Facts from The Browser

Each year, about 15% of queries on Google have never been searched for before

The average American church sermon lasts for 37 minutes — but only 14 minutes in Catholic churches

Japan now has over 70,000 people who are more than 100 years old

The average human-body temperature is 97.5 degrees, not 98.6 degrees

The average new American home now has more bathrooms than occupants

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"The average American church sermon lasts for 37 minutes — but only 14 minutes in Catholic churches"

Such is life in Trump's America.

It's a different game when children of all ages are sitting in the room in Catholic services.

Lots of crackers to be handed out, too.

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The homily has never been the focus of the mass.

The parishioners get antsy when the homily runs long. And yes, it isn’t the primary focus of the Mass

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The focal point of the Mass is the liturgy of the Eucharist. Then the liturgy of the word... (Catholics read/hear) easily 5 times as much scripture at mass, then communal prayer. The homily is just an explanation of scripture. Notice, in Protestant churches you will see theatrics and lights and props during the sermon. The preacher is the star of the show in their services. Catholics it’s the Holy Sacrifice and the Word read aloud. The star of the show is the Holy Trinity, the priest is just a stand in.

Nice summary of the Mass. Most non Catholics don't know this.

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If a sermon lasts 37 minutes it had darn well better be interesting, not some mumbled rambling farrago of half baked thoughts. I've heard too many sermons of that sort and even five minutes is too long for them.

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Thank you for linking to the sermon article, very interesting. Well do I remember the seemingly never-ending sermons of the evangelical church my mother took us to as a child! (Not that kids were expected to sit through it until about middle school, but even then they were interminable.)

I far prefer my Episcopalian church now, where sermons that go for more than 20 minutes start spur the congregation to foot-tapping, polite coughing, etc. Many of the Episcopalian sermons can be fairly intellectual though. Although, while I don't know if you would call those Evangelical sermons from my youth intellectual, they were often fairly complicated theologically, and I remember at least some parishioners taking notes ("now turn to Isaiah 10:26, where we see where Matthew got this idea" or whatever).

Faith does not need reason, and as such Greek Orthodox 'sermons' are often hours long, illogical, and the liturgy (the old style, including pre-liturgy chanting) can last five hours, and that's not on a holiday.

Bonus trivia: As a Christian I find the "German school" of thought that said the miracles of Jesus were ordinary physics that were misunderstood by the apostles very compelling. For example, 'walking on water' was nothing more than Jesus walking on the Sea of Galilee after a temporary, slightly submerged sandbar formed, as sometimes happens during a storm, or the 'miracle of the fishes' was nothing more than an optical illusion viewed from a distance, of people breaking out food that they had hidden that the Apostles mistook for miraculously produced food, the rising from the dead was merely somebody coming out of a catatonic state, as sometimes happens, while casting out demons was mental illness cured. Not sure about turning water into wine but that too might have a plausible reason. Why do I say this? Because I find incredible that Doubting Thomas and the Apostle Peter could be so hardheaded after so many supernatural miracles, they still didn't believe and were afraid of mortal men. C'mon! You're the disciple of a guy who can perform supernatural miracles and you're afraid? Doesn't make sense. Rayward, what you say?

Bonus trivia: Jesus Christ had brothers and sisters say the canonical gospels.

Yep--one of them is even credited with writing an Epistle--his brother James, who is also mentioned several times in the Acts of the Apostles. Not sure if James is mentioned by name in the Gospels, though, although certainly they talk about Jesus' siblings in general.

Ah, here we go, from Mark, when Jesus pays a visit to his hometown of Nazareth after becoming famous: "Isn’t this the carpenter, the son of Mary and the brother of James, Joses, Judas, and Simon? Aren’t His sisters here with us as well?"

Five brothers and some unknown number of sisters. I'm guessing the bathrooms in Joseph's house did not outnumber the occupants.

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As a non-Catholic, I find it more believable that the story grew with the telling. It's happened to me before: folks were telling stories about something I did, and I didn't even recognize that it was about the thing I'd done. If that much change can happen after a few years, the changes that a few decades (to say nothing of centuries) can cause would be huge.

The apostles being terrified always made sense to me. They just watched their god get killed; that's sort of a low point in one's religious experience! The thought would be "If they can do that to HIM, there's nothing to stop them from doin it to US!"

