How to write in plain English by Harvard School of Public Health

Clear and to the point – writing in plain English.

a) Use common, everyday words

b) Use “you” and other
personal pronouns

c) Use “must” instead of

d) Avoid using undefined technical

e) Use positive rather than negative

f) Avoid using gender-specific

g) Avoid long strings of nouns

Verb Forms:
h) Use active voice

i) Use action verbs

j) Use the present tense

k) Use parallel construction

l) Be direct

m) Avoid using unnecessary exceptions


US Venture capital distribution by region

Seems to be a week of great diagrams, information and analysis. Paul points us to this great graphic of venture capital distributions in the US by state. The most surprising part is the participation of Colorado and Utah. Who woudda thunk it?

Great interactive graphic on worldwide spending

Below is the spending on various goods and services for India from the NY times article, but their graphic is MUCH better.

Great NYT interactive flash graphic on how much people spend on Electronics, Clothing, Alcohol & tobacco, Household goods and recreation the world over. Its a pseudo world map with relative sizes of spending depicted by the size of the box.

Its clear the developed nations have the lions share of the spend, but its very revealing to see the size of recreation spend.

hat tip. Flowing data is one of my favorite blogs BTW.

The negative (death) side of Wind Energy

Who knew wind energy has a mortality rate that mirrors mines and coal plants. Wind-works does.

WindStats has recently re-examined the mortality
data in light of wind’s rapidly expanding generation. The mortality rate
is a function of not simply the number of deaths, but the number of deaths
relative to the amount of electricity generated

In the mid-1990s, 14 men had been killed on wind turbines or working
with wind energy
. Since then six more have died, including the first member
of the public, a parachutist who literally flew into a turbine in Germany.

Total cumulative generation reached nearly 130 TWh from 1975 through
the year 2000. The number of deaths per TWh of cumulative generation steadily
dropped through the 1990s.

The high number of deaths in the USA may be connected to the typically
frantic nature of year-end, tax-subsidy driven installation booms.

The data clearly indicates that the wind industry will have to do
a better job at improving safety if it wants to live up to its promise of
being clean, green, and–benign.

Why the US cannot have more fuel efficient cars?

Imagine a car that gives 65 miles a gallon. Its made by Ford! Why cant you buy it in the US? Businessweek has a host of good reasons (below).

1. People’ perception that diesel is awful.
2. Taxes aimed at commercial trucks mean diesel costs anywhere from 40 cents to $1 more per gallon than gasoline.
3. The engines are built in Britain, so labor costs are high.
4. The pound remains stronger than the greenback. At prevailing
exchange rates, the Fiesta ECOnetic would sell for about $25,700 in the
U.S. By contrast, the Prius typically goes for about $24,000.
5. No tax breaks for diesel vs. hybrid
6. Ford plans to make a gas-powered version of the Fiesta in Mexico for
the U.S. So why not manufacture diesel engines there, too? Building a
plant would cost at least $350 million.
7. The automaker would have to produce at least 350,000 engines a year to make such a venture profitable.

Hat tip.

The personal blog of Mukund Mohan

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