woman swimmer was killed by a great white at Avila Beach in San Luis Obispo County on the central California coast.

The last fatal shark attack along San Diego County was in April 1994. However, some experts question the cause of death of 25-year-old Michelle Von Emster. Many believe Von Emster might have died or drowned in the water and sharks, or other fish, fed on her body, according to Rosenblatt."

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