bell curve

Saturday Open Thread, Relative References, xkcd Edition

Sometimes, having a vivid imagination gives you a perspective that sets you apart from others...and, relatively speaking, that's not always a good thing - if you fall outside the norm of a bell curve, then what one person considers "normal" on a scale of 1 to 10 may mean something else entirely to you. And trying to use that kind of sliding scale...? Well, the results can skew a little wildly:

Pain Rating
Click to enlarge. Attribution: xkcd.1

So, in terms of "pain rating," getting everyone to reference the sliding scale in a common way is probably not always as easy as a doctor or EMT may hope for. In terms of news and information, however, those comparisons may not always be purely subjective.

For example, that serial killer case in Long Island that we'd mentioned the other day? The police are looking at someone. A potential factor in the search - and the killer's ability to try and thwart both identification and capture - is the possibility that s/he is familiar with police techniques.

Objectively speaking, it's definitely progress and a sign of good news that the police appear to have identified a suspect - we all wish them the best luck in finding and taking the killer out of circulation.

Subjectively speaking, what's "news" - particularly in your neck of the woods this find Saturday? Let us know in the comments below - remember, this is an Open Thread.

Footnote references only over the fold.