Archive for the ‘The 10’ Category

Ways to spend $243 million

December 27, 2008

News of the New York Yankees’ recent free-agent signings of pitchers CC Sabathia and A.J. Burnett for an astounding $243 million got us thinking.

What could be done with $243 million if it weren’t being used to try and buy the Yankees a pennant?

Here are 10 other things $243 million could buy you.

1. 810,000 20-gig iPods. Source: Macworld

2. Safe water for 8.1 million people.  Source: wateraidamerica.org

3. 8,457 weddings. Source: costofwedding.com

4. A 1.6 percent stake in Facebook Inc.  Source: MSNBC

5. 14,647 Smart cars. Source: automotive.com

6. Eight old Yankee Stadiums (adjusted for inflation). Sources: Wikipedia, Inflation Calculator

7. 4,959 teachers. Source: Indeed

8. Food, clothing and education for 69,191 children in a third world country for a year. Source: worldvision.org

9. A monthly subway pass for 36 percent of New York City’s residents (3 million). Sources: Wikipedia, NYC.gov

10. Enough copies of Meat Loaf’s “Bat Out of Hell” (15.1 million) to make it the best-selling album of all time. Source: Infoplease

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The 10: Corruption per capita

December 20, 2008

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Since corruption has been in the news quite a bit lately, plenty of people have been paying attention to the Department of Justice’s statistics on public corruption.

The New York Times and the USA Today have both run fancy charts based on the corruption stats gathered between 1998 and 2007. Dozens of blogs have been buzzing about the statistics and debates have raged, especially in North Dakota, about whether or not conviction rates really give a particular state a legitimate claim at being either more or less corrupt than another. A third analysis has also been making the rounds based on statistics drawn from the 35 most populace states by Corporate Crime Reporter in 2007.

For many, it came as a shock to see Illinois and New Jersey not crack the top five in any of the charts.

Here are the 10 states with the most corruption convictions per capita. The first number is from the New York Times (per 1 million residents), the second is from the USA Today (per 100,000 residents) and the third is from Corporate Crime Reporter (per 100,000 residents). We took an average of the three, which is in parenthesis.

1. North Dakota, 8.3, 8.3 (8.3)
2. Alaska, 7.9, 7.5 (7.7)
3. Louisiana, 7.5, 7.7, 7.7 (7.6)
4. Mississipi, 7.4, 7.3, 6.66 (7.1)
5. Montana, 6.4, 6.2 (6.3)
6. Kentucky, 5.9, 5.7, 5.18 (5.6)
7. Alabama, 5.6, 5.4, 4.76 (5.3)
8. Delaware, 5.4, 5.1 (5.3)
9. South Dakota, 5.4, 5.1 (5.3)
10. Ohio, 4.8. 4.8, 4.69 (4.8)

Sources: New York Times, USA Today, Corporate Crime Reporter

The 10: Places to ‘good gift’

December 13, 2008

Good gifting, a term used to describe the practice of donating money to charitable organizations in lieu of buying friends and family holiday gifts, has become something of a buzz word of late.

For a good reason.

If you are looking to really make a difference this holiday season by “good gifting,” why not give at least half of what you would normally spend on gifts to charitable organizations? Need some ideas of where you can give? Here are 10 we like a whole lot. Feel free to add more in the comments section.

1. Water Aid America is an international non-profit organization dedicated to helping people escape the poverty and disease caused by living without safe water and sanitation.

2. Nothing But Nets is a charitable organization, supported by the United Nations Foundation, which aims to prevent African children from dying of malaria by purchasing, distributing and teaching the proper use of mosquito bed nets.

3. International Justice Mission is a U.S.-based Christian non-profit human rights organization that operates in countries all over the world to rescue victims of individual human rights abuse, working to combat human trafficking, forced labor slavery, illegal detention, unprosecuted rape, police brutality and illegal land seizure.

4. Oxfam America is a confederation of 13 organizations working with over 3,000 partners in more than 100 countries to find lasting solutions to poverty and injustice.

