United States Facts #8

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A Chicago commuter train was traveling at 69 mph but should not have been going faster than 10 mph just before it derailed, killing two people and injuring dozens, said the acting chairman of the National Transportation Safety Board. -, 9/18/05

The two states that a person is least likely to die from a natural disaster are Rhode Island and Connecticut. -, 9/15/05

The University of Iowa has painted the visitor's locker room a highly feminine shade of pink, including the urinals. - Des Moines Register, 8/21/05

Uninsured Americans spend an average of $934 annually on medical expenses. Insured Americans spend an average of $2,347 annually on health care. - The New Yorker, 8/22/05

California's San Joaquin Valley is the third smoggiest place in America, thanks to cows. The cows' flatulence and burping produce 50,000,000 pounds of organic compounds each year. This is far more than the area's cars produce. - Washington Post, 8/7/05

Over 500 swimmers attempted the Alcatraz to San Francisco swim in late July 2005. Coming in 72nd was Jake, the Golden Retriever. - USA Today, 8/1/05

The highway funding bill President George Bush signed in August 2005 is chock full of pet projects, like a 223 million dollar bridge in Alaska connecting a city to an island with only 50 inhabitants. - Yahoo News, 8/10/05

Being stuck in traffic has an advantage: Under 37 mph, most bugs bounce harmlessly off the hood and windshield. Above that speed, they splatter. - Discover Magazine, 9/05

In 2030, almost half of the United States' population growth will be in three states: California, Florida and Texas. - Discover Magazine, 9/05

Seattle Mariners pitcher Matt Thornton had to climb a fence and stand in line for a public restroom during a game, because the San Diego Padres’ new stadium has no toilet in the visitors’ bullpen. - The Week Magazine, 7/3/05

Pac-Man celebrated its 25th anniversary in 2005. Only one person (Billy Mitchell of Hollywood, Florida) has scored a perfect game - 3,333,360 points. - Associated Press, 6/14/05

The US government spends $12.68 each day to feed each prisoner at Guantanamo Bay. The US government spends $8.65 each day to feed each member of the US Armed Forces. - Newsday, 6/26/05

Three men who robbed a Virginia McDonald's restaurant were arrested after being identified by the DNA they left on their half-eaten hamburgers. - Associated Press, 6/21/05

The cost to the U.S. Roman Catholic Church of sexual predators in the priesthood has climbed past $1 billion. And the figure is guaranteed to rise, probably by tens of millions of dollars, because hundreds more claims are pending. -, 6/9/05

The number of Americans that are killed by sharks averages about one per year. An average of 168 Americans die per year when their cars collide with deer. - Outside Magazine, 6/05

All 529 runners who finished Chicago's recent Lakeshore Marathon actually ran 27.2 miles - a full mile longer than a traditional marathon. But participants didn't know about the mistake until the event was over. - Chicago Tribune 6/3/05

Today there are at least 230 million registered motor vehicles in the United States but only an estimated 105 million parking spaces. - New Republic, 5/6/05

The town of Timnath, Colorado, has banned smoking in bars and restaurants. Timnath, Colorado (population 223) has no bars or restaurants. - KCBS Los Angeles, 5/2/05

University of Illinois scientists have developed biodegradable chewing gum made from corn. This gum will decompose in two weeks on a sidewalk. - Discover Magazine, 5/05

On January 15, 1919, a 2,500,000 gallon tank filled with molasses burst in Boston. The 15 foot wall of molasses traveled through Boston at 35 mph, smothering 21 people and injuring 150. -, 1/23/04
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