Data is everything in our modern world, and statistical comparisons are a regular part of journalism. The problem is that juxtaposing two numbers doesn’t necessarily tell us anything useful.

Such is the case with the new data point making the rounds on social right now, comparing the rate of acceptance of Harvard students and of applicants to a particular Pennsylvanian Wegmans:

Some 10,000 people applied for 500 positions at a Wegmans slated to open next month.

About 500 new employees were hired from the applicant pool — a 5 percent acceptance rate.

By comparison, Harvard had an undergraduate acceptance rate of 5.8 percent in the most recent year.

This is no doubt true. But on the other hand, you have a .00004% chance of getting struck by lightning, so there’s that.

How do these numbers compare? Harvard is a higher education institution with international prestige, to which a small handful of high-functioning rich kids get to apply. People spend their entire childhoods preparing for the enrollment contest. Parents spend countless riches paving their children’s way.

Wegmans… is a grocery store.

Perhaps the story aught properly to have been about why 10k people in Montgomery, PA needed jobs. Why 1% of the population of an entire county felt the need to seek out work at a grocery store. But that wouldn’t have had the flash of comparing two otherwise-unrelated numbers.

It smacks, to some extent, of elitism. Everybody knows that Harvard is where the successful business people go, but Wegmans? That’s just a Joe job. Who ever heard of poor people having to struggle?

The Super Bowl dominated the first half of this week, followed by a lot of bad news the rest of the week. But our Jillian Seaton knocked it out of the park with two really interesting article this week, so I guess you could say she’s this site’s savior of the week!

I was sick Wednesday, so there’s not a lot of linking going on. Sorry! But I hope you all enjoy this list of links and I’ll see you next week!

Copyright Run Amok: Chrysler’s Superbowl ad blocked on their own YouTube channel » DragonFlyEye.Net

The real losers in Super Bowl XLVI were the people who insist on watching just for the commercials.

Amazing but true: about the only commercial most Super Bowl watchers agreed was awesome got blocked on the Chrysler YouTube channel because the NFL disputed the copyright on…. well, what, exactly? Maybe the word “half time.”

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The refreshing taste of carbonated water, sugar and flame retardant » DragonFlyEye.Net

Pictured above: death in carbonated form.

Ah! The delights of factory-made food! Jillian Seaton gives us a glimpse into some of the uglier facets of Mountain Dew, including melted mice and flame retardant.

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Hard-boiled egg recall expands, eggs in 33 states » WebWire.com

Pictured above: death in ovarian form

The story started out that Wegmans was recalling hard-boiled eggs. It now appears that a single supplier sold eggs that show traces of lysteria to several grocers in as many as 33 states.

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Food packaging plant Cryovac closes, 180 jobs cut » 13WHAM.com

Pictured above: death in small business form

As if the City of Rochester could use more bad news this week, a local food packaging producer announced this week that they will be closing their doors, leaving 180 employees without jobs. This is especially tough because they’re manufacturing jobs, and those are getting increasingly hard to find within city limits.

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Lake Ontario’s Very Own Nessie – Could a ‘Sea Monster’ Appear on Charlotte Beach? » DragonFlyEye.Net

Dead.

Just when you thought it was safe to go into the water – well, ok, not altogether “safe,” exactly. This is Lake Ontario we’re talking about here.. Well, erm. Pig-dog weird thing washes ashore on the Canadian side. Just read it.

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Finally, I’m getting back to publishing these very popular lists! One New Year’s Resolution down, I’m-not-going-to-tell-you how many more to go…

This week has all been about matters of the heart and, erm.. lungs. From Rochester’s tawdry love affair with Alec Baldwin[1. You know, that guy from Wegmans] to Rochester’s unrequited love affair with our erstwhile Mayor Bob Duffy to a woman who coughed so hard, her lungs made a break for it through her ribs.

Meanwhile, English-speaking kids get deported to Columbia, an Iowa salad legend is born, and everybody makes a big deal out of it when someone leaves East Rochester drunk. Its a great round up and as always, you have excellent tastes, my friends. See ya next week:

Arg, maties!! Thar be pirates about! But be that really the issue at hand? Er.. Hook?

SOPA: Piracy isn’t non-existent, its irrelevant » DragonFlyEye.Net

Is piracy really the most important thing we need to worry about in this country? Is it really even the biggest thing to worry about in our digital world? Because #SOPA advocates would certainly like for you to think it is.

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We understand, Alec. But think of the money.

Wegmans Pulls Alec Baldwin Commercials » 13WHAM.com

Nobody panic!!! He’s not really gone. It took less than 24 hours for Wegmans to pull the plug on the decision to pull the plug on the commercial campaign, after an outpouring of support for the Botoxed celeb. And speaking of plugs, check out the coif! Well played, sir.

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Scarry, scarry Wiccans and Native Americans! No wonder they blocked her. That symbol looks like she did well on her English essay.

Library patron sues after filter blocks religious sites » First Amendment Center

We’ve tangled with this issue here in Rochester before, as well. Library computers setup to use proxy filters are blocked from viewing websites on “alternative” faiths that aren’t Christian. In some cases, the First Amendment Center reports, certain religions were labeled “illegal,” though it doesn’t say which religions. Wicca? Fair bet.

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I think they guy he's waving to from afar is Bob Duffy...

I think they guy he's waving to from afar is Bob Duffy...