5. Autism Speaks is an autism advocacy organization that sponsors autism research and conducts awareness and outreach activities aimed at families, governments, and the public.

6. To Write Love On Her Arms is an American non-profit organization which aims to present hope and find help for people struggling with problems such as depression, drug addiction, self-injury, and suicide.

7. Heifer International is a nonprofit charitable organization dedicated to relieving global hunger and poverty.

8. Bread For The World is a non-partisan, Christian citizens’ movement in the United States to end hunger.

9. Amnesty International is an international non-governmental organization that defines its mission as “to conduct research and generate action to prevent and end grave abuses of human rights and to demand justice for those whose rights have been violated.”

10. Soles 4 Souls has a simple mission: To impact as many lives as possible with the gift of shoes.

The 10: Thanksgiving myths

November 22, 2008

Apparently, debunking Thanksgiving myths has become a regular sport in recent years for historians both amateur and professional seeking proof behind many of the common myths we see portrayed and written about Thanksgiving this time of year.

Dozens of Web site have articles, quizzes and school curriculum dedicated to debunking myths about buckled hats, Pilgrim-Native American relations, religion and presidental turkey pardons.

One scholar even claims that  much of the debunking of Thanksgiving myths has become a myth of its own.

Below is a list of 10 myths we dug up in our search.

1. The pilgrims were the first to have a Thanksgiving – Texans claim the first Thanksgiving actually took place in a small town near El Paso in 1598, 23 years before the Pilgrims’ festival. Floridians claim an even earlier Thanksgiving occurred in September 1565. Source | Source

2. The pilgrims were celebrating a plentiful harvest – The harvest of 1621, the year the legend supposedly began, was not great at all. The barley, wheat and peas the Pilgrims had brought to the U.S. from England had apparently failed. The corn, however, did do well enough for them to double their weekly food rations. Source

3. The Pilgrims ate turkey, mashed potatoes and pumpkin pie.– The first Thanksgiving meal the pilgrims ate is not documented. The holiday itself did not become an official U.S. holiday until the 1860s. Source

4. The Native Americans brought popcorn to the pilgrim’s first Thanksgiving. -Though often repeated as fact, there apparently isn’t any documentation of it. Source

5. The first Thanksgiving was held the fourth Thursday in November. -The feast is said to most likely have occurred between Sept. 21 and Nov. 11. Source

6. The Pilgrims wore black and white with buckled shoes and hats. -Buckles apparently didn’t come into fashion until later in the 17th century. The Pilgrims were said to have only worn black and white on Sundays, but either way there isn’t any documentation of what they would have worn on their first Thanksgiving. Source

7. The Pilgrims and the Native Americans became great friends. -Apparently it only took a generation to pass before the Pilgrims and members of the Wampanoag tribe were engaging in battle. Source

8. The Pilgrims had an alcohol-free Thanksgiving feast. -It’s not documented either way, but the Pilgrims are said to have not been teetotalers. Source

9. The Founding Fathers made Thanksgiving a national holiday. -A magazine editor named Sarah Josepha Hale is given more credit for making it a national holiday than any of the founding fathers. She conducted a letter-writing campaign in the mid-19th century – President Lincoln responded in 1863 by issuing a proclamation setting aside the last Thursday of November for gratitude. Source

10. Eating turkey makes people especially sleepy. -This is often credited to the tryptophnan, an amino acid contained in turkey that can act as a sedative, but it apparently also exists in many other food items we eat and can only have an effect in large quantities on an empty stomach without any protein present. Source

The 10: Corn-based foods

November 16, 2008

Corn has been all over the news this week with the release of a study putting scientitic backing to a belief that was already widespread – fast food is mostly corn – and talk that former Iowa Gov. Tom Vlisack, a big corn biofuel supporter, could be tapped to head the Department of Agriculture in an Obama Administration.

