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Fans of Stieg Larsson’s Girl with the Dragon Tattoo trilogy will be pleased to learn Tuesday will see the the publication of the fourth book in the series. WSJ has the story.
In the latest top-secret, world-wide literary event of the summer, publishers are preparing for the return next week of punk hacker Lisbeth Salander—in the first book of Stieg Larsson’s Millennium series to be written by a different author.
“The Girl in the Spider’s Web,” written by Swedish journalist and author David Lagercrantz, is one of the biggest book launches of the year, with a global first print run of 2.7 million copies, including 325,000 from U.S. publisher Alfred A. Knopf. The book will be released in 24 countries Thursday, then in the U.S. and Canada on Sept. 1.
The original three books in the Millennium series—“The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo,” “The Girl Who Played with Fire” and “The Girl Who Kicked the Hornet’s Nest”—have sold 80 million copies in 50 territories, including 24 million copies in the U.S. Mr. Larsson died of a heart attack in 2004 at age 50.
“The Girl in the Spider’s Web” continues the adventures of Lisbeth Salander and Mikael Blomkvist, an investigative reporter. The new installment uses Silicon Valley as a location and introduces a character from the National Security Agency. …
A post in Nate Silver’s Five Thirty Eight Blog says umpires are less blind than they used to be.
Dusty Dellinger knows how difficult it is to be an umpire. “There’s an old saying that they expect you to be perfect from day one and get better,” the former Major League Baseball official said over the phone. As the director of Minor League Baseball Umpire Development and the Minor League Baseball Umpire Training Academy, he knows how elusive perfection can be.
Correctly calling 140 pitches flying 90-plus mph and breaking six inches or more is a near-impossible standard. And when mistakes are made, players and managers aren’t bashful. Jonathan Papelbon said D.J. Reyburn should “go back to Triple A” after a confrontation over balls and strikes. Joe Girardi complained about inconsistency. Larry Andersen did too after he retired, labeling the men behind the plate arrogant. You don’t have to look too hard for more examples.
That’s led plenty of people to wonder when robots will come for the umps’ jobs. But lost amid those blue-sky dreams is what’s happened to the way we judge the blue behind the plate. Technology has changed how we can evaluate umps. It shows that umps are getting better, that there’s a significant gap between the best and worst, and that the best umps aren’t working the biggest games. …
WSJ OpEd reports on the amazing success of a simple fix for drunk driving in South Dakota.
… Members of Alcoholics Anonymous like to joke that when alcoholics get arrested for drunken driving enough times, it finally sinks in that they need to make a change in their life, so they quit…driving. The joke is directed at alcoholics themselves, but it also applies to the criminal justice system. Legislators and judges have responded to repeat drunken drivers by trying to eliminate their driving—through incarceration, license suspension, ignition locks and vehicle impoundment. Their approach has been to separate the drivers from their vehicles, not from their drinking habits.
A decade ago, as attorney general of South Dakota, Larry Long saw the need for a more direct approach and launched a program called “24/7 Sobriety.” I first encountered 24/7 Sobriety five years ago, and it confounded much of what I had learned in my years as an addiction-treatment professional.
On a clear South Dakota morning, I found myself in a Sioux Falls police station, waiting for more than a hundred repeat offenders to appear for court-mandated appointments. They had to blow into a breathalyzer to prove that they had not been drinking. I expected that many wouldn’t show up; I felt sure that many of those who did show up would be intoxicated—and the rest would be surly.
But every single offender trooped peacefully by, chatted briefly with a friendly officer, blew a negative test and went on his or her way. This was remarkable and new to me, particularly because it was almost absurdly simple.
Offenders in 24/7 Sobriety can drive all they want to, but they are under a court order not to drink. Every morning and evening, for an average of five months, they visit a police facility to take a breathalyzer test. Unlike most consequences imposed by the criminal justice system, the penalties for noncompliance are swift, certain and modest. Drinking results in mandatory arrest, with a night or two in jail as the typical penalty.
The results have been stunning. Since 2005, the program has administered more than 7 million breathalyzer tests to over 30,000 participants. Offenders have both showed up and passed the test at a rate of over 99%. …
The Atlantic says we come by our drinking habits honestly.
… Early America was also a much, much wetter place than it is now, modern frat culture notwithstanding. Instead of binge-drinking in short bursts, Americans often imbibed all day long. “Right after the Constitution is ratified, you could see the alcoholic consumption starting to go up,” said Bustard. Over the next four decades, Americans kept drinking steadily more, hitting a peak of 7.1 gallons of pure alcohol per person per year in 1830. By comparison, in 2013, Americans older than 14 each drank an average of 2.34 gallons of pure alcohol—an estimate which measures how much ethanol people consumed, regardless of how strong or weak their drinks were. Although some colonial-era beers might have been even weaker than today’s light beers, people drank a lot more of them.
In part, heavy alcohol consumption was a way to stay hydrated: Often, clean water wasn’t always accessible. Hard liquor, on the other hand, was readily available, Bustard said; farmers frequently distilled their grain into alcohol. …
Countering prevailing wisdom, a post in Science 2.0 claims there is no dementia epidemic. Of course, the studies they report on were not conducted in DC.
The notion of a dementia epidemic has been a big concern in ageing societies across the globe for some time. With the extension of life expectancy it seems to be an inevitable disaster – one of the “greatest enemies of humanity”, according toUK prime minister David Cameron.
Many shocking figures have been published pointing to dramatic increases in dementia prevalence and massive predicted costs and burdens. Yet new evidence seems to suggest otherwise. In a review of dementia occurrence in five studies in the UK, Sweden, Spain and the Netherlands between 2007 and 2013 that used consistent research methods and diagnostic criteria, we found none that supported headlines about dramatic increases in dementia. They report stable or reduced prevalence at specific ages over the past few decades – despite aging populations.
How to reconcile this relatively optimistic picture with what looks like panic on the part of governments, charities and the mainstream media? …
E Science found a study that tries to determine why women live longer than men.
Across the entire world, women can expect to live longer than men. But why does this occur, and was this always the case? According to a new study led by University of Southern California Leonard Davis School of Gerontology researchers, significant differences in life expectancies between the sexes first emerged as recently as the turn of the 20th century. As infectious disease prevention, improved diets and other positive health behaviors were adopted by people born during the 1800s and early 1900s, death rates plummeted, but women began reaping the longevity benefits at a much faster rate.
In the wake of this massive but uneven decrease in mortality, a review of global data points to heart disease as the culprit behind most of the excess deaths documented in adult men, said USC University Professor and AARP Professor of Gerontology Eileen Crimmins.
“We were surprised at how the divergence in mortality between men and women, which originated as early as 1870, was concentrated in the 50 to 70 age range and faded out sharply after age 80,” Crimmins said. …