Please understand, I mean no disrespect here. I'm merely presenting another viewpoint, to add to the conversation. :)

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The early church believed Jesus' siblings to be the children of Joseph from a previous marriage, as told in the Protoevangelium of James. Centuries later, St. Jerome the translator postulated that they were Jesus' cousins and on the strength of Jerome's authority, it became the dominate, though less convincing, view. The Catholic Church takes no position other than to say that Mary remained a virgin.

The people that knew Jesus' stepbrothers and stepsisters (not conceived by the Holy Spirit) rejected Him (see Matt. 13:53-58; Luke 6:1-6) and Luke (4:16-30) has them also seize Him and try to throw him off a cliff. All in all, the hometown people of Nazareth rejected Jesus similar to what had been done with the O.T. prophets.

Matthew 13:57 New Revised Standard Version Catholic Edition (NRSVCE)

57 And they took offense at him. But Jesus said to them, “Prophets are not without honor except in their own country and in their own house.”

I never understood that until recently, via the priest’s hiomily.

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I'm Orthodox, though not Greek Orthodox, and I've never heard a sermon that is "hours long". Twenty minutes is generous. Orthodox services overall do last longer than most Western services, but sermons aren't central to them (the Eucharist is).

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As St. Paul wrote, “if Christ has not been raised, then our preaching is in vain and your faith is in vain”. In other words, if there was no resurrection, there is no Christianity.

Either Christ was a liar, lunatic, or it happened. If it happened, then anything is on the the table miracle-wise.

The disciples were afraid because their messiah was seemingly defeated, which wasn’t supposed to happen (in their minds). They still didn’t understand at that point.

If Jesus had literal biological brothers and sisters, why then did Jesus place Mary in the care of St John upon his death? And why would Mary go along with that? These were most likely cousins.

IMO, when you read mark 15:40 and John 19:25 in tandem... you notice that there were 3 Mary’s at the cross and Salome (St. James and St. John’s mom)... both versus highlight different people. Taken together, however, it indicates that Mary wife of Clopas (The Virgin Mary’s relative) was the mother of James and Joseph (Jesus “brothers”) from Matt 13:55. I would side with St. Jerome on this one.

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37 min just for the sermon? Then how long is the whole mass including the Eucharist?

I wasn't going to ask, because then people might wonder how I went 38 years without ever attending a religious service, but since you brought it up:

Yes, how long?

I once went five years without seeing the inside of a church.

The typical Mass, with singing, is generally finished in less than one hour. The warden and I hear the 7:30AM Sunday Mass with no singing. It is over in less than 40 minutes depending if father takes the full 17 minutes.

I'm so old I remember the Latin Mass. "Mea culpa, mea culpa, mea maxima culpa." Most Sunday Masses were Low Masses. One Mass each Sunday was a high Mass.

Grew up in a fundamentalist, evangelical church. Typical Sunday morning service was about 100 minutes. Sermon was usually 45-50 minutes. Now in an Episcopalian church. Services are about 45 minutes with sermons about 15 minutes. Much better, but the music sucks. Of course the praise band music in evangelical churches sucks now too. Miss the old hymns.

Our old minister had the right idea. Every pulpit should come equipped with the ability to sink down into the basement when any sermon too more than 15 minutes.

Steve

"but the music sucks"

Two things about Johann Sebastian Bach that caught me by surprise:

Somehow I spent half of my life assuming that he was Catholic. All those masses and passions that he composed; I'd thought only Catholics did those things. It wasn't until I attended a pre-concert lecture that I learned he was Lutheran.

I don't spend much time in Catholic churches but when a relative got married in one, prior to the ceremony I idly grabbed the book in front of me, a hymnal or whatever you call it, and looked at the hymns. Easily a quarter of them were by Bach.

On the one hand, if you want great religious music, why not go for the best? But it struck me, and still strikes me, as vaguely Reformation-ist to have hymns written by a Lutheran composer have such a prominent role in a Catholic church.

Is this a new thing? Or have Catholic churches embraced Bach's hymns from the beginning -- an early example of ecumenism?

