Tag Archives: Articles in Decoded Science

Mike DeHaan’s article in Decoded Science

How to Avoid Envy when Dividing the Spoils

Do you need to divide your inheritance with a sibling, or your property as part of your divorce?

My recent Decoded Science article, “How to Divide Indivisible Goods Fairly: Algorithm for Dividing Assets“, explains how to use one specific process of “dividing the spoils” between two parties, that avoids either party envying the other.

Three university professors collaborated to develop this algorithm, and to prove mathematically that it gives one of the best possible results if you want:

  • Each party will receive the same number of items.
  • Afterwards, when each party reviews who got what, paired in their own order of preference, then each party prefers his own first, second, third (and so on) item to the one the other party received.
  • Keep each item whole; do not divide any item into pieces, or sell it to divide the monetary value.
  • You can accept that some items will go to a “Contested List” rather than to either of the two parties.

I also made some spreadsheets to illustrate what the process might do to divide assets when inheriting an estate or negotiating a divorce.

"Allocation Results Example 2" : Image by Mike DeHaan
“Allocation Results Example 2” : Image by Mike DeHaan

Canadian Content for a Fair Division of Goods

I also had a brief e-mail interview with Dr. Marc Kilgour, a professor of mathematics at Wilfrid Laurier University in Waterloo, Ontario, Canada. He’s one of the authors of the underlying paper with the algorithm. One tidbit that didn’t get into my article, is that Canada’s NSERC (Natural Sciences and Engineering Research Council) provided a grant which partially funded this “curiosity-driven research”.

If You Don’t Have an App for That…

Even though their algorithm might not have been incorporated into a computer program or smartphone app (yet), you might still benefit from this research.

Ask your divorce mediator or estate planner to guide you through the steps outlined in the original research paper. There’s no guarantee that it will resolve all the items, but it can simplify the task of avoiding envy when dividing the spoils.

Professional Writing by DeHaan Services

DeHaan Services writes web site or advertising copy for clients. Our skills are demonstrated in online articles in Decoded Science, Decoded Pregnancy, and DeHaan Fitness. That’s why we highlight these online articles on this blog page. I also add writing tips to my promotional posts in my Blog of Writing; see “Preview of Dividing Indivisible Goods Fairly” for an example.

To only see our Toronto events (for things to do in Toronto) or fitness articles, please click on the appropriate category in the “Categories” section at the bottom of the right-hand margin.

Thank you for reading my online articles about avoiding envy when dividing goods fairly.

Disclaimer: The information contained in this article is for educational purposes only and should not be used to guide your decisions without the benefit of professional advice. Any reader involved in property disputes or settlements should consult an appropriate professional.

Statistical Trends on Major Shootings in the US and Canada

My Decoded Science editor pointed out a CNN report listing two dozen major shootings in the USA, selected for having eight or more dead victims. She asked me to look for statistical trends.

With the assumption that CNN had reported all the shootings that qualified, my answer is in “Trending Statistics for Major Fatal US Shootings“.

Then I asked myself whether Canada has a similar trend in major shootings.

"Pistol and Shotgun" : Image by Lady May Pamintuan (mayrpamintuan)
"Pistol and Shotgun" : Image by Lady May Pamintuan (mayrpamintuan)

Major Shootings in Canada

It’s a lot easier to look for statistical trends if someone else has done the primary research. In other words, we need data for the statistics.

The single mass shooting on Canadian soil that comes to mind is the l’Ecole polytechnique de Montreal massacre of Dec. 6, 1989. This event would have met the CNN criterion, since 14 women were died of gunshot wounds.

The “National day of remembrance pays tribute to victims of Montreal massacre” article points out why this comes to mind. Canada has set aside a day to remember it.

Two other school shootings followed in Montreal: at Concordia University on Aug. 24, 1992, which resulted in 4 deaths; and 1 death at Dawson College on Sept. 13, 2006. 19 others were injured but survived the Dawson College incident.

Certainly there have been other major shootings in Canada. Sometimes the victims are alleged to be gang members; others are innocent bystanders.

At the moment, I don’t have enough data for a trend in Canada.

I’d appreciate a reader sending a link to a list of Canadian major shootings. Are they becoming more frequent? Are there more fatalities from year to year? More injured survivors?

Professional Writing by DeHaan Services

DeHaan Services writes web site or advertising copy for clients. Our skills are demonstrated in online articles in Decoded Science, Decoded Pregnancy, and DeHaan Fitness. That’s why we highlight these online articles on this blog page.

To only see our Toronto events (for things to do in Toronto) or fitness articles, please click on the appropriate category in the “Categories” section at the bottom of the right-hand margin.

Thank you for reading my online articles about statistical trends on major shootings in the US (and not so many in Canada).

Statistical Risk of Airplane Crash versus School Shooting

My recent Decoded Science article, “Statistical Risk of Airplane Crash versus School Shooting“, responds to a reader’s question.

"Elementary School Target Practice at the Rifle Range" : Image by The National Infantry Museum and Soldier Center
“Elementary School Target Practice at the Rifle Range” : Image by The National Infantry Museum and Soldier Center

School Safety versus Aviation Safety

Would it be safer to spend a day in school or take a flight in an airplane? What do the statistics show? Are you more likely to engage a lawyer to sue for criminal assault, or an airplane crash attorney?

I found statistics for the USA, but not for Canada. Here in the Great White North, the only school shooting that comes to mind was the 1989 École Polytechnique massacre in Québec. In Manitoba, the “Gimli Glider” may be the most famous Canadian aviation safety incident of 1983.In 2005, Air France flight 358 skidded to a halt on Toronto Pearson airport. In both these incidents, all passengers survived.

Professional Writing by DeHaan Services

DeHaan Services writes web site or advertising copy for clients. Our skills are demonstrated in online articles in Decoded Science, Decoded Pregnancy, and DeHaan Fitness. That’s why we highlight these online articles on this blog page.

In my Blog of Writing, “Preview of School Shooting Statistics” includes a writing tip based on my circumstances while writing the article.

To only see our Toronto events (for things to do in Toronto) or fitness articles, please click on the appropriate category in the “Categories” section at the bottom of the right-hand margin.

Thank you for reading about my publicity for comparing the statistical risk of airplane crashes versus school shootings.