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The Page That Counts :: Winter 2010

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violin.jpgNumber of people who walked past renowned violinist Joshua Bell as he played in a Washington, D.C., Metro station: 1,097

Total haul for his 43 minutes playing six classical pieces: $32.17

Price of a “merely pretty good” seat for Bell’s Boston Symphony concert three days before: $100 [1]



Number of personal care products the average consumer uses daily: 9

Number of unique chemical ingredients consumers are exposed to in those products: 126 [2]



Number of articles on Wikipedia: 13 million+

Number of languages used in Wikipedia articles: 260+

Percentage of Wikipedia articles in languages other than English: 78 [3]



mushroom2.jpgArea, in acres, of a single Armillaria ostoyae (Honey Mushroom) mycelium in Eastern Oregon, the world’s largest living organism: 2,200 [4]

Weight, in pounds, of a single clonal colony and root system of Populus tremuloides (Quaking Aspen) in Southern Utah, the world’s heaviest living organism: 14 million+ [5]



The average age Americans under 30 say old age begins: 60

The average age Americans 65 and older say old age begins: 74

The average age Americans say they want to live to: 89 [6]



Percentage of Americans in May 1993 who favored allowing openly gay people to serve in the military: 44

Percentage of Americans in July 2008 who favored allowing openly gay people to serve in the military: 75 [7]



televisionset.jpgPercentage of all on-screen characters during the 2007-2008 TV season who were female, a historical high: 43

Percentage of characters in their 50s who were female: 30

Percentage of characters in their 60s who were female: 39

Percentage of all characters who were females 40 and older: 11 [8]



Approximate percentage of total U.S. health-care expenditures used for complementary and alternative medicine: 1.5

Percentage of U.S. adults who used some form of complementary and alternative medicine in 2007: 38.3 [9]

Percentage of South Korean adults who used some form of complementary and alternative medicine in 2006:  74.8 [10]



sodacan.jpgNumber of Boeing 747 jets that could be built with the aluminum cans thrown away by airlines in 2004: 58

Height in feet newspapers and magazines thrown away by airlines in 2004 would reach if stacked on a football field: 230 [11]

Percentage of the 425,000 tons of passenger-related waste airports and airlines recycle annually: less than 20 [12]


More Page That Counts

yellow fish
Fall 2009

Percentage of land protected worldwide as parks:  12.1
Percentage of ocean designated as marine protected areas:  0.7 


Nosepicking Chimp

Summer 2009

Approximate number of languages spoken in the world: 6,000
Number of languages that go extinct every year: 26





  1. Pearls Before Breakfast: Can one of the nation's great musicians cut through the fog of a D.C. rush hour? Let's find out, Gene Weingarten, The Washington Post, Sunday, April 8, 2007.

  2.  FDA fails to protect consumers, Environmental Working Group Research, Oct. 5, 2005.

  3. Wikipedia,

  4. Coarse-scale population structure of pathogenic Armillaria species in a mixed-conifer forest in the Blue Mountains of northeast Oregon, B. A. Ferguson, T. A. Dreisbach, C. G. Parks, G. M. Filip, C. L. Schmitt, Canadian Journal of Forest Research, April 2003.

  5. How Aspens Grow, US Forest Service.

  6. Growing Old in America: Expectations vs. Reality, Pew Research Center, June 29, 2009.

  7. Washington Post-ABC News poll: Acceptance of Gay People in Military Grows Dramatically, Kyle Dropp and Jon Cohen, The Washington Post, July 19, 2008.

  8. Industry Statistics, Sheila Gibbons, Media Report To Women, updated Feb. 2009.  

  9. Costs of Complementary and Alternative Medicine (CAM) and Frequency of Visits to CAM Practitioners: United States, 2007, Richard Nahin, Barnes Patricia, Barbara Stussman and Barbara Bloom, U.S. Department of Health and Human Services: Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, National Health Statistics Reports; # 18, July 30, 2009.

  10. The Use of Complementary and Alternative Medicine in a General Population in South Korea: Results from a National Survey in 2006, Sun Myeong Ock, Jun Yeong Choi, Young Soo Cha, JungBok Lee, Mi Son Chun, Chang Hun Huh, Soon Young Lee, and Sung Jae Lee.  The Korean Academy of Medical Sciences. 2009.

  11. Trash Landings: How Airlines and Airports Can Clean Up TheirRecycling Programs, Natural Resources Defense Council. November 2006

  12. Recycling 101: A refresher course inthe basics, plus tips to take your recycling game to the next level, Natural Resources Defense Council. March 2008.


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