United States Facts #4

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The obesity rate in the United States has doubled between 1976 and 1999. California is the only state not getting any fatter. - Discover Magazine, 1/09

A seller on eBay was asking $500 for his 1963 Pontiac LeMans Tempest - it had no motor nor transmission. Auto enthusiasts recognized it as one of six Tempest Super Duty cars ever built. The car sold for $226,521. - The Week Magazine, 11/28/08

The number of adults in the United States who smoke has dropped below 20 percent for the first time on record, but cigarettes still kill almost half a million people per year. - Reuters, 11/13/08

Because of taxes, the average cost of a pack of cigarettes in New York City is $8.66. - The Week Magazine, 11/28/08

Oregon State Police arrested 18-year-old Kimberly Messer after clocking her at speeds up to 107 mph on Interstate 5. She later told authorities she has having trouble seeing while talking on her cell phone. - The Oregonian, 10/25/08

A recent fundraising attempt by Framingham State College read: "It has become even more important for Framingham State College to receive your support. Blah, blah, blah, blah, blah, blah, blah, blah, blah, blah, blah, blah, blah." The school has apologized to insulted alums, but 40 alumni responded with a donation. -, 10/21/08

A federal jury in Greenville, North Carolina ordered Target to pay a woman $3 million for not accepting her $100 bills and wrongly accusing her of using counterfeit cash. - WYFF4 News, 10/24/08

The United States is now the only country in the developed world where young people are less likely to graduate from high school than their parents were. - The Week Magazine, 11/14/08

Times Square's National Debt Clock ran out of digits on September 30, 2008 when the debt of the United States reached $10,000,000,000,000 - Time Magazine, 10/27/08

Arizona doesn't observe Daylight Savings Time. The Navajo Nation, inside Arizona's northeastern corner does observe Daylight Savings Time. The Hopi Nation, located inside the Navajo Nation, does not observe Daylight Savings Time. If you drive Arizona Route 264 in the summer, you have to reset your watch 3 times in a space of just over 100 miles. - Wired Magazine, 11/08

An Oregon hospital mailed the diagnosis of a stomach ailment to the patient: "Based on your visit today, we know you are pregnant." That was a surprise to patient John Pippen, a 71-year-old man. - MSNBC, 9/26/08

An average american teenager sends 1,742 text messages each month. That's an average of over 50 each day. - The Week Magazine, 10/10/08

A Pennsylvania Holiday Inn stored perishable food in an empty guest room because their refrigerator wasn't working. Employees assured the health department that they had turned the air conditioner all the way up. - (Lancaster PA), 9/29/08

There are 489 billionaires in the United States (in September 2008). - The Week Magazine, 10/3/08

About 80% of all marijuana grown outdoors in the United States is on state or federal land, usually in parks or forest reserves. - The Week Magazine, 9/26/08

Every man, woman and child who resides in Alaska will receive a check for $3,269 in late 2008 - their share of Alaska's oil wealth. - Associated Press, 9/5/08

Residents of some cities in North Texas are swamping the 911 system with calls of gunfire. A 2005 state law allows dove hunters to fire shotguns or rifles within city limits. - (Dallas, TX), 9/7/08

A September 2008 Florida Marlins home game against the Atlanta Braves drew only 584 fans, in a stadium that holds 38,500. - Newsweek, 9/15/08

An Amtrak train spent two hours sitting motionless on the tracks between San Diego and Los Angeles as it had run out of fuel. It had to be pushed to its destination. - Los Angeles Times, 8/25/08

21 members of the 2008 United States Olympic Team are over 40 years old. - The Week Magazine, 8/8/08

The minority population of Los Angeles County, California (7,000,000 people) is larger than the total population of 38 states. - San Diego Union, 4/7/08
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