health

Shark season

31 December 2013

Summer in Australia comes with cicadas, sunburn and, in the media at least, sharks. So far, I have learned that aerial shark patrols are inefficient (or perhaps not) and that the Western Australian government plans to keep swimmers safe by shooting big sharks. Sharks are compelling objects of fear, right up there with spiders and snakes […]

21 comments Read the full article →

Are you mad, sir?

18 November 2012

Even if you haven’t heard of Jon Ronson, you have probably heard of one of his books. He wrote The Men Who Stare At Goats, which has been made into a film starring George Clooney. I have just finished reading a more recent, if lesser known book by Ronson: The Psychopath Test. It is an […]

11 comments Read the full article →

John Graunt and the Birth of Medical Statistics

20 October 2012

Dr John Carmody of the Department of Physiology at the University of Sydney, recently appeared on the ABC Radio National program, Occams Razor, speaking about John Graunt, a man many years ahead of his time. For those of you preferring the written to the auditory format, he has kindly provided his talk as a guest […]

6 comments Read the full article →

Have wheelchair, will travel…probably

20 January 2012

Spending couple of weeks down the south coast of New South Wales, spotting dolphins and echidnas, has slowed down my blogging. Fortunately, regular contributor James Glover has once more come to the rescue with a guest post. This time his topic is wheelchairs and air-travel. Perhaps you’ve heard of a recent court case in which […]

20 comments Read the full article →

Micromorts

24 December 2010

Everyone knows hang-gliding is risky. How could throwing yourself off a mountain not be? But then again, driving across town is risky too. In both cases, the risks are in fact very low and assessing and comparing small risks is tricky. Ronald A. Howard, the pioneer of the field of decision analysis (not the Happy […]

11 comments Read the full article →

Fertility Declines Don’t Reverse with Development

24 September 2009

In this follow-up guest post on The Stubborn Mule, Mark Lauer takes a closer look at the relationship between national development and fertility rates. STOP PRESS: Switzerland’s population would be decimated in just two generations if it weren’t for advances in their development. At least, that’s what the modelling in a recent Nature paper projects.  […]

4 comments Read the full article →

Is There a Baby Bounce?

4 September 2009

In this first ever guest post on The Stubborn Mule, Mark Lauer takes a careful look at the relationship between national development and fertility rates. Recently The Economist and the Washington Post reported a research paper in Nature on the relationship between development and fertility across a large number of countries.  The main conclusion of […]

4 comments Read the full article →

Swine Flu on Swivel

16 June 2009

I have now uploaded the swine flu data to a Swivel data set. I will update this data set periodically and so the rankings in the chart below should stay reasonably up to date. Data sources: Guardian Data Blog, CIA World Fact Book. UPDATE: A number of people have told me that in a number […]

1 comment Read the full article →

Swine Flu League Table

15 June 2009

The Guardian have been publishing swine flu data on their Data Blog. They are sourcing their data from by the World Health Organisation, the US Centers for Disease Control, country health agencies and press reports, which makes their data the most up to date I have found. One thing missing from their data is a […]

7 comments Read the full article →