Monday Trivia #85 [Mike Schilling wins!]

Vermont, Oregon, Utah, Montana, Washington, Hawaii, Alaska, California, Idaho, Colorado, Wyoming, Maine, Minnesota, New Hampshire, Arizona, New York, New Mexico, Virginia, Nebraska, DC, Wisconsin, Massachusetts, Michigan, South Dakota, Rhode Island, Texas, Connecticut, Nevada, North Dakota, Delaware, Ohio, Kansas, New Jersey, North Carolina, Missouri, Iowa, Pennsylvania, Maryland, Georgia, Florida, Tennessee, Indiana, Illinois, Alabama, Kentucky, Arkansas, West Virginia, Oklahoma, South Carolina, Louisiana, and Mississippi

First hint: Data is courtesy of the CDC.

Will Truman

Will Truman is the Editor-in-Chief of Ordinary Times. He is also on Twitter.


  1. Percentage of people getting a flu vaccine. The list seems slanted towards states that are A) cold weather, B) liberal, and/or C) more highly educated, which seems like a perfect storm for high vaccination rates of one kind or another.

  2. First hint: Data is courtesy of the CDC.

    Number of ancient mainframe computers still in use.

  3. Incidences of illness caused by human/animal contact. I was initially thinking specifically of bird flu but now I’m expanding into all sorts of animals. Yes I know the southeast is ridden with insects of all sorts but for some reason my mind can’t recall any incidences of breakouts of insect-transmitted diseases the way I can think of, for instance, reports of Lyme disease from the forested regions of New England.

    • Alaska does not strike me as likely to have illnesses caused by animals. Injuries, sure, but illnesses?

      • Alaska is notorious for its bald-eagle sized mosquitoes. And fish carry all kinds of weird viruses.

        …I dunno, man, it was a guess! 😉

        • Things I didn’t know about Alaska: It has bald-eagle sized mosquitoes.

          F that. Give it back to Russia. Or Canada.

          • Better not. When we finally run out of real bald eagles, we’ll need a new national bird.

  4. Wednesday Hint: This is one of those cases of the CDC keeping track of something that is not particularly related to disease though is monitored for a correlation of health and human development.

  5. Thursday Hint: This list was passed onto my by Clancy, who was looking up information on a pertinent issue.

      • Fascinating! Will, what is the spread or range of the numbers? Is there a big disparity between the top and the bottom of the list?

        I’m trying to make heads or tails of the “logic” to the list but can’t really seem to. Think it’s random? Or is there a variable that correlates well I’m not thinking of? The top states seem to be crunchier/more liberal than the bottom states, but there are some decidedly non-crunchy states at the top of well.

          • That’s a really interesting Link, Tom. I knew that some communities were more indifferent than others, but not that some were actively hostile to it.

            Of course, the funny thing is, a few decades ago bottle feeding was considered by many in the smart set to be superior. Now, as if we need any other indicator, I enter into evidence Bloomberg’s active hostility to it.

            There are, it should be said, some interesting class dynamics here. Not just on who is doing what, but who is saying what we ought to think about it.

          • Not pissed at all, Tom. I recognize that race and culture are real things with real impacts. I just don’t always agree with how quick folks are to point to them as the sources of whathaveyou.

            Thanks for the links. I hadn’t thought about the racial angle, though did consider the possible role of SES.

          • When my daughter was born, I was working with a lot of people close to my age, About four of my co-workers had babies within a month or two, so we set aside one empty office as the milk-pumping room. Without that kind of support and encouragement, they would have been more likely to switch to formula.

          • Honestly, if my wife couldn’t take the full 12 weeks of maternity leave, breastfeeding for a year would have become a questionable proposition. Not because of a lack of desire or ambition, but because everything doesn’t always fall into place immediately like some people think.

          • Will,

            Can you elaborate? How does 12 weeks of leave allow for a year’s worth of breastfeeding?

          • Kazzy, because things haven’t fallen into place for us the way it does for some. Fortunately, we have 12 weeks to get the rhythm going so that she can be feeding and pumping while working. I am pretty confident it’ll happen. I’d be less confident if it were 6 weeks.

          • Gotcha. I know noting of the logistics/biology/whathaveyou of breastfeeding. I was a little worried that you were going to try to get 12 months of milk out of Clancy in 12 weeks which even to my amateur brain seemed malicious.

        • Kazzy, here is the source. Here’s an exploration of racial and SES interplay.

          I do have to clarify that the precise answer is “Percentage of mothers who breastfeed for a year or more” (I wasn’t going to deny Mike credit for not getting the precise answer). The second link is looking at those who breastfeed period.

          As Tom points out, there are racial dynamics. But social dynamics, too. Appalachia ranks pretty low, and there are white midwestern states that are below average. The “crunchy” factor also seems to play at least something of a role. Montana, Idaho, and whatnot are conservative, but in a more crunchy sort of way. Interestingly enough – though it makes sense in its own way – there is an overlap between breastfeeding rates among native-born whites and vaccination refusal. (Alas, I can’t find the source for that.) There is also a correlation between maternal age and breastfeeding (though that’s going to correspond with SES).

          I was a bit surprised by the Dakotas, but the others fell more-or-less where I would have expected them to.

          • As a soon-to-be-parent and (more so) a teacher, I am always fascinated by the shifts in theories on baby-rearing. It seems every generation has a new position to sleep the baby in, a new best way to feed, etc. These changes, I’m sure, are couched in good science and new knowledge. But there are often interesting ramifications* of these shifts and I’m sure the acceptance of constantly changing “rules” is not always universally accepted. It does not surprise me that poorer folks, more geographically isolated folks (e.g., Appalachians), racial minorities, and other folks living closer to the margins of society might be slower to adapt (or re-adapt) to the “new” best practices: information likely reaches these groups slower; they are probably less accepting/more skeptical of “official” sources of information; they are likely more reliant on community and tradition; etc.

            * One of the interesting consequences of putting babies to sleep on their backs (to avoid SIDS) is a downturn in fine motor development in young children. When babies are on their back, they don’t push up as much. They don’t develop key muscles in the wrist and shoulders which play a huge role in fine motor skills, writing development in particular. We often point to the prevalence of the keyboard and word processing devices as the reason that our collective handwriting as gone to shit and this, no doubt, is a factor, but so is the baby’s sleeping position, something we don’t often think of. This isn’t to say we should return to putting babies on their stomach (what little I know about SIDS and SIDS prevention makes me think many recommendations are more snake oil than actual medicine, but what do I really know?); just that such decisions often have ramifications beyond what we realize.

          • It does not surprise me that poorer folks, more geographically isolated folks (e.g., Appalachians), racial minorities, and other folks living closer to the margins of society might be slower to adapt (or re-adapt) to the “new” best practices: information likely reaches these groups slower; they are probably less accepting/more skeptical of “official” sources of information; they are likely more reliant on community and tradition; etc.

            What I find really interesting is the difference between the rocky mountains and the appalachians. States don’t get much more sparsely populated than Wyoming (largest metro area 100k, then 75k, then nothing) and Montana (largest metro 200k, but after that a handful of 100k and then Butte and then nothing). Which is why I thought your crunchy comment was on-target.

          • Crunchy indeed, Will. I should add that my “living at the margins of society” was more metaphorical than it was physical. My sense of the mountain west (which is not based on first hand experience so correct me if I’m wrong) is that while it may be rural and sparse, it is still a well-connected area. Appalachians often lack electricity and, with it, digital connections to the outside world. I don’t understand this to be the case in the Rockies.

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