The Page That Counts :: Summer 2001

"Number of years it takes the average river to move a grain of sand 100 miles:  1 million1
Record skydive by US Air Force balloonist Joseph Kittinger: 102,800 feet
Time Kittinger was in free-fall: 4 minutes, 37 seconds
Kittinger's top speed during free-fall: 600 miles per hour2
Average increase in Scholastic Aptitude Test (SAT) scores of students taking commercial preparation courses:
20 points out of 1600 possible
Cost of the courses: $700 to $3,0003
Percentage of US residents in 1999 that walked or biked to work: 4
Percentage that rode in a vehicle to work in 1999:  87
Amount spent on treadmills in 1999:  $1.6 billion4
Number of civilians given public relations trips on US Pacific Fleet ships and submarines in 2000:  11,0005
Number of farmers who have been forced to sell their farms in order to pay the estate tax: 06
Percentage of US taxpayers who pass their estate on to heirs tax free: 98%7
Age at death of “Bluey,” an Australian cattle dog reported to be world's oldest dog:  29 years 5 months
Bluey's age in “human years” using the popular 1:7 conversion ratio:  2068
Increase in contested primaries in Maine following the adoption of a clean election law,
which provide public financing for qualifying candidates: 40%
Percentage of clean elections candidates facing privately funded opponents who won their races: 53%9
Percentage of teens in The Netherlands, which has Europe's most liberal drug policy,
who smoke marijuana: 23%
Percentage of American teens who smoke marijuana: 41%10
Number of dollar bills taken from 12 US cities that tested positive for traces of cocaine:  131 of 13511
Percent of adults who get less than eight hours of sleep at night: 63 percent
Percent who say they work 50 hours or more per week: 38 percent
Percent of adults who say they have fallen asleep while driving during the past year: 19 percent12

Sources: rREPLACE: FOR FORMATTING PURPOSES ONLY. 1. xxxxt, May 28, 2000. 2. IRS Statistics of Income Bulletin, Fall 1999. 3. “Amazing Animal Facts,” Earth Focus #11, 2000. 4 5. A Washington Post/ABC News poll conducted January 11–15. 6. Progressive Review #367, October 2000. 7.  8. NORML (National Organization for the Reform of Marijuana Laws) 9. NASA. 10. National Safety Council, National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, Powerball. 11. Information sent back by the Hubbell telescope, reported in Annie Dillard, For the Time Being. New York: Vintage Books, 1999. 12. Annie Dillard, For the Time Being. New York: Vintage Books, 1999. 13. “Amazing Animal Facts,” Earth Focus, #11, 2000.

Percent of recent college graduates who believe they will be worth $1 million by age 40: 521
Percent of Americans who reported incomes of $1 million in 1997: 0.12

Number of days a cockroach can live without its head: 93

Number of registered lobbyists in 1999: 20,512
Lobbying expenditure per member of Congress in 1999: $2.7 million4

Percent of Americans who do not consider George W. Bush a legitimately elected president: 40
Percent who think Bush will work mainly for the interests of large corporations: 86
Percent who think Bush will work mainly against the interests of poor people: 445

Square footage of Henry David Thoreau's cabin at Walden Pond: 150
Square footage of a Colorado Springs developer's house design called The Thoreau: 5,471
Number of bedrooms in The Thoreau: 6
Number of times Thoreau's cabin could fit into The Thoreau woodshop: one, with space left over6

Frequency with which a cliché is used in party conversation: every 11.32 seconds
At a business meeting: every 9.764 seconds
In a eulogy: every 8.3 seconds7

Number of marijuana arrests during the 8-year term of the president who “didn't inhale”:
over 4.1 million8

Odds of being hit by falling space debris: 1 in 60 trillion
Odds of being killed by something other than space debris falling on you: 1 in 4,7629

Odds of being killed by a poisonous snake, spider, or lizard: 1 in 268,153
Odds of being struck by lightning: 1 in 600,000
Odds of winning the Multistate Powerball Jackpot: 1 in 80,089,28810

Number of galaxies for each person alive: 911
Ratio by which chickens outnumber us: 4 to 112
Longest recorded flight by a chicken: 211 meters 13
Sources: 1. For the Time Being, Annie Dillard, Alfred A. Knopf, 1999.  2. Cool Fact of the Day, 3. American Statistical Assn quoted by the New York Times. 4. Group Health Cooperative, Northwest Health, Spring 2001. 5. Defending America, Col. David H. Hackworth, 6.Neil Harl, Iowa State University economist, cited by New York Times, April 8, 2001. 7. United for a Fair Economy, 8. Amazing Animal Facts, 
9. Public Campaign, 10. Study by European School Survey Project, cited by Drug Reform Coordination Network, 11. American Bar Assn. Journal, August 1993. 12. Survey of 1,004 adults by National Sleep Foundation.

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