You probably won't shoot your eye out, after all

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... but you just might suffer a fatal car accident, have a heart attack or fall to your death (though probably not all at the same time), according to a recent study by National Geographic. The results of the study, rendered in an interesting series of concentric circles which we can only reproduce tiny-style here (click here for the full graphic), are both fascinating and at the same time not all that surprising. Learning that cancer was considerably more likely to do me in than a fireworks accident (hence, this blog's title) wasn't particularly jaw-dropping. But, being the trivia buff that I am, I couldn't resist the picayune (and morbid) details. So let's run the numbers!

In 2003, your lifetime odds of dying by
- falling out of bed were 1 in 4,473.
- being crushed by a nonvenomous reptile was, unsurprisingly, 0.
- a sudden change in air pressure were 1 in 374,804.
- having your pajamas catch on fire were 1 in 1,249,356.
- an accidental overdose of sleeping pills or other narcotics were 1 in 406. (A little too close to 1 for comfort, if you ask me.)
- cataclysmic storm were 1 in 49,974.

The big problem with this study? All the odds are for 2003. What if my odds of being crushed by a reptile are like 1 in 5 this year? (For some reason, thinking about my odds of dying a lot tends to put me on edge.)

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December 6, 2006 - 4:00am
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