TIME Smoking

The United States of Smoking

As New Orleans bans smoking in bars, see where in America people light up the most

At 12:01 am, Wednesday morning, it became illegal to light up a cigarette in a bar in New Orleans, a city famed for its nightlife. Orleans Parish, where New Orleans is located, had an adult smoking rate of 19.9 percent in 2012, the most recent year for which nationwide data is available. The median rate for all counties was 20.8 percent, according to CountyHealthRankings.org, which is published by the University of Wisconsin Population Health Institute. The tables below show the counties with the highest percentage of adult smokers and those with the lowest percentage of smokers in the United States for which numbers are available.

Counties With Highest Percentage of Smokers in 2012
Scott, Tennessee 51.1
Limestone, Texas 49.2
Northwest Arctic, Alaska 48.2
Ripley, Missouri 47.1
Upshur, Texas 46.8
Calhoun, West Virginia 46.2
Greene, Illinois 45.7
Menominee, Wisconsin 45.6
North Slope, Alaska 45.3
Gallatin, Kentucky 45.1
Counties With Lowest Percentage of Smokers in 2012
Madison, Idaho 3.1
Cache, Utah 4.6
Utah, Utah 5.4
Davis, Utah 6.3
Nicollet, Minnesota 6.6
Summit, Utah 7.5
York, Virginia 7.5
Wasatch, Utah 7.8
Washington, Utah 7.8
Montgomery, Maryland 7.9

Read next: New Orleans Smoking Ban Takes Effect

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TIME

Five Fantasy Epics That Would Have Made for Better TV Than Game of Thrones

HBO A dragon from HBO's Game of Thrones

Not big on George R.R. Martin's mammoth creation? Here are five other series that deserve their own shot at television glory

When I bought A Game of Thrones in New York Penn Station about five years ago, I did not expect it to transport me on a journey of imagination spanning continents and dynasties. I did expect it to get me back to Washington.

Somewhere around Newark Liberty International Airport, I realized that I had started it before, more than a decade earlier. From the ages of about 13 to 15, I was rarely parted from the company of a paperback fantasy novel, usually one in a series of six or more volumes.

The ’80s and ’90s were a golden era for fantasy epics like A Game of Thrones, which was first published in 1996. I can still recall the aisle of the Barnes & Noble in Charlottesville, Va., appropriately placed directly between the rows of Fiction & Literature and the children’s section. One arrived there after the Narnia books (abandoned halfway through The Silver Chair) but before graduating to Bradbury and Vonnegut. Judging by the sheer volume of sex scenes, the audience was very clearly teenage boys.

The fact that I never got very far into Game of Thrones the first time around doesn’t say much for it, because my standards were not high in those days. But it was a late train, I was tired, and I thought I would give it another try.

By Philadelphia, there were three unrelated characters with grey eyes, but at least the plot was mildly engrossing. I got as far as this sentence:

The girl brushed her hair until it shone like molten silver, while the old woman anointed her with the spiceflower perfume of the Dothraki plains, a dab on each wrist, behind her ears, on the tips of her breasts, and one last one, cool on her lips, down there between her legs.

I read up on the rest of the plot on Wikipedia.

For a book categorized as fantasy, the book is surprising unoriginal. The dragons are generic, the magic is vague, and the politics are straight out of medieval Europe by way of Dungeons & Dragons. This is a charge one could levy against a good portion of the genre. But there were a few gems in that aisle that I still recall fondly. Here are five series that would have made for much better TV than Martin’s now very popular epic. (My memory is augmented in most places by Wikipedia.)

1. The Dragonlance Chronicles
Margaret Weis and Tracy Hickman. Debuted in 1984 with Dragons of Autumn Twilight

A reunion of seasoned adventurers goes awry when they are attacked by minions of the Dragon Highlords. The first three novels center on this memorable set of characters, from the priestess Goldmoon of the Que-Shu tribe to Raistlin Majere, the secretive wizard who is drawn to evil and power even as his twin brother Caramon struggles to save his soul. Their conflicting agendas play out amid a continent-wide battle that includes awakening dragons and warring gods. For producers worried that three books aren’t enough, there’s a second trilogy focusing on the Majere twins, two final novels devoted to the second generation of the original companions, and at least one other trilogy written after I outgrew the series.

