Addicted to novelty since 2001

Three Unrelated Facts: Golfing, Driver’s Licenses and Talking

We’re kind of having a random week around here, so here are three context-free, interesting facts I recently learned:

  • The number of golfers in the United States has been in decline since 2005. That year, there were 30 million of them. In 2009, there were 27.1 million. As you might expect, the recession is mostly to blame. I hope this trend continues, as golf courses are a scourge on the environment.
  • To my surprise, fewer young people are getting their driver’s license than in previous generations. This Ad Age article includes a handy chart that illustrates the decline. They’re also driving less when they do get their license. From the Ad Age piece: “the share of automobile miles driven by people aged 21 to 30 in the U.S. fell to 13.7% in 2009 from 18.3% in 2001 and 20.8% in 1995”. Lots of reasons are cited without much authority: obtaining a license has become more complex, concern for the environment, the Internet (more young people are telecommuting and the like) and the economy are all possibilities.
  • In the average day, according to the author of The Female Brain, girls say two to three times more words than boys. The same, as it happens, is true for rhesus monkeys.

10 Responses to “Three Unrelated Facts: Golfing, Driver’s Licenses and Talking”

  1. Jan Karlsbjerg

    Trouble is, the author of The Female Brain was just repeating what she’d heard somewhere else, and once she learned that it had no basis in actual facts, she promised to remove it from future editions of her book.

    So sayeth Doctor Carl:
    Gender ‘theories’ spread tattle tales and
    ‘Talkative women’ is gender gibberish

    darren Reply:

    Handy, thanks. This is an argument against paper books, isn’t it? They come with no metadata or reputation information.

  2. Brenton

    Also probably because there is less need for drivers licenses as more and more people live in cities with better and better transportation infrastructure. I know plenty people in Vancouver that got their licenses late or never bothered or have them and never drive.

  3. Adriana

    I agree with Brenton – also the current younger generation is probably somewhat more likely to find urban areas more attractive than their parents & grandparents for whom the novelty would have been suburban subdivisions. I am not surprised at all.

  4. Derek K. Miller

    So, uh, rhesus monkeys say words? News to me.

    darren Reply:

    Heh. If I recall the section from the book, the female monkeys use all 17 possible vocalizations, while the males only use a few. The females also start vocalizing much earlier.

  5. tom watson

    Can’t believe the pretentious drivel on this site. Just sayin’

    Derek K. Miller Reply:

    We’re all glad to serve, Tom.

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