North suburban New Trier High School—one of the richest public schools in the world—has a world-record 44 sets of twins (and one set of triplets) in the 10th grade class alone. I'm going to ask Deeply Trivial to help figure out, what is the probability this happened entirely by chance?
Kathy Routliffe has the story for Pioneer Press:
Their numbers are noteworthy, given that the class has slightly more than 1,000 students, according to New Trier officials. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention put the rate of U.S. twins at 33.5 per 1,000 births in 2015, making New Trier's sophomore class statistically impressive.
Even more so is the fact that some sophomore twins chose not to take part in the project, and that other New Trier classes also boast twins, Winnetka campus principal Denise Dubravec said Wednesday.
Most, 22 sets of twins, and the triplets, come from Wilmette. Many were part of Ryan and Luke [Novosel]'s first record-setting effort: They got their fifth grade class at Wilmette's Highcrest Middle School certified for the same record back in 2013, with 24 sets.
Guinness officials certified the numbers last May, although they didn't send word to Ryan and Luke until January, Fendley said. When they did, Ryan and Luke learned their class set two records, one for the most number of twins, and one for the highest numbers of multiples, thanks to the triplets.
Seriously, there has to be a non-random cause here. Fertility treatments, maybe?
(Incidentally, a number of my close family members and some friends attended NTHS, and I grew up in a neighboring district.)
Today I plan to take Parker on a decent walk before it gets cold and starts snowing. I'm also working on a couple of minor updates to Weather Now, including looking into creating an API against which I can write a React/Relay front-end.
Also I have a lot of reading to catch up on, some of which I may write about.
In other words: a quiet Saturday at home.
Just a few things going on, not least of which was a 7-hour chorus board retreat on Saturday. Regular posting should resume this afternoon (or whenever the caffeine starts working).
After a really enjoyable trip, and even before I'd gone to get Parker from boarding, I discovered to my horror that my fridge compressor was making a godawful racket and the freezer door was just slightly ajar.
This is what it looks like now:
Welcome back to college.
Really, I'm mostly bummed about all the cheese, not to mention the homemade turkey stock in the freezer and the mushroom tea in the fridge I was going to make rice with.
Also note that the thermometer says -3°C. I've since adjusted the temperature back up to 2°C where it belongs.
We are closely monitoring this situation and will provide updates as warranted.
Things will be a little low-key today owing to the snow falling on London right now, even though the temperature is rising as a warm front pushes through. The forecast calls for rising temperatures and rain all day, which I guess isn't all bad.
So I'm taking some time to do long-overdue chores for the Apollo Chorus (de-duping our master database, setting up ticketing for our next two concerts), and I've started yet another book (Harold Nicolson's beautifully-written 1939 polemic Why Britain is at War). Yesterday I read John Le Carré's The Spy Who Came In From The Cold, cover to cover.
My plan today really was not much more than to read, walk around if the weather permitted, check out two pubs I've never seen, and—oh yes—see Richard Strauss' Salome at the Royal Opera tonight.
Back home tomorrow.
On Thursday I hit all my (admittedly non-taxing) goals for the day. And yesterday, on into this morning, I almost did again, except that making three of the goals interfered with making the fourth.
Goal #1: See the Churchill War Rooms. Having recently seen "Darkest Hour," I wanted to see the rooms where it happened. I did, and they were really cool.
Goal #2: Visit three more pubs. I had planned to check in again at 214 Bermondsey, then head up to Ye Olde Mitre before stopping again at The Ship Tavern. I walked from the Churchill War Rooms to 214 Bermondsey (3.7 km) but it turned out they weren't open yet. So I trundled up to Fleet Street (another 3.7 km) and went to The George instead. At Ye Olde Mitre—which can use the archaic spelling legitimately as it's over 400 years old—I met up with an old friend, went to dinner with him, and then finally made it to The Ship Tavern.
Goal #3: Get to 10,000 steps as early in the day as possible. At the stroke of midnight I set off from The Ship Tavern back to my hotel in Earls Court, a distance of 6.4 km that got me 6,828 steps in just under an hour and ten minutes. I dropped my bag off, ate the curry I'd picked up on the way, and trundled around Earls Court for another half-hour before hitting 10,000 steps at 2:09 am GMT. Someday soon, but not today, I'll get there even earlier. At the pace I set from Holborn to Earls Court, it would have taken me only 102 minute had I not stopped for food.
Goal #4: Read another book. At The George, I started Robert Abelson's Statistics as Principled Argument, and managed to get halfway into the second chapter before getting swept up in conversations with the Aussies who mobbed the area where I was sitting at the Ship Tavern. It's also a bit denser than the Frum I read cover to cover on Thursday, which slowed me down a bit.
Today's goals included stopping in two more pubs, including the Southampton Arms, about which I have blogged frequently, and reading a third book. Alas, neither looks promising, for several reasons including the pouring rain outside right now and the six pubs I've already visited since I got here. So this afternoon I'm going to nap, plough ahead with the Abelson, and head up to Southampton Arms when the rain lets up, which the Met Office assures me will happen around 5 pm.
I spent over 3 hours in my car today in principal because there were no public transit options to my remote, suburban destination. That, plus all-day meetings, means that instead of outlining what I'm planning for the weekend—I'll do that tomorrow—I'm just going to line up some articles I want to read:
I now have to pack. Parker will be unhappy with this.
Between my company's work-from-home week between Christmas and New Year's Eve, and the excruciatingly cold weather the week after, this morning was the first time since December 21st.
It turned out that commuting by public transit took exactly the same amount of time as driving to work, but gained me 2,500 additional steps. That's helpful, because in the last 20 days I've missed my step goal 10 times.
Here's to warmer weather and better exercise habits.
My step count over the last week and a half has really suffered. Between Arctic temperatures and working from home (and a dog who hates boots), my average over the last 7 days of 2017 was just 8,441 steps per day. Throughout 2017, I only missed 10k steps 26 times—6 of them between Christmas and New Year's Eve.
This weekend should be warmer, and I'm back in the office this week, so I expect better results going forward. Both yesterday and Monday I hit my 10k goal, and today I'm likely to.
But wow, I hate missing it. I really do.
This time, I'm getting this in early, and posting it automatically just before midnight. So the numbers might be a tiny bit off.
2017 saw almost no significant changes over 2016, except in Fitbit numbers:
- I again only visited one foreign country (again the UK) and 8 states (Michigan, New York, Missouri, Louisiana, Virginia, D.C., Maryland, Texas, and California). I again took only 15 flights. That came out to 31,042 km in the air, one of my lowest showings ever, and the fewest flight miles since 1999. In fact, I didn't fly anywhere for almost the first seven months of 2017. So sad.
- Including this post, I wrote 456 entries for The Daily Parker, down only 3 from last year. For the second year running, it's the fewest since 2010.
- Parker got 202 hours of walks, just shy of last year's 211 hours. That's not so bad, but we can do better next year (if the old dog is up to it).
- Pending today's final step count, I got 5,106,522 steps this year, up a whopping 413,095 over 2016—a difference greater than the number I've gotten in any of the past 4 months. So, basically, my step count in 2017 was almost a month's steps better than in 2016 or 2015. No wonder I wore out a pair of shoes between May and November.
- I also gained 600 grams in 2017. Pfft.
- 2017 may be my most disappointing year for reading in a long time. I only started 17 books, and only finished 13. I've just been really busy. That said, the circumstances that encouraged me to finish 47 books in 2007 and 52 in 2008 aren't any I'd like to repeat. (Now, if I could just find a way to read a book a week without interfering with all my other activities...)
Here's 2016 in review. It was similar.