Odds and Ends

Between 365 million and nearly 1 billion birds are killed in collisions with buildings every year. [Axios What’s Next 10/24/22].

Some restaurants now add a 20% surcharge to the bill for parties larger than four people as a “tip” for the servers.

Sixty years ago, four transistors could fit on a silicon chip. Today some 11.8 billion can fit. [NYT 11/20/22]

For the first time, in the 180-year history of The New York Philharmonic Sympathy Orchestra, founded in 1842, there are more women than men in the orchestra, 45 women/44 men. [NYPhil.org 11/23/22]

James Roesener of New Hampshire became the first openly transgender man elected to any state legislature. [HRC.org 11/11/22]

The Merriam-Webster word of the year (2022) is “gaslighting.”

Demise of the “Chocolate Moose”, 1743 L Street NW

The Chocolate Moose is hard to define. Step inside its doors in downtown DC and you might find books, jewelry, humorous socks, cards… and of course, chocolate. In short, all things that will put a smile on your face. What you might not realize is that this store has been around since 1978. It has been a favorite of the Washington Watch for longer than I can remember and now it is closing.

How to read political polls, from Scott Clement, polling director of the Washington Post

  1. Don’t sweat small “leads” or changes.
  2. Browse a poll’s full-results page. Click through the original results to give you more insight into voter attitudes.
  3. Look at what voters think about the candidates.
  4. See whose supporters are more motivated.
  5. Review polls from past elections.
  6. Be wary of outliers and campaign sponsored polls.

Pollsters don’t have a crystal ball, and they make mistakes. But good polls can be useful, as long as you understand their limitations.

62% of drivers in the United States admit to driving when they are so tired, they have a hard time keeping their eyes open; and a quarter of them report doing so at least once a year. Even among drivers who call it extremely risky, 6 in 10 say they have driven drowsy at some point. [Langer Research 11/2/22]

Over 200,000 trans people could face voting restrictions because of state ID laws. [NBC News 11/1/22]

Millions of people in Britain bought their first television in 1953, expressly to watch Queen Elizabeth II’s coronation live. [NYT 11/19/22]