An Energy Highway? Really, Drew?

Andrew Cuomo’s State of the State address was notable for a couple things, not the least of which was a billion-dollar promise to Buffalo and jack-squat for Rochester. But the thing that got me was the idea of selling energy to New York City because apparently, they need it.

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Yeah, the pink stuff? That should say inside.

The Body Odd – Woman coughed out a lung, new case study says

No, you can’t quite cough up a lung. But you can certainly do some serious damage as one unfortunate asthmatic woman in the UK discovered. Shiver….

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The most recent CDC report on the Salmonella outbreak linked to pine nuts sold at Wegmans states that 42 people are known to have been infected and two hospitalized. Those affected either bought the pine nuts in bulk sections of the store or ate prepared foods with pine nuts in them. Specifically Caprese salads and asparagus with pine nuts in them, including pesto.

The report notes that, while they’re treating all 42 people as a group, only 39 had information available and of those, 25 positively reported eating pine nuts from Wegmans. They know this in part because the affected people’s Shoppers Club cards appear to have been analyzed. Per the report:

Early in the investigation, shopper card information was collected and used to identify which specific products to suspect as sources of illness. Ill persons gave permission for public health officials to retrieve shopper card purchase information. A review of shopper card records identified that ill persons had purchased the same type of Turkish pine nuts from bulk bins at different locations of Wegmans grocery stores before becoming ill.

To find out more about the Wegmans pine nut recall – which includes bulk pine nuts sold in New York, Pennsylvania, New Jersey, Virginia, and Maryland, see their corporate page here. The recall does not include pestos.

For its part, the CDC is recommending that shoppers not eat any pine nuts bought in bulk at Wegmans between July 1, 2011 and October 18, 2011, including those items that contain pesto, since pesto is made with pine nuts as well. For more information from the CDC, check the link below:

CDC – November 3, 2011 – Salmonella Enteritidis Infections Linked to Turkish Pine Nuts.

Just wanted to put together a single post highlighting some of the relief efforts underway for Japan in the wake of their many disasters. We started out talking about the Japanese tsunami, then about the earthquake, then about the nuclear meltdowns… Hard to imagine how hard hit the country is right now.

But there is good news, in the form of world-wide outpouring of relief. Boeing has committed 2 million dollars to relief aid, coming from their employees and the Boeing Company Charitable Trust. The Red Cross has of course opened multiple avenues of donation across the globe. I’ve setup a link to the Red Cross’s American donation site at the top of this website. Hollywood stars – evil, corrupting influences that they are – have also begun raising money. Proceeds from Warner Bros. release of the DVD “Hereafter” will go to relief efforts as well. Lady Gaga raised $250k in her wrist band sales effort.

Locally, Wegmans has begun a new checkout line campaign to raise money. So has Bausch and Lomb. News 10 has a story about a local doctor planning on going to Japan to help out. The D&C also has a similar story.

None of this is a complete list, of course. But there’s enough stuff going on that I thought rather than overload my Twitter feed, this would be the better way to highlight it all.

OK, childish post title. So, sue me.

But in addition to the announcement of some weird beer happenings, there is also this: Lendevours reports today that the fight over grocery stores selling wine has spilled over into the wine festival circuit in New York. Meanwhile, Sarah and I shopped at the Penfield Weggies Sunday, and they had a guy soliciting petition signatures supporting the sale of wine in grocery stores. That’s right, a Wegmans guy.

Overall, I’d say I’m fairly agnostic on the whole affair. As a personal issue, buying wine at the grocery store along with all the other fixin’s for a good meal makes sense to me. At the same time, do you really want the sixteen year old who got drunk on Natural Ice last night to be your only reference when purchasing a bottle of French wine? I don’t think I’d be anywhere near as knowledgeable about wine – and I’m not that knowledgeable about wine – if it weren’t for the kind and patient folks at Schubert’s Wine on Park Avenue.

And while we’re discussing it, how does this fight relate to the recent tagging of Marketplace Liquor for selling wine gift bags? ((Can’t find a link right now, and don’t feel like looking deeper)) Back around Christmas time, Marketplace was fined for selling gift bags to throw wine bottles into, because they’re considered grocery items according to some arcane law or another. Sarah and I went there expecting to find martini rimming sugar a few days ago, but that’s a grocery item as well.

So, are these two events related? Was this some in-the-paint elbow throwing between the grocers and the liquor store owners? And if not, will the laws preventing liquor stores from selling grocery items be relaxed if the opposite is allowed?

Via my buddy BTP’s RochesterTurning post this afternoon, it turns out that Rochester has made a top-ten list that doesn’t include death or STD’s.  Apparently, dispite Wegman’s best efforts to curb the practice with it’s Shopper’s Club Cards, we’re second most coupon-clippin’, thrifty city in the nation.  We’re number 2!  We’re number 2!  We’re number 2!!!

Looks like the Wegman family just got a whole lot boozier:

Wegman liquor store in Pittsford approved | democratandchronicle.com | Democrat and Chronicle

On the day the state Liquor Authority approved her application to open a liquor store at Pittsford Plaza, Nicole Wegman insisted Wednesday that the new venture does not signal the launch of a chain of Wegman-owned liquor outlets.

Well, no. Except that she’s opening a huge mega-booze-shack in Pittsford under the name of Century Pittsford Wines and her brother in law is keeping the old Ridge Road Century shop open as well. All in the family.