2. The Dragon Prince Trilogy
Melanie Rawn. Debuted in 1988 with The Dragon Prince.

I confess that I was drawn to the first volume of this series largely because of the cover, but if I came for the partial nudity–I was 14–I stayed for the sunrunners, a species of wizard who draw their power from sunlight to manipulate fire and commune with dragons (who have temperaments and lifespans similar to German Shepherds). Fans of George R. R. Martin’s palace intrigue will find a more satisfying and legible plot in the jockeying viceroyalities that Rawn imagines. The first series spans two decades and three generations, and is followed by a second trilogy that expands on the world of sorcery and introduces a new threat of invasion from across the sea. Sound familiar?

3. The Immortals
Tamara Pierce. Debuted in 1992 with Wild Magic.

“The Immortals” is actually the second quartet of novels that Pierce set in the world of Tortall. The first, “The Song of the Lioness,” told the story of a girl named Alanna who goes uncover as a boy in order to train to become a knight. That series is aimed at a slightly younger audience, if I recall. The world of Wild Magic, in which and older Alanna plays a small role, centers on an orphan named Daine who can speak with animals and shape-shift into their form. There is a particularly original and horrifying lineup of monsters in this one, including metallic vultures with human heads that eat the dead. The Alanna material would make for a solid prequel, and there are a bunch of other books set in the universe that I never read.

4. The Tribe of One Trilogy
Simon Hawke. Debuted in 1993 with The Outcast

The Tribe of One takes place in the long-suffering desert planet of Athas, a richly imagined world that originally served as the setting for the Dungeons & Dragons imprint Dark Sun. A novel based on a tabletop game does not sound like a recipe for entertainment, but the entire genre essentially owes its origin to the role-playing game whether sanctioned or otherwise. (The Dragonlance Chronicles also has a D&D tie-in). The trilogy focuses on Sorak, who enjoys a sort of psychic multiple-personality disorder that gives him powerful ESP. His journeys take him to Tyr, home to a clandestine order known as the Veiled Alliance that opposes the parasitic Sorcerer-Kings who are sapping the planet’s life. There are traces of Dune mixed with Jedi-like powers and a healthy side of murderous human-sized praying mantises.

5. The Wheel of Time
Robert Jordan. Debuted in 1990 with The Eye of the World.

I never actually got into these books, but they are probably the most popular epic in the teen-fantasy catalogue. A pilot of a TV series aired as sponsored programming on FXX recently, though possibly only as a means of prolonging the rights to the story. A serious attempt would surely find a wide audience.

Runner-up: The Sword of Truth
Terry Goodkind. Debuted in 1994 with Wizard’s First Rule.

In retrospect, this series, which appears to have gone on for ten more books after I stopped reading them, has a lot of the same repugnant sadism and ritualized sex as Game of Thrones. The plot of the first book is also almost a comical knock-off of Star Wars, from the discovery that the protagonist Richard’s old mentor is actually a powerful wizard to the twist in the relationship between Richard and the villain, Darken Rahl. (Take a guess.) But I remember enjoying the first three or four of them. An attempt to adapt the series for television already ran two seasons from 2008 to 2010. One imagines HBO would have more success with the material.

TIME

What the New Faces in Your Baseball Team’s Opening Day Lineup Say About Its Chances in 2015

Compare your team's lineup to last season and see how the changes bode for this year

For baseball fans who do not follow off-season intrigue, Opening Day can feel a lot like the first day of school. Who’s that new kid at third base? And what happened to that guy who used to play left field?

On average, teams replace between three and four players in their Opening Day lineup each season. (3.6, to be exact.) But that figure varies widely from team to team and season to season. Of the 1,434 Opening Day lineups that TIME examined going back to 1960, 23 teams have kept the exact lineup from one season to the next, while 24 teams have swapped out eight or more of their previous season’s starters. (To be fair, that latter number includes the first season of expansion teams, who naturally have all new players.)

Here’s a quick picture of how much a team’s Opening Day lineup changes from year to year, going back to the 1960 season.

Changes to lineups, while often unavoidable, are decidedly bad for a team’s immediate outlook. There is clear correlation between the number of new players in an Opening Day lineup and the team’s winning percentage for that season.

See where your team falls on this curve by clicking or tapping the logo:

Lest you see a lot of new faces on your team and give up hope, there is a huge amount of variation in the data, and new faces can be a bonus for a stagnating team. Just ask the Dodgers, whose new shortstop, the veteran Jimmy Rollins, hit a clutch three-run homer yesterday to power them past the Padres.

