Statistics in the News

Planning that Final Party (Fall 2011)
Bush Approval Rating Falls To Record Low (11-13-5)
No Bounce: Bush Job Approval Unchanged by War Speech
Woman Wins Lottery Million For Second Time This Year
Nearly 40% Of French Men Wish They Could Be Pregnant, Poll Says
Frances a Fast-Growing Hurricane, Far Out at Sea
Bush Edges Ahead of Kerry for the 1st Time
Stocks Finish Lower on Rising Oil Prices - Dow, Nasdaq Finish Lower As Increase in Jobless Claims Offsets Falling Oil Prices
Cleaners, Solvents May Raise Kids' Asthma Risk

Funerals are changing, and people are taking matters into their own hands, by Kathleen A. Hughes, WSJ. (Fall 2011)

From AARP data, percentage of those who have prepard at least a portion of funeral or burial expense for themselves or for someone else - 23%.
Percentage who have not done any comparison shopping on funerals or burials - 79%.
There were 2 additional questions which are marketing questions and do not really provide much data.

Bush Approval Rating Falls To Record Low
(Bloomberg) -- U.S. President George W. Bush's approval rating fell to a record low of 36 percent from 40 percent at the end of September, a survey released today by Newsweek magazine showed.
Bush's previous record low was 38 percent in the days after Hurricane Katrina struck on Aug. 29. Newsweek said Bush's approval rating equals the low of Bill Clinton's presidency in May 1993, when the Democratic president also hit 36 percent. Bush's father, President George H. W. Bush, recorded a 32 percent approval rating in a Gallup poll taken in July 1992 before Clinton defeated him.
A total of 58 percent of those surveyed by today's Newsweek poll said they disapprove of how Bush is handling his job, following the indictment of I. Lewis Libby, former chief of staff of Vice President Dick Cheney, on charges of perjury and obstruction of justice and the withdrawal of the nomination of Harriet Miers for the Supreme Court.
Fifty-six percent of Americans told the poll the president "won't be able to get much done" during his last three years in office, and 68 percent said they are dissatisfied with the direction the country is going at the moment compared with 61 percent in the last Newsweek poll, the magazine said.
Of the 1,002 adults polled by telephone Nov. 10-11, 60 percent disapprove of the way Bush is managing the economy and 73 percent disapprove of his handling of the price of oil, the magazine said. The poll has a margin of error of plus or minus 4 percentage points.
When asked if Bush "is honest and ethical," 50 percent of the respondents disagreed and 42 percent agreed. When asked if the phrase described Cheney, 55 percent disagreed and 29 percent agreed, Newsweek said.
A total of 54 percent of those polled said they believed that someone in the Bush administration acted unethically during a probe into who revealed the name of CIA operative Valerie Plame to reporters in July 2003. The disclosure came after Plame's husband publicly criticized the Iraq war. Libby on Nov. 3 pleaded not guilty to charges against him in the case.;refer=top_world_news

No Bounce: Bush Job Approval Unchanged by War Speech; Question on Impeachment Shows Polarization of Nation; Americans Tired of Divisiveness in Congress--Want Bi-Partisan Solutions--New Zogby Poll

Released: June 30, 2005

President Bush's televised address to the nation produced no noticeable bounce in his approval numbers, with his job approval rating slipping a point from a week ago, to 43%, in the latest Zogby International poll. And, in a sign of continuing polarization, more than two-in-five voters (42%) say they would favor impeachment proceedings if it is found the President misled the nation about his reasons for going to war with Iraq.

The Zogby America survey of 905 likely voters, conducted from June 27 through 29, 2005, has a margin of error of +/-3.3 percentage points.

Just one week ago, President Bush's job approval stood at a previous low of 44%--but it has now slipped another point to 43%, despite a speech to the nation intended to build support for the Administration and the ongoing Iraq War effort. The Zogby America survey includes calls made both before and after the President's address, and the results show no discernible “bump’ in his job approval, with voter approval of his job performance at 45% in the final day of polling.

Where voters live has some impact on their perceptions. The President's job rating remains relatively strong in the South, with 51% rating his performance favorably; in all other regions, those disapproving his performance are in the majority.

