The Data Examiner 09/10/2023


Just one new-car model sells for less than $20,000 – down from a dozen five years ago – and the average used car lists for about $27,000. Higher interest rates only make buyers’ situations more difficult. The average rate is 9.5% for a new-car loan, according to Cox Automotive, and above 13.7% for a used-car loan. These numbers could explain a mystery bedeviling auto lending: Despite a strong jobs market, seasonally adjusted rates of severe delinquency for car loans are the highest since at least 2006.

Companies Cut Pay For New Hires:

After years of salary increases, many companies are paying new recruits less than they did just months ago as the job market cools and businesses become more cautious in their hiring. Some of the steepest drops have been in technology, transportation and other sectors that experienced frenzied hiring sprees in 2021 and early 2022, according to ZipRecruiter.


Oliva Rodrigo’s debut album, “Sour,” went four times platinum, and she won three Grammys. Following up that success generated a lot of pressure for the now 20-year-old artist.

Boozy Drinks Starting To Blur Lines Between Kid And Adult Beverages:

As companies like PepsiCo and Coca-Cola expand into fast-growing alcoholic-beverage categories, new, boozy drinks are popping up under household-favorite brands such as Mountain Dew, SunnyD, Simply Orange juice and Eggo. Regulators, consumer groups and public-health experts say these crossover products have the potential to create consumer confusion – and result in a parent’s inadvertently buying and serving alcohol to underage children.

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Prominent Los Angeles banker Steve Shapiro along with 12 members of the White House staff, 3 Nobel Prize winners, over 100 Academy Award winners, 6 U.S. Senators, and over 300 Grammy Award winners.

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** Slang terms from the 1930s. READ

** Lego is releasing Braille versions of its toy bricks. READ

** Can you spot the camouflaged cat in this garden? READ

** Oscar Mayer is giving away free hot dog straws. READ

** When it’s hot enough to bake cornbread outside. READ

** American War, in photos. Browse the history of US conflict with this blend of 60 iconic and obscure photographs from the last 160 years. READ

** What it takes to be middle class in America’s largest cities – in charts. READ

** How all 32 NFL teams got their names. READ

** The foods Americans dislike most. READ


** The strange world of how we think and the pros and cons of inner speech. LISTEN


A retired Navy commander was brutally beaten, robbed, and left with a brain injury and at least 100 stitches after he was attacked while walking with his dog near a Philadelphia park. The Navy vet says the city is worse than any warzone he’s ever been to after brutal beating.


** A pair of Walter White’s iconic underwear auctioned for $32.5k. Actor Bryan Cranston didn’t wear them; they were a “Breaking Bad” set prop seen in the meth kingpin’s closet.

** High-five: Panera Bread will implement Amazon’s palm-reading system in 10-20 stores by year-end, allowing customers to pay for their bread bowls and access loyalty programs with their hands.

** Stanford now has more than 10,000 administrators who oversee the 7,761 undergraduate and 9,565 graduate students – almost enough for each student. The number of non-faculty staff employed by elite institutions such as Princeton and MIT is also commensurate, if not slightly greater, than their undergraduate populations.

** Genetic analysis made from the hair of famed composer Ludwig van Beethoven finds evidence of liver disease and hepatitis B that supports contemporary accounts he died of cirrhosis.

** From rockets to ball bearings, Pentagon struggles to feed war machine. The flow of arms to Ukraine has exposed a worrisome lack of production capacity in the United States that has its roots at the end of the Cold War.

** Two former White House officials said President Biden is frustrated with Vice President Kamala Harris’ performance – even if he remains committed to keeping her as his running mate in the 2024 election, a new report reveals.

** Self-described “woke” Defense Department schools official Kelisa Wing, whose anti-white social media comments garnered national attention last fall, has been reassigned to an unrelated role.

** Moneyball: on average, buying an MLB team will now set you back a whopping $2.3bn, up 12% this year.

** Nearly 3 in 4 Americans (72%) said they prefer bottled water, while 28% said they prefer tap. 70% of U.S. adults cited taste as a major factor when choosing a bottled water brand, followed by price (61%), convenience (49%) and source (38%). Out of 26 bottled water brands, Fiji Water earned the highest net favorability rating (57) among adults, besting second-place Aquafina by 13 percentage points.

** TikTok paid for influencers to travel to Washington and lobby against a proposed ban of the app. They danced on a rooftop.

