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The Page That Counts :: Summer 2005

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Number of stories that ran in major newspapers in the last six months of 2004 in which

“Social Security” appeared within five words of “crisis” or “looming”:  159

Number of times the same phrase occurred in the same period a year before: 18 (1)


Year that the trustees of Social Security expect their program's trust fund to run out: 2041

Percent of benefits that would still be paid through the program's other sources of income in 2041: 74

Year that the trustees of Medicare expect their program's trust fund to run out: 2020 (2)


Percent of answers about billing provided by Medicare customer service representatives

that were wrong: 96

Percent of wrong answers that a toad, through random leaps, provided to the same questions: 50 (3)


Estimated deaths from the December 2004 tsunami: near 220,000 (4)


Estimated deaths from malaria every year: 1.3 million (5)


Cost of lifesaving malaria treatment for one person: 25 cents to $2.40 (6)


U.S. contribution to the Global Fund to Fight AIDS, Malaria, and Tuberculosis in 2004: $350 million

Amount the contribution decreased from the year before: $200 million (7)


Number of prisoners held by the U.S. military in Iraq in October 2004: 4,300 (8)


Number held in March 2005: 10,200 (9)


Number of people threatened with loss of all public library access in Salinas, California: 150,000 (10)


Cumulative loss of funding for libraries across America in the past year and a half: $111.5 million (11)


Percent of Americans who agreed with the statement that libraries and librarians play an essential role in our democracy and are “needed now more than ever”: 83 (12)


Number of libraries that were asked by law enforcement officials, under the USA PATRIOT Act, for records of their patrons' reading habits in 2002: 444

Number of libraries that refused the requests for the records: 225

Percent of librarians who say they would challenge a court order asking them to provide information secretly about a patron: 21.7 (13)


Number of times Congress has voted to raise the federal minimum wage since 1997: 0 (14)


Number of times Congress has voted to raise its own salary since 1997: 7 (15)


Number of moose that have broken into retail stores in Norway over the past year: at least 2 (16)


Number of additional centimeters children in sunlit schools grow over a two-year period compared to children in artificially lit schools: 2.1

Amount less tooth decay in children attending sunlit, rather than artificially lit, schools: 9 times (17)


Percent of Americans who believe that buying a highly fuel-efficient car is patriotic: 66

Percent of NASCAR fans who believe this: 67 (18)


1. Geoffrey Nunberg, “Privatization and the English Language,” The American Prospect, February 2004. 2. Social Security and Medicare Boards of Trustees, “A Summary of the 2004 Annual Reports,” www.ssa.gov/OACT/TRSUM/trsummary.html. 3. Lawrence R. Huntoon, M.D., Ph.D., “Medicare: Incompetence-Based Bureaucracy,” Journal of American Physicians and Surgeons, Winter 2004. 4. Michael Thieren, “Asian Tsunami: Death-Toll Addiction and its Downside,” World Health Organization  Bulletin, February 2005, www.who.int/bulletin/volumes/83/2/editorial10205/en/. 5. Scott P. Layne, M.D. UCLA Department of Epidemiology, www.ph.ucla.edu/epi/layne/Epidemiology220/07.malaria.pdf. 6. Medecins Sans Frontieres, “What is the Cost and Who Will Pay?” www.msf.org/content/page.cfm?articleid=44247857-6A39-4D9C-8FA7E54299FF1D4D. 7. Kaiser Network, “Global Fund to Begin New Funding Round in 2005; U.S. Cuts 2005 Contribution to Fund,” November 19, 2004, http://kaisernetwork.org/daily_reports/rep_index.cfm?DR_ID=26821. 8. The Associated Press, “Prisoner Count in Iraq Doubles in 5 Months,” March 30, 2005, www.cnn.com/2005/WORLD/meast/03/30/iraq.detainees.ap. 9. Human Rights First, “Behind the Wire,” March 30, 2005, www.humanrightsfirst.org/ media/2005_alerts/usls_0330_det.htm 10. The American Library Association, “The Campaign to Save America's Libraries,” 2004, www.ala.org/ala/pio/ piopromotions/campaignsave.htm. 11. The American Library Association, “Public Library Use: Fact Sheet 6,” 2004, www.ala.org/library/fact6.html. 12. The American Library Association, “Fact Sheet and Timeline,” 2004, www.ala.org/ala/pio/piopromotions/factsheettimeline.htm. 13. Leigh S. Estabrook, Library Research Center at the University of Illinois, “Public Libraries and Civil Liberties,” 2002, http://alexia.lis.uiuc.edu/gslis/research/civil_liberties.html. 14. The Department of Labor, “History of Federal Minimum Wage Rates Under the Fair Labor Act, 1938-1996,” www.dol.gov/esa/minwage/chart.htm. 15. “CRS Report for Congress: Salaries of Members of Congress: A List of Payable Rates and Effective Dates, 1789-2004. www.senate.gov/reference/resources/pdf/97-1011.pdf. 16. Aftenposten, Norway, Norwegian News in English, “Angry Moose Attacks Dogsled, After Another Runs Wild in Clothing Store,” January 11, 2005, www.aftenposten.no/english/local/article945820.ece. 17. Mike Nicklas and Gary Bailey, “Analysis of the Performance of Students in Daylit Schools,” 1996, www.innovativedesign.net/paper_a.htm#student. 18. Opinion Research Corporation, “American Views on Fuel-Efficient Automobiles and a Federal 40 MPG Standard: Summary of Survey Findings,” March 17, 2005.  http://40mpg.org/getinf/release.cfm.

 

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