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I liked the Latin Mass, just seemed sacred.I was 12 when it was discontinued and church attendance also began its long, slow and continuing decline.

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I still go to the Latin Mass about half the time. In fact, it’s grown on me to the point of almost preferring it.

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For Roman Catholics (the religion my parents practice), mass is about an hour--plus or minus, depending on who's playing and when kickoff is. The sermon is a very small part of the mass. I forget the formal names for all the parts, but you generally have a reading form the Old Testament, a reading from the New Testament (Acts or Revelation for preference), then the Gospel, then the sermon, then Eucharist, then various messages (if services are canceled, if there's anything special like a choir concert, that sort of thing), then you leave and spend twenty minutes standing around chatting with various folks.

A 14 minute sermon is actually a pretty substantial one, when you consider the fact that the Eucharist will take 20 minutes or so and the readings can range from one paragraph (or sentence, if you're reading from Paul) to a page and a half.

Agree, 14 minutes is really too long. Catholics don't go there for the sermon.

Though actually, mass can be much longer than 1 hour, especially if you attend a Tridentine mass, which are offered in some conservative parishes.

I don't think there's any official upper time limit. I know that Midnight Mass can go on for a while, for example. But generally priests kept mass to one hour where I grew up, again, plus or minus a bit. Early masses tended to be shorter because there were fewer people receiving Eucharist, and again, special masses tended to be longer.

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I've never been to a "normal" (non-holiday/special event) Sunday mass that was less than 50 minutes or more than 70 minutes.

Years ago we had a priest would get you out of the 8 am Sunday mass in about 35 min. He'd still say more in his 5 min sermon than most do today.

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From my experience in my youth, yeah, Catholic masses are about an hour, and Protestant masses are about an hour and a half to two hours. Most of the difference comes from longer sermons and more choir songs.

There's a lot of variance in Protestant mass length, though, depending on denomination or individual pastor.

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37 min just for the sermon? Then how long is the whole mass including the Eucharist?

Well, that's rather the point. In the classic Reformed tradition, there's no liturgy and there's only Lord's Supper on occasion. That leaves the sermon plenty of space to expand to fill. And all Anglo-American Protestant groups were heavily influenced by the Reformed tradition. Until the Oxford Movement took hold, even Anglicans/Episcopalians usually did Morning Prayer services on Sundays, rather than Holy Communion.

On the other hand, the center of Sunday Mass for Catholics is the Sacrament of the Eucharist, embedded in a fixed liturgy.

This is funny.

Supposedly the Reformation was about putting the Bible in the center stage and reading it, and leaving people commentary on the Bible (sermon) aside.

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Growing up there were Masses at 8, 9, 10 & 11 so they ran almost exactly 45 minutes with time to empty and refill the church. Visiting priests could wreck havoc going five minutes long.

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As long as the Internet's 'rule 34' exists, 15% of queries seems like a massive under-appraisal.

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Church Sermons: In Protestant Churches, there are all those hallelujas that take up lots of time. Of course, Catholics are in a hurry to get to the beer keg; one of the many differences of the Catholic Church - alcohol on the church grounds on the Sunday when the faithful make their annual pledge. I don't know about our host, but alcohol tends to affect one's judgment when making the pledge.

Bathrooms: Americans have an odd idea of what's essential in a house. All those bathrooms in which they spend very little time, kitchens equipped with very expensive appliances though they don't cook, built-in book cases for books that gather dust.

Beer keg? Have yet to see that. Not that I'd complain...

Nor have I. And I grew up in an area where everyone was 1) Christian of some denomination, and 2) borderline alcoholic. Church socials and the like had beer, sure, but on a regular Sunday? Not a chance. You did your drinking on Saturday night, and endured the church bells as penance for what you did the night before.

As an side, it's really weird for an apostate to defend the faith he left.

The doors are open for you.

I have no interest in returning to that faith. I've nothing against those who are a part of it, but I do not believe it to be true and I cannot accept a religion that I believe to be false. (If you're convinced it's true, fair enough; I'm not going into my reasons for my decision, and am not asking you to give your reasons for yours.)

I merely mentioned that I left the church because it's a bit humorous to me, and to point out how serious an error rayward made. You've made a BIG mistake when folks who walked away from the church come to its defense.

