The Data Examiner 07/02/2023


A new report from the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention found that in 2021, suicide and homicide rates for children and young adults ages 10 to 24 in the U.S. were the highest they’ve been in decades. Suicide and homicide were the second and third leading causes of death for this age group, both causing about 11 deaths for every 100,000 people ages 10 to 24. The homicide rate for this age group in 2021 was the highest it’s been since 1997, and the suicide rate was the highest on record, since 1968. Earlier research has found a steady increase in the number of children seen in emergency rooms for suicidal thoughts, even before the COVID-19 pandemic, and nearly half don’t get the follow-up care they need. According to the CDC, about 15% of children in the United States were recently treated for mental health disorders in 2021. Most treatments were among adolescents between 12 and 17 years old, according to the new report, and boys were more likely than girls to have taken prescription medications for their mental health. When it comes to adults, the agency found that in 2020, just about 1 in 5 U.S. adults have been diagnosed with depression, but the prevalence varied significantly from state to state.

More Americans Becoming Conservative:

More Americans this year (38%) say they are very conservative or conservative on social issues than said so in 2022 (33%) and 2021 (30%). At the same time, the percentage saying their social views are very liberal or liberal has dipped to 29% from 34% in each of the past two years, while the portion identifying as moderate (31%) remains near a third. The last time this many Americans said they were socially conservative was 2012, during a period when consistently more U.S. adults identified as conservative rather than liberal on social issues.

Cancer Drugs Shortage:

The nation’s months long shortage of highly potent cancer drugs is grinding on, forcing patients and their doctors to face even grimmer realities than those cancer typically presents. Thousands of patients have been confronting gut-wrenching options, delays in treatment and potentially bleaker futures. Oncologists are concerned that the alternatives to two crucial chemotherapy drugs are far less effective in treating certain cancers, and are sometimes more toxic. The backup therapies or lack thereof, they say, pose particularly troubling prospects for patients with ovarian, testicular, breast, lung and head and neck cancers.

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** Cuts and stab injuries lead to recall of 7.5 million Baby Shark bath toys.

** Saudi Arabia officials say nearly 1.5 million foreign pilgrims have arrived in the city of Mecca ahead of annual Muslim pilgrimage, known as Hajj.


** Building the world’s largest iPhone. WATCH

** How the fake meat industry saved Dippin’ Dots. WATCH

** Springtail insects defy gravity with their stunts. WATCH


Dr. Rebecca Portnoff, the data science director at Thorn, was an author of a new report that found a small but meaningful uptick in the amount of photorealistic AI-generated child sexual abuse material.

DATA In-Depth

Plants Save You From Cancer

Plants not only brighten up a dreary room, they may also save you from cancer! While many people may know plants produce oxygen, researchers say they can also soak up harmful chemicals in the air. University of Technology Sydney (UTS) researchers, in collaboration with plantscaping solutions company Ambius, have found that plants can remove almost all cancer-causing fumes from a room. “We know that indoor air quality is often significantly more polluted than outdoor air, which in turn impacts mental and physical health. But the great news is this study has shown that something as simple as having plants indoors can make a huge difference,” says Ambius General Manager Johan Hodgson.

More Data:

** Inflation in the UK seems stuck, with prices rising 8.7% in the last year, bucking the trend seen in the U.S. of softer price rises.

** Michael Jordan’s sneakers that he wore during his “Flu Game” in the 1997 NBA Finals just sold for $1.38 million at auction.

** Florida is suffering through a dismal citrus season, sending prices for orange juice up 17.5% since the start of 2022, to $10 a gallon.


** Codebreakers have decrypted 57 letters that Mary, Queen of Scots sent when she was imprisoned by her cousin nearly 450 years ago.

** Barbie can be anything she wants … except consistent, with sales down 33% in the last quarter.

** The House of Mouse is shedding 7,000 jobs after a lackluster quarter for Disney+ in the U.S. and Canada.

** How broken is American public education? Consider the shocking fact that 65% of American fourth-grade kids can barely read.

** Adidas shares dropped 11% after the company said it could lose ~$1.3B if it can’t sell its Yeezy-branded merch. Adidas ended its partnership with Ye after his antisemitic comments.

** Carnival Cruise Line announced a new 31-day cruise from Australia to Seattle for ~$3.4k, one of its longest offerings yet.

** OSHA fined Mars Wrigley $14.5k+ over a 2022 incident in which two Pennsylvania workers fell into a vat of chocolate. Rescuers cut a hole in the bottom to get them out.

** Teen girls are experiencing record levels of violence, sadness and suicide risk, new CDC survey finds.

** Data showed 57% of high school girls felt persistently sad or hopeless in 2021 – a nearly 60% increase and the highest level reported over the past decade. In comparison, 29% of boys the same age reported the same feelings.

