Hurricane Patricia vs Katrina

Hurricane Patricia has already been dubbed the strongest storm ever measured. It is currently making landfall on the west coast of Mexico and my thoughts and prayers are with those who are in its path.

The storm has really come out of nowhere and has experienced unprecedented growth. Just 72 hours ago the storm had a maximum wind speed of 35 mph. Earlier today the storm’s maximum sustained winds reached 200 miles per hour. When seeing these dramatic numbers, I thought it would be interesting to put this data on a chart and compare it with another famous storm from this century – Katrina. As you see in the chart below, Patricia’s growth has truly been impressive. During one 39 hour period, the storm’s maximum sustained wind speed grew from 40 to 200 MPH, an average of 4.1 per hour.
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Since the year 2000, mass shootings have begun a disturbing trend upwards, in both number of incidents and total casualties according to an FBI report released in September 2014. The report is a study of the active shooter incidents in the United States between the years 2000 and 2013. The report is an excellent read and looks at the trends associated with mass shootings. During a discussion of the topic with a friend of mine, he suggested that it would be interesting to take a look at the occurrence of mass shootings compared with state gun laws, to see if there is any correlation between the two. Challenge accepted.

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2016 candidates search rankings

The 2016 Presidential Election season is underway and most of the major polls and media outlets are touting Hillary Clinton and Jeb Bush as the frontrunners for their respective political parties. They are, in fact, the most widely known candidates – so this makes sense. Doesn’t it? Well, an interesting thing is happening in internet searches. A few days ago, the folks over at Google released a spreadsheet containing the search interest of the 2016 Presidential candidates for the past 3 months.
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HIV rate change from 2000 to 2013 by state

HIV, the virus that causes the immune system attacking disease commonly known as AIDS, has been a public concern since the early 80’s. Much has been spent on research and awareness programs that have helped to slow the growth of the disease in the United States. After digging through some CDC statistics, I thought it would be interesting to see how we are doing on a state-by-state basis, and the results for the first part of this century are mixed.

Turns out that 55% of states (28 out of 51 – including DC) actually had a higher HIV diagnosis rate in 2013 than they did in the year 2000, some as much as a 460% increase. The percent change for each state can be seen on the interactive map below. Hover over each state to see the details. A simple table of the data is also included below the map.

The CDC defines the diagnosis rate as the number of diagnoses per 100,000 residents.

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Consumer Complaints to the CFPB

2013 was a big year for mortgage complaints to the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau. There were a total of 49,432 complaints – nearly as many as all the other products combined. Thankfully, by the reports made by Northpoint Mortgage Lenders, the rates are falling – 43,013 in 2014 and mortgage complaints are on track to be around 35,000 for 2015. This is good news, but there are couple of other categories that are on the rise – debt collection and credit reporting.

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Round One of the 2015 NFL Draft is in the books and the college that sent the most players is the Washington Huskies, followed by Clemson, Florida, and Florida State. In addition, wide receivers were the most popular, with six of them going in the first round – followed by offensive tackle and cornerback.

See the full rankings below. The player list can be filtered by clicking or tapping on values in the bar chart.

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average square footage by financing type

In the year 2008, the United States, and eventually the rest of the world was feeling the effects of the global financial crisis. The housing industry was reeling from the bubble bursting just a few months prior and home values were dropping at a larger rate than any of us had ever seen before. Home sales were down and inventories were rising rapidly. All of this was really not surprising given the financial climate. However, things get interesting when you take a look at the average square footage of homes sold during that period, broken down by type of financing.

At a time when you think everyone would be cutting back, there were only two groups who cut back on the size of the home purchased during the financial crisis. Those who purchased using a conventional mortgage, cut back slightly – from a high of 2,644 square feet in 2008 to a low of 2,543 in 2010. This represents a decrease of 3.8%. The cash buyers are the group that really took notice of and reacted to the financial conditions surrounding them. The average home square footage for this group dropped a whopping 14% – from 2,617 to 2,250.

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Interactive Map of Diabetes Prevalence by County

Diabetes is a serious disease that is characterized by having high blood sugar levels over a long period of time. If left untreated, it can cause many complications, including cardiovascular disease, stroke, kidney failure, foot ulcers, and damage to the eyes.

Even with these serious consequences, the rate of diabetes in the United States has been steadily increasing. According to data from the United States Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, there are only 10 counties that experienced a decrease in the rate of diabetes prevalence from 2004 to 2012. The diabetes prevalence rate is the percentage of the current population that has been diagnosed with diabetes.

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