Posts Tagged ‘UK’


How BIG is Australia?

June 19, 2022

There are 26 million people in Australia.


Young, drunk, dead: How the silly season kills!

December 13, 2021

In 2020, according to the annual, independent Global Drug Survey, Australians were drunk more often than any other country in the survey. Melissa Cunningham reported in The Age (How to cure a hangover!, 11 DEC 2021) that  Australians admitted being drunk 27 times a year, compared with the global average of 15.

Naturally, a lot of this drinking takes place during the Christmas holidays or the Silly Season. Unfortunately, it appears to be the SILLY SEASON all year round in Australia.

Data from 32,022 people from 22 countries were used in the preparation of this Global Drug Survey

For binge drinking stats

See Dangerous Maths: Young, drunk, dead.

LINK: National Drug & Alcohol Research Centre data

  1. UK 15-34 years for 2011. Source
  2. Australia  15-24 years average  Source 
  3. CANADA Under 18 years of age. 1996 It is believed that as many as 83 percent of teenagers in Canada consume alcohol. Back in 1996, underage drinking was responsible for 3,500 deaths and 2,000,000 injuries. A 2002 survey found that 20 percent of eight graders had consumed alcohol within the previous month. Source
  4. USA.  4,358 people under age 21 die each year from alcohol-related car crashes, homicides, suicides, alcohol poisoning, and other injuries such as falls, burns, and drowning. Source

The Bitter Truth: How We See the Numbers

October 10, 2021

The pandemic has launched a data storm. But some numbers cut through this white out. Despite following the numbers closely I was shocked by the following headline on the front on The Washington Post a few weeks ago. 

Using data from the Worldometer Website, I thought it would be interesting see how other countries compare with the USA. America has already dropped below this grim marker. And low is not the way to go!!!!



WORST: Peru                          1: 170   

BEST: New Zealand              1: 200,000  

Here are some more stats:


How the UK Aced Covid, sort of …

June 29, 2021

London yesterday. Spectators give a spontaneous standing ovation to Oxford Professor Sarah Gilbert (below), who was one of the scientists involved in developing the Astra-Zeneca vaccine and one of 100 key worker special guests on opening day. (The Age, 29 JUN, 2021)

Here are the Covid-19 Vaccination stats for the UK as of yesterday:

BBC, 29 JUN 2021

The UK recorded 22, 868 cases yesterday, but only 3 deaths.

The last time the UK recorded close to 23,000 cases was on 16 December 2020. That day, 613 deaths were announced. (The Age, 29 JUN 2021)

In 2019, in the UK, the total death toll was 616,014 or 1688 per day. Tragically but realistically elderly patients with multiple health issues are more likely to contract Covid and die from complications exacerbated by Covid-19 but not necessarily caused by the virus.

The death toll numbers are now encouragingly low in the UK despite the high infection rates from the highly contagious Covid Delta variant.


On 9 July 2021, the UK recorded 35,707 cases and 29 Deaths. According to  Worldometer stats  (below), the case numbers and deaths are still rising. Too soon to celebrate even though the UK Freedom Day is only 10 days away.


Eat Red Meat and Die ….. NOT NOW! ….. Maybe, sometime.

June 19, 2019

Here we go again.

“Eating even the moderate amounts of red and processed meat sanctioned by government guidelines increases the likelihood of developing bowel cancer” according to the above article in The Guardian, UK.

The sample size was 500,000. That’s good. It is a self-selecting sample. That’s not good. They could all be health fanatics. But here is the kicker:

“The researchers found those who ate the most and least red and processed meat tended to exaggerate their consumption or lack thereof.”

That’s a shock. People lie or exaggerate. Even the researchers then suggest – despite the screaming headline – that you don’t change your diet.

Although, looking at the plate above … I would!

Real Men Eat Red Meat and Die … Sometime!

Eat Meat and die??????

