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11 Mundane Objects That Are Statistically Deadlier Than Sharks

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 coming up, but you might wanna 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 Protection 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.

All images courtesy of iStock

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language
The Evolution of "Two" in the Indo-European Language Family
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The Indo-European language family includes most of the languages of Europe as well as many languages in Asia. There is a long research tradition that has shown, though careful historical comparison, that languages spanning a huge linguistic and geographical range, from French to Greek to Russian to Hindi to Persian, are all related to each other and sprung from a common source, Proto-Indo-European. One of the techniques for studying the relationship of the different languages to each other is to look at the similarities between individual words and work out the sound changes that led from one language to the next.

This diagram, submitted to Reddit by user IronChestplate1, shows the word for two in various Indo-European languages. (The “proto” versions, marked with an asterisk, are hypothesized forms, built by working backward from historical evidence.) The languages cluster around certain common features, but the words are all strikingly similar, especially when you consider the words for two in languages outside the Indo-European family: iki (Turkish), èjì (Yoruba), ni (Japanese), kaksi (Finnish), etc. There are many possible forms two could take, but in this particular group of languages it is extremely limited. What are the chances of that happening by accident? Once you see it laid out like this, it doesn’t take much to put *dwóh and *dwóh together.

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infographics
Beyond Plumbing: 19 Other Jobs on Mario's Resume
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Nintendo made news this week by subtly announcing that Mario is no longer a plumber. In fact, they're really downplaying his whole plumbing career. On the character's Japanese-language bio, the company says, "He also seems to have worked as a plumber a long time ago."

But Mario has always had plenty of jobs on the side. Here's a look at his resume:

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