Ever wonder what the odds are that a person in Tennesee works in the food industry? How about the odds for graduating high school, or having an industrial accident at work, or being overweight? Earlier this month Kurani launched The Book of Odds at www.bookofodds.com. The site does just like it sounds — it gives you odds.
You can do a simple keyword search here looking for odds or just looking for everything. Everything finds things like articles, which were interesting enough that I didn’t mind them being included in my search (and they weren’t so numerous that you lost all the odds information.) I did a search for coffee. I got 158 results! Results include category divisions over to the left as well as breakdowns for age, income, gender, etc. To the right you’ll see odds. I saw odds like “1 in 2.08 The odds a person 18 or older will drink regular coffee in a day are 1 in 2.08 (US, 1/2007).” and “1 in 66.67 The odds a boy 6 – 11 drinks coffee at least once a day are 1 in 66.67 (US, 4/1987 – 8/1988).”
Click on the odds for an item and you’ll get a visual representing the odds as well as a space for comments, who found that particular set of odds interesting, etc. (I didn’t see any comments in any of the odds I looked at.) Coolest on the details page, though, is the list of odds that are close or exactly the same as the one you’re looking at. So I know that the odds of an adolescent girl 12 – 19 drinking coffee at least once a day are exactly the same as the odds that an Asian female 25 or older with a bachelor’s degree and no higher has an income of $30,000 – $32,499. (They’re both 1 in 20.)
Now if you’re a librarian you’re probably asking the same question I asked when I started browsing the site: where is this data coming from? The detail page also has a button marked “Sources & Definitions”. Click it and you’ll get information on the source, rounding information, and even an appropriate way to cite the data presented.
Most of the stats I came across were demographic but they were still fun. If you register and create an account (it’s free) you can start your own book of odds, which allows you to track odds, send odds information to a friend, etc. Worth a visit. Oh, and before you leave the Book of Odds site be sure to visit the “About Us” page. I got a big laugh out of “Book of Odds is not a search-engine, decision-engine, knowledge-engine, or any other kind of engine…so please don’t compare us to Google(tm). We did consider the term “probability engine” for about 25 seconds, before coming to our senses.”