According to this headline in THE AUSTRALIAN 25th, March 2009   meat eaters are at risk of dying of cancer. The study published in  Archives of Internal Medicine involved half a million people over 10 years. So far so good. That is a good sample size. The sample consisted of people aged 50 to 71 years at baseline or, obviously, after 10 years 60 to 81years!!!!  So some deaths would be expected. Nevertheless, the article states: 

“Men whose red meat intake put them in the top 20 percent consumption band were 22 percent more likely to die of cancer in the 10 years of the study, compared to men whose intake was in the lowest 20 percent. For women, there was a 20 percent increase in risk.”

Here is the problem. Firstly and I quote from the original study: “Meat intake was estimated from a food frequency questionnaire administered at baseline.’ So they asked people once what their eating habits were then assumed they continued for the next 10 YEARS??? How likely are your eating habits to change in 10 years???

Secondly, and this was mentioned in the article without explaining the maths, big meat eaters tend also to be big drinkers, smokers, obese and the rest. This study has tried to separate out meat eating from other unhealthy lifestyle choices using the Cox Regression. Mathematical wizardry has produced these numbers but they don’t mean much. 

If the study used a control group of drinking, smoking, obese vegans then compared mortality rates over 10 years that would be interesting. But where do you find half a million of them???????? 

Finally,  the study  concluded ‘Red and processed meat intakes were associated with modest increases in total mortality, cancer mortality, and cardiovascular disease mortality.’ Not the stuff of headlines at all!!!!!!!


Cars in the USA are how old? Really? No way! Look at the World and Do the Math

February 3, 2018


The average age of the 60 years of FORD vehicles here is 30 years. MODEL NAMES at end of post.

I did this to show that averages can tell us a lot or, in this case, not very much.

Here are some averages that tell us a lot about different countries and their love of cars!

The average age of vehicles in USA is a record-high of 11.6 years. More here.

Car ownership rates data here.

This is the average vehicle age, which includes vans and utes. Almost 1,000,00 vehicles were scrapped in 2015-16. More than 30% of vehicles are less than five years old. Data here.

In 2016, the average age of vehicles on Canadian roads was 9.66 years. Data here.

The average age of cars in UK is 7.7 yrs. some interesting stats here.

The average age of vehicles in New Zealand is 14.3 years. The average age of trucks and buses is over 17 years. Data here.

Cars in the European Union are on average 10.7 years old. Data here.

The average age of vehicles in Poland is 17.2 years. Daata here.

The average age of vehicles in Romania is 15.3 years. Data here.

The average age of vehicles in Greece is 13.5 years. Data here.

Ethiopia has the lowest car ownership in the world with 2 per 1,000 inhabitants in 2014.

The average age of Ethiopia’s fleet is 15-20 years. Best guess! Data here.


2. Readability Algorithm

November 25, 2015

The above algorithms are called pseudocode because you do not type a letter to a computer to tell it what to do. You have to write code to instruct it.
But computer code, as my little sailor friend would say, uses a shipload of maths.
I am going to give you instructions by writing a letter to you because that is your CODE that you understand.
You are going to calculate the The Flesch–Kincaid reading score for The Hunger Games and a Harry Potter TEXT.
Don’t run screaming out the door. This is not too complicated.
The Flesch–Kincaid reading score or, quaintly, the F–K formula (Oops! Only one – )tells you the grade reading level of a text.
F-K formula
4. Flesch Kincaid Formula
We will use a basic version and a calculator:
5 F-K Formula Basic
You will need:
Word Count =
Sentence Count =
Syllable count =
The Flesch Reading Ease score is interpreted as follows:

6. Flesch Kinaid Readability Table

More info here.

READABILITY is important for Newspapers, books and websites

Text to be read by the general public should aim for a grade level of around 60 – 69 or Grade 8.
YA authors use the F-K formula to see if the text of their novel has the appropriate reading age.
YOU CAN TEST YOUR OWN WRITING! What reading age is your writing?



You may be able to SUE your BANK!!!!!!!!!

Contracts, by law in the US, should be written to a reading score of Grade 8. According to a recent article in the Telegraph, UK:
Insurance and banking customers who have been mis-sold financial products are more likely to be awarded compensation if they use a scientific test to prove policy documents were too difficult to read.
The “Flesch Kincaid” reading score is well established in the US, where most states require insurers’ policy documents to be written at no higher than a ninth-grade level (14–15 years of age) of reading difficulty.


