Friday, August 28, 2009

5-year cancer survival rate

"Cancer survival in five continents: a worldwide population-based study (CONCORD)"
The Lancet Oncology, Volume 9, Issue 8, Aug 2008 Pages 730-756

I was watching a town hall meeting by Rep. Patrick McHenry (R-NC) and he used some of the stats in the paper to show that "Government-Run Care Means Lower Survival Rates for Cancer"
Not a surprise that he failed to mention the survival rates for Breast cancer (women), Colorectum cancer (women and men) are essentially the same between US and Cuba, haha...awesome...I would also bet you that the error bar on his graph would be HUGE! (but that's another discussion)

Tuesday, August 4, 2009

You are what you watch

They say you are what you eat. Maybe you are also what you watch...that is the types of commercials you watch.

Ever since I was a kid, I enjoyed watching evening news. I was pretty loyal to ABC World News Tonight because it had best reception. I only recently started exploring the other evening news channels. Now I am definitely gravitating more towards NBC. That made me wonder if different evening news channels target different audiences. What better way to gauge this difference than by their commercials!

I spent the past six nights watching the three major evening news channels (ABC World News Tonight, CBS Evening News, and NBC Nightly News). Because they air at the same time, I could only watch one a night. I documented the type, company sponsor, and duration of each commercial during the 30 minute news segments. I know a N=6 is not enough to geek out with stats and I also know that some of the classifications are subjective. So instead of making correlations and associations, here are some trends :)

Average Minutes of Commercials Per a 30 Minute News Segment
Observation: There are slightly more commercials on ABC (though not by much).

Average Commercial Minutes Per a 30 Minute Segment Spent Specifically Targeting Either Women (W) or Men (M)
Subjective, I know. But I did my best using the gender of the actors and the overall tone and message of the commerical in this classification. I also did not include commericals that I thought targeted both genders.
Observation: ABC seems to spend more time targeting women.

Average Commercial Minutes Per a 30 Minute Segment Based on Ad Type
Observations: Commercials for "Drugs" and "Vitamins/Supplements" definitely top the chart. NBC seems to spend more time on drug ads and ads promoting shows on their own network. ABC seems to have the most diverse distribution of commercial times.

Total Number of Commercials and Total Air Time By Company
Observations: Activia, Centrum, Red Lobster, and TLC (a calcium supplement) tops the charts with the most sheer number of commercials. However, when it comes to actual air time, the winners are often ones that are infrequently shown, such as Lipator, Cialis, a hospital, and surprising AARP. But when these commercials are shown, they stay on for a whole 60 seconds!

Conclusion: I definitely don't need all the drug and network commercials offered by NBC. Perhaps I should stick with ABC. ABC has more commercials diversity but seems to focus more on females. By process of elimination, I should watch more CBS since it does a better job targetting me, especially with all the food commercials, haha. Or maybe I should just hold off and wait a few decades for these commercials to be more applicable to me.