Good for you. Be true to yourself.

In charity, each year a few of us at bass fishing camp (while imbibing and playing poker) would weakly attempt to change the mind of a young friend/atheist. It doesn't work. Better to keep a friend.

It does, just not in one conversation... or perhaps with conversation at all.

Better would be to attempt to convince with them testimony of ones life. How they live. We Catholics kinda suck in this regard these days, myself included.

St. Francis of Assisi was so right when he said (even if it’s legend is still as true). “Go and preach the Gospel, and if you must, use words”.

Indeed it was the blood of the martyrs and the holiness of the Saints that were the true seeds of the Church.

I'd like to summarize this conversation from my perspective:

Me: You're wrong, and isn't it funny that someone who doesn't believe is defending it.
DTB: Believe in it.
Me: Emphatic no.
DTB: Funny story about manipulating friend until friend questions value of the friendship.
S: Better manipulation techniques!!

FYI, I use "manipulation" as an ethically neutral term. It's inherent in human interactions, after all. It's actually a lot of fun to play manipulation games among people who all acknowledge that manipulation is part of the human condition--nothing harsh or vile, just...an added layer of meaning to conversations. (The best folks at this that I've met are a Catholic and a Mennonite, FYI. Pagans and atheists suck at it.) So while I did intend this to be somewhat acerbic, but not necessarily harsh.

Regardless, I think you can see how this may come across as somewhat condescending. If you can't, imagine someone else plotting how to convert you to their religion, right in front of you. The first few times it's amusing, but the amusement wears thin quickly.

If you genuinely want to convert someone you need to figure out what they believe--and since you don't know that (because I haven't told you, and no, it's not because of anything bad that occurred within the church), you have nothing to start with. You've pulled the bowstring but have no target.

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Bathrooms

Well, duh.

’?—
the very quality upon which it must depend to move the dreamer (verisimilitude) to credulity—horror or pleasure or amazement—depends on as completely upon a formal recognition of and acceptance of elapsed and yet-elapsing time as music or printed tale. - WF

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Re: bathrooms, I agree with the facts presented but wouldn’t be so paternalistic about it. Some people exercise a lot precisely because they want to be able to eat more food as food is pleasurable (and exercise can be pleasurable too). It’s an equally valid life choice to exercise a lot and eat food to keep a constant weight as it is to exercise a lot and keep food constant to lose weight.

Same thing financially. Actual standards of living are far higher today than in the past in the US, not just in housing, but also in cars, electronics, food, entertainment, medicine, and virtually anything else people spend money on. If people choose to use their higher incomes to enjoy more present consumption rather than saving a.k.a. future consumption, that’s their choice and could be quite rational (as long as they don’t require others to bail them out in the future).

The last point is the kicker. As was seen with the mortgage crisis, people were expecting to be bailed out -- both banks and borrowers. And many of those who are given government funded incentives to spend in many areas are unsurprisingly also likely to want others to foot the bill when that leads them to more excess with little foresight.

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"The average American church sermon lasts for 37 minutes — but only 14 minutes in Catholic churches". This research had to have been done by secular folks. A Christian would not be surprised that Easter homilys/sermons would refer to the New Testament more as, if it weren't for the resurrection, most Christians would now probably belong to some Jewish sect.

I didn't see any indication of surprise that East sermons differed from the rest of the year.

Also, I was shocked at the length of sermons shown for non-Catholic denominations.

Agreed, that's sounds exhausting. "Love they neighbor" is a short, succinct sentence, and what else is there to say, really?

You need some parables.

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Bathrooms. Not being paternalistic or not, I Just Like Facts, and the article linked to gave no sources for the assertion. But it seems to be true. I looked at the latest Census construction survey. Indeed, for NEW single-family homes, the weighted average bathrooms per new home is 2.7 (making some assumptions about data intervals: e.g. what number to plug in for the category "1.5 baths or less." And the Census says average household size is 2.6. So, seems about right. Of course, average HH size does not have to equal average HH size moving into new-built single family homes. Oh well, we have more (light-duty, not big trucks) vehicles on the road than we have licensed drivers, so I guess we just like having the flexibility. Not sure there is a huge point to be made here: I guess we just like stuff. Various sources point out there are about 50,000 self-storage places in the USA, maybe 400 units per place, 20 millions units?

