The indices of Harper’s Magazine

I have been a fan of Harper’s Magazine since the 1980s. In particular, I loved the Readings section, as well as the factoids list (with citations) known as Harper’s Index, near the front of each issue. Here are 100 factoids I’ve researched from over the years, dates not important, but they have been taken from issues since 2000. I have favoured factoids that are not dated, but that was difficult as many good ones with dates crept in. The URL for Harper’s magazine is http://harpers.org, and is available on some newsstands, but not as many these days as in days previous.

  • Cost to produce Safeguard, the only U.S. ground-based long-range missile shield ever deployed: $23,500,000,000
  • Number of days in the 1970s that the system was operational before it was abandoned as inadequate: 135
  • Pounds of fuel required to maintain this year’s 11,500 Olympic torches: 2,029
  • Ratio of the amount of energy generated by 1 gallon of ethanol to the amount of energy required to produce it : 1:0.9
  • Number of times Colin Powell said, “I don’t recall” or, “I can’t recall” during his 1987 Iran-Contra testimony: 56
  • Percentage of global economic activity accounted for by the world’s 200 largest corporations: 27.5
  • Percentage of the world’s population that these corporations employ: 0.8
  • Minimum number of mentally retarded Americans who have been executed by the justice system since 1976 : 35
  • Estimated chance that a U.S. prisoner is mentally retarded: 1 in 14
  • Days after Time named George W. Bush 2000’s man of the year that Russians named Vladimir Lenin man of the century: 4
  • Places by which Russia’s ranking in the U.N.’s Human Development Index of living standards has fallen since 1990 : 31
  • Rank of the United States and Britain among nations whose residents are most likely to be obese: 1,2
  • Rank of Hungary: 3
  • Ratio of the number of pardons George W. Bush has issued turkeys to those he has issued human beings: 2:1
  • Ratio of the average life span of a commercially bred turkey to that of a wild one: 1:7
  • Year in which Disney’s Mickey Mouse copyright will expire if the Supreme Court reverses a 1998 extension this winter (2002): 2003
  • Minutes that a Massachusetts surgeon left a patient with an open incision while he went to deposit a check: 35
  • Percentage change since 1990 (to 2003) in the number of U.S. schoolchildren labeled “disabled” : +37
  • Chances that a U.S. adult does not want to live to be 120 under any circumstances: 2 in 3
  • Chance that an American adult believes that “politics and government are too complicated to understand” : 1 in 3
  • Chance that an American who was home-schooled feels this way: 1 in 25
  • Acreage of a Christian nudist colony under development in Florida (in 2004): 240
  • Percentage of the 13,129 varieties of dirt in the United States that are endangered: 4
  • Years in prison to which two ex-Pentagon officials were sentenced last year for taking bribes of money and prostitutes: 24
  • Number of years a North Carolina man has been in prison for stealing a television: 33
  • Rank, on the Turkish bestseller list in March (2005), of a thriller depicting a U.S. invasion of Turkey: 1
  • Rank of Mein Kampf: 2
  • Average percentage by which the power of the male heart declines between the ages of 18 and 75 : 20
  • Average percentage by which the female heart does: 0
  • Amount a Chinese online gamer made last year (in 2004) by selling a virtual sword he had borrowed from a friend: $850
  • Months later that the friend retaliated by stabbing him to death with a real knife: 6
  • Number of beetles that right-wing entomologists have named after Bush Administration officials: 3
  • Number of times that Mary, Jesus’ mother, is referenced by name in the Bible and the Koran, respectively: 19,34
  • Number of “Wal-ocaust” T-shirts sold by a Georgia man before Wal-Mart ordered him to cease and desist: 1
  • Ratio, in the United States, of the number of Wal-Mart employees to the number of high school teachers: 1:1
  • Portion of states where the projected climate in 2100 will not be able to sustain their official tree or flower: 3/5
  • Number of words spoken by Clarence Thomas during Supreme Court oral arguments since February 2006 (until Aug 2007): 132
  • Number by Samuel Alito, the Justice who spoke the second-fewest words: 14,404
  • Percentage of single U.S. women in their twenties who are “very” or “extremely” willing to marry for money: 61
  • Percentage of women in their thirties who are : 74
  • Percentage change since 1985 (to 2009) in the number of U.S. newspapers with reporters covering Congress : –72
  • Percentage of six- to nine-year-old American girls (in 2009) who wear lipstick or lip gloss : 46
  • Number of poppyseed bagels that could be made with Afghanistan’s annual poppy harvest : 357,000,00
  • Percentage of British elementary-school students who think Isaac Newton discovered fire : 60
  • Number of U.S. states that have more pigs than people : 3
  • Minimum number of birds that die from crashing into New York City windows each year : 100,000
