A.Leigh
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    • A.Leigh

      How science works: Let’s say you want to see if there’s a correlation between medicine A and disorder B. There are three options—A is correlated with more B, A is correlated with less B, or there is no correlation. If A is correlated with more B, then the majority of studies will show a higher rate of B in people given A. Some studies, by chance, will not, unless for some reason every person given medicine A gets disorder B and no one else ever gets it. If A is correlated with less B, the reverse is true—the majority of studies will show a lower rate of B in people given A, but some studies (again, by chance) will not. Some might show no correlation, some might indicate that A is correlated with more B, but the overwhelming majority of studies will show a negative correlation. If A is not correlated with B, in any way, then most studies will show no correlation, some (by chance) will show a positive correlation, and some (by chance) will show a negative correlation. If there was never a single study that implied some correlation, that would be highly unusual. Note that I say these things happen by chance, but they can also be affected by poor study design and researcher bias, and if you’re looking at studies reported by the media (rather than the actual journals) they are most definitely affected by the media reporting things it wants to report, and misinterpreting many studies (deliberately or otherwise). In any case, the overwhelming majority of studies suggests no correlation between vaccines and autism. Any one particular study disagreeing with that is essentially irrelevant in light of the thousands that don’t.

    • A.Leigh

      Nothing—including vaccines—is 100% effective. Most vaccines are 85-95% effective (a couple are a little lower). If everyone who can get vaccinated does, hardly any will get sick, even among the small percent for whom the vaccine wasn’t effective. Plus, as previously mentioned, some people can’t get vaccines due to allergies or being immunocompromised. The people around them being vaccinated helps keep them safe. The same holds true for babies who aren’t old enough to receive the vaccines yet. Even if vaccines did cause autism, which they don’t, the odds would be incredibly tiny. The odds of children dying (or suffering serious, life-altering complications, like paralysis or deafness) from serious illnesses like polio, measles, or (pre-eradication) smallpox are much higher. Vaccines are by far the safer option. You might not think so, because not many people get these illnesses, but if everyone stopped vaccinated, that wouldn’t be the case. Don’t rely on the fact that other people vaccinate their kids while refusing to vaccinate your own and endangering other people’s kids.

    • A.Leigh

      Not everyone in the US lives near a beach, and the northern half of the country (especially near the Great Lakes) is too cold to swim except basically from May-September, if you’re lucky. Only the northern part of the country gets snow most of the time. Americans say “sleepovers” too. When I was a kid, I thought the difference was basically that it was a sleepover if you only had one or two friends over and a slumber party if you had several (i.e. enough for a party). We all have pools? Ha. Maybe in Florida and Los Angeles. People camp in tents here, too. A lot of American kids share rooms. It depends on how much money your family has, how many rooms your house has, and how many kids there are (and the genders of the kids). Most families with more than 2 kids have them sharing a room at some point. I was unaware you guys didn’t have fraternities, and I had to look up what the heck a “vest top” is. As far as I can tell, it’s what we call a tank top. So I guess I learned something from this list.

    • A.Leigh

      If stuffed animals were sentient like in The Velveteen Rabbit, I would feel very sad for your not-so-favorite ones. Pretending to love them when in reality you wouldn’t mind if they were set on fire isn’t very nice. (Amusing kid logic, though.) I loved The Velveteen Rabbit when I was little. I had a videotape with the book being read aloud (by Meryl Streep, as I learned when I watched it again a few years ago) to still drawings (I believe there was an almost-animated effect in a few parts). It was one of my favorite things. Though oddly enough, as much as I read as I kid, I never did have the actual book.

    • A.Leigh

      I didn’t mean to do this in separate comments, but also:
      “The comments on this article describing problems with auto-colour, auto-focus, etc really bother me. A decent photographer NEVER uses auto-anything because it removes all contrast and dumbs everything down to a middling grey.” Not everyone is, or needs to be, a “decent photographer.” It’s okay for people to just go to the store, buy a camera, and take pictures of their kids birthday party without having to take a photography class or spend hours researching. It’s okay for people to buy cheap point-and-shoot cameras that really only have auto. And it should be possible for these people to still get halfways decent pictures by doing so. If white people can get pretty good pictures from disposable cameras and $50 digital cameras made for kids (which they can—some of the pictures I took with disposable cameras as a kid in the ’90s are quite nice), why can’t non-white people get decent pictures with a higher quality camera on auto? That’s the point of auto settings. We live in an era where practically everyone takes pictures on a regular basis. This is absolutely something worth discussing.

