This and That

What do the following people have in common? Barack Obama, Justin Bieber, Katy Perry, Rhianna, Taylor Swift, and Cristiano Ronaldo …

They all have more Twitter followers than President Trump.

Obama 120 million
Bieber 112 million
Perry 108 million
Rihanna 97 million
Swift 87 million
Ronaldo 86 million
Donald Trump 83 million
[Wikipedia 7/7/20]

73% of Americans say that spending on their local police should stay about the same (42%) or be increased from its current level either a little (20%) or a lot (11%). [PEW 6/22/2020]

General Charles Q. Brown, Jr. was confirmed as the first African American Chief of Staff of the U.S. Air Force and is the first African American Chief of Staff of a military service branch in U.S. history.

Brown said, “I’m thinking about wearing the same flight suit, with the same wings on my chest as my peers, and then being questioned by another military member, ‘Are you a pilot?’” [AXIOS 6/9/2020]

When Doctors are not called “Dr.”

(Excerpts from an article by Julia A Files, MD, Anita Mayer, MD, and Sharonne N. Hayes, MD)

“Every female doctor has had the experience of being called by her first name from the podium, in the exam room and in groups, while the men were called “Dr.” An informal poll confirmed that every female physician we asked, regardless of practice type, specialty, or geographic location, had experienced this.”

“We confirmed that whether doctors are introduced as “Dr.” depends on the gender of who introduces them. Women, introducing any grand rounds speaker, used “Dr” virtually all the time (96%) regardless of the speaker’s gender. Men on the other hand, were less formal overall: across all speaker introductions by men, only 2/3 ever included “Dr.”

“Among introducers, there was a distinct gender difference in their use of titles: Male speakers were introduced by men as “Dr.” 72% of the time, but less than half of the women were introduced as “Dr.” This is both statistically and socially significant.” [Gender Avenger 3/17/17]

In a 2017 study “Justice Interrupted: The Effect of Gender, Ideology, and Seniority at Supreme Court Arguments,” Tonja Jacobi and Dylan Schweers found that female justices “may be three times more likely to be interrupted than male justices” and that conservative justices were more likely to interrupt than liberal justices.”

Leah Litman, a University of Michigan Law School professor, decided to try and find out whether the same pattern was true for the first ten arguments held over the telephone during the second and third weeks of May of this year.

“The three longest questioning periods were all by male justices, and all by conservative justices – two from Justice Samuel Alito and one from Justice Neil Gorsuch. The three shortest questioning periods that were ended by the Chief Justice (rather than by the questioning justice concluding their inquiry) were all by female justices – two from Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg and one from Justice Elena Kagan.”

Of the 11 times the Chief Justice interrupted a colleague during these hearings, all 11 interruptions were of his more liberal colleagues and nine of those interruptions were of women. [ 5/20/2020]

Princeton University has announced its first black valedictorian in its 274-year history. Nicholas Johnson, a Canadian, majoring in operations research and financial engineering, was selected. Johnson called the achievement especially significant given the school’s struggle in recent years to confront its troubled history with slavery.

At Princeton, 419 (7.9%) of the 5,328 undergrads are black. [NYT 5/11/20]

Community colleges account for about a third of undergraduates nationwide.
[NYT 6/7/20]

Over 10 billion doughnuts are made in the United States each year. [Bed Bath & Beyond 6/5/2020]

Smart phones are changing how we live.

There are the obvious things. These little devices can replace your telephone, full-size computers, iPads, calculators, calendars, watches, newspapers, weather reports, cameras, maps, note pads, books, schedules, voice recorders, money, music players, pedometers, video recorders, airline schedules even the locations of restrooms (there is an app called SitorSquat).

The impact of video recording has become increasingly important. George Floyd in Minneapolis, MN; Ahmaud Arbery in Brunswick, GA and Nicholas Chavez in Houston, TX all died at the hands of police who were arresting them.

Chances are there would have been no consequences for the police involved but for video of the incidents by passersby on their smart phones. It remains to be seen what those consequences might be but without the smart phones there would be none.

Made in China?

The other day I was looking at a device called a “wand” which is used to disinfect areas with ultraviolet light. I noticed that it had a label which said, “Made in Hong Kong”. I decided to see how many items in my home office were made in China, including Taipei, Taiwan, and Hong Kong. Here is the list of 25 items.

Wand – Ultraviolet light; Foldaway Whole-Body Peddler; Portable HD Webcam; Sony Compact Cameras/carrying case/instruction book; Grundig – AM/FM Hand crank radio; Computer Keyboard; Samsung computer monitor (China and South Korea); Dell computer monitor; LG television; iPad; iPhone; Forehead thermometer; Oral Thermometer; Blood Pressure Monitor; Sunglasses; Apple Watch; Document Holder; 8 Digit handheld calculator; Pedometer; Alarm Clock;
Scissors; Ticonderoga Lead Pencils; Light Bulbs; various picture frames; various photo albums.

There are a number of married couples in which the spouses work for competing TV networks.

Katy Tur (MSNBC) and Tony Dokoupil (CBS)
Deborah Roberts (ABC) and Al Roker (NBC)
Kyra Phillips (ABC) and John Roberts (Fox)
Jonathan Alter (NBC contributor) and Emily Lazar (Producer for Sunday Morning)

There are 91,000 dams in the United States. 15,500 of them could cause loss of life if they failed. In 2025, 70% of the dams will be more than 50 years old and 8,000 are over 90 years old. Repairing and upgrading dams in the U.S. would cost $70 billion, and to address the 700 dams owned by the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers alone would cost $25 billion. [Numlock News, National Geographic 6/2/2020]