In a more significant sign of the weakness of the President's numbers, more “Red State’ voters--that is, voters living in the states that cast their ballots for the Bush-Cheney ticket in 2004--now rate his job performance unfavorably, with 50% holding a negative impression of the President's handling of his duties, and 48% holding a favorable view. The President also gets negative marks from one-in-four (25%) Republicans--as well as 86% of Democrats and 58% of independents. (Bush nets favorable marks from 75% of Republicans, 13% of Democrats and 40% of independents.)

Impeachment Question Shows Bitterness of Divide

In a sign of the continuing partisan division of the nation, more than two-in-five (42%) voters say that, if it is found that President Bush did not tell the truth about his reasons for going to war with Iraq, Congress should hold him accountable through impeachment. While half (50%) of respondents do not hold this view, supporters of impeachment outweigh opponents in some parts of the country.  Among those living in the Western states, a 52% majority favors Congress using the impeachment mechanism while just 41% are opposed; in Eastern states, 49% are in favor and 45% opposed. In the South, meanwhile, impeachment is opposed by three-in-five voters (60%) and supported by just one-in-three (34%); in the Central/Great Lakes region, 52% are opposed and 38% in favor.  Impeachment is overwhelmingly rejected in the Red States--just 36% say they agree Congress should use it if the President is found to have lied on Iraq, while 55% reject this view; in the “Blue States’ that voted for Massachusetts Democrat John Kerry in 2004, meanwhile, a plurality of 48% favors such proceedings while 45% are opposed.  A large majority of Democrats (59%) say they agree that the President should be impeached if he lied about Iraq, while just three-in-ten (30%) disagree. Among President Bush's fellow Republicans, a full one-in-four (25%) indicate they would favor impeaching the President under these circumstances, while seven-in-ten (70%) do not. Independents are more closely divided, with 43% favoring impeachment and 49% opposed.

Zogby International conducted interviews of 905 likely voters chosen at random nationwide. All calls were made from Zogby International headquarters in Utica, N.Y., from June 27 to 29, 2005. The margin of error is +/- 3.3 percentage points. Slight weights were added to region, party, age, race, religion, and gender to more accurately reflect the voting population. Margins of error are higher in sub-groups.


Zogby Methodology

Woman Wins Lottery Million For Second Time This Year

By Josh Drobnyk, Of The Morning Call

Same woman, same game, same million-dollar luck.

Just five months after Donna Goeppert of Bethlehem scratched off a winning million-dollar lottery ticket, she did the unthinkable Thursday. She won again.

''It is just unbelievable,'' Goeppert said Friday, minutes after returning from filing her claim at the lottery's headquarters in Harrisburg. ''What are the odds of that?''

Pretty darn slim.  Actually, based on her playing the $20 game about 100 times, the odds are 419 million to one, according to Lehigh University engineering professor Bob Storer, who teaches applied statistics and math.  The odds of winning once are 1.44 million to one, according to the Pennsylvania Lottery.  Goeppert, in other words, would have had a much better chance of twice being hit by lightning than twice winning the top prize in the lottery's $1 Million Blockbuster game.

Of the five $1 million winning tickets in that game, Goeppert has scored two. A Pennsylvania Lottery spokeswoman confirmed a claim had been filed Friday but said it would take a few days to validate the ticket and six to eight weeks to cut a check.

Goeppert, though, has done this before, and the jitters of having to wait weeks to get the million bucks ($750,000 after taxes) are a thing of the past, she and her husband, Bill, said.  Here's what happened Thursday:  Goeppert strolled into Lump's Deli in Bethlehem about 2 p.m. and grabbed a ticket to one of her favorite games, the same game that in January paid off her mortgage and her children's, bought her a new Cadillac and helped save for her grandchildren's education.  Goeppert knew immediately she'd won something big. She could tell by the letters ''CLM,'' for claim, in the corner of the ticket. When she saw ''$1 million'' hiding underneath the foil, she looked up at the store's clerk and shook her head in disbelief.  ''We just looked at each other and hugged,'' said the clerk, Julianne Wentz, the only other person in the store.  Lump's Deli store owners Dave and Julie Sanders get $5,000 out of the deal, just as the owners of Linden Food Market, two blocks up the road, did in January when Goeppert hauled in her winnings.

