Sunday, January 23, 2011

Background Noise

----- Only 1.4% of Americans moved to another state last year. That's the lowest rate since 1948. ("Do your part to boost the rate - move to another state TODAY!" is a bumper sticker I'd love to have.)

----- Neurosurgeons with 10 years of experience make about $600,000 a year. Oil traders with 10 years of experience make at least $1 million a year. (Four-star generals with 34 years in the military can expect to earn about $185,000, plus all the medals their chests can support.)

----- 16% of Ohio's public school students have been diagnosed as gifted. (I wonder how many have been diagnosed as re-gifted....)

----- 10% of Americans are now renting storage lockers. There are more than 50,000 storage facilities scattered across the country. These facilities will earn about $22 billion this year. (If my experience is typical, maybe they ought to rename these facilities "temporary landfills"....)

----- The average swimming pool costs $1500 a year to maintain. (Having trouble making ends meet? Maybe you ought to consider draining your pool and using it to store all the stuff you have in a storage locker.)

----- Just 11.9% of American workers belong to a union now. That's the lowest rate in some 70 years. Slightly more than half of all unionized Americans have a job in the public sector. (Does this increase or decrease the odds of my local police department out-sourcing its investigative duties to India?)

----- Drug companies typically spend twice as much on marketing as they do on research. (Not sure how they categorize the money spent on research into new ways of marketing.)

----- There are 45,000 Chinese restaurants in the US. (That's somewhat fewer than the number of storage facilities - but you knew that already, right?)

----- 51% of the population of Haiti is under 21.

----- There are now more than 9000 Zambonis roaming the earth. Each one travels about 2000 miles a year. A single Zamboni might travel 3 miles during the course of one hockey game. (A married Zamboni never travels.)

----- Wal-Mart now sells about 25% of all the groceries sold in the US. (They'd probably sell even more if people with an irrational fear of Zambonis had the courage to leave their homes.)

----- 68% of Ohioans heat their homes with natural gas; 20% heat with electricity; 7% rely on propane; 3% use oil; about 2% use wood. Oil has rapidly declined in popularity even though some 5% of every gallon comes from soybeans. (If I could heat my home by burning tofu, I'd do it!)

----- If you're a typical penguin, you can expect to live about 20 years. (How long did they live before the invention of the Zamboni??)

1 comment:

  1. According to The Invisible Gorilla's authors, 70% of Canadians claim to be of above-average intelligence.
    The authors act like it is safe to presume that statistics like this are an indication of widespread delusion.
    Notice how I had to word the first sentence to make it not read as if I was quoting an invisible gorilla.
    I'll stop now, mostly because it's past my bedtime and partly because I don't seem to have anything to say. I say partly because that obviously doesn't stop me when I'm not tired.