** Barney is back. Mattel is relaunching the purple dinosaur franchise across TV, film, YouTube, and merchandise. In 1998, the Barney brand made $750m in licensed retail sales.

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Safeway Has Bars Everywhere

Some Safeway locations installed exit bars months ago, as one shopper took to Twitter to show one store going to the extreme, blocking off closed checkout lanes with large metal gates, as well as lining pathways leading out of the store with obstructions as well. “Bars everywhere, multiple security guards, you have to scan your receipt for the gate to open in order to exit, and if you don’t buy anything an employee has to open the gate to let you out,” a Twitter user remarked in February about an Oakland Safeway store.

Child Star Dies Of Fentanyl Overdose:

Former child star Adam Rich died of an accidental fentanyl overdose in January at the age of 54. The “Eight Is Enough” star also had non-toxic levels of alcohol and the generic version of Ativan, called lorazepam, in his system, according to an autopsy report from the LA County Medical Examiner-Coroner.


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** Scientists demonstrate light-activated tumor treatments, a targeted approach with fewer side effects than traditional chemotherapy.

** Every day, we use soaps, lotions, deodorants, hair products and cosmetics on various parts of our bodies. But in recent years, an increasing number of reports have raised concerns about many of them. Researchers have found dangerous levels of mercury in skin lightening and anti-aging creams; they’ve linked chemicals in hair dyes and straighteners to breast and uterine cancer; they’ve traced fragrances in soaps and shampoos to poor semen quality and fertility issues. Most American children are also exposed to toxic chemicals – from a wide variety of sources – that may be a cause of learning and developmental disorders, obesity and asthma.

** Daily marijuana use can raise a person’s risk of coronary artery disease by a third, according to a recent study lead by Dr. Ishan Paranjpe, a resident physician at Stanford University. “A growing body of evidence suggests that cannabis is not entirely without harm and may actually cause cardiovascular disease,” Paranjpe told CNN. “Thus, the decision to use cannabis must be carefully weighed against the potential for serious heart disease.”

** Advancements in A.I. are beginning to deliver breakthroughs in breast cancer screening by detecting the signs that doctors miss. So far, the technology is showing an impressive ability to spot cancer at least as well as human radiologists, according to early results and radiologists, in what is one of the most tangible signs to date of how A.I. can improve public health.

** Antiviral pill ensitrelvir becomes the first COVID-19 treatment to show a statistically significant reduction in the number of days patients test positive post-infection.

** A new study finds male mice more unpredictable than females, challenging century-old assumptions used to exclude females from research because of their hormones.

** The Food and Drug Administration has approved a nasal spray aimed at fast treatment for migraines, pharmaceutical company Pfizer. Zavegepant, sold under the brand name Zavzpret, was approved Thursday to treat migraines with and without aura in adults. The drug was more effective than a placebo at treating symptoms within 30 minutes and up to 48 hours later.

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** 18-year-old was arrested after breaking into Michael Jordan’s Illinois mansion. In fairness, His Airness’s place is quite expensive to enter legally – it’s on the market for $15m.

** Tesla has slashed prices five times this year – up to 6% across its full EV lineup – leaving investors worried about the sustainability of Tesla’s industry-leading profit margins.

** The unemployment rate for Black Americans hit its lowest point on record, down to 5% last month. The gap between Black and white Americans set a record low as well, but Black unemployment is still 1.8 percentage points above the rate for white Americans.

** Prominent brands from Pepsi to Apple show no sign of slowing their TikTok spend, even with a possible ban looming, with US advertising up 11% on the platform last month.

** Some Starbucks customers claim its new olive oil drink results in an urgent need to use the bathroom.

** It’s reported that more than 35 million Americans play Pickleball and Walmart+ wants in on that craze. Their new partnership with Break The Love (a racket sports booking platform) is really a marketing move to get more regular customers to subscribe to their Walmart+ offering.

** Decades of conservation efforts are starting to pay off as India’s tiger population has rebounded from its 2006 low of ~1,400 tigers to more than 3,100 today.

** Tupperware may not have much left over in the tank as its shares fell nearly 50% to start the week. The 77-year-old container company is cash poor and has received a delisting warning from the NYSE – layoffs, asset sell-off, and bankruptcy are all on the table.

** The FBI and FCC are warning against using public phone chargers, saying hackers are using them to infect devices with malware. They call this “juice jacking.”


Put to work for YOU… The Future Of Social Media

Five Fast Takeaways:

  • The mood is funny, trendy, and relatable.
  • Short-form video will continue to dominate ROI.
  • Marketers are ditching big names for baby influencers.
  • Social media is the future of ecommerce.
  • SMMs should tweak content when reposting across platforms.

The Data Examiner – A Different View:…

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