The Vital Statistics report has nothing residents don't already know
New York City’s just-released 2018 Vital Statistics report, puts numbers and figures to what its’ residents already know — Boro Park is a great place to live.
Of the city’s population of eight million, one in 40 — or 198,508 souls — live in the mile and a half that is the world’s densest Orthodox community. Boro Park’s proudest factoid is perched at the pinnacle of this report — 25 births per 1,000, the highest in a city that averages 14 births. No other neighborhood even comes close (Williamsburg/Greenpoint comes in second place at 18 births).
These data are borne out in the list of New York’s most popular baby names for non-Hispanic whites, with names in the top ten list including Chaya, Chana, Moshe, David, Esther, Leah, Sarah, and Rachel.
And then there’s safety. Boro Park is on a list of nine neighborhoods with a homicide rate of practically zero. And while every death by unnatural cause is a tragedy for decades, stats show Boro Park to have the second lowest death rates for drug overdose, at 5.2 per 100,000 residents.
Lastly, despite the crowding, a baby born in Boro Park in 2021 can expect arichus yamim, with a life expectancy of 84.7, a hair’s breadth away from making the top ten neighborhoods list.
— Yochonon Donn
What he said
“A level of censorship that would make China proud”
—James Dickey, former chair of the Texas Republican Party on Twitter’s decision to permanently suspend President Trump’s account for inciting violence
What he meant
The social media giant’s decision — apparently coordinated with Facebook and Amazon to deny Trump an alternative megaphone on right-wing, Twitter-rival Parler — is shaping up to be a major battle of the post-Trump era. With anger at those decisions bubbling, WhatsApp’s new terms requiring consent to sharing data with parent company Facebook was seen as a power grab, and many users — even across the frum WhatsApp-sphere — switched to rivals.
With many Democrats also furious with social media firms for exercising outsize influence on American politics, Twitter boss Jack Dorsey may find that he’s bitten off more than he can tweet.
Every month or so, out of pure curiosity, I make sure to check the Bitcoin exchange rate. Last time I had checked, it was $20,000 per Bitcoin and I called a friend of mine to ask how a currency that you can’t take to the supermarket can be worth $20,000.
He explained to me for the millionth time (the first time we had this conversation was in 2016, when I couldn’t understand how the exchange rate had reached $1,000) that people are losing faith in fiat currencies, and investors see it as an alternative to gold or silver in times of economic uncertainty.
I remained skeptical, but then on Motzaei Shabbos I checked again: The exchange rate had crossed the $40,000 mark — a 100% appreciation in just one month, partly driven by PayPal’s adoption of the currency, which means that now anyone can buy it quite easily.
JP Morgan has set Bitcoin’s long-term price target at $146,000, an unprecedented valuation for a single coin. Could it reach those heights? Absolutely, yes. Equally, it could crash to its value a few weeks ago. For this reason, it probably isn’t the right investment for a solid guy like me.
(Originally featured in Mishpacha, Issue 844)
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