Just Above Sunset Archives
February 15, 2004 Odds and Ends
Quite minor stuff...
A Valentine's Day Item Presented Without Much Comment
Chocolate Obsession Leads to Physics Discovery
It's not about love, but it will do. Needless to say, I'm not big on this Valentine's Day stuff. That was yesterday, anyway.
Of course, when this was posted on the web log As Seen from Just Above Sunset (see the link in the top menu) Rick-the-News-Guy did drop off a comment:
But it IS about love! I
love stories like this! Just when I'm wondering about my own self worth, I read
crud like this and feel like a freaking genius!
Yep. Grant money. Chocolate. Good deal.
What a wonderful world
Jon Bonné on MSNBC reviewed these data for us, from the new Statistical Abstract of the United States - so they must mean something.
Things to know?
Family net worth in 2001 was at an average $395,500, up from $230,500 (in 2001 dollars) in 1992. Median net worth didn't jump quite as much, but still rose to $86,100 from an inflation-adjusted $61,300.
And we gave some of it away. In 2000, we gave an average of $1,623 to charity, about 3.2 percent of household income. That was up from 2.2 percent in 1991 and 1995.
And this odd thing - Dogs lived in 36 percent of households, where families owned an average 1.6 canines. Just under 32 percent of Americans had cats, but 2.1 cats lived in the typical cat lover's home. Which means my cat Harriet should really have a friend. I guess she's lonely.
And this: We picked up $485 billion in food to eat at home, and $415 billion to eat away from home. That included 6.9 billion pounds of citrus fruit and 20.6 billion pounds of other fruit, 48 billion pounds of vegetables and 12.8 billion pounds of potatoes.
And we consumed $59.2 billion in packaged beer, wine and liquor and spent another $53.2 billion drinking in bars and restaurants.
In parallel drug stores sold $182.7 billion worth of prescription drugs in 2002, more than double the $72.2 billion spent in 1995.
And America had 23,900 supermarkets in 2001, about 600 fewer than in 1990. But the number of "superstores" grew to 8,900, and the percentage of markets offering delis (80 percent), bakeries (72), seafood (43) and pharmacies (34) all grew significantly. The number of convenience stores shrank to 56,200 from 93,000 in 1990.
Alaska's shopping centers were the most profitable, at $344 in sales per square foot; Nevada's were the least, at $148.
Sex? Utah was by far the most fertile state, with 21.8 births per 1,000 people, followed by Texas, at 17.6. Birth wards were a bit quieter in Vermont (10.6) and Maine (10.9).
Sanctioned sex? The chapels in Nevada averaged more than 75 weddings per 1,000 residents. Hawaii came in a distant second, with just over 20. Nevada also led the nation with 6.8 divorces per 1,000 people, followed by Wyoming's 6.6. (Not all states reported divorce statistics.)
Cars? Sales of new cars and trucks grew to $680 billion in 2002 from $316 billion in 1990. Car registrations grew to 230 million, up from 189 million. And that happened despite having fewer car lots: We had 21,725 franchise dealerships in 2002, down from 24,825 in 1990.
Being bored in cars? Here in Los Angeles we spent an extra 62 hours per year our cars due to traffic delays. In San Francisco it was 41 hours. But if you were in Bakersfield, or Boulder, Colorado or in Buffalo, New York - or in Spokane for some reason - you spent five hours or less in traffic during the whole year.
What does it all mean? Who knows?