For one thing, these charts measure the number of new faces on the Opening Day roster, which can include veteran pitchers like the Red Sox’s Clay Buchholz who finally moved to the top of the rotation. And plenty of teams with a turnover of six or more players have had successful seasons. It’s just less likely. It turns out there is, in fact, a lot of truth to the notion of a rebuilding year.

Methodology

A player’s appearance on an Opening Day roster is counted independent of what position he played, so players who move around the diamond are not counted as new faces. Players traded from one team to another do count as new, so a player making his first Opening Day appearance with a team is not necessarily a rookie.

The correlation between the number of new players on Opening Day and the team’s winning percentage for the season is -0.34. The distribution of each point is shown here with the line of best fit.

Data comes from Retrosheet.org, Baseball-Reference.com and Major League Baseball. For the portions of the data that come from Retrosheet, the following statement applies: “The information used here was obtained free of charge from and is copyrighted by Retrosheet. Interested parties may contact Retrosheet at www.retrosheet.org.”

TIME health

This Map Shows the Deadliest Counties in the U.S.

New rankings show the places in the U.S. that have largest percentage of people who die before the age of 75

Oglala Lakota County, South Dakota, is the deadliest county in America, at least by one measure: it is the place where residents are most likely to die before the age of 75, which health experts consider premature death.

The new edition of County Health Rankings from the University of Wisconsin Population Health Institute, places the county — which until very recently was called Shannon County — at the bottom of the class in the number of people who died before age 75, a common measure of public health.

Oglala Lakota County sits inside the Pine Ridge Indian Reservation, whose residents suffer from a number of well-documented health problems. While South Dakota has a number of counties with high rates of premature deaths, the unhealthiest region in the U.S. is arguably the heart of Appalachia, from eastern Kentucky into southwest Virginia and southern West Virginia. Many of the counties have rates of smoking and obesity north of 30% of the population.

The annual health rankings use a measure called “premature age-adjusted mortality” from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention as one of their main indicators of overall health. This factor uses statistical methods to adjust for the overall distribution of ages in a county, so that one can compare mortality in any two counties independent of whether one has an overall younger population than the other.

Across the country, the median value for this figure is 376 people per 100,000, meaning 0.38% of population will die before age 75 in a given year. (That’s all people, not just those who pass away.) The value for Oglala Lakota County is 983.4, while the lowest in the nation, in Pitkin, Colo., is 118.5.

A sufficient sample size was not available for 69 counties, colored white in this map. The 25 counties with the lowest mortality rates and the 25 counties with the highest rates are listed below.

25 Counties With Lowest Mortality Rates

County Mortality Rate
1 Pitkin, Colo. 118.5
2 Summit, Colo. 121
3 Presidio, Texas 126.3
4 Mono, Calif. 148.5
5 Eagle, Colo. 148.7
6 San Miguel, Colo. 153.2
7 Custer, Colo. 163.9
8 Teton, Wyo. 164.1
9 Hartley, Texas 167
10 Douglas, Colo. 169.3
11 Fairfax, Va. 172.5
12 Ouray, Colo. 173.6
13 Aleutians West, Alaska 173.7
14 Loudoun, Va. 176.8
15 Morgan, Utah 177.8
16 Montgomery, Md. 178.9
17 Lincoln, S.D. 179.2
18 Summit, Utah 181.7
19 Sublette, Wyo. 183
20 Leelanau, Mich. 183.2
21 Marin, Calif. 185.3
22 Howard, Md. 190.1
23 Blaine, Idaho 191
24 Carver, Minn. 191.5
25 Los Alamos, N.M. 194

25 Counties With Highest Mortality Rates

County Mortality Rate
1 Shannon, S.D. 983.4
2 Todd, S.D. 878.2
3 McDowell, W.Va. 861.2
4 Sioux, N.D. 834.5
5 Dewey, S.D. 811.4
6 Corson, S.D. 792.6
7 Union, Fla. 780.6
8 Owsley, Ky. 777.6
9 Robertson, Ky. 745.4
10 Perry, Ky. 742.7
11 Leslie, Ky. 737.5
12 Powell, Ky. 736.8
13 Wyoming, W.Va. 731.4
14 Wolfe, Ky. 724.2
15 Roosevelt, Mont. 716.9
16 Tunica, Miss. 713.8
17 Breathitt, Ky. 712.3
18 Buffalo, S.D. 711.2
19 Clay, Ky. 705.3
20 Bolivar, Miss. 702.6
21 Benson, N.D. 700
22 Knott, Ky. 696.2
23 Mingo, W. Va. 695.5
24 Harlan, Ky. 686.5
25 Floyd, Ky. 685.5

Read next: These Are the American Cities With the Highest (and Lowest) Unemployment

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TIME

See How Well You Remember 10 Famous Company Logos

Take this drawing test to find out

Psychologists at the University of California recently presented a group of students with a simple challenge: Draw the Apple logo from memory. Of the 85 who tried, only one got every feature correct. We can recognize logos when we see them, but conjuring them from scratch is another story.