Thanks in part to folks like journalist Michael Pollan and the wonderful documentary “King Corn,” there has been a growing movement of people concerned about how ubiquitous corn is in the American diet and the enormous government subsidies that make it cost effective to corn-feed livestock and produce millions of barrells of High Fructose Corn Syrup, to name just a few uses for an ear of corn.

 This list of food products with corn only scratches the surface, but it should at the very least be an introduction to the wonders of food science and our nation’s industrial food complex. Please note: many of these items are also made without corn-derived ingredients. The listing of the following items were based on items for sale in a grocery store in Louisville, Ky.   

1. Frozen pizza – yellow corn meal, white corn meal, corn oil

2. Cappaccino mix – corn syrup

3. Pickles – high fructose corn syrup

4. Peanut Butter – cornstarch

5. Frozen Fruit – corn syrup

6. Cereal Bars – high fructose corn syrup, corn syrup, cornstarch, soluble corn fiber

7. Lifesavers – corn syrup and high fructose corn syrup

8. Twinkies – nine of its 39 ingredients are made from corn

9. Rice – cornstarch 

10. Chocolate bar – corn syrup

Sources:
National Institute of Health
Ontario Corn
Corn Allergens
Accidental Hedonist

The 10: Dumb campaign rumors

November 8, 2008

Now that the presidential campaign is officially over, we can look back and snicker all over again at some of the dumb campaign rumors that circulated about the presidential candidates and their running mates.

Some have been officially put to rest, but others will likely continue to circulate and dupe gullible e-mail readers and forwarders for years to come.

After all, the age of the Internet has proven rumors die just about as hard as they did when they circulated as snail mail chain letters.

Sarah Palin’s son Trig was really her daughter Bristol’s baby. Source: Daily Kos

After Palin entered the race, Joe Biden was planning to step down so he could be replaced by Hillary Clinton. Source: Free Republic

Black people were going to riot no matter what happened on election day. Source: Progressive Revival Blog

Barack Obama didn’t go to Hawaii to visit his dying grandmother; he went to fix his birth certificate. Source: Media Matters

Barack Obama is a radical Muslim, which of course makes him a possible terrorist. Source: CNN

John McCain isn’t a natural born U.S. citizen because he was born in the Panama Canal Zone. Source: MSNBC

Sarah Palin tried to ban dozens of books from the Wasilla library, including ones that came out when she was no longer the town’s mayor. Source: Snopes

William Ayers wrote Obama’s 1995 autobiography “Dreams From My Father.” Source: Associated Press

John McCain was brainwashed by his North Vietnamese captors. Source: American Chronicle

McCain called his wife the “c” word during the 1992 Senate campaign. Source: Associated Press

The 10: Things more costly than the presidential campaign

November 3, 2008

According to Open Secrets, presidential candidates Barack Obama and John McCain have spent more than $866 million campaigning for president as of Oct. 27. That number is expected to top $1 billion by the time it’s all said and done.

No doubt, that’s an insane amount of money, the most ever spent by two candidates for U.S. president in history. To be sure, there’s a lot of mouths that could be fed with that dough. But when it comes to large expenditures, we found 10 things that if redirected to charity could make an even larger dent on extreme hunger in the world than the campaigns of Obama and McCain.

New Yankee Stadium – $1.6 billion projected total cost. Source

Lottery sales in Michigan in 2006 – $2.2 billion. Source

Sales of Hannah Montana and High School Musical-related products – $2.7 billion projected in Fiscal Year 2008. Source

Retailers estimated annual spending on plastic bags – $4 billion. Source

Retail value of Christian products sold by the Association For Christian Retail in 2006 – $4.63 billion. Source

Halloween spending – $5.77 billion projected for 2008. Source

Super Bowl spending in 2008 – $9.5 billion. Source

Dog food sales in 2007 – $10.8 billion. Source

Bottled water sales in 2007 – $11.7 billion. Source

Cigarette company spending on advertising and promotion in 2005 – $13.11 billion. Source

The 10: Not so true city and state stereotypes

October 26, 2008

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1. Breeding is relative in West Virginia. Vice President Dick Cheney got in trouble in June for making a joke based on this assumption. While research on the subject is slim, a study of 140 years of marriage records conducted in 1980 by anthropologist Robert Tincher concluded that “inbreeding levels in Appalachia … [are neither] unique [n]or particularly common to the region, when compared with those reported for populations elsewhere or at earlier periods in American history.” Also, unlike Virginia, Vermont and several other states, first cousins are not permitted to marry in West Virginia.  Source: Slate Magazine.