    • A.Leigh

      Every store I’ve seen that sells pants with shorter lengths also sells them with longer ones. There are also many that have long but not short, and some that carry a full range (00-18 or whatever) of long but a very narrow range (like 6-12) of short. Short jeans are annoying to find, and short sweatpants and yoga pants are all but impossible (American Eagle is the only place I’ve ever managed to find them). Even the “short” yoga pants I have are long enough that I step on them, and I’m 5’2”, which is on the tall side of short. And petite shirts are tiny. They require you to be very skinny with very small boobs, which of course many women are but it’s not a necessary component of shortness.

    • A.Leigh

      Thoughts I have while shopping at Target:
      “Okay, I need to buy [mentally review shopping list].”
      (See interesting item) “Ooh, that’s neat.” (resumes shopping) [repeat occasionally, consider buying one or two of the interesting items, particularly if they are food]
      “Okay, well, that’s everything I need.” I’m incredibly concerned about anyone who actually thinks “Wait, which door should I go in?” Doors are really not that difficult. Picking one to go in shouldn’t take you more than a few seconds.

    • A.Leigh

      I can understand the decision to have it be in color (the book starts off with you not realizing everything is black and white, after all, which is impossible to do in a movie anyway), but I wholeheartedly agree with everything else. They make it seem like Meryl Streep and the rest made things bad on purpose and want to keep everyone unaware of that, but that’s not how it’s supposed to be at all. It isn’t the Hunger Games; they didn’t make things the way they are to punish or oppress people. They did it to make things better. Nobody, not even the people in charge, realize how bad they are. That’s the point.

    • A.Leigh

      So you want them to make two posts, one about the missing plane and one about the building explosion, and not do anything for the rest of the day? That sounds kind of like a waste of time. Believe it or not, it is possible to care about serious issues and address minor ones as well. Plus, not every site on the internet is (or should be) geared towards serious topics. BuzzFeed is a casual website, filled with cat gifs, not a serious one filled with hard-hitting news.

    • A.Leigh

      It’s basically a bean-bag tossing game. There’s two angled boards sitting several feet apart (I have no idea how far, 10 maybe?) and each has a hole in it, and you stand behind one board and try to throw bean-bags into the hole of the other board, then the other person/team does the same. You get points for making it in the hole or on the board, and the person/team with more wins (or you might have to get to 20 or something, I can’t remember). I believe the name is based on making the bean-bags with corn, so really more of a corn-bag (except that’s not a word I’ve ever heard anyone use). It’s a very silly name and I don’t know why they continue using it given the connotations it has. I have no idea how popular it is. I never heard of it until college, but I’ve heard of it quite a bit since then, including bars (in a city, no less) having cornhole tournaments. I do get the impression it’s the sort of game typically played with a beer close at hand.

    • A.Leigh

      I’m actually slightly impressed that Josie and the Pussycats has a 53%. I’ve never seen it, mind you, so I’m not making any statement on the quality of the movie itself, but Thor: The Dark World only has a 65%, so 53% is—while by no means good—actually a halfways respectable score. Much better than most of this list, at least. I haven’t seen it in a few years, but I think A Walk to Remember is a bit better than this is giving it credit for, if you’re okay with schmaltzy (and oh boy, is it schmaltzy) movies with a heaping dose of religious sentiment. Also, two interesting facts about it that I just learned from Wikipedia:
      “The inspiration for A Walk to Remember was Nicholas Sparks’ sister, Danielle Sparks Lewis, who died of cancer in 2000.” (At the risk of spoilers for 12 year old movie, suffice to say the plot is based on her life, which is actually kind of surprising to me for some reason.)
      “Despite bad critical reviews, the movie was praised by audiences, has 77% score from audiences on Rotten Tomatoes, and holds a score of 7.2 on the Internet Movie Database. Additionally, in social media, particularly in Facebook, A Walk to Remember has an estimated likes of 12,355,000 and is currently the 28th most liked movie on Facebook.”
      I’m not sure I’d count it as a good movie, and I’m not sure if I could watch it now, but it’s not the worst movie ever. I love What a Girl Wants, though, and nothing you say is going to change that.

    • A.Leigh

      It seems strange to me that so many of the people commenting had separate gym classes. I thought that was something that only happened in fiction/the 70s (like gym uniforms, another thing no one I’ve met has experienced, other than maybe some private school kids). I wonder what percentage of gym classes are coed. I tried looking it up, but it’s not easy to find. I did find this: “Final regulations on how the law [Title IX] would be enforced were not published by the Department of Health, Education and Welfare until 1975…The following school year saw one of the offshoots of the law, coed gym classes, become common practice in schools.” As far as I can tell, coed gym classes are the norm, but clearly there are exceptions, or at least there were 20 years ago.

