Map of life expectancy at birth from Global Education Project.

Monday, February 08, 2010

Some perspective

For those who believe the Undiebomber is an existential threat to western civilization that requires repealing the Bill of Rights and electing Sarah Palin president, you may be interested to know that in the United States alone there were more than 11 million commercial airline departures in 2007 (the most recent year for which data are available), resulting in 12 1/2 billion passenger miles.

If it continues to be the case that once every ten years or so some lost wackjob succeeds in getting onto an airplane with an explosive device concealed in some article of clothing or body cavity and, for once, actually succeeds in blowing up the plane, even if you are a frequent flyer your chances of being killed or injured in the incident are less than your chances of being eaten by a shark. So stay out of the water.