2. Kentucky has more horse barns than houses. While Kentucky does have a lot of horses – 320,000 according to a 2005 study, it’s not even close to having the most total horses much less the most horses per square acre. Texas has a whopping 979,000 horses and while New Jersey once took the title for most horses per square mile and still does have a higher percentage than Kentucky, Maryland claims 12 horses for every square mile. Source: Horse Council.

3. New Jersey is the armpit of America. By armpit, people usually mean it’s a state with a LOT of toxic waste dumps and landfills. Landfill data isn’t prevalent on the Web, but, according to a map from a 1999 Biocycle Magazine, New Jersey isn’t even close to having the most landfills much less the most landfills per capita. New Jersey doesn’t even crack the top 10 with its 11 landfills when compared to 322 in Alaska, 181 in Texas and 66 in Wyoming. Source: Zero Waste America.

4. Chicago is the windiest city. Not even close. In a 1990 study, Chicago ranked 21st out of 68 U.S. cities with an average wind speed of 10.3 miles per hour. Cheyenee, Wy., ranked first with an average wind speed of more than two miles per hour more than Chicago. The nickname Windy City may have more to do with an old rivalry with Cincinnati or politics than it does the actual gusts that sometimes carry baseballs onto Waveland Avenue at Wrigley Field. Sources: Enotes | Wikipedia.

5. People in Massachusetts are terrible drivers. This state stereotype is sophisticated enough to have its own slang: masshole, a word that according to Urban Dictionary basically means terrible driver. But if you go by national statistics on the number of fatalities per capita, Massachusetts actually had fewer fatal accidents in 2005 and 2006 than most other states. Wyoming had the highest fatalities per capita in each of those two years, roughly one fatality for every 3,000 people compared to one fatality for about 14,000 people in
Massachusetts. Sources: Urban Dictionary | National Highway Traffic Association.

6. People in Oklahoma live in teepees. Few people live in teepees at all these days and while Oklahoma does have a large Native American community it is only the fourth largest in terms of its percentage of the total population in the U.S. South Dakota, New Mexico and Alaska all have a larger concentration of Native Americans than Oklahoma, where 6.8 percent of the population has Native American ancestry. Source: Wikipedia.

7. Kansas is the tornado capital. While Kansas is known for the most famous fictitious tornado, the one that swept Dorothy to Oz, Texas is frequently cited as the state that gets the most tornadoes per year, more than 100 according to several sources. Source: Live Science.

8. Las Vegas is stripper central. Actually, the strip clubs in Portland, Ore., outnumber those in Sin City. Portland, according to a Portland weekly, has 41 to Las Vegas’s 31. That means there are 7.74 clubs per 100,000 residents in Portland, compared to 5.85 per 100,000 residents in Sin City. Source: Willamette Week.

9. Seattle is the coffee capital. While Seattle is known for its coffee, Anchorage, Alaska, actually has the most coffee shops per capita of any city in the U.S., according to a 2005 study. Anchorage has three shops per 10,000 people, according to the study. Seattle, however, is a close second with 2.5 per 10,000 people. Sources: Pop Matters | Wikipedia.

10. Florida is retiree heaven. Before 2006 that may have been the case, but a study by East Carolina University professor Don Bradley ranked Florida fourth in the nation in the net migration of people 56 years of age and older in 2006. Texas, Georgia and North Carolina all ranked higher, according to the study. Source: Tampa Bay Online.

