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December 10, 2006



$20,000,000 Amount a 2006 defense bill authorized for a daylong "celebration" of "success" in Iraq and Afghanistan.

9/30/06 Date on which the authorization was extended to 2007.

200 Number of life-size photo cutouts of troops that Maine's Army National Guard has given to relatives.

9 in 10 Chances that a Guantanamo detainee was turned over to Coalition forces by an Afghan or Pakistani citizen.

$5,000 Average reward that leaflets airdropped over their countries promised for every "terrorist" turned in.

$800 Amount a cable-TV reporter paid a former Army interrogator to waterboard him in July.

24 Minutes into the waterboarding that a producer decided he had to stop it.

624 Number of incidences of torture on prime-time network TV shows from 2002 to 2005.

110 Number on shows the previous seven years.

38 Number of people the U.S. counterterrorism agent Jack Bauer personally killed last season on the TV show 24.

+106 Percentage change from 2004 to 2005 in the number of criminal violations by U.S. military recruiters.

7 Number of private firms that have been hired since 2002 to recruit soldiers for the Army.

$5,700 Average amount the firms are paid per recruit.

30,000 Number of Americans and Britons who now work in the IT industry in India.

$100 Monthly cost for a U.S. student to receive unlimited online tutoring from a Bangalore-based "e-tutor."

10,000 Minimum number of PlayStation 3s whose spare processing power will be used next year for biological research.

5 Factor by which the interconnected game systems will be faster than the world's most powerful supercomputer.

7 Factor by which the number of "perfect games" bowled last year exceeds the number in 1985.

40 Percentage of NFL fourth downs on which teams are better off "going for it," according to a Berkeley study.

13 Percentage of fourth downs on which NFL teams do go for it.

1-0 Score by which Russia defeated Kazakhstan in the 2006 Homeless World Cup final in September.

5:3 Ratio of the number of people worldwide who are overweight to the number who are undernourished.

2 in 5 Chances that a patient who undergoes weight-loss surgery will develop complications within six months.

40 Percentage of Britons who say they would give up sex to live to 100.

33 Percentage by which a man's chances of being gay increase for every older brother he has.

25 Number of Texas high schools that offered Bible courses as electives last year.

22 Number of these courses that broke the law by being primarily devotional and sectarian, according to a September study.

42 Number of times President Bush has declared an event or outcome not to be "acceptable" so far this year.

33 Number of times he said this the previous three years combined.

51 Percentage of Americans in October who said that Congress should impeach President Bush.

21 Number of non-citizens charged with vote fraud in U.S. elections since 2002.

$14 Cost, in one Mexican town, of a six-hour tour "full of obstacles and persecution" across a mock U.S.-Mexico border.

90 Estimated percentage of the town's population that has illegally crossed the real border.

$1,895 Cost of an eight-day tour of Israel's "struggle for survival and security in the Middle East."

10 Minimum number of checkpoints Mary and Joseph would face today on their journey from Nazareth to Bethlehem.

29 Number of worldwide incidents last Christmas of "Santarchy," which involves roving mobs of unruly Santas.

6 Number of fruitcakes that drunken Santas catapulted into the air at the event in Portland, Ore.

Sources: U.S. Department of Defense (Arlington, Va.); Maine Army National Guard (Augusta); Mark Denbeaux, Seton Hall University Law School (Newark, N.J.); Current TV (San Francisco); Parents Television Council (Los Angeles); (Grand Rapids, Mich.); U.S. Government Accountability Office; U.S. Army Recruiting Command (Fort Knox, Ky.); National Association of Software and Service Companies (New Delhi); TutorVista (Bangalore, India); Vijay Pande, Stanford University (Palo Alto, Calif.); U.S. Bowling Congress (Greendale, Wis.); David Romer, University of California, Berkeley; Homeless World Cup (Edinburgh, Scotland); World Health Organization (Geneva)/Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations (Rome); Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality (Rockville, Md.); Ipsos MORI (London); Ray Blanchard, University of Toronto; Mark Chancey, Southern Methodist University (Dallas); Harper's research; Newsweek (New York); U.S. Department of Justice; Parque Eco-Alberto (Ixmiquilpan, Mexico); Shurat HaDin Israel Law Center (Petach Tikva, Israel); Harper's research; (San Francisco); Portland Cacophony Society (Portland, Ore.).


This article originally appeared in Harper's Magazine.

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