Not sure why the bathrooms are such a big deal. Having a guest room with its own bathroom and/or a guest bathroom on the main floor, both of which rarely get used, is fairly common. Indeed, they exist only to be used on rare occasions--that way they're always clean for visitors.

Good point. Also, it's not like the number has exploded lately (bad choice of adverb perhaps?): in 1987 it was 2.23. Eyeballing the data, the biggest shifts (no surprises here), in relative terms anyway, are the collapse in new homes with 1.5 baths or less, to close to 0%, and a soaring rate for 3 or more, now 1/3 of all new homes. Not a lot of change in the 2, 2.5 ranges. 2.5 makes a lot of sense to me, and matches your qualitative sense: maybe a bathroom for the parents, one for the kids, half bath on the ground floor for visitors...

I'm involved in mortgage deal funding. The contractual covenants on new construction generally allow only a small fraction of single family homes to have fewer than two bathrooms.

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Protestant: 5 minutes of reading from the Bible. 37 minute sermon. 2 minute Communion (average including days of no Communion). 30 minutes of singing.

Catholic: 10 minutes of reading from the Bible. 14 minute sermon. 20 minute Communion. Singing performed by the choir as processional music.

Catholics do more singing these days, and Mass generally fills most of an hour, but you're mostly right. As a Lutheran who married a Catholic, I noticed that Catholics are much more reluctant to sing. 300 Catholics make less sound than 100 Lutherans.

Popular explanation is that American Catholicism, especially in the Northeast, takes after the Irish practice of silent Masses, a remnant of English suppression of public celebration of the Mass.

Totally agree. 1 in 5, 1 in 6 masses might have a (folk?) choir. Last mass would rarely go past 1240 on a football Sunday

This differs a great deal by parish. Some parishes have active choirs and lots of singing from the pees; others have a cantor and an accompanist, and most people in the pews are silent. And there is lots of variation between the extremes.

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Catholic laymen (aside from the choir) did not traditionally sing, nor were they expected to. Song was a a time for meditation... this has practice has held on for many even 50 years since V2.

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These items signal "the very best" that The Browser can do? Hmpf.

a) is this intended to signify how curious Google patrons are or how incurious? (how do we quantify [or identify] what is never searched for using the Google platform, that is?)

b) the average American church sermon is a Protestant church sermon, not a Roman Catholic or Orthodox Catholic homily, no huge surprise, since Protestant harangues HAVE to occupy more time because no consecrations or Eucharistic celebrations are commonly being performed.

c) I heard this already from Marginal Revolution.

d) this came up recently in some MR forum, too, if memory serves.

e) yes, but--how many of these American bathrooms come equipped with bidets? (are Americans alert, that is, to what aspirations in bathroom décor they're missing without being acquainted with common European bathroom design? --how many Americans conduct Google searches for "bidets" annually, that is?)

Granted, metrical calibration may've changed across interim decades, but I discovered in my undergrad LSCI reference and research class that a drop is equal to 1/450th of an ounce (as articulated in the culinary science industry of the day).

I always find comments like your "e" amusing. I guess us bumpkin 'Mericans just don't know what we're missing, being all not-European and whatnot!

America has its own culture. We do things differently. It's not that we're not aware of other cultures (I know of only a handful of folks not familiar with bidets, and most of them are still skeptical about this whole indoor-plumbing thing in general); we've simply opted to go another route. To assume it's ignorance is condescending; imagine if it were the other way around! In this case it's mildly amusing, but when you apply this logic ("If only America were more like Europe everything would be fine") to things like gun control, or immigration, or other larger issues, it becomes incredibly problematic very quickly.

You might be on to something: if through the colonial era and in the early decades of American independence Massachusetts had not turned itself into a liberal exporter of distilled rum and if simultaneously enterprising Rhode Island shipbuilders and shipowners had not crossed the Atlantic to trade Massachusetts rum for captive African slaves for sale in the West Indies, their shipments of West Indian molasses back to Massachusetts rum distilleries would not have occurred, which would have interfered significantly with the Transatlantic slave trade that both Massachusetts and Rhode Island were profiting from on rather an enormous scale.

