This and That

126,000 people are diagnosed annually with end-stage renal disease. Only 20,000 will eventually receive a donated kidney, either from donors who have been declared brain-dead or from living donors who have accepted a relatively small chance of complications.

Patients who need a kidney but can’t find a donor generally end up tethered to a dialysis machine every other day. Five years after starting such treatment, only a third of those folks are alive. (Note: I am one of the lucky people who found a donor in the person of my sister after being on dialysis for a year and a half. Happily, 4 ½ years later she and I are both doing fine.)

An interesting fact not often talked about – the constitutional loophole – the Constitution does not indicate that removal from office requires two-thirds of the Senate. It requires two-thirds of the senators present for the proceedings. In theory, a vote to convict the president (or anyone else) would count as legal with as few as 34 members, assuming that the absolute minimum of 51 senators participated. [Washingtonian 10/10/19]

At her dissertation defense last month, Caitlin Kirby wore a one-of-a-kind handmade skirt – made of 17 rejection letters that she received over the last five years. The 28-year-old Michigan State University grad student, who has spent the last 4.5 years working towards here PhD in environmental science and policy, says that the rejection letters had come from other PhD programs, scholarships and academic journals. [11/9/19 Posted by Katherine/ ]

Liquid milk consumption is down 40% since 1975, Americans drank 24 gallons on average in 1996 compared to 17 gallons in 2018. [AP, Bloomberg, Numlock News 10/13/19]

Automation, algorithms, and artificial intelligence have already reduced the amount of human labor in specialty manufacturing, warehouse parcel delivery and resumé screening. But a new report from analysts at Bank of America Merrill Lynch estimates the rise of automation could make up to 800 million jobs – nearly half of all jobs worldwide – obsolete by 2035. [Yahoo Finance, FiveThirtyEight newsletter 11/15/19]

How often do you think each of the following are based on factual information?

  Always/Often Sometimes Rarely/Never
Reporting from the media 21% 47% 31%
Decisions made by policymakers 14% 55% 30%
Voting choices made by Americans 14% 53% 32%
Debates between political        
13% 47% 39%
Political candidates campaign messages 9% 43% 47%
[Axios AM, Allen 11/21/19]

In 2018, 39% of CEOs who were forced out of the job exited for ethical reasons. This compares to 26% shown the door for those reasons in 2017, and 8% who faced consequences for unethical behavior a decade ago. [Reuters/Numlock News 11/6/19]

I wonder whether those who were the focus of recent congressional hearings wished that email and texting had never come into existence. [WW]

“Our increasing preference for texting over email and phone calls creates a higher quantity of interactions, but it decreases their quality. Text messages can’t provide the human contact and perspective that come from true dialogue. Worse it makes it easier for people to lie and dodge in-person confrontation. Texting breeds not just grammar and spelling illiteracy but emotional illiteracy as well.” [Maggie Mulqueen for NBC News Think 12/7/19]