To see how you would have fared, TIME recreated the experiment below. You will be presented with 10 company names, one at a time, and your task is to draw their well-known logos using your mouse or fingers. We’ll give you a grade for each one.

How the grades work

In the original study, the researchers hand-graded the participants’ drawings according to a list of features like “Is the bite on the right?” or “is the lead floating over the apple?” Since we had to evaluate the drawings automatically, we wrote an algorithm to measure approximately 500 points on the user’s drawing superimposed on the real logo. Places where the two images are close (shown here in green) contribute points to the grade while places where they diverge (red) do not.

scoring example

The size of the squares allows for the two images to diverge slightly and still count as overlapping. There is slight grade inflation for difficult logos.

Read next: You Asked: What Is the Meerkat App?

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TIME vaccines

7 Signs Your Child’s School Has Unvaccinated Students

The resurgence of the measles has drawn scrutiny to California’s fairly lenient vaccine policy, which allows parents to choose a personal-belief exemption to avoid vaccinating their kids. And while parents can send their non-inoculated children to school, the state also publishes detailed information on the vaccination rates at every public and private school in the state.

By comparing this information with characteristics of each school, we were able to draw a detailed picture of what sort of schools are attended by children of vaccine-skeptic parents. Here’s a breakdown by a few different school characteristics.

Vaccination rates go down with the percentage of students receiving free or reduced lunch—which is the best school-by-school economic indicator available. In other words: The better off the parents are, the more statistically likely they are to apply for personal-belief exemptions against the otherwise mandatory vaccinations.

Though it’s less commonly discussed, the religious affiliation of a school is also a useful predictor of vaccination rates. (As with all statistical correlations, this does not mean it is the religion that is dictating the choice not to vaccinate.) Baptist and Calvary Chapel schools are particularly likely to have unvaccinated students, though overall, private religious schools have higher vaccination rates than non-religious private schools.

And though they account for only 661 students, Waldorf schools (as identified by the name of the school) have extremely high rates of personal-belief exemptions, to the tune of 38 percent. Mother Jones caught up with a dean at one such Waldorf school who explained that, while there was no recommended policy on vaccines, she was accepting of whatever choice parents made.

Vaccine resistors are also more likely to be found in urban areas, as both the Washington Post and the New York Times have demonstrated.

Methodology

The raw data for this story is available for download on TIME’s GitHub account. The vaccination data was matched to public and private school registries as well as data on free and reduced lunch programs by school. The correlation between the percentage of students receiving free or reduced lunch and the rate of personal belief exemptions is -0.29, and the correlation with the number of enrolled students is -0.18.

TIME

Can You Guess the Oscar Winner?

Play the game to see how well you know movie history

Sunday’s Academy Awards ceremony features a raft of powerful performances from the nominees for Best Actor and Best Actress. Will Reese Witherspoon take home a second statue for Wild, or will Julianne Moore take home her first for Still Alice? Can Eddie Redmayne’s Stephen Hawking out-compute Benedict Cumberbatch’s Alan Turing?

To see what factors have historically weighed on the Academy’s selection, TIME built a simple guessing game that allows you explore the entire history of best actors and actresses by asking the computer questions about them. Give it a whirl and see our analysis below.

 

A few observations we took away from the game:

Although the Academy Awards are an American production, we import a lot of our best actresses–27 out of 71 actresses and 27 out of 77 actors were born abroad.

Fortune does not favor the elders. Only 21 of the Best Actress winners were over 40 at the time the award was presented, and only seven were over 50. (Jessica Tandy, notably, was 80 when she won for “Driving Miss Daisy.”) The men tend to be a bit older, but there are still only 15 winners over age 50.

Dramas are the overwhelming favorite genre for winners. Only three women have won best actress for a movie that is not characterized by the online film information site IMDB at least in part as a drama: Claudette Colbert for “It Happened One Night,” Loretta Young for “The Farmer’s Daughter” and Julie Andrews for “Mary Poppins.” Likewise, there are only five Best Actor winners in non-dramas. (Romance is a far better way to narrow down the Best Actress field, with about half the movies falling into that category as well.)

