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Thursday, January 19, 2012

Calculating odds

Calculating Odds
What are the odds? Survivors of the Costa Concordia cruise ship disaster has compared it to the Titanic disaster, and rescue missions for the remaining missing people have been suspended because rescuers say there is zero chance of survival.

This tragedy inspired us to consider how often things like this occur. We look at the odds of being involved in a deadly storm and other natural disasters, accidents and lucky events. Click through this list of likelihoods to figure out whether you should run in fear or try your hand.
Cruise line disaster

The Jan. 13 Costa Concordia cruise line disaster left several people dead and missing after the ship went off route, hit a reef and ran aground. The captain abandoned ship before everyone was evacuated. It’s unclear how often cruise ships sink. See a list of past incidents.
Struck by hurricane

As we saw in 2005 with Hurricane Katrina, the force of a hurricane can destroy homes, lives and even an entire city.

Although Katrina took place in August, the US may be more likely to get hit by a hurricane in September. What are the odds of your city being hit by a hurricane in September?
Lightning strikes

Being struck by lightning can affect a person mentally, physically, emotionally or worse.

Meteorite hits

A meteorite is an object from space, usually made of these materials, that survives impact with the earth's surface.

Plane crash

Fans of this suspenseful series may be wary of the dangers of flying. But for others, the friendly skies are the only option when it comes to travel.

Shark attack

Selachophobia sufferers and Peter Benchley fans may never wade in the surf.

Royal flush

Getting a royal flush in five-card poker will earn you ultimate bragging rights. Watch it happen.

Winning the lottery

Lottery payoffs can differ depending on the state and the game. But for those aiming to try their luck, the Mega Millions prize is where the big money is.

Car accidents

We all know the safety tips that help you arrive alive: buckle up for safety, don't drive drunk, minimize distractions. But sometimes tragedy strikes.

Four-leaf clover

For superstitious types, the four-leaf clover can help ward off bad omens, or help find these good ones.

Pearl in an oyster

Diamonds may be a girl's best friend, but for a unique gift, a pearl-filled Pinctada is hard to beat.

Having twins

Having twins can mean double the trouble, double the noise and double the parental pride when they're successful.


Factors affecting divorce run the gamut -- whether it's money squabbles, irreconcilable differences or headline-grabbing reasons such as this one.

Identity theft

The Federal Trade Commission estimates this many Americans have their personal info stolen each year. Thieves can strike in public or online.

Killer tornadoes

If only all tornadoes were about ruby slippers and Emerald Cities. Alas, twisters can be deadly business, as we have seen with the recent destruction of the April and May outbreaks.

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