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TorgoX (1933)


"Il est beau comme la retractilité des serres des oiseaux rapaces [...] et surtout, comme la rencontre fortuite sur une table de dissection d'une machine à coudre et d'un parapluie !" -- Lautréamont

Journal of TorgoX (1933)

Tuesday June 24, 2003
01:33 PM

Harper's Index, June 2003. One Time.

[ #13041 ]
Dear All,

So that you may basque in the sheer juche of Harper's Index, I will paste in the whole content of the June edition. Mayit may touch you (inappropriately) and become part of your reading habits!


Amount by which total U.S. personal debt in 2002 exceeded total disposable income : $628,000,000,000

Percentage of federal "domestic preparedness" funds allocated to the states since 1999 that remain unspent : 60

Amount of new U.S. military aid for Colombia inserted into the Iraq war bill in March : $105,000,000

Amount of new U.S. military aid promised Israel in April to offset the "burdens" of the U.S. war on Iraq : $1,000,000,000

Percentage unemployment in Palestine, West Virginia, the hometown of former POW Pfc. Jessica Lynch : 15

Number of states in which Wal-Mart is the largest employer : 21

Chance that a network-television advertisement is paid for by one of the 100 largest U.S. corporations : 3 in 4

Days that AT&T ceased its TV advertising last March "out of respect for the U.S. military operation in Iraq" : 3

Days that it ceased its telemarketing : 1

Portion of sales of its "Impeach Bush French Fries" that a California café will donate to an impeachment campaign : 1/10

Percentage "improvement" that Minnesota senator Norm Coleman claims to be over the late Paul Wellstone : 99

Minimum number of times that actor Martin Sheen has been arrested in political protests : 60

Minimum number of times Abbie Hoffman was : 65

Minimum number of times that the demonstrators at this year's largest U.S. peace rally could encircle the Pentagon : 130

Amount Canada spent last summer to keep bears away from the G-8 summit : $31,427

Number of mine-detecting monkeys erroneously reported to have been given to the United States by Morocco in March : 2,000

Ratio of the top weekly fee paid a Munchkin in 1939's The Wizard of Oz to the weekly fee paid for Toto : 4:5

Last year in which no film, screenplay, or performance relating to mental illness was nominated for an Oscar : 1953

Percentage of cases of communicable diseases that California medical professionals are required to report that go unreported : 80

Rank of Silicon Valley among fifteen-square-mile areas with the largest number of Superfund sites : 1

Minimum number of chronic medical disorders linked to exposure to industrial chemicals : 110

Number of different strains of tuberculosis whose DNA has been catalogued by a New Jersey microbiologist : 17,000

Number of sites nationwide where farmers grew "pharmaceutical crops" last year : 34

Chance that a U.S. senior citizen reports having skipped medications or not filled prescriptions because of cost : 1 in 5

Number of Medicare patients dropped since 1998 by U.S. HMOs claiming inadequate reimbursement rates : 2,400,000

Average quality-of-life rating researchers assign U.S. children with cancer, on a scale of 1 to 100 : 69

Average quality-of-life rating assigned obese children : 67

Estimated number of Ding Dongs manufactured per minute at St. Louis's Interstate Brands factory : 1,000

Chance that a billionaire today is self-made : 1 in 2

Percentage of male U.S. drivers who "often" or "sometimes" steer with their legs : 12

Number of motor vehicles owned by Tom Magliozzi, co-host of NPR's Car Talk : 0

Maximum portion of the chemical energy in gasoline that is used by an internal combustion engine : 1/4

Percentage change in central London's average rush-hour car speed since a £5 toll was imposed there in February : +111

Percentage change since 1973 in overall U.S. energy consumption : +27

Percentage change since then in U.S. oil imports : +86

Year in which Detroit presented Saddam Hussein with a key to the city : 1980

Days after the U.S. invaded Iraq that Sony trademarked "Shock & Awe" for video games : 1

Days later that the company gave up the trademark, citing "regrettable bad judgment" : 25

Amount the U.S. Air Force spent on a "nostalgic juke box" for a base in Saudi Arabia in the last two years : $14,835

Amount it spent on cowboy hats : $4,896

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  • Percentage change in central London's average rush-hour car speed since a £5 toll was imposed there in February : +111

    Woohoo! If I read this correctly, it means that the average speed has gone up from 9mph to 20mph. Wow. It's not been that fast since the 1800s (Yes, IIRC it was about 11mph around 1900)

    What it doesn't tell you is whether the traffic has slowed down outside the congestion charging zone, because the same journeys now being taken via different routes, avoiding the centre and displacing the traffic outwards.

    The congestion charging zone is almost exactly the play area of the game "The Getaway". Although even with the charge, real traffic levels are still much higher than in the game. There's probably only 2 places in Central London where you can reliably break the 30mph speed limit by >10mph - the Euston Road Underpass, and Lower/Upper Thames Street (a road that runs along the north bank of the Thames from the Tower of London towards the Houses of Parliament)

  • OK, I know there's a lot of important things there, but this:

    Number of motor vehicles owned by Tom Magliozzi, co-host of NPR's Car Talk : 0
    just floored me.

    What about the Dodge Dart he keeps talking about? (Well, I guess that was in the past tense.) But there's that car he's supposedly driven 100,000 miles without an oil change to see what would happen. (Probably somebody else's. ;-)

    OK, so how many cars does Ray own?