  • Number of Bentleys purchased in Russia in 2000 and in 2010, respectively : 0, 113
  • Estimated portion of registered voters in Zimbabwe who are dead : 1/4
  • Average minutes more exercise per week that a heavy drinker gets than a non-drinker : 21
  • Portion of the total U.S. corn crop that goes to make ethanol : 2/5
  • Projected worldwide surplus of low-skill workers by 2020 : 93,000,000
  • Projected worldwide deficit of high- and medium-skill workers by that time : 85,000,000
  • Rank of China among global beer producers by volume : 1
  • Rank of the United States : 2
  • Percentage change since 1988 (to 2012) in U.S. teen-pregnancy rates : –36
  • In abstinence rates among white teens : +31
  • Among black teens : +56
  • Portion of Americans who don’t walk for at least ten continuous minutes at any point in an average week : 2/5
  • Percentage of American cats that are overweight : 58
  • Percentage of men in dual-income marriages who said they struggled with work-family conflict in 1977 : 35
  • Who say they do today (2013): 60.
  • Average annual cost of detaining an inmate at the military prison at Guantánamo Bay : $900,000
  • At a supermax prison in the United States : $65,000
  • Portion of all online advertising that is never seen by a human being : 1/2
  • Percentage of U.S. children in 1960 who lived in households headed by heterosexuals in their first marriage : 73
  • Who do today (2015) : 46
  • Estimated minimum gallons of water used annually to produce Coca-Cola products : 8,000,000,000,000
  • Ratio of money spent by Britons on prostitution to that spent on hairdressing : 1:1
  • Years in prison to which a New Mexico man was sentenced last year (in 2015) for shooting children with a semen-filled squirt gun : 18
  • Estimated number of people who will be driven into extreme poverty by 2030 because of climate change : 100,000,000
  • Percentage of the world’s civilian-owned firearms that are owned by Americans : 48
  • Number of Americans aged 60 and older who have outstanding student loans : 2,800,000
  • Portion of those borrowers who have taken on debt to pay for a child or grandchild’s education : 3/4
  • Percentage of children’s toys available in Sweden that contain banned chemicals : 15
  • Of sex toys available in Sweden : 2
  • Average number of people who die in avalanches in the United States each year : 27
  • Number of FBI confidential informants (in 2017) who worked for Best Buy’s Geek Squad between 2008 and 2012 : 8
  • Rank of Nebraska among states with the least liked state flags : 1
  • Number of days in January that the flag at the state capitol flew upside down before anyone noticed : 7
  • Number of US states in which fluorescent pink is a legal color for hunting apparel : 6
  • Chance an American has taken an “active shooter” preparedness class : 1 in 10
  • Percentage of US “active shooters” from 2000 to 2016 who were killed by police : 21
  • Who were killed by armed civilians : 1
  • Number of universities in which half of all the US tenured and tenure-track history professors are trained : 8
  • Number of the twenty largest German companies that are headquartered in the former East Germany : 0
  • Rank of Germany in consumption of nonalcoholic beer : 2
  • Of Iran : 1
  • Portion of Hawaii’s drinking water that comes from underground wells : 9/10
  • Gallons of raw sewage that leak into the ground from Hawaii cesspools each day : 53,000,000
  • Percentage change since 2009 in reports of human waste on San Francisco streets (in 2018): +391
  • Chance that a given day is a public holiday in Cambodia : 1 in 13
  • Rank of Disneyland among the happiest places on earth, according to Disneyland : 1
  • Percentage of Disneyland employees who worry about being evicted from their homes : 56
  • Number of dead people Americans have elected to Congress : 6
  • Factor by which a millennial is more likely than a baby boomer to claim they have a food allergy : 2
  • Number of states that allow roadkill to be salvaged for food : 31
  • Rank of Arabic among France’s most spoken languages : 2
  • Factor by which graduate students are more likely to experience depression or anxiety than the general population : 6
  • Percentage of Americans aged 18 to 34 who say they’d like to live forever : 24
  • Of Americans over 55 : 13

Alex Jones and his nutty ideas

As you may have known, I have a thing for loonies in that I find their stuff so entertaining. Alex Jones is neither a lefty, nor is he right-wing. He’s nothing more than a conspiracy nutjob, pure and undiluted by rational thought, although there is the occasional flash of bright light which gets quickly clouded over again by the next whacky conspiracy theory or statement which is unsupported by any document or fact that exists outside of the world Alex Jones’s imagination. And on it goes. Alex Jones has been head of InfoWars since before 9/11, and he has only gotten crazier with age. And the one thing about nutjobs — they cannot be parodied. Their heads are so far up their ass, they are already enough of a spectacle in that their own words are enough. I already said the same thing earlier about Rob Ford.