Notes: Age is computed on the day the actor or actress receives the award.

Data comes from IMDB.com. All photos courtesy Getty Images. Design by Bronson Stamp, code by Chris Wilson and research by Joseph Lin.

TIME

Here’s Where You Should Live to Find Your Perfect Match

Find out how big your dating pool actually is in your current city

Looking for love in all the wrong places?

Enter your dating preferences and find out which cities have the highest percentage of people who match them. The results are based on over 15 million individual records from the U.S. Census. You can start with your current city to see how the local single population measures up. Or let fate decide. Your responses never leave your computer and are not monitored.

 

Of course, we all are looking for things in potential mate that go beyond the sort of demographic information that the Census collections. There’s no field for religion, for example, much less for sense of humor or affinity for dogs.

Since the Census Bureau’s annual survey does not ask about sexual preferences, this interactive groups all single people together. Given that the quiz primarily deals with the percent of the single population that matches your specifications, not the raw number, the premise is equally relevant for those seeking same-sex and opposite-sex partners. (This assumes that the gay and straight populations have roughly the same distribution of income and education.)

Like all surveys, things can get wonky when you’re looking for a very specific and uncommon combination of traits. Then again, if you are certain that your perfect mate is a divorced 18-21 year old with a professional degree, your problems dating probably extend beyond statistical aberrations in Census data.

Methodology

The raw data comes from the American Community Survey, the Census Bureau’s annual survey of 1 percent of the population, via the Integrated Public Use Microdata Series. To gather a sufficient sample for a granular analysis of the data, this project combines and averages the surveys from 2009-2013.

Source

Steven Ruggles, J. Trent Alexander, Katie Genadek, Ronald Goeken, Matthew B. Schroeder, and Matthew Sobek. Integrated Public Use Microdata Series: Version 5.0 [Machine-readable database]. Minneapolis: University of Minnesota, 2010.

TIME

This Is How Far Barack Obama Has Traveled Around the World

President Obama’s meeting in Saudi Arabia Tuesday with its new king marks his 84th visit to a foreign country as president, including repeat visits. By TIME’s estimation, he has now accumulated over 447,000 frequent flyer miles in international travel since January 2009, including flights returning to the United States.

Follow each of those trips below with the arrow buttons and watch those totals accumulate. You can skip to the end by using the left arrow from the first slide.

Methodology

Total miles are calculated as the round-trip distance between Washington, D.C. and a given location. Since the figures don’t account for routes and intermediate stops for refueling, the actual figure is likely to be higher. For trips that include multiple stops, the calculation only factors in the flight from Washington for the first and last leg.

TIME

The 30 Most Popular Baby Names That Are Also Foods

A French judge has banned Nutella as a baby name. But the U.S. is home to dozens of boys and girls named Kale, Heinz and Hennessy

A French court ruled recently that a newborn baby could not be named “Nutella,” reasoning that “it is contrary to the child’s interest to be wearing a name like that can only lead to teasing or disparaging thoughts.”

A thorough TIME investigation did not turn up any evidence of a Nutella being born in the United States since 1880, the earliest year for which baby name data is available from the Social Security Administration. (Pre-1880 Nutellas are unlikely; Nutella was developed in the 1940s). By comparing the most-recent set of newborn names against a list of 25,369 foods (mined from Wikipedia), we did find 30 other gourmet names that were given to American babies in 2013. Only names that show up at least five times in a given year are publicly reported.

Name Gender Number (2013)
Apple Female 27
Basil Male 56
Basil Female 21
Berry Male 5
Bison Male 5
Brie Female 51
Candy Female 62
Chardonnay Female 5
Curry Male 7
Danish Male 6
Dasani Female 34
Dasani Male 9
Dijon Male 19
Evian Male 8
Evian Female 8
Heinz Male 5
Hennessy Female 62
Honey Female 57
Kale Male 257
Kale Female 5
Kipper Male 6
Maple Female 44
Pike Male 6
Romaine Male 6
Rye Female 5
Shiraz Male 6
Skyy Female 94
Skyy Male 7
Sundae Female 7

This list does not include names like “Clementine” and “Rosemary” that are common enough not to be automatically associated with food.

Looking to name your child something non-food related? TIME can predict how popular a name will be in the next 25 years. Check out the interactive below.

 

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