26 December 2007

Harper's Index #1

I don't know whether I'm allowed to reproduce in this blog some items from the Harper's Index; perhaps I will be spared punishment if I provide suitable documentation. I've been an avid reader of Harper's for at least 20 years. For most of that time I've selected items from the famous Index and retyped them onto a "favorites" list. I'll use this category in TYWKIWDBI to offer some of those for the enjoyment of others. Please note that dates and times in the items are not related to the present - that is, I may have copied a post in 1992 referring to "last year" without inserting the numerical year, so take all such entries as being approximations only. Items that are related to one another are grouped in pairs; the remainder are gathered in larger groups ----

Convicted drunk drivers in Orange County, CA, 1988-89, whose sentence included a tour of the morgue: 569
Number of repeat offenders among them: 1

Number of times that the U.S. Congress has declared war: 5
Estimated number of times that a U.S. president has sent troops into combat situations: 130

Average size bra worn by an American woman in 1985: 34B
Average size in 1990: 36C

Number of bees that invaded a Bayport, New York, house while the owners were on vacation: 20,000
Estimated pounds of honey they produced before being removed: 10

Percentage of all valentines that are sent by women: 85
Estimated number of American dogs that have been named as beneficiaries in wills: 1,000,000
Estimated number of miles an item of food consumed in the United States travels before it is eaten: 1,200
Average number of pounds of pennies in an American home: 6
Average ratio of US funds spent fighting a war to United States funds spent on that war's veterans' benefits: 1:3
Chances that an employed American works in a shopping center or mall: 1 in 11
Percentage of fast-food restaurant workers who admit to doing "slow, sloppy work on purpose": 22
Number of times a nude or seminude woman accepted a Domino's Pizza delivery in Washington, D.C. last year: 15
Fee a Norwood, Mass bank requires from depositors before they can ask a question about their account: $1
Gas mileage of an M-1 tank, per gallon: 0.56
Number of doctors who belong to the Surfer's Medical Association: 504
Percentage of American men who say they clean their navel every day: 42
Percentage of Americans who say that, given the choice, they would rather hear the bad news first: 63
Estimated amount the national debt will increase in the time it takes to read this line: $33,000
Number of snails that animal-rights activists liberated from a snail farm in England: 153,000

Average number of Americans who are injured annually by chain saws: 36,000
Average number who are injured by clothing: 112,000

Ratio of women who buy Mother's Day cards to men who do: 5:1
Ratio of women who buy Father's Day cards to men who do: 8:1

Incidents of international terrorism since 1977 that involved a BMW: 33
Incidents that involved a Chevrolet Camaro: 1

Percentage of Peru's coca crop destroyed by U.S.-assisted forces last year: 1
Percentage destroyed by insects: 20

Number of people per square mile during peak season in Yosemite Valley: 3,320
Number of people per square mile in Houston: 2,986

Barrels of oil the United States imports from Iraq and Kuwait annually: 290,000,000
Barrels of oil that could be saved by raising United States auto-efficiency standards by 2.75 mpg: 290,000,000

Number of words in the written vocabulary of a 6-14 y.o. American child in 1945: 25,000
Average number today: 10,000

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