Thursday, July 08, 2010


I'm not much of a numbers rememberer. Ask my husband, for example, how after nearly 10 (see I DID remember that one!) years of marriage, I still have to pause for a moment to think when someone asks me his birth date.

But every now and then I hear a statistic or number that sticks.

For example, when the statue of liberty turned 200, they had 200 Elvis impersonators at the celebration, I remember hearing on the Morning Show (which, look! had its final broadcast on MY birthday! maybe I'll remember that one,too). Anyway, as I was saying before I was so rudely interrupted by my own train of thought, I remember hearing that number, and then hearing that if the number of people claiming "Elvis impersonation" as their first occupation continued to grow at the current rate, by the year 2015, one in twenty persons would be an Elvis impersonator. I probably remember it because it made me laugh hysterically every one of the approximately (to use another statistic) 659 times I repeated it.

This week, I met with a little group that gathers every couple of weeks, and we were talking about some numbers (Easter Island is only 14 miles long and 7 miles wide and there about 1000 people and 600 statues that live there!) it reminded me of a statistic that I heard last time we met which keeps coming back to me. We were talking about a city festival, how it didnt used to be so crowded, and one of the group, a woman in her upper 80's, remarked, "Well there were just less people then. I mean, when I was a kid, there were only a billion people in the whole world."

And, suddenly, it was like all the times I'd ever heard stats about population growth came right to life. Here is a person I actually KNOW who has seen the population of the world grow 6 TIMES in her LIFETIME! Since I heard it, I think about that number all the time - when I'm sitting in traffic, or on fourth of July trying to get home from a baseball game, or tonight at the park at a concert. There are SIX TIMES more of us than there were 80 years ago.

So, for those of you who remember numbers, does this level of grokking lead you to action of some kind? Of so, what should mine be?

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