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United States Facts #7

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Homeland Security issued $420 million of credit cards for use in the wake of Hurricanes Katrina and Rita. According to a government audit, some of the charges on these cards included $7,000 worth of iPods for Secret Service officers (supposedly used for "data storage") and $68,000 worth of dog booties. - Time Magazine, 7/31/06

Nearly all American homeless people have an e-mail address. - Wired Magazine, 6/22/06

40% of Americans feel that "the End Times are nigh". - The Week Magazine, 7/14/06

Approximately 1,000 new residents move to Florida each day. - Wall Street Journal, 5/23/06

A playground in Springfield, Illinois will be altered after a single local resident complained that a pattern in a concrete floor resembled an occult symbol. - Detroit News, 5/6/06

Among the 25 largest U.S. metropolitan areas, 18 had more people move out than move in from 2000 to 2004. - Associated Press, 4/20/06

The town of Ismay, Montana briefly changed its name to become Joe, Montana, in 1993 for one football season, then extended the gag for another year. The name change worked out well for what was then the smallest incorporated town in the state. Ismay raised more than $70,000 selling Joe, Montana souvenirs. The Ismayans, or Joeys (whatever you want to call them) used the money to build a combination community hall-firehouse. - Billings Gazette, 11/20/05

Loving County, Texas is the emptiest county in the United States. The population in 2004 was 52 people. Yet it still received $30,000 in anti-terrorism funds from Homeland Security. - New York Times, 2/25/06

Americans spent $14,300,000,000 on dog food in 2004. That's $10,000,000,000 more than on baby food the same year. - The Week Magazine, 3/10/06

In the past six years, more drugs have been withdrawn from the market (or required by the FDA to carry warning labels) than have been approved for sale. - The Week Magazine, 3/3/06

The US Government levied a larger fine for the "wardrobe malfunction" in the 2004 Super Bowl than it did in 2001 when 13 Alabama miners were killed in an explosion. - USA Today, 2/9/06

Americans spend more money on the purchase of garbage bags each year than the combined gross domestic product of 90 of the world's developing countries. - San Diego Union, 12/28/05

The average American home today contains more synthetic chemicals than the average chemical plant a century ago. - San Diego Union, 12/28/05

A Chicago man used a frozen turkey to save two people trapped in a burning car. - The Week Magazine, 12/2/05

Sarasota, Florida is proposing to erect 70 fiberglass clowns throughout the city. - Sarasota Herald Tribune, 11/10/05

Over 130 light poles have been stolen from the streets of Baltimore in recent weeks. They have all been sawed off and taken. - New York Times, 11/25/05

A farmer in Pennsylvania has painted his cows, horses and dog with bright orange fluorescent paint to prevent them from being mistaken as deer during hunting season. - Miami Herald, 11/29/05

A group of Minnesota pacifists has been picketing a local factory each Wednesday for ten years, even though the factory does not make land mine parts or cluster bombs anymore. - The Week, 11/18/05

The Hanna, Oklahoma High School basketball team lost 112-2 on Friday night to the Earlsboro, Oklahoma team. "It was embarrassing to watch," Earlsboro coach Jim Walling said. "But you can't just tell your kids not to score." - USA Today, 11/5/05

At least 50 American Colleges offer courses or majors in video game study. - USAToday, 9/25/05
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