Things I Learned While Reading This Summer (1998)
(and will use to develop problems for my class)
by Dick Sietz

  • One in 6000 first novels gets published.
  • 80% of U.S. households have no connection to the internet.
  • 16.25 million miles of fiber optic cable was installed in 1996.
  • Nerve impulses travel 300 feet per second.
  • The farthest an electric car has traveled on one charge is 373 miles.
  • 9% of December's electric bills go toward Christmas lights.
  • Tiger stadium has the deepest center field at 440 feet.
  • Almost 60% of American households buy chewing gum.
  • The yearly U.S. consumption of chocolate is 12 pounds per person.
  • There are 300 chemicals contained in chocolate.
  • $3 billion of bagels were sold in 1997.
  • Bags of coffee beans that come from the fields weigh 132 pounds.
  • Every mile a normally inactive person walks will add 21 minutes to their life.
  • According to Fitness magazine, the average nurse walks 2.4 miles per day.
  • 15% of the $400 billion grocery business will be done on the internet by the year 2000.
  • The goods in an average house weigh between 7000 and 8000 pounds.
  • Webster's Collegiate Dictionary is on laser disk and it took an actor 140 hours to say the words.
  • Each year there are 35 million doctor visits related to ear infections.
  • Every year, 75 percent of all toys are new-meaning newly designed that year.
  • Today's typical toy costs $20, which means it wholesales for $14, and is made for about $5.
  • Ford Motor Company uses enough recycled pop bottles in their cars to cover a lake of 400 acres.
  • A simple silk-denim jacket by fashion designer Prada costs more than $850.
  • The movie "Dumb and Dumber" grossed $340 million worldwide.
  • The cells in the maximum-secu(ity ADX prison are 8 ft. 8 in. by 12 ft. 3 in.
  • The average size of a teenager's room is 10 ft by 11 ft.
  • El Nin-o has slowed the rotation of the earth and lengthened the day by a microsecond.
  • The 3-D image of Michelangelo's 'Pieta' will take 80 gigabytes worth of hard drive space.
  • Forty-four BILLION? pieces of mail were sent on April 15,1998.
  • It takes 300 gallons of water to make one computer chip.
  • One dandelion can produce 300,000 other dandelions during one summer.
  • This year Old Navy will add 120 outlets to the 321 the company already operates.
  • Last year teenagers spent $85 billion dollars on themselves.
  • The average teenage boy spends 20 minutes a day looking at his hair.
  • There are about 30 million teenagers in the United States.
  • In January, eleven of the European Union's fifteen nations will adopt a single currency.
  • There are now 91 Hard Rock Cafes in 31 countries.
  • 15% of Kodak's sales are in Asia and these sales are down 14% this year.
  • The Wealth of Nations cost $7.99 when published in 1776. In today's dollars it would cost $615.38.
  • First published in FACTORIAL, a publication of the Detroit Area Council of Teachers of Mathematics, Vol. 30, No. 1.
  • Reprinted in VIRGINIA MATHEMATICS TEACHER, Volume 25, No.2, Winter 1999.


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