''I'm hollering and I'm hugging her. I was shaking, she was shaking,'' Wentz added.  Goeppert cried.  ''It's like, no way am I going to win a million dollars again,'' the 55-year-old Goeppert, who runs bingo twice a week, recalled thinking.  Yes way. She picked up the phone and called her husband, who needed less convincing than the last time she hit him with the news.  ''The first thing he said when he came over is 'That's enough,''' she said, smiling. ''I said, 'Excuse me?'''

Goeppert's luck is, needless to say, highly unusual. And while the Pennsylvania Lottery could not confirm whether winning a top prize twice is unprecedented, at least a few others have experienced more than their fair share of luck, according to Lottery spokeswoman Stephanie Weyant.  A Coxeville, Carbon County, man hit the lottery jackpot four times, raking in more than $2.5 million, in the late 1980s and '90s. In 2000, a husband and wife separately won replica Pocono pace cars in the Pocono Race for the Riches instant game. And recently, a woman won three separate $1,000 prizes in the million-dollar Strike It Rich game.

Now that the Goepperts have paid all their bills, handed down their painting business to their children and pampered their families, they say they're ready for a few more trips to Atlantic City and a new house. But a big house, Goeppert said, would be wasted on her.  ''I just want a small little house,'' Goeppert said, ''because I don't like being home a lot. I like to go play.''

After all, there's one $1 million ticket remaining in the $1 Million Blockbuster game.,0,3188283.story

Nearly 40% Of French Men Wish They Could Be Pregnant, Poll Says

POSTED: 7:25 am EDT June 13, 2005

NEW YORK -- Forget sympathy pains -- nearly 40 percent of French men said they want to go through the real thing.

According to a poll published in the current issue of Children's Magazine, 38 percent of the 500 French fathers questioned said they wish they could be pregnant and go through labor instead of their wives.

And the poll finds many women would be OK with that. An even greater percentage of them said they would be up for the switch.

The same survey said 71 percent of the French men surveyed said they're prepared to take a year-long sabbatical or put in a request to work part-time to be more of a hands-on dad.

The poll was conducted by the marketing company Ipsos.
Copyright 2005 by The Associated Press. All rights reserved.

Frances a Fast-Growing Hurricane, Far Out at Sea

Forecasters have predicted the 2004 Atlantic hurricane season, which runs
from June 1 to Nov. 30, would be a busy one. Already, six tropical storms or
hurricanes have formed and the busiest part of the season, from late August
to early October, has just begun.

An average hurricane season sees about 10 tropical storms, with about six
becoming hurricanes.

WEDS, AUG 25, 2004


Bush Edges Ahead of Kerry for the 1st Time

For the first time this year in a Times survey, Bush led Kerry in the presidential race, drawing 49% among registered voters, compared with 46% for the Democrat.

Bush ahead of Kerry 50%-47% among likely voters...

In a head-to-head matchup, Bush led Kerry 50%-47% among likely voters, while Kerry led Bush 48%-47% among registered voters. When independent Ralph Nader is included, Bush leads Kerry, 48%-46%, among likely voters. Nader gets 4%.

The poll of 1,004 adults, conducted Monday through Wednesday, had a margin of error of +/3 percentage points. The margin was +/4 points for the subgroups of registered and likely voters.




























Stocks Finish Lower on Rising Oil Prices - Dow, Nasdaq Finish Lower As Increase in Jobless Claims Offsets Falling Oil Prices

the number of people who signed up for jobless benefits rose last week by a seasonally adjusted 10,000 to 343,000; economists had expected an increase of just 4,000. At least half of those filing new claims were out of work because of Hurricane Charley, the Labor Department said.

Cleaners, Solvents May Raise Kids' Asthma Risk

The study included 88 toddlers with asthma and 104 without asthma. The children were tested for allergic reactions, and their parents filled out detailed questionnaires about the children's health.

Researchers at Curtin University of Technology in Perth also assessed levels of volatile organic compounds (VOCs) in the children's homes. VOCs are found in cigarette smoke, cleaning products, room fresheners, polishes, fitted carpets, solvents, paints, and floor adhesives.