The Empire Strikes Back?
Another Weird Backyard Plant

Calculating the Blackout Death Toll

Here's something obvious about the blackout I've been expecting someone to say, but hasn't come up as far as I know: Various news sources report only a couple of deaths resulting from the blackout based on annecdotal evidence from law enforcement and local governments. That's not how deaths attibibutable to this kind of disaster are calculated. Instead, you look at the normal death rate for this period of time and then compare it to the actual deathrate during the blackout. The results numbers yield a number of excess deaths, if any. That would be the way to find out the true death toll of the blackout.

Now, we had such a mellow, laid back, lets-go-out-and-see-the-stars blackout that maybe, just maybe the blackout saved a few lives by getting us to all slow down and get in touch with the cosmos. But I rather suspect that the blackout excess deaths were probably around a couple of hundred.


Police seek black pickup in possible sniper shootings.

The missing word is truck. On first reading, I though perhaps they'd become a little more open about rounding up the usual suspects. This may be a brave new fair and balanced kinda world, I thought, but the police wouldn't just announce that sort of thing, would they?

A truck. They're looking for a truck.