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Law Library News for February 24, 2003

Ann Hemmens, editor

Law Library News Archive


What Are the Odds?

by Cheryl Nyberg

In these days of high security alerts and higher anxiety, consider "The Odds of Dying," a table prepared by the National Safety Council,

Here you will find statistics on one-year and lifetime odds of dying from a variety of accidents, injuries, and cataclysms. The information is based on fatality statistics from 1999 from the U.S. Census Bureau and the National Center for Health Statistics.

Here is a sampling of lifetime risks:

On the road:

  • Car occupant: 1 in 244
  • Motorcycle rider: 1 in 1,536
  • Bus occupant: 1 in 57,371

At home and work:

  • Exposure to smoke, fire, or flames: 1 in 1,062
  • Exposure to forces of nature: 1 in 2,390
  • Falling out of bed or from furniture: 1 in 5,700

By or involving a member of the animal or insect kingdom:

  • Contact with hornets, wasps, or bees: 1 in 82,720
  • Bitten or crushed by a reptile: 1 in 79,044
  • Bitten or struck by a dog: 1 in 142,279

With a weapon:

  • Suicide by firearm: 1 in 214
  • Homicide by firearm: 1 in 328
  • Assault by a sharp object: 1 in 1,893

Now, doesn't that make you feel safer?

For more information on death statistics (as well as statistics on birth rates and health), visit the National Center for Health Statistics website,

Where Is Qatar? Websites with Country Information

by Ann Hemmens

Do you need to know where a country is located or how to pronounce the name � for example, Qatar? Do you want to read a quick overview of a foreign country? Two free websites (one from a news organization and the other from the U.S. Government) provide profiles of countries worldwide.

Country Profiles, from BBC News,

  • Historical, political, and economic profiles of over 200 countries around the world including Qatar. A country profile includes a map, a brief overview of the country, facts (e.g., major religion and language, population, capital, life expectancy, annual income), biographical information on leaders, and information on media outlets (e.g., names and websites of newspapers and TV and radio stations).
  • The audio and video files from the BBC archive give you an authentic perspective on the various countries.

CIA's World Factbook (2002 ed.),

  • Contains information on over 260 countries. Individual country profiles contain images of the country's flag, a map, general background information, brief information on the geography, people (e.g., population, ages, infant mortality rate, ethnic groups, literacy rate), government (e.g., legal system, suffrage, constitution, courts), economy (e.g., GDP, unemployment rate, industries, imports and exports), communications (telephones, Internet, radio and TV stations), transportation, military (e.g., military branches and expenditures), and transnational issues (international disputes).
  • The current issue of the title is available in print in the Reference Office at G122.U56a.