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11 Mundane Objects That Are Statistically Deadlier Than Sharks

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Beachgoers must not be very appetizing. Sharks are often billed as merciless man eaters. Yet, they kill—on average—less than one person every two years in the U.S. In fact, if you went to the World Cup in Brazil, you were more likely to be bitten by Luis Suárez than by a shark. Perhaps it’s time to start shooting a movie called “Suárez-Nado." But why stop there? Here are 11 other items that would (statistically) pose a more credible threat to B-movie characters than some hungry, hungry shark. You’re welcome, Hollywood!

1. Beds

Falling out of bed isn’t just annoying; it’s also quite dangerous, claiming some 450 American lives yearly.

2. Balloons

Not the hot air version, the latex kids' party kind. Every year they kill between 2 and 5 people in just the United States [PDF].

3. Ladders

There are 113 ladder-related fatalities in the U.S. every year.

4. Televisions

Shark Week is happening right now, but you might want to download it: In 2011, 29 people were killed by falling TV sets [PDF].

5. Lawn Mowers

America currently leads the world in lawn mower and small tractor-related fatalities, with 75 citizens falling victim to these vehicles annually. For obvious reasons, this can be a gruesome way to go.

6. Vending Machines

According to the Consumer Product Safety Commission, these heavy food dispensers have been responsible for “at least 37 deaths and 113 injuries since 1978."

7. Swing Sets

Playground equipment—and swing sets in particular—kill nearly 20 people per year.

8. Staircases

Falling down these leads to 1600 annual fatalities. So make sure you’re using those handrails. 

9. Bathtubs

Three hundred bathers drown in household tubs every year. 

10. Cell Phones

Don’t text and drive. Ever. Go here to find out why.

11. Bicycles

Cycling-related deaths are sadly commonplace, according to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration.

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From Snoopy to Shark Bait: The Top Slang Word in Each State
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There’s a minute, and then there’s a hot minute. Defined as “a longish amount of time,” this unit of time is familiar to Alabamians but may stir up confusion beyond the state’s borders.

It’s Louisianans, though, who feel the “most misunderstood,” according to the results of a survey regarding regional slang by PlayNJ. Of the Louisiana residents surveyed, 72 percent said their fellow Americans from other states—even neighboring ones—have a hard time grasping their lingo. Some learned the hard way that ordering a burger “dressed” (with lettuce, tomato, pickles, and mayo) isn’t universally understood, nor is the phrase “to pass a good time” (instead of “to have” a good time).

After surveying 2000 people (with proportional numbers from each state), PlayNJ created a map showing the top slang word in each state. Many are words that are unlikely to be understood beyond state lines, but others—like California’s bomb (something you really like) and New York’s deadass (to be completely serious)—have spread well beyond their respective borders thanks to memes and internet culture.

Hawaiians are also known for their distinctive slang words, with 71 percent reporting that words like shaka (hello) and poho (waste of time) are frequently misunderstood. Shark bait, one of the state’s more colorful terms, refers to tourists who are so pale that they attract sharks.

Check out the full list below and test your knowledge of regional slang words with PlayNJ’s online quiz.

A chart showing the top slang words in each state
PlayNJ
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20 States With the Highest Rates of Skin Cancer
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They don’t call it the Sunshine State for nothing. Floridians get to soak up the sun year-round, but that exposure to harmful UV rays also comes with consequences. Prevention magazine reported that Florida has the highest rate of skin cancer in the U.S., according to a survey by Blue Cross Blue Shield (BCBS).

BCBS surveyed 9 million of its insured members who had been diagnosed with skin cancer between 2014 and 2016 and found that Florida had the highest rate of skin cancer at 7.1 percent. People living in eastern states tend to be more prone to skin cancer, and diagnoses are more common among women.

Here are the 20 states with the highest rates of skin cancer:

1. Florida: 7.1 percent
2. Washington, D.C.: 5.8 percent
3. Connecticut: 5.6 percent
4. Maryland: 5.3 percent
5. Rhode Island: 5.3 percent
6. Vermont: 5.3 percent
7. North Carolina: 5.2 percent
8. New York: 5 percent
9. Massachusetts: 5 percent
10. Colorado: 5 percent
11. Arizona: 5 percent
12. Virginia: 5 percent
13. Delaware: 4.8 percent
14. Kentucky: 4.7 percent
15. Alabama: 4.7 percent
16. New Jersey: 4.7 percent
17. Georgia: 4.7 percent
18. West Virginia: 4.5 percent
19. Tennessee: 4.5 percent
20. South Carolina: 4.4 percent

It may come as a surprise that sunny California doesn’t make the top 20, and Hawaii is the state with the lowest rate of skin cancer at 1.8 percent. Prevention magazine explains that this could be due to the large population of senior citizens in Florida and the fact that the risk of melanoma, a rare but deadly type of skin cancer, increases with age. People living in regions with higher altitudes also face a greater risk of skin cancer due to the thinner atmosphere and greater exposure to UV radiation, which explains why Colorado is in the top 10.

The good news is that the technology used to detect skin cancer is improving, and researchers hope that AI can soon be incorporated into more skin cancer screenings. To reduce your risk, be sure to wear SPF 30+ sunscreen when you know you’ll be spending time outside, and don’t forget to reapply it every two hours. 

[h/t Prevention]

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