Saturday, November 13, 2010

You Can Set Your Clock by It

On the first day the Atlantic Magazine comes. On the following day comes the Harper's Magazine, thereby laying out my reading for the next couple or three days, and of course the Harper's Index, tidbits of which I've gotten in the habit of sharing with you. Tell me which one comes as the biggest shock to you. It will probably be a hard choice.
  •  Percentage change in reading scores for the public-school fourth-graders since No Child Left Behind became law: +1
  • Number of delayed-notice search warrants granted by federal judges last year under the Patriot Act: 1,150
  • Number that were related to drug offenses and terrorism, respectively: 844, 6
  • Date a congressional report called the number of government entities to be created by the health-care reform "unknowable": 7/8/10
  • Value of economic-recovery bonds the State of Louisiana has sold since Hurricane Katrina: $5,900,000,000
  • Percentage of the revenue that has been spent on projects in New Orleans: 1
  • Percentage spent on the Lower Ninth Ward: 0
  • Portion of all pencils, pens, and crayons sold last year that were manufactured in China: 1/3
  • Rank of carbonated beverages among the best-selling grocery items in the United States this year: 1
  • Rank of baked desserts, pizza, and soda as sources of calories for American children, respectively: 1, 2, 3
  • Chances of an American believes that Jesus Christ will return to Earth by 2050: 2 in 5
  • Chance that a US Protestant knows who Martin Luther is: 1 in 2
  • Percentage of Americans who believe that Stephen King wrote Moby-Dick: 4
  • Proportion of the world's reindeer herds that are currently in decline: 4/5
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