I do see your point now: if entrepreneurs across Massachusetts and Rhode Island had not copied English colonial-era practices so uncritically, the fledgling United States of America could have foregone later Constitutional tampering deemed necessary to help overcome problems introduced into American society courtesy of slavery (a practice native across Europe for at least three millennia prior to 1500 CE), the unreasoned cultivation of a distilled spirits industry sure to corrupt the fortitude and resolve of American citizens . . . by gum, if American colonists had felt no inferiority complexes towards the traditions and customs of European societies and towards European powers they were escaping from, we might have dropped the English tongue much earlier to've become a thriving Far East Asian power by now (though perhaps with greater risk of importing opportunistic coronaviruses from mainland East Asia).

The world WOULD have been a different place--alas!

It's good to know you can carry on both sides of a conversation by yourself. You obviously don't need my assistance.

The occupational hazards of writing fiction and satire, sigh alas alack and tsk.

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Let's have a look at the bell curve for human body temperature. Surely, there is one. With all the other variables within the species it seems unlikely that everyone would have exactly the same body temperature. Isn't it probable that unintelligent brown immigrants have one that's undesirable?

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"More bathrooms than occupants."

Builders don't want to build small houses, so people end up buying more house than they need for their small family. This is in part a zoning problem; if zoning insists on big properties, builders are going to build big houses. Big properties keep the lower middle class out of the neighborhood, which is the purpose of many zoning laws. Around high cost cities, even small properties are expensive, so builders want to put up an expensive house to match the expensive lot. When kids move out, parents don't want to down-size; they have too much stuff, and the kids might need to move back.

Counter to this, some young people don't dream of a huge house in the suburbs, preferring experiences to objects, and delaying kids. Some sensible older people want to downsize. As population growth slows down, real estate is going to be a bad investment. Whether or not we get a wealth tax (unconstitutional at present), it would not be surprising to see a stealth wealth tax in the form of higher property taxes (and fees on equities and bonds). There is increasing recognition that zoning laws that mandate large single family dwellings are hurting the economy and hurting young and poor people. I can foresee a time when McMansions are being torn down long before their time to make way for denser housing options.

I can foresee a time when McMansions are being torn down long before their time to make way for denser housing options.

That time might be quicker than you think, given how cheaply a lot of them are made.

In principle large houses can be subdivided into smaller units. That's pretty common in cities where once palatial houses are turned into apartments. Of course it depends on solid, durable construction and zoning changes.

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5. More bathrooms at least are most useful than a dining room and living room the family rarely spends time in, although not as useful as just making individual bedrooms bigger.

I thought they were a waste until I bought a house with them and have discovered that they add a lot of depth to the first floor. Children have more area to run around and there's a place for the Christmas tree too. Their windows enhance the source of ambient light. There's more room for another table where crafts and homework can be completed.

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TC did not mention this The Browser link, that's in the original list, that I thought was the most significant: "Chinese criminal gangs spreading African swine fever to force farmers to sell pigs cheaply " - wow those clever Chinese!

Bonus trivia: given the similarity between pigs and humans (pig organs are used for human transplants, and they both evolved from a common ancestor) is it only a matter of time before humans experience a global contagion of disease? I think so. Ebola comes to mind and is presently cooking on the back burner, waiting to mutate (even with the vaccine they have).

That link was actually disappointing because there was a more dramatic follow-up (IIRC it also appeared in the SCMP): the pig farmers fought back against the drones that were allegedly infecting their pigs by deploying electronic devices that foiled the drones' controllers.

Unfortunately those devices also interfered with Chinese airliners trying to take off and land nearby. So the Chinese government stepped in and told the farmers to cease and desist from their drone-fighting activities.

I haven't followed up since then, presumably the drone-pig wars are still ongoing.

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Finding oneself only on the very first of the listed items on the bulletin of the service was always a little sigh-inducing, but I didn't mind the sermon so much. You could take the Bible or the hymnal from the rack and read at it, or draw with the tiny pencil on the offering or prayer request cards, or study the varieties of hair of the people in front of you. Depending on the gifts of the speaker, the sermon could actually be quite interesting to a child, who had not heard it all before; and one could keep an antenna up for any oblique clues to the mysteries of adult life that one was so determined to puzzle out. Often the pastor told a joke or two that would have been perfectly worthy of the Reader's Digest. Or maybe that he read in the Reader's Digest. Either way.

