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HIGH LIFE : Students' TV Watching Put at 23 Hours a Week

September 30, 1988

Recent studies indicate American students watch an average of 23 hours of TV a week, according to the September issue of NEA Today, the newspaper of the National Education Assn.

The studies go on to say that at that rate, by the time they're 70, the students will have seen 14,000 sexual references (not counting commercials)--and only 150 of these will refer to birth control. Students also watch more than 2,000 beer and wine commercials each year.

"Imponderables are questions that cannot be answered by numbers or measurements or standard reference books," writes David Feldman in his book "Imponderables."

"They are the kinds of questions that haunt you for hours . . . until you forget about them before you ever find their solutions."

One such question is: "Why don't cats like to swim?"

Feldman's reply: "Many people think that cats are afraid of water. They're not. Occasionally, one can see a cat pounce spontaneously into the water.

"Marlin Perkins fans can attest to the fact that many of cats' larger relatives, such as tigers and jaguars, love to swim. Jaguars are even known to dive into rivers and streams and attack alligators.

"Abandoned house cats will dive into water to do a little fishing. So why isn't your cat likely to stick a paw into your back-yard pool? For the same reasons your cat always drives you nuts: He has a cleanliness fetish, and he's lazy. Your cat, unlike your dog, refuses to have a good time and pay the piper. He won't get wet because he figures that it isn't worth the effort needed to dry and clean himself with his tongue to enjoy something as superficial as a marine frolic.

"Unless you starve him and stock your pool with live herring, your cat is likely to remain landlocked."

"Cats are intended to teach us that not everything in nature has a function."

--Garrison Keillor, humorist

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