The 10: Arab-American politicians

October 18, 2008

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In a now famous exchange last week between Sen. John McCain and one of his supporters at a rally, the presidential candidate cut off a woman saying she had heard Sen. Barack Obama was an Arab. His reply, according to numerous reports: “No, ma’am. He’s a decent family man and citizen…He’s
not. Thank you.”

While it’s unlikely McCain meant that simply being an Arab is a bad thing – some have speculated that she said or was going to say “Arab terrorist” – it is interesting to note that even if Obama were secretly an Arab as some conspiracy theorists have suggested he would have a decent amount of company in U.S. politics. The following, in alphabetical order, are 10 active U.S. politicians whose rise to power shows that Arab-Americans can be not only decent family men and citizens, but capable political leaders as well.

Maine Governor John Baldacci, Democrat, Lebanese

Louisiana Congressman Charles Boustany Jr., Republican, Lebanese

Indiana Governor Mitch Daniels, Republican, Syrian

California Congressman Darrell Issa, Republican, Lebanese

Illinois Congressman Ray LaHood, Republican, Lebanese

Presidential Candidate Ralph Nader, Independent, Lebanese

Tennessee Speaker of the House Jimmy Naifeh, Democrat, Lebanese

West Virginia Congressman Nick Rahall, Democrat, Lebanese

New Hampshire Senator John E. Sununu, Republican, Lebanese

Los Angeles City Councilman Dennis Phillip Zine, Republican, Lebanese

Sources: http://www.us4arabs.com/content/view/5/17/, http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Category:Arab_American_politicians, http://www.rateitall.com/t-22249-arab-american-politicians-and-public-figures.aspx

The 10: Paul Newman movie quotes

September 29, 2008

Actor Paul Newman died Friday, but his work on the silver screen will live on for years to come. Here are 10 quotations from some of the characters he played during his illustrious career.

“I have vision, and the rest of the world wears bifocals.” -As Butch Cassidy in Butch Cassidy and the Sundance Kid (1969) – Source.

“Sometimes nothin’ can be a real cool hand.” -As Luke Jackson in Cool Hand Luke (1967) – Source

“The big difference between people is not between the rich and the poor, the good and the evil. The biggest of all differences between people is between those who have had pleasure in love and those who haven’t.” -As Chance Wayne in Sweet Bird of Youth (1962) – Source

“Don’t ever hit your mother with a shovel. It leaves a dull impression on her mind.” -As Butch Cassidy in Butch Cassidy and the Sundance Kid (1969) – Source

“What men do after work is what made us rich. No need to screw them at work as well.” -As John Rooney in Road to Perdition (1998) – Source

“That that poor girl put her trust into the… into the hands of two men who took her life. She’s in a coma. Her life is gone. She has no home, no family. She’s tied to a machine. She has no friends. And the people who should care for her – her doctors… and you and me – have been bought off to look the other way. We’ve been paid to look the other way. I came here to take your money. I brought snapshots to show you so I could get your money. I can’t do it; I can’t take it. ‘Cause if I take the money I’m lost. I’ll just be a… rich ambulance chaser. I can’t do it. I can’t take it.”-As Frank Galvin in The Verdict (1982) – Source

“Alright, I wanna know who’s responsible for wrecking my town, Sheriff. I want his hood on a platter! I’m gonna put him in jail ’til he rots. No, check that… I’m gonna put him in jail ’til the jail rots on top of him then I’m gonna move him to a new jail and let that jail rot.” -As the voice of Doc Hudson in Cars (2006) – Source

“What am l, a headshrinker? Maybe the man was unhappy.” -As Sidney J. Mussburger in The Hudsucker Proxy (1994) – Source

“To tell you the truth, I would rather have a complete idiot for a child than an ingrate.” -As Max Roby in Empire Falls (2005) – Source

“People like to do what they used to do after they’ve stopped being able to do it.” -As Brick Pollitt in Cat on a Hot Tin Roof (1958) – Source

The 10 gathers tidbits and information from the Internet about random, sometimes timely, topics. Have an idea for a topic? E-mail it to tangzine(at)tangzine.com.