What follows has appeared before on the Perry Logan website. It is mostly reproduced here, stripped of commentary, since I think that Alex Jones needs to be best experienced without comments of any kind, since that would clash with rational thinking. Here goes:

  • Israel microwaved a hundred thousand of its own children.
  • Your cell phones are watching you every moment.
  • The main source of meat in North Korea is executed prisoners.
  • SWAT teams are being taught that Christians are evil.
  • The government can control the weather.
  • The Mafia was started by Julius Ceaser’s grandfather.
  • Vaccines are killing our children.
  • Texas is run by the Masons.
  • Masons can commit murder.  They make a secret sign to the judges and are immediately set free.  This has been solidly confirmed.
  • They sacrifice babies at Bohemian Grove.
  • “Cell phones have been proven in hundreds of major studied to cause brain tumnors.  There’s no debating it.”
  • The NRA are gun grabbers.
  • There are government-run white slavery rings.
  • Columbine was a government op.
  • Wal-Mart is a Defense Department front.
  • Illegal aliens get to go to the front in emergency rooms.
  • They put mercury in your vaccines to brain-damage your children.
  • The Aztecs would take hallucinogenic enemas and cut their penises off.
  • Alex Jones has correctly predicted everything that has happened in the last 10 years.
  • FEMA has a giant private army.
  • Illegal immigrants get free tuition and discounts on their Twinkies.
  • There’s a worldwide takeover going on, perceptible only to dumb white guys… …but everyone is waking up. 
  • The ruling elite of the world worship Moloch.
  • During his inauguration, President Clinton openly gave the sign of Satan for all the world to see.
  • The secret rulers of the world can live forever.
  • The elite have openly announced can you buy tramadol online that they want to kill 80% of us.
  • Jacques Cousteau wanted to kill 80% of us.
  • You can’t succeed in academe unless you agree that 80% of the population has to be killed off.
  • Dick Cheney writes papers saying terrorism isn’t real.
  • The U.S. Government went around Italy blowing up school busses full of children…& admitted it.
  • There are little wires in dollar bills that keep track of what you buy.
  • Vicente Fox can morph into a green devil.
  • The Communist Chinese Army has taken over the Massachusetts Port Authority.
  • Noam Chomsky is a mongoloid idiot.  Also an agent.
  • There are Illuminati symbols on Starbucks coffee cups.
  • Exits on tollroads are 50 miles apart.
  • There are live AIDS viruses in the corn.
  • 91% of Americans are Nazis.
  • Arnold Schwarzenegger is a known Nazi.
  • All of Clinton’s cabinet were Jewish.
  • Devil-worshipers run the country.
  • The United Nations goes around Africa, sterilizing women at random
  • The Founding Fathers were basically stupid
  • All throughout history, governments have always been Evil.
  • Power outages are government plots.
  • Illegal immigration is a government plot.
  • The counterculture is a government plot.
  • Vaccines are a government plot.
  • Thumb scanning is a government plot.
  • Environmentalism is a government plot.
  • The National Seat Belt Initiative is a government plot.
  • Feminism is a government plot. (and Gloria Steinem is a CIA operative.)
  • Toll roads are a government plot.
  • The drug culture is a government plot.
  • Cell phones are a government plot.
  • Wal Mart is a government plot. 
  • Sports are a government plot.
  • Antidepressants are a government plot.
  • All domestic terror attacks are government plots.
  • The government keeps “giant, honeycombed hives full of toddlers drugged on lithium”
  • The government brings in all the drugs.
  • The government is spraying us with EVIL CHEMICALS contained in the cone trails of planes
  • Arnold Schwarzenegger is part of an Austrian plot to take over America.
  • Skull & Bones is part of an English plot to take over America.
  • The United Nations is part of a (very slow) plot to take over America.
  • Children’s cartoons are part of a government plot to brainwash us.
  • Organized religion is brainwashing us.
  • The secret ruling elite of the world are putting up buildings that look like owls.
  • Most major police chiefs are CIA operatives.
  • The voting-machine companies are openly run by the CIA.
  • The Quakers are communists.
  • Lyndon Johnson had John Kennedy killed.
  • The UN has sold thousands of children into slavery & for snuff films.
  • Gays are actively recruiting in our schools.
  • The United Nations goes around Africa, sterilizing women at random
  • Every soldier who died in any war since the Civil War was a chump
  • 9-11 was only the beginning; there are going to be lots of even bigger domestic attacks
  • They only hire people with IQ’s below 100 to become police officers. 

