On the (mostly) lighter side, the data-crunchers and list-makers of the world continue to churn out rankings and survey results, many of which arrive at the Daily News’ inbox on a regular basis.
We didn’t know, for example, that Alaska’s favorite ice cream is vanilla.
That’s according to cooking website seriouslysmoked.com, which says it based its analysis on geotagged data from more than 300,000 Twitter tweets across the country.
Although the favorite of Alaska and seven other states, vanilla was far from the overall favorite.
That honor went to chocolate, which topped the list in 21 states. Other ice cream favorites were cookies and cream (10 states), strawberry (five), cookie dough (three) and rocky road (two). Mint chocolate chip got the nod in one state — Washington.
Now you know!
Alaska apparently likes its credit cards as much as it does vanilla ice cream. The Last Frontier had the highest median credit card debt in the nation at the start of 2020, according to the financial services website WalletHub.
Using TransUnion credit data, WalletHub calculated Alaska’s median credit card debt at $3,897. That’s markedly higher than the District of Columbia, which placed second at $3,272. The lowest median debt was $2,034 in Iowa.
Another not-so-favorable ranking for Alaska regards “catfishing” — online romance scams where someone uses a fake online profile to attract victims.
According to HighSpeedInternet.com, which said it used FBI and U.S. Census data, Alaska is the fifth most likely state for someone to get catfished in while online dating.
Ahead of Alaska were Nevada (the most likely), Wyoming, Washington and Utah. The least likely was South Dakota.
Online dating isn’t the only thing that’s generally increased during the novel coronavirus pandemic. No one will be surprised to hear that television watching has increased, or that the amount of exercise has declined.
According to the software and media company Ezvid Wiki, Alaskans watched an average of 421 hours of TV during an approximately 11-week lockdown period. That’s up from 262 hours during a comparable pre-lockdown period.
Alaskans who were surveyed averaged 40% less exercise during that period, the 11th largest decline nationwide. Vermonters tallied a 67% decline on the high end; Minnesotans stayed relatively active with only 16% less exercise.
Within Alaska, however, Ketchikan is the fourth-fittest city in the state, according to strength training resource and news outlet BarBend.com.
BarBend said it used “data backed by studies based on a variety of factors,” and combined them to create an overall fitness score out of 100.
Anchorage emerged in first place with a fitness score of 77.95, followed by Juneau with 75.23, Kodiak at 74.55 and Ketchikan at 73.88. We bested Sitka, which was fifth with a fitness score of 73.12.
Back to TV watching.
So, cabletv.com cross-referenced each of Pixar's 20 movies with national Google Trends data to determine that “Alaska’s most beloved Pixar movies in 2020.” Our beloveds are, in order, “Brave,” Finding Nemo,” Incredibles 2” and “Inside Out.”
None of those are in the United States’ overall top four, which were “Cars,” “Toy Story,” “Up” and “A Bug’s Life.”
No less entertaining than Pixar films are the occasional sightings of UFOs and bigfoot.
Alaska ranks 13th among states nationwide for UFO sightings, and eighth in sightings of bigfoot.
According to SatelliteInternet, Alaska had 33 UFO sightings in 2019, an average of 4.51 sightings for 100,000 people. We had 22 bigfoot sightings reported that year, about three per 100,000 people.
Florida, of course, had the most UFO sightings overall. The Sunshine (er, alien abduction?) State had 567 UFO sightings in 2019, although the rate of 2.64 sightings per 100,000 placed it only 36th in the nation. The per-capita top honors went to Idaho, which had 164 sightings for a rate of 9.18 sightings per 100,000 population.
With 567 UFO sightings — and 328 glimpses of bigfoot — Florida must be an exciting place indeed.
“Sixty and Me,” an online community of more than 500,000 women over the age of 60, thinks so, too, naming Florida as the “most exciting state” in which to retire.
Fair enough, but we had to chuckle about their pick for the least exciting retirement state. You guessed it — Alaska.
Their comment: “The Last Frontier should be the last choice of states if you want to go to college, play golf, explore plenty of state attractions, volunteer, watch professional sports teams, or mix with people over 60.”
To the credit of Sixty and Me, they also noted that Alaska is a good place to start a business and write a novel. And, “it’s is also a tax-friendly state for retirees.”
Which is true. According to WalletHub, Alaska has the lowest overall tax burden among the 50 states, calculated by a combination of state property taxes, individual income taxes, and sales and excise taxes as a share of total personal income.
Now, that’s exciting.