A reader who may or may not want to take credit Comrade PhysioProf has pointed me to an interesting factoid on the NIAID site. Page down to the section on “Comparison of NIH’s Old and New Peer Review Processes” and you will find:

[Old way] Percentiles range from 0.1 (best) to 99.5 (worst).
[New Way]Percentiles range from 1 to 99 in whole numbers. Rounding is always up, e.g., 12.1 percentile becomes 13.

So not only do we have scores clustering around the even-integer increments allowed reviewers, we have additional clustering of applications based on percentile rounding.
As far as a Program Officer is concerned, your 9.1 %ile application is the same as the next person’s 10.0%ile application.
Man, they really were serious about intentionally generating a lot of tied scores, weren’t they?

A reader who may or may not want to take credit Comrade PhysioProf has pointed me to an interesting factoid on the NIAID site. Page down to the section on “Comparison of NIH’s Old and New Peer Review Processes” and you will find:

[Old way] Percentiles range from 0.1 (best) to 99.5 (worst).
[New Way]Percentiles range from 1 to 99 in whole numbers. Rounding is always up, e.g., 12.1 percentile becomes 13.

So not only do we have scores clustering around the even-integer increments allowed reviewers, we have additional clustering of applications based on percentile rounding.
As far as a Program Officer is concerned, your 9.1 %ile application is the same as the next person’s 10.0%ile application.
Man, they really were serious about intentionally generating a lot of tied scores, weren’t they?

The CDC has an interesting report out in their Morbidity and Mortality Weekly Report (MMWR).

Ecstasy Overdoses at a New Year’s Eve Rave — Los Angeles, California, 2010

This bit overviews a report from the Los Angeles County Department of Public Health which sought information on Emergency Department visits and other fatalities involving people who attended a New Year’s event Dec 31, 2009-Jan 1, 2010. The investigation determined that

18 patients visited EDs in LAC for MDMA-related illness within 12 hours of the rave. All were aged 16–34 years, and nine were female. In addition to using MDMA, 10 of the 18 had used alcohol, and five had used other drugs. Three patients were admitted to the hospital, including one to intensive care. A tablet obtained from one of the patients contained MDMA and caffeine, without known toxic contaminants.

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