Whether you have some productive reason to search for stats, or you just need a daily factoid fix, Harper's magazine's online "Index" search will pull up decades' worth of short, sourced blurbs on 1000s of topics ... and open up delightful rabbit holes by linking one factoid to other, connected, topic searches.
A search for "cancer" resulted in my learning:
- The chance of contracting a "fairly common" form of colon cancer reported on in the New York Times April 4, 2002: 1 in 8,000 ... and the chance of a child contracting the "rare disease" neuroblastoma, as cited by another Times article the same day: 1 in 7,000
- The percentage change between 1930 and 2000 in the annual U.S. death rate for cancer: +11 ... and the percentage change since then in the U.S. death rate for all cancers except that of the lung: -20
- The average number of hours per week Bob Dole spent tanning in 1996: 3.5 ... and the amount of sunscreen Bob Dole used at that time: 0
- The ercentage of doctors in 1960 who said patients should be told the truth about their cancer: 18 ... and the percentage who said that in 1985: 70
Image courtesy Flickr user Matt Biddulph, via CC
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