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July 16, 2007 | by  | in Opinion | [ssba]

Pecking Order

Amount of money in dollars paid towards Bridgecorp by a pensioner the day Rod Petriecevic was in crisis talks with his trustee: $5000

Days before Enron declared bankruptcy that Baker’s public-policy institute awarded Alan Greenspan its “Enron Prize”: 19

The median annual personal income from all sources for Kiwis aged 15 years and over last year, in 2001 and 1996 (respectively): $24,400, $18,500, and $15,600

Estimated median personal wealth worldwide: $2,762

Number of free-trade agreements between developing nations and developed nations in 1990 and today, respectively: 23, 109

Projected change in world income over 15 years if all developing nations were to enter such deals today: +$112,000,000,000

Projected change, in this scenario, in the total income of developing nations: -$21,500,000,000

Percentage of Chinese who say the free market is “the best system on which to base the future of the world”: 74

Percentage of the French who say this: 36

Minimum number of nations in which more than half of all software is pirated: 65

Minimum number of facts and rules with which a computer must be programmed to have common sense: 200,000,000

Year in which a Japanese robot conducted the Tokyo Philharmonic Orchestra in a performance of Beethoven’s Fifth Symphony: 2004

Percentage of Japanese and Italian men, respectively, who rate their kisses a nine or a 10: 14, 72

Number of members of MiniKiss, a KISS tribute band made up of dwarves, that denied sneaking past security at a Las Vegas concert of Tiny Kiss, a KISS tribute band made up of three little people and a 159 kilogram woman: 1

Year in which a new study found that the quality of men’s sperm deteriorates as they grow older and could lead to an increase in dwarf babies: 2004

Number of months since researchers turned human bone marrow tissue into primitive sperm cells, potentially allowing lesbian couples to have their own biological daughters: 3

Percentage of heterosexual Kiwis that smoked tobacco regularly last year compared with gays, lesbians and bisexuals (respectively): 28, 43

Number of civil unions performed in New Zealand since 2005: 900

Number up to November 2006: 666

Number of births in New Zealand in the 12 months to March this year: 60,470

Last year in which this was last exceeded: 1974

The median age for Kiwi women giving birth in 1977 and today: 25, 30.

Weeks after giving birth that Michael Jackson’s former wife returned to work as his plastic surgeon’s assistant: 6

Number of plastic surgeries undergone by the winner of the 2004 “Miss Artificial Beauty” pageant in China: 4

Number undergone by the runner-up: 10

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SOURCES: 1. Dominion Post July 7 2007; 2. James A. Baker III Institute for Public Policy, Rice University; 3. The Independent Financial Review 27 Jun 2007; 4. World Institute for Development Economic Affairs; 5, 6, 7. The World Bank; 8, 9. The Program on International Policy Attitudes; 10. Business Software Alliance; 11. Cycorp; 12. New Scientist; 13. Harlequin Enterprises Ltd; 14. LA Times http://www.latimes. com/entertainment/news/movies/la-et-minikiss11apr11,0,597094.story”; 15. www.; 16. NewScientist 13 April 2007; 17.; 18.; 19. Elephants and the law weblog 20,21,22. NZ Herald May 17, 2007; 23. People Magazine; 24, 25. Beijing Tianjiu Weige Wenhua Inc.


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