Harper’s Index — From the February 2013 issue

Harper’s Index

Projected annual revenue Mexican drug cartels stand to lose from pot legalization in Colorado and Washington : $1,400,000,000

Estimated minimum amount the Zeta cartel makes each year from the sale of coal : $22,000,000

Minimum number of engineers and technicians it has kidnapped to run Radio Zeta and other telecommunications outlets : 21

Percentage rate at which Arcata, California, plans to tax excessive electricity use in an effort to punish marijuana growers : 45

Portion of California drivers on an average Saturday night who have potentially impairing drugs in their systems : 1/7

Portion of the U.S. House of Representatives’ Democratic caucus that represents California or New York : 1/3

Amount that Crescent City, California, has budgeted for tsunami-defense construction : $34,000,000

Percentage of children living in Japan’s Fukushima Prefecture who have thyroid abnormalities : 40

Number of seconds the Long Island Power Authority spent discussing Hurricane Sandy in public meetings before the storm : 39

Number of hours before power was restored to the majority of Long Island residents affected by the storm : 361

Estimated feet by which Sandy shrank New Jersey’s shoreline : 35

Last full month in which the average daily temperature did not exceed twentieth-century norms : 2/1985

Year by which the United States is projected to become the world’s largest producer of oil : 2017

Percentage of U.S. troops in Afghanistan who consume at least one energy drink per day : 45

Percentage of those consuming three or more such drinks per day who “sometimes” or “often” fall asleep on the job : 44

Date of the first combat death of a female U.S. service member in Iraq : 3/23/2003

Date on which the U.S. Army began testing body armor designed for women : 8/20/2012

Estimated cost of maintaining Afghanistan’s national security forces in the year after U.S. troops leave : $4,100,000,000

Annual budget of the Afghan government : $3,300,000,000

Percentage of U.S. government contracts intended for small businesses that went to large corporations in 2011 : 37

Portion of the total value of all U.S. currency accounted for by $100 bills : 3/4

By coins : 1/25

Percentage by which an unemployed American is likelier to have a heart attack : 35

By which an American in poverty is likelier to have suffered depression : 96

Projected increase in the number of doctors in the U.S. health-care system by 2020 : 50,100

In the number of patients : 36,000,000

Pounds by which the average American’s self-reported “ideal weight” has increased since 1990 : 13

Chance that an average American ate at McDonald’s yesterday : 1 in 12

Value of the 220 diamonds swallowed by a South African jewel smuggler in November : $265,000

Average price for an ounce of human breast milk at a U.S. hospital : $4

Minimum number of pill capsules containing powdered human fetuses smuggled from China into South Korea since 2011 : 28,864

Percentage of Americans who say China “can’t be trusted” : 68

Chance that an Israeli Jew believes Israel practices “apartheid” against Palestinians : 1 in 2

Factor by which Northeasterners were more likely than Southerners to support racial integration in 1963 : 2.6

By which they are more likely to support gay marriage today : 1.5

Estimated number of roses the United States imports annually from Colombia and Ecuador for Valentine’s Day : 184,830,000

Cost to have the remains of a cremated pet set off in a fireworks display by an Australian circus performer : $990

Minimum number of years it will take to cross-breed an extinct species of Galapagos tortoise back into existence : 100

Percentage of the world’s supply of donkey cheese that the tennis player Novak Djokovic intends to buy : 100


February Index Sources

1 Instituto Mexicano para la Competitividad (Mexico City)
2 La Reforma (Mexico City)
3 Animal Político (Mexico City)
4 Environmental Services Department (Arcata, Calif.)
5 California Office of Traffic Safety (Elk Grove)
6 U.S. House of Representatives
7 Stover Engineering (Crescent City, Calif.)
8 Fukushima Radioactive Contamination Symptoms Research (Portland, Ore.)
9 Long Island Power Authority (Uniondale, N.Y.)
10 Harper’s research
11 Coastal Research Center (Galloway, N.J.)
12 National Climatic Data Center (Asheville, N.C.)
13 International Energy Agency (Paris)
14,15 Walter Reed Army Institute of Research (Silver Spring, Md.)
16 U.S. Department of Defense
17 U.S. Army (Ft. Belvoir, Va.)
18 NATO (Brussels)
19 World Bank (Washington)
20 U.S. Small Business Administration
21,22 U.S. Department of the Treasury
23 Linda George, Duke University (Durham, N.C.)
24 Gallup Poll (Washington)
25,26 Association of American Medical Colleges (Washington)
27 Gallup Poll (Washington)
28 Harper’s research
29 South African Police Force (Pretoria)
30 Mothers’ Milk Bank (San Jose, Calif.)
31 Seoul Global Center
32 Pew Global Attitudes Project (Washington)
33 Dialog (Tel Aviv)
34 Gallup Poll (Washington)
35 Pew Research Center (Washington)
36 Association of Floral Importers of Florida (Miami)
37 Ashes to Ashes (Sydney, Australia)
38 Galapagos National Park (Puerto Ayora, Ecuador)
39 Central European News (Vienna).

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