It was the up-and-down business for the hymns and the responsive reading and so forth that I found kind of trying, when I had just done my best to accustom myself to sitting still-ish.

But it was all worth it for the promise of my reward in ... the narthex, where the vanilla sandwich cookies awaited. I always left church on a high note.

"It was the up-and-down business for the hymns and the responsive reading and so forth that I found kind of trying"

During hymns, I'd try to keep recalculating what percentage of the hymn remained. At other times, I'd use my watch to practice seeing how long I could hold my breath (but you had to be careful not to hold it so long you'd make a commotion when you finally inhaled).

"But it was all worth it for the promise of my reward in ... the narthex, where the vanilla sandwich cookies awaited"

Oh, so not worth it! We'd sat all the way through church and then we had to wait while our parents did the between-services socializing!!? Cruel and unusual. My brother and I usually walked home at that point (even though it must have been close to a couple of miles). One of the great joys of adulthood is never again having to be as bored as I was in church and elementary school.

I wish I could be as bored and carefree as I was in elementary school. It wasn't boring all the time (my friends were all there with me), and it was only 30 hours a week.

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While it varies by mosque, the Friday qhutbah can take 30 to 35 minutes if you count the 2 salaat prayer. Without the salaat prayer, the actual sermon (actually a longer and a shorter part) can take 25-30 minutes.

There is a school of thought that the shorter the better.

On the 2 eids, there is a preference to makes the qhutbahs shorter, and they can be as short as 10 minutes.

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I'm guessing that that 37-minute figure is severely skewed by the high end, and that the median is much lower. My experience in a variety of mainline Protestant churches is much closer to 14 than 37.

Tyler's error. 37 minutes is the median. Also, it's 25 minutes for mainline Protestant. Evangelical and black churches are bringing up the median.

Hallelujah!

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"The average American church sermon lasts for 37 minutes"

Lyle Lovett has a great song with a solution for overly long sermons. (He probably couldn't record it today, though since he'd quickly be cancelled for cultural appropriation)

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I read a few years ago that Japan has a poor system for reporting deaths so that many people over 100 are not actually alive. It also affects how you judge the benefits (or not) of their diet and lifestyle.

I heard a lot of kids were collecting their parent's benefits after they died. By "kids", I mean people in there 70s.

Their 70s. For the love of Christ.

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"The average human-body temperature is 97.5 degrees, not 98.6 degrees"

Well, the average human body temperature was never 98.6 degrees, which implies a precision beyond which an individual regulates hir temperature and beyond the precision with which two individuals' body temperatures match. There's a term for this: "false precision": https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/False_precision . False precision is one of my pet peeves.

So why did the early researchers report human body temperature at 98.6 degrees F?

They didn't. They measured it at 37 degrees C, with a precision of a degree C or so. This got translated as 98.6 degrees F.

Next time you go to a supermarket in the US or some other non-metric country, look at the weight or volume of some package goods. You will likely see a number of ounces that implies two significant figures, such as 20 ounces, and then a number of grams that implies three significant figures [in this case 567 grams]. Does anyone think that when the manufacturer decided to include grams on the label they also improved the precision of their filling machine to have a variance of only a gram instead of an ounce? I doubt it.

-dk

An personal experiment in determining the accuracy of the weights of packaged food products seemed to indicate that the shopper usually receives a greater amount than listed on the container.

Consumer surplus. How dare they.

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One of my pet peeves is loss of information due to rounding. Serious work doesn't (and can't) use the number of digits to represent accuracy.

Discussion here:
http://www.av8n.com/physics/uncertainty.htm

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They can any longer surprise you or make you either very contented or very mad. - WF

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The average church mass in Australia is around 240 tonnes, although there are some real outliers.

Technically, isn't that weight rather than mass?

And we now know the average church wait is 37 minutes.

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If measured accurately, human body temperature is 98.6 degrees F. But if measured quickly with a speed of sound measurement inside the ear, the temperature comes out lower. Put an accurate thermometer in the mouth or anus and wait 3 minutes and you will see 98.6.

Depends on the human.

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