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Harper's Index

You may already know that 250,000 bolts of lightning strike the United States every day. But did you know how many different kinds of bottled water are served at the Bar a Eaux in Paris or the estimated number of expressions in English for being drunk? The answers are all in this month's Harper's Index.

March 01, 1987

Number of U.S. corporations whose credit ratings were lowered by Moody's in 1985: 153.

In 1986: 246.

Portion of consumer purchases in the United States that are paid for in cash: one-fourth.

Average interest rate charged on bank credit cards: 17.83.

Percentage of Americans who say they don't know the interest rates charged on their credit cards: 25.

Amount consumers paid in higher prices in 1986 because of import restrictions: $65 billion.

Percentage change in the average fare per mile of air travel since deregulation: plus 42.

Market value of an airline landing slot at La Guardia Airport in New York City: $25,000.

At National Airport in Washington, D.C.: $100,000.

Cubic feet of fresh air circulated per minute for each passenger on a commercial flight in 1976: 15.

Today: 6.

Estimated percentage change in long-distance telephone rates since deregulation: minus 17.

In local telephone rates: plus 40

Number of pay phones in the West Bank: 80.

Number of Colombian journalists murdered since 1984: 7.

Number of Colombian judges murdered since 1984: 14.

Percentage of Americans who say that AIDS is God's punishment for homosexuality: 24.

Bolts of lightning that strike the United States every day: 250,000.

Average number of sperm per cubic millimeter of an American male's semen in 1929: 100 million.

Today: 60 million.

Portion of 1982 medical school graduates specializing in obstetrics and gynecology who were women: one-third.

Portion of 1986 graduates: one-half.

Percentage of parents who request that their children be excused from sex-education classes: 3.

Percentage of Americans who say that doctors in hospitals should wear white coats: 65.

Percentage of men who are accompanied by a woman when shopping for clothes: 67.

Percentage of prostitutes in India who say their husband or a relative forced them into the profession: 33.

Percentage of French men who say they would like to see Princess Stephanie pose nude in a magazine: 28.

Different kinds of bottled water served at the Bar a Eaux in Paris: 150.

Estimated number of expressions in English for being drunk: 2,500.

Percentage of Americans who take more than five vitamin pills a day: 11.

Percentage of Americans who say they have been to a shopping mall in the last month: 78.

Rank of the outdoors and trains among the unconventional places in which Canadians say they have had sex: 1 and 2.

Percentage of Canadians who say they would prefer Soviet occupation to nuclear war: 50.

Percentage of feature films made in the United States in 1986 that were shot somewhere other than California: 57.

Number of the 38 Broadway theaters that are currently dark: 18.

Number of movie tickets sold in 1986: 1,030,000,000.

Number of videotapes rented in 1986: 1,040,000,000.

Price of a Latin Mass on videocassette: $60.

Percentage of adult Americans who say they have had contact with the dead: 42.

Percentage of American teen-agers who say they believe in the existence of angels: 67.

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