Signs that you have become a fossilized fuddy-duddy

This is an updated version of the original post found at this site. Today’s kids who will be old enough to graduate this year (we’ll say 18) will have the following traits:

  1. The kids who are now 18 were born in 1992.
  2. The Soviet Union collapsed a year before their birth (1991).
  3. Apartheid ended before they were born (also 1991).
  4. Operation Desert Storm happened before they were born.
  5. Nelson Mandela was freed before they were born.
  6. The Hubble space telescope was launched before their lifetimes.
  7. They would not have had a memory of seeing Lech Walesa become the first president of an independent Poland.
  8. They were just born the year the L. A. riots happened over the Rodney King verdict.
  9. They would have only learned about the Exxon Valdez or the Tiannanmen Square massacre either through their parents or their teachers.
  10. The fall of the Berlin Wall as a publicity stunt for Ronald Regan’s historical stature is something they have only heard about second or third-hand.
  11. These kids were not alive during the Regan era.
  12. They do not have a meaningful recollection of the era under Bush I either.
  13. Kids graduating today have not known a world where DNA evidence was not used to convict criminals
  14. Black Monday, and the stock market crash in 2008 both have the same significance to them as the Great Depression.
  15. To them, “The interenet” consists only of the Web, chat groups, and text messaging.
  16. They have never known a world that didn’t have a hole in the ozone layer.
  17. The Thriller album and video are a fossilized piece of rock history.
  18. While we’re at it, rock videos themselves have been on the decline during their lifetimes in favour of YouTube and internet videos.
  19. E. T. is a movie their parents like.
  20. Pac-man is something their parents played
  21. They have never played Atari games, except on their parent’s antique consoles.
  22. Their grandparents saw the original Star Trek.
  23. Their world has always involved the risk of AIDS
  24. Their parents were already too old for “new wave” music
  25. The original Star Wars movies are something kids see now on movie reruns or from DVDs from the delete bin.
  26. Their view of the 1970s does not seem to consist of a wasteland of K-Tel and disco.

Alive without my permission: Worrisome medical reports from around the globe

From actual medical reports and medical registers.

  1. The patient has no previous history of suicides.
  2. Patient has left her white blood cells at another hospital.
  3. Patient’s medical history has been remarkably insignificant with only a 40 pound weight gain in the past three days.
  4. She has no rigors or shaking chills, but her husband states she was very hot in bed last night.
  5. Patient has chest pain if she lies on her left side for over a year.
  6. On the second day the knee was better and on the third day it disappeared.
  7. The patient is tearful and crying constantly. She also appears to be depressed.
  8. The patient has been depressed since she began seeing me in 1993.
  9. Discharge status:- Alive, but without my permission.
  10. Healthy appearing decrepit 69-year old male, mentally alert, but forgetful.
  11. Patient had waffles for breakfast and anorexia for lunch.
  12. She is numb from her toes down.
  13. While in ER, she was examined, x-rated and sent home.
  14. The skin was moist and dry.
  15. Occasional, constant infrequent headaches.
  16. Patient was alert and unresponsive.
  17. Rectal examination revealed a normal size thyroid.
  18. She stated that she had been constipated for most of her life until she got a divorce.
  19. I saw your patient today, who is still under our care for physical therapy.
  20. Both breasts are equal and reactive to light and accommodation.
  21. Examination of genitalia reveals that he is circus sized.
  22. The lab test indicated abnormal lover function.
  23. Skin: somewhat pale, but present.
  24. The pelvic exam will be done later on the floor.
  25. Large brown stool ambulating in the hall.
  26. Patient has two teenage children, but no other abnormalities
  27. When she fainted, her eyes rolled around the room.
  28. The patient was in his usual state of good health until his airplane ran out of fuel and crashed.
  29. Between you and me, we ought to be able to get this lady pregnant.
  30. She slipped on the ice and apparently her legs went in separate directions in early December.
  31. Patient was seen in consultation by Dr. Smith, who felt we should sit on the abdomen and I agree.
  32. The patient was to have a bowel resection. However, he took a job as a stock broker instead.
  33. By the time he was admitted, his rapid heart had stopped, and he was feeling better.
  34. The patient refused autopsy.

I’ve seen this posted in lots of places, and I got it from a friend, but I also found it printed twice on this page. In turn, that blogger attributed these same quotes to two different hospitals. In actual fact, I don’t believe these came from any single hospital.