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The Norm Chronicles : Stories and Numbers about Danger and Death
by Michael Blastland and David Spiegelhalter


Overview - Is it safer to fly or take the train? How dangerous is skydiving? And is eating that extra sausage going to kill you? We've all heard the statistics for risky activities, but what do they mean in the real world? In The Norm Chronicles , journalist Michael Blastland and risk expert David Spiegelhalter explore these questions through the stories of average Norm and an ingenious measurement called the MicroMort-a one in a million chance of dying.  Read more...

 
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More About The Norm Chronicles by Michael Blastland; David Spiegelhalter
 
 
 
Overview
Is it safer to fly or take the train? How dangerous is skydiving? And is eating that extra sausage going to kill you? We've all heard the statistics for risky activities, but what do they mean in the real world? In The Norm Chronicles, journalist Michael Blastland and risk expert David Spiegelhalter explore these questions through the stories of average Norm and an ingenious measurement called the MicroMort-a one in a million chance of dying. They reveal why general anesthesia is as dangerous as a parachute jump, giving birth in the US is nearly twice as risky as in the UK, and that the radiation from eating a banana shaves 3 seconds off your life. An entertaining guide to the statistics of personal risk, The Norm Chronicles will enlighten anyone who has ever worried about the dangers we encounter in our daily lives.

 
Details
  • ISBN-13: 9780465085705
  • ISBN-10: 0465085709
  • Publisher: Basic Books (AZ)
  • Publish Date: June 2014
  • Page Count: 358
  • Dimensions: 8.1 x 5.4 x 1.2 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 0.85 pounds


Related Categories

Books > Social Science > Statistics
Books > Health & Fitness > Safety
Books > Social Science > Death & Dying

 
Publishers Weekly Reviews

Publishers Weekly® Reviews

  • Reviewed in: Publishers Weekly, page .
  • Review Date: 2014-06-23
  • Reviewer: Staff

Journalist Blastland (The Tiger That Isn't) and University of Cambridge risk expert Spiegelhalter examine the probabilities involved in surviving a day. Predictably this includes a plethora of statistics, but the stats are leavened by stories featuring Norm, the archetypical average guy, as well as cautious Prudence and the risk-taking Kevlin brothers. Drawing on media and government documents, the authors concoct a few measurements to help assess risk: the MicroMort, "a one-in-a-million chance of something horribly and fatally dramatic happening," and the MicroLife, one millionth of an adult life or approximately half an hour. Amidst the numbers and stories on topics as diverse as infant mortality, travel, extreme sports, and crime, the authors examine just how all of this affects non-theoretical humans. In the crime chapter they warn that "the plural of ‘anecdote' is not ‘data'... and the corollary of ‘vivid' or ‘lurid' is not ‘likely.'" From the beginning of the book, the authors acknowledge that "numbers may matter less to us than feelings," while they conclude by asserting that "probability intuitively difficult and confusing." The whole is seasoned with a dash of humor to create a work that should satisfy anyone curious about just how and when this mortal coil might be shuffled off. (June)

 
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