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Actuarial Sightings

Edward C. Shoop has been setting records in his search for actuarial sightings. The following three entries are some of his discoveries.

From Andrew Ferguson's editorial, "Pardon Me If I (Still) Smoke," published in Time, June 30, 1997.

"They [state attorneys general] are by and large second-tier pols on the make, grasping for the kind of publicity that might boost them to the Governor's mansion or a Senate seat, but they know as well as the nearest actuary that smokers save the treasury money by (thoughtful souls that we are) dying young."

From The Atlantic Monthly, August 1995.

"'Flood insurance and flood relief have interfered with the normal functioning of the market.' Operating in actuarial reality, private insurers refused to issue flood insurance."

From the article "MBAs at Anderson Often Seek Fortunes, Not Just Employment," published in the Wall Street Journal, date unknown.

"...Chris Jarvis, 26, cut school for 11 days while pursuing a six-figure deal for his new publishing company. 'Not to sound too cliche,' says the former actuary, 'but breaking the rules is where the fun is.'"

F. James Mohl spotted the following sighting in Reliquary, a book by Douglas Preston and Lincoln Child. Mohl suggests that the entry may offer actuaries a new career opportunity.

"'There's a pattern here,' he said at last.

'Really?' Lt. D'Agosta asked, fighting to keep his voice neutral....'How do you figure?'

'Simple,' said Captain Waxie. 'The Chief had a talk with the top actuary in Human Resources. He looked at the murder locations, did a best-fit linear analysis, and said they were radiating right from this spot. See? The deaths form a semi-circle around this point....'

This time, D'Agosta was unable to keep the incredulity off his face. 'Let me get this straight. Some insurance dweeb in PERSONNEL gave you this tip? Did he try to sell you on the savings plan, too?'

Waxie frowned, his jowly cheeks turning a rich crimson. 'I don't appreciate your tone, Vinnie.'...

'Look, Jack,' D'Agosta said, struggling to keep his patience. 'What the hell would an actuary, even a police actuary, know about a murder pattern?'"