Lightness of Being, Summer Variety

Just got a lovely little book, Numbers, by David Boyle and Dame Anita Roddick. Though their transparent mission is to confront us with startling #s concerning grave issues (the environment, war & peace, etc.), I was taken by some frivolous stuff, about right for a heat wave ...

Longest account payable claim between the time it was submitted to when it was agreed: 236 years. (The claim was made by the Careful Society of Lamplighters in [London in] 1765, and resubmitted by the four remaining lamplighters in 2001.) TP: Now that's what I call "stretching your payables"!

Average time gallery visitors spent in front of each painting in 1987: 10 seconds. In 1997: 3 seconds.

Average # of different kinds of soap the average Japanese woman has at home at any one time: 30.

Number of calls to the British government's Child Tax Credit helpline made by the Wallis family in April 2003 before they finally got through: 2,402. TP: Sounds more like Verizon to me!

Miles of spaghetti eaten by the average Italian every year: 82. TP: In the immortal words of ______, "Bring it on!" (And why the hell wasn't I born Italian?)

Back to straight talk ...