School killings - please explain this : LUSENET : TimeBomb 2000 (Y2000) : One Thread

In keeping with the "school" motif, a geography lesson:

Perl, MS, 10/1/97, 3 killed
Springfield, OR, 5/21/98, 4 killed
Littleton, CO, 4/20/99, 13? killed

These three cities lie in a near perfect straight line, from Oregon to Mississippi and Littleton near perfectly bisects this line.

Paducah, KY, 12/1/97, 3 killed
Jonesboro, AR, 3/24/98, 5 killed
Edinboro, PA, 4/24/98, 1 killed

These three cities also lie in a near perfect straight line, from Arkansas to Pennsylvania. Moreover, if this line is extended left, it passes through Hope, AR, birthplace of you-know-who, and nearly intersects with the first line.

What kind of bizarre coincidence is this?

-- Nathan (, April 24, 1999


Someone has entirely too much time on their hands.


-- tim daniels (, April 24, 1999.

I would not think a "straight line" is significant, but the distance between cities where the shootings occur (circular radii) could be significant.

Factor 1: Local news provides more complete coverage of killings, in general, than national news. Often, the "real issues" behind killings are available only in local or regional news.

Factor 2: The culture which allows such killings spreads between adjacent communities.

Numerous statistical studies indicate that exposure of the young to TV, movie and video-game violence is the root cause of the problem. There are "twin" studies (twin populations, not people) that show when similar populations differ only in exposure to TV, the TV-haves increase in violence. The most significant trend takes 15 years - this is the period for 2-5 year-olds (approximately) who can't distinguish pretend from reality to become teen-agers.

Essentially what happens is that a "Pavlovian" response between "target" and "kill" is created. The military uses similar techniques to get willingness to kill from about 15% of the people to about 80%.

Being in the medical field (where statistics are used to determine drug effectiveness), I tend to agree with the statistical approaches.

Naturally, some people like our culture as-is, and want to simply eliminate guns and increase punishment. Sadly, guns are only 1 way to kill.

-- Anonymous99 (, April 24, 1999.

"Those that can give up essential liberty to obtain a little temporary safety deserve neither liberty nor safety." (Ben Franklin)

-- zoobie (, April 24, 1999.

Bethel, Alaska 2/20/97, 2 dead, several wounded, shoots down that theory.

-- (, April 24, 1999.

Bethel is outside the continental US.

-- Nathan (, April 24, 1999.

Hey, this is kind of fun. If I had the time to waste, I'm sure I could close my eyes, draw any straight line on any map, and find similar events had taken place on two or more population centers on that line. Continue until bored to tears.

The same approach would work for circles, spirals, zigzags, french curves, or whatever. Isn't that amazing!

-- Flint (, April 24, 1999.

Continental U.S. includes Alaska, but Alaska is not "conterminous" (Merriam's Webster's Third New Intl. definition 3 = enclosed within one common boundary) with the other 48 continental states.

-- No Spam Please (, April 24, 1999.

Ok, Flint, you're on. This is one set. Let's see another set of significantly similar linear data points that span most of the lower 48 states within the last three years.

-- Nathan (, April 24, 1999.

Flint, you will need to provide at least THREE significantly similar data points along a minimum of two separate lines in order to produce a comparable statistical anomaly. I await your reply.

-- Nathan (, April 24, 1999.

Come on, Nathan. There were also births, deaths, accidents, other crimes committed, and a zillion phenomena of normal daily life along any line you can draw. Why stop with school shootings? Your lines can be much straighter and have denser hit rates for other things. Just what do you think you've 'discovered' anyway?

-- Flint (, April 24, 1999.

Come on Flint, these school massacres are quite out of the ordinary. Please provide examples of something less mundane to support your earlier assertion. Though not school-related, you may add the Oklahoma City bombing directly in the path between Littleton, CO and Perl, MS.

I'm not trying to make a big deal of this. I just find it extremely odd, even interesting, mathematically, that the bulk of these extremely dysfunctional acts are occurring along similar geographic vectors.

-- Nathan (, April 24, 1999.

Nathan, pick any 3 school massacres and I can put ALL THREE on a perfect circle. Isn't that amazing?

-- Flint (, April 24, 1999.

Oh boy! I love English/Grammar lessons! No Spam, the 48 are also called "contiguous" states. Definition: touching, adjoining. I wonder if there is an "Increase your word power" forum? Something along the lines of Reader's Digest. :-)

-- Gayla Dunbar (, April 24, 1999.

Gee Flint, you're really grasping for straws now. OK we'll have a geometry lesson. Actually, you'd be hard-pressed to follow up on your latest assertion. A circle of arbitrary radius can be made to arc through any two points in a plane. A line is defined by two points. These lines both have three points. Indicate any three of these six points through which a circle of any reasonable diameter intersects. I await your reply.

I also await your reply to your earlier assertion that other recently comparable life-and-death events are similarly arrayed in the same manner as these recent acts of violence.

-- Nathan (, April 24, 1999.


A circle of arbitrary radius can be drawn to intersect any THREE points on a plane, if those three points don't fall on a straight line. If they fall on a *nearly* straight line, of course the radius is very large. So what?

If you feel you have identified an interesting coincidence, fine. Different trivia interest different people. If you are implying any kind of causality, you're badly behind in your medication.

-- Flint (, April 24, 1999.

OK Flint, I can see you've given up on your earlier claim entirely and have now resorted to describing circles of unreasonable arc in order to make your point. As always, thanks for your input.

And thanks to everyone else, too. My job is seeing patterns. When I see patterns that fall outside statistical norms, my antennae go up -- sort of like when some places claim 93% compliance and have only spent half their Y2k budgets, yet are asking for increases in the budgets they haven't even spent. I'm sure there's a good explanation for it. Probably nothing to it...

-- Nathan (, April 24, 1999.


I backed up my claim. You rejected it on the grounds that you didn't like my events. I supported the circles, and you rejected them on the grounds that you find the arcs unreasonable!

Nathan, sometimes a cigar is just a cigar.

-- Flint (, April 24, 1999.

You people are a bunch of fucking morons. My asshole is a complete circle and my dick is a straight line. Hope your canned barf explodes in your faces. What a waste of space.

-- Sick of your blather (, April 24, 1999.


You're not the only one to have come up with this theory - the straight lines coincidence with killings - do a search on the net for a ZOG character - has a pretty interesting web page... I may be wrong with the name - he did make one apperance a ways back on the art bell show - I think you'll gather additional datum points for your theory - good luck.

-- Andy (, April 24, 1999.

Flint, to repeat, your events are irrelevant because they aren't nearly comparable to the notoriety of the events that have occurred along these lines.

Your arcs are irrelevant because 99.9%+ of the circle you describe would lie outside the contiguous US. I don't even know why you're talking about circles as these points all clearly lie along a line.

Please provide comparable events to substantiate your earlier assertion. I await your reply. Also, feel free to take out a map and plot these points yourself if you doubt the statistical oddity of the alignment of these events.

-- Nathan (, April 25, 1999.

As I read him, Flint's point was, So What?

And so say I. These are only three data points of a larger set. School shootings, even horrific ones, are, alas, more numerous than that. For instance, 18 people died in Dunblane, Scotland, in a school massacre in March, 1996.

-- Tom Carey (, April 25, 1999.

Not to mention several much more numerous school massacres in Ruanda a few years back.

-- Tom Carey (, April 25, 1999.

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