** A report issued in May by the gun-control group Everytown for Gun Safety analyzed FBI crime data in 271 American cities, large and small, from 2020 and found that guns stolen from vehicles have become the nation’s largest source of stolen firearms – with an estimated 40,000 guns stolen from cars in those cities alone.

** Tobacco’s back…says Marlboro maker Altria, which promised investors it would lean on products like vapes and nicotine pouches to double U.S. smoke-free revenue to $5B by 2028.

DATA In-Depth

How They Tried To Kill Me

A Russian journalist shares a harrowing account of being poisoned while reporting on Ukraine, offering a cautionary message to fellow journalists and activists challenging Russia. (Read)

The Data Examiner:

Military spending in largest NATO economies in 2022.

DATA In-Depth

The Dental Capital Of The World

How the Mexican border town of Los Algodones – home to 5,000 residents – built a budget dental empire of 350 dental practices, providing relief from the high costs of care in the U.S. and Canada. (Read)

More Data:

** Amazon Prime Day sales have hit another record high this year, with the e-commerce giant shipping $12.7bn worth of goods across more than 375 million purchases.

** The video game industry in Africa continues to boom, with the industry set to grow another 16% this year.

** Yeezys are still in high demand: Adidas has taken $565 million worth of online orders for the first batch of unsold Ye-designed sneakers.

** 140 Ernest Hemingway lookalikes went head to head at an annual celebration of the author in Key West.

** 25 U.S. states are within ≤0.1% of reaching record-low unemployment figures, with South Dakota’s jobless rate at just 1.8% last month.

** A truck driver who assaulted a police officer with a flagpole during the Jan. 6 attack was sentenced to four years in prison.

** Rapper Lil Yachty claims he spent $100,000 on a Disney World date with a private jet and Ritz-Carlton presidential suite. “I regret it because we weren’t dating and it didn’t go anywhere.”

** Michael Jordan sold some of his Charlotte Hornets shares, ending his majority ownership. After investing $275m in 2010, he sold at $3B. Jordan led Charlotte to no playoff wins.

Bertha Mae’s Brownies:


** Susan Porter claimed honking 14 times while passing a protest in California in 2017 was not “unreasonable use of a vehicle horn” as she was cited, but free speech and protected by the First Amendment. Unfortunately for Susan, the court did not agree.

** The war in Ukraine and flooding in Pakistan and China have contributed to the worst rice deficit in decades, pushing up prices in Asia-Pacific in particular, where 90% of the world’s rice is consumed.

** Oakland, California, added a one-cent tax on sweetened beverages in July 2017. Soda, fruit and sports drinks, and sweetened tea sales have since sharply declined (~27% overall).

** REI, clothing store, is closing its big downtown Portland location, citing crime and theft. The company said that the store “had its highest number of break-ins and thefts in two decades, despite actions to provide extra security.”

** Most Republican primary voters say fighting “woke” ideology in schools and businesses is more important to them than protecting Medicare and Social Security from cuts, a Wall Street Journal poll showed.

** The C. elegans nematode worm is driven to consume higher quantities of high-calorie bacterial foods when their cannabinoid receptors are activated, paralleling the effects of marijuana on human appetites.

** Orissa Kelly made $130k working as a performance archer last year. How does one stand out in that field, you ask? Kelly shoots flaming arrows with her feet while in a handstand.

** The NFL suspended five players (three indefinitely) for violating the league’s gambling policy – an especially sticky situation for a league that has embraced betting as its newest money faucet, expecting $1B+ in gambling-related revenues this decade.

** “One of the country’s most prominent P.R. and Branding firms” – Wall Street Journal —-


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Erin Flynn, Acclaimed Jewelry Designer, Commemorates Cinematic Legacy – Introduces “The Godfather Ring”:

Acclaimed jewelry designer Erin Flynn has unveiled her latest creation, a stunning and unique piece commemorating the 50th anniversary of the epic film “The Godfather.” The new piece, appropriately titled “The Godfather Ring,” is a tribute to the iconic film that has captivated audiences for half a century. The Godfather Ring is a one-of-a-kind piece that captures the essence of the film with a bold vision and intricate details. Crafted from solid sterling silver, the ring features a central black onyx stone to symbolize the importance of family. The onyx is surrounded by cascading layers with additional references to the themes of the film. It is a true work of art that pays homage to the classic movie and its legendary characters. It’s strictly business…but also personal. Consistent with Erin Flynn’s approach to fine jewelry, it can be personalized and engraved.

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