    • A.Leigh

      #11 Sunny D came in flavors besides orange then, at least in the US. I haven’t drank it since around 2006 and I’ve had different flavors of it. One was pink, although I have no idea what the actual flavor was, and I believe one was been blue. (After Googling, I’d guess Orange Strawberry and Baja Berry.) #17 False. It’s been less than 3 months. Before that, it was about 2 years. Both times were at wedding receptions.

    • A.Leigh

      I frequently got “restaurant” wrong until I took Spanish, and then I never forgot how to spell it again. (In Spanish, it’s “restaurante,” pronounced rest-ow-ron-teh, which makes it easy to remember where the ‘u’ goes.) I still have trouble with gauge (I always want to put “guage,” which of course looks wrong but make more sense phonetically), but recently I’ve been starting to get it right more often. I also tend to get “bureaucracy” wrong.  Mostly I have trouble with words that I don’t see very often that are just unusual enough to not be obvious but not so weird that I remember them because of that, and if I get it wrong often enough I usually start remembering how to spell it (by virtue of knowing it’s not how I think it should be spelled) eventually. People writing “defiantly” instead of “definitely” is a pet peeve of mine, though. I’m not even sure how that happens. I can understand misspelling things in ways that could sound the same, but defiantly? Are you pronouncing definitely “def-ee-ent-ly” or something? I’ve even seen it spelled this way in professional things, where there’s really no excuse.

    • A.Leigh

      I’m baffled by:
      Sour candy—They don’t eat sour candy in other countries?
      Looking older—Not all Americans look older than they are. I, for one, am 23 and look 15. Plenty of people look younger than they are. The only possible reason I can think of why you’d think otherwise is that usually teens on TV are played by people in their 20s.
      Talking about where they’re from before a fight—Do people do this?
      Ending sentences like they’re a question—Most people don’t do this.
      Clapping—I’ve never seen anyone clap for themselves. Am I missing something?
      Raccoons—I’m sorry, what? I don’t understand the question. I’ve never even seen a raccoon.
      Cinnamon—Do people not use cinnamon in other countries? It’s a spice. You put it in food. But I can answer these ones:
      Red cups—They’re the easiest to find in the store, and (probably as both a result and cause of that) they’re what’s used in movies as a sort of symbol for underage drinking. Despite evidence to the contrary (like the song “Red Solo Cup”), most Americans couldn’t care less what color their cups are, at least as far as I know.
      Cinco de Mayo—It is technically a real (minor) holiday, but for most Americans it (like St Patrick’s Day) is just an excuse to get drunk. And no one thinks Taco Bell is real Mexican food.
      Air conditioners—Depending on the type of air conditioner you have (the kind that sits in your window vs central air) and what you have it set at, it can be way too cold, but most people keep their homes between 65-80 degrees and it’s largely only because of air conditioners that keeping it below 80 is possible (at least in the summer/the south).
      Flip flops—They’re cheap, comfortable, and require no effort to put on or take off.
      Leaving the front door open—Sometimes people in rural areas leave their doors open when it’s hot out to help circulate air and keep the house cool. Otherwise, people don’t really ever leave their doors open, as far as I know.
      Going out for yogurt—It’s almost always frozen yogurt, which is basically ice cream. The rest, I have no idea why. We/they just do, I guess. Some are things a lot of Americans think are weird too, but it’s true that many people do them.

    • A.Leigh

      You only have to have the child living with you for 6 months and a day to claim them on your taxes, so of course they’ll claim her if she moved out in November. I have to say, the FASFA is my first thought with all this. It seems like a simple case of this girl being a spoiled brat (although it’s possible there’s more to it), but the government operates on the assumption that parents will pay for their children’s tuition. If they earn over a certain amount, she could be stuck with no financial aid and no support, which would make things very difficult for her.

    • A.Leigh

      I disagree. If I order something or book an appointment online, I want to see the confirmation emails in my inbox. If it’s from someplace I’ve never ordered from/booked with before, I won’t have their email in my address book, and considering that most sites have a separate auto-confirm email, I can’t necessarily just add it preemptively, either. Another aspect of their sorting is that Gmail automatically filters order confirmations to the inbox based on the words in them (it tells you this if you mouse over them).

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