Saturday, August 02, 2014

Things I learned lately - 2 Aug

  • Statisticians now say with certainty that the changes the Canadian government made to the federal census has resulted in poor quality data costing more money, while doing nothing to address privacy issues, which was the excuse for the changes in the first place.
  • The average Canadian house ($413,000) costs 5.3 times the average household income ($78,000). For the average Vancouverite, the house price to income ratio is 10. In one of the wealthier neighbourhoods in Eastern Canada, Toronto's Bridle Path, the ratio is 2.4. The wealthy people in Bridle Path only use half as much of their income as an average Canadian to pay for their home. Historically, the ratio over the decades (on average) has been 3, but we will probably not return to that number.
  • There's a place in Toronto called Poutini's House of Poutine.
  • Citizens of Adelaide, Australia, are nuts for Krispy Kreme donuts. A week after the store opened, police had been called to the location 20 times. There was a knife point robbery of two teens as they were loading six boxes of donuts into their car. The alleged bandit got away with all the donuts. Authorities have had to break up fights between hungry customers who wait in line for hours.
  • There's a Whole Foods store in Brooklyn that gets a lot of its fresh produce from the roof. In particular, from a company called Gotham Greens that operates a large hydroponic greenhouse on top of the store. The greenhouse yields the equivalent of a 10 acre farm using a 1/2 acre of space and 1/10th the water.
  • There are now more solar workers than coal miners in the US.
  • Bangladesh has more people than Russia. It is slightly bigger than the state of New York.
  • There are more synapses (nerve connections) in your brain than there are stars in our galaxy.
  • Cleopatra lived closer in time to the building of the first Pizza Hut than to the building of the pyramids.
  • Bayer commercialized heroin in the 1890s as a cough, cold, and pain remedy. Bayer marketed heroin for use on children as late as 1912, years after reports had surfaced that it could be a dangerous drug.
  • Harvard University existed before calculus was invented.
  • Shakira became the first person to garner 100 million fans on Facebook.

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