Hunger Games And Harry Potter TEXT Readability
Readability Calculations: Method 1
You will do All calculations.
Readability Calculations: Method 2
You are the algorithm. You will cut and paste text into programs that auto-count words and syllables, collect this and other data from your computer and do the calculations using a calculator or online Web 2 calculator.
Readability Calculations: Method 3:
Cut and paste text directly into a Readability Calculator to get score.

Here are some interesting Readability Scores:

6a Readaility Score USA Constyitution


How Oops! Try again Maths is killing us …………………………………………………………………………… MathsPig MathsPig MathsPig MathsPig MathsPig MathsPig MathsPig MathsPig MathsPig MathsPig MathsPig MathsPig ….…. with Kerry Cue

September 8, 2015

The New Age of Guess-amatics!

Mathspig pill bottle Hellooooo Sweeties,………………………………………………………………………

Some frightening maths this week. When researching DANGEROUS MATHS, Mathspig found one branch of maths is the most dangerous maths of all. Let’s call it GUESS-AMATICS. Today, maths is often taught via computer program packages. Some of these computer packages turn maths into a guessing game.

1 plus 1

This exact and rather frightening scenario was described to me by the mother of a 5 year old. The mother decided it was time to turn the game off. When students play mathematical computer games too often they don’t have to think, they just guess the answer and try again. But be warned this ‘Oops! Try again’ maths can kill you’! Some maths you cannot ‘try again’. You HAVE to get it right the first time. Medication is one area where ‘Oops! Try again maths kills”

Do the Maths and Do NO HARM.

You need sufficient maths to understand medication doses or you might do yourself harm.…………………………………………………………………………………..

And here is just one very frightening statistic:……………………………………..

According to FDA data 1.3 million people in the USA are injured each year from medication errors. Mathspig First Aid Saves

Meanwhile, we need nurses, caregivers, doctors, paramedics, First Aide volunteers, parents, grandparents, babysitters, teachers and all health care professionals to have sufficient maths to be able to calculate simple medication doses. Or we need them to simply READ the dose and make sure it is correct. Unfortunately, many of those who should be able to work out medication doses are either incapable or not paying attention. And your life could be in their hands:


In the UK 1 in 20 hospital deaths is due to medical error. Nearly 12,000 patients die needlessly in hospital every year due to blunders by staff, researchers warn. Drugs or fluid mismanagement  was identified as a problem in 21% of preventable deaths (NHS   2012) or, doing the maths, 21% of 12,000 is approx 2,500 deaths due to bad maths! Mathspig Do meds do maths


According to a new study just out from the prestigious Journal of Patient Safety, four times as many people die from preventable medical errors than we thought, as many as 440,000 a year. Mathspig Do meds do maths


Reports show between 9,000 and 24,000 hospital deaths due to medical error. Mathspig Do meds do maths


Official Australian government reports reveal that preventable medical error in hospitals is responsible for 11% of all deaths in Australia or 1 in 9 deaths.


Other DANGEROUS MATHS include:

Dangerous Maths 1:Young drunk dead

Dangerous Maths 2: Death by Snake, Spider, Quad bike, Kangaroo, Raccoon and Vomit

Dangerous Maths 3: Shark Attack

Take care and do the maths……………………………………………………

Hoo Roo………………………………………………………………………………



Dangerous Maths 1:Young drunk dead

August 26, 2015

Mathspig Dangerous Maths

Statistics for alcohol consumption are tricky. Binge drinking gets confused with heavy drinking. If you want to stay young go to the UK. They think anyone under 35 is a youth! Some stats separate Male and Female drinking habits. Some don’t. And legal drinking ages vary. Canada is one crazy place. It has different legal drinking ages in different parts of the country.

Mathspig 1 Canada Legal drinking age

Legal Drinking Age:

Picture 11

Picture 7

The Maths

What we are working on here is reading maths data. No lectures. The numbers speak for themselves. Mathspig 3 Binge Drinking UK girls

Graph source here

The Challenge

Find the following information from data below. Percentage of Year 12 students or 18 year olds who binge drink in each country below.

