2011-11-19 / News

NEAT NUMERALS

These numbers are in the news.

90

Thinking of having turkey this Thanksgiving? You’re in good company. Some 90 percent of U.S. households eat turkey on Thanksgiving.

Most Americans will eat Thanksgiving dinner at home, but an increasing number -- some 31 percent last year -- will drive to their destination. About 11 percent will have Thanksgiving dinner at a restaurant.

41M

Some 41 million Americans participate in fantasy football. The pastime continues to grow. Statistics earned by the real NFL players are used to determine the winners and losers of thousands of fantasy football leagues across the country.

There’s usually an entry fee ($100 or less is the norm) with prizes paid out to the winners. Yes, that could technically be considered illegal gambling.

93

If past trends held true this year, some 93 percent of children age 11 and under went trick-or-treating this year. Eighty percent of adults planned to give out candy this year.

17

Fathers, take heart – literally! A study commissioned by the AARP and the federal government found that childless men are 17 percent more likely to die of heart-related illnesses.

Marriage, having lots of friends and even having a dog can also lower the chance of heart problems.

18,500

Townships in Pennsylvania will finally see a change in bid limit laws. Act 84 of 2011, effective Jan. 1, will increase the minimum dollar amount that requires townships to advertise and seek bids for purchases and contracts.

By upping the current threshold from $10,000 to $18,500, the law means that fewer local purchases will fall under state-mandated bidding procedures.

Act 84 will require townships to seek telephone quotes for purchases and contracts between $10,000 and $18,500. Any purchase a township makes that costs less than $10,000 will not be subject to the state’s bidding and advertising requirements. Also, the minimum bid amounts will be adjusted annually based on changes in the Consumer Price Index.

9.95

All of the major cable television companies in the nation are cooperating on a sweeping initiative to bring high-speed internet service to low-income Americans for a reduced fee of $9.95 per month. Premise behind the plan is an agreement that access to reliable internet service is a fundamental part of education.

About one-third of the nation’s homes, roughly 35 million, don’t have broadband. The Federal Communications Commission has put together a coalition that includes cable companies, Microsoft Corp., United Way, Best Buy Co. and others to address the gap.

Cable companies will offer the lower monthly rate to households with children who are eligible for free school lunches.

184M

A one-dollar bill has a life expectancy of about three years. Dollar coins last an average of 30 years.

When damaged dollar bills are removed from circulation, they’re shredded and buried in landfills. When dollar coins are deemed unusable, they’re melted and recycled.

If Americans would stop insisting on using bills and switched to coins, the government would save about $184 million annually.

But there are more than 1 billion Sacagawea and Susan B. Anthony dollar coins stored in federal vaults because consumers prefer the greenbacks.

Congress could insist on the phasing out of the dollar bill, but a lobbying organization, Americans for George, has fought the move. Members include paper, ink and printing interests.

50

About 50 cents of every dollar spent on a gallon of gasoline covers the cost of the crude oil. The other 50 cents is broken down as follows: refining costs, 10 to 25 cents; marketing and distribution, 5 to 15 cents; taxes, 15 to 20 cents.

Americans consume about 140 billion gallons of gas per year.

15.97

The average American ate 15.97 pounds of apples last year.

That was two percent higher than the previous year, but far off the record pace of almost 20 pounds per capita in the 1980s.

56

More than half of families with credit cards (56 percent) say they almost always pay off the balance to avoid interest; 20 percent sometimes pay off the balance.

95

Pesticides that are linked to cancer in humans have been found in 95 percent of the nation’s rivers and streams, and in 90 percent of the fish that live there, according to a U.S. Geological Survey study.

Scientists and environmental groups have long warned of the cumulative effect of using chemicallybased pesticides to control insects and weeds.

35

Just over 35 percent of U.S. families own three or more cars. The figure has virtually doubled since 1988, when it stood at 18 percent.

44

PennDOT is encouraging Pennsylvania drivers to become organ donors. Some 44 percent of drivers now have an organ donor designation on their licenses.

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