1. Australia

Mathspig 4 Binge Drinking Aust

Graph Source here.

2. Canada

Mathspig 5 Heavy Drinking Canada Graph

Graph Source here.

3. UK

Mathspig 6 Binge drinking UK 2

Graph Source here

4. USA

Mathspig 7 Binge-Drinking-on-College-Campuses USA 4

Graph source here

Answers- Young drunk dead

Use these % to create a bar graph comparing countries. (Answer below)

Mathspig 8 18 year olds who binge drink

Graph drawn using Create a Graph website

Picture 6

Alcohol related death stats over lap other stats including death involving cars, motorcycles, bicycles, skateboards, jet skis, quad bikes, drowning, diving, stairs, supermarket trolleys and even high heels. Mathspig 2 drunk pics

photo source Daily Mail

Alcohol Related Youth Death Statistics

UK1: 314

Australia2: 260

Canada3: 3,500

USA4: 4,358

  1. 15-34 years for 2011. Source
  1. 15-24 years average 1990-2002 Source
  1. Under 18 years of age. 1996 It is believed that as many as 83 percent of teenagers in Canada consume alcohol. Back in 1996, underage drinking was responsible for 3,500 deaths and 2,000,000 injuries. A 2002 survey found that 20 percent of eight graders had consumed alcohol within the previous month. Source
  1. 4,358 people under age 21 die each year from alcohol-related car crashes, homicides, suicides, alcohol poisoning, and other injuries such as falls, burns, and drowning. Source

Mathspig 9 Youth alcohol related deaths These countries have different populations (See post below). USA population is 15 times Australia’s. 260 x 15 = 3,900. So the Aussie and US stats are in the same ball park even though the stats have been collected for different age ranges. But look at Canada. The USA population is about 9 times Canada’s. 4,358 ÷ 9 = 484 deaths. This  death statistic for Canada is 10 times larger than the USA statistic per head of population. Meanwhile, the population of Canada is 1 1/2 or 1.5 times Australia’s. 260 x 1.5 = 390. Once again, the Canadian statistic is out by a factor of 10. What’s going on here?

The Bar Where You’re Too Afraid to Get Smashed

Mathspig is a party pig. But why does anyone drink themselves senseless? Many reasons, but one is they’re bored. Now here is a bar in Mathspig’s home town, Melbourne, where you better stay sober. Mathspig 10 Trapt Bar ans Escape Rooms Break out of prison in Trapt Bar. You’re in prison, you’re innocent, and no one believes you. You plot an escape with the other prisoners–because unless you break free soon, you’ll all face an unspeakable death (this prison is off the charts). At Trapt Bar and Escape Rooms, you and your teammates have 45 minutes to find clues, solve puzzles and escape before…well…let’s spare you the gruesome details. Picture 10


Maths Mystery Box 7: PHONES

February 18, 2015

Maths Mystery BOX 7

Middle school maths challenge

Algebra & texting

or  LGbra & txtN

According to a Nielsen Survey the Average US teen sends 3,000 txt messages a month. Averages don’t tell us very much. As this fab post at Maths PLUS explains. The average number of ears on 5 people is 1.8 if one dude has one ear. The Nielsen study did show the averages by gender. Mathspig texting 1 Mathspig texting 2 Mathspig texting 3

This is the maximum cost per txt for pre-paid phone cards. Anyone who sends this many txt messages a month would be crazy if they didn’t use a monthly phone plan.Mathspig texting 4 Mathspig texting 5


Mathspig texting 6

Some txts are serious. Very serious.

The 24/7 CRISIS TEXT LINE in the USA has helped many teenagers in crisis.

The phone no. in the USA is


the numbers down the Left of the phone.

OR from outside USA add code here. You can find details of the Crisis TEXT LINE in R U There? By Alice Gregory, The New Yorker (9 FEB 2015)


Ha Ha!

Some txts are NOT serious.

Texting Boredom Mathspig 7

Would you pay for this?

Mathspig texting  8