The media has been wall to wall with the Russian invasion of Ukraine and the civilian victims of this war and its millions of refugees fleeing death and destruction; tornadoes, spring snowfalls and various other severe weather phenomena; inflation; supply chains; rising oil prices leading to higher gasoline prices; and Senate political bullies tormenting a Supreme Court nominee to get their name in the headlines. It seems there is no room for more news. So, as a public service, here’s some of what we missed,
The estimated number of US households that acquired a cat or dog during the pandemic: 23 million. Factor by which the number of dog training services offered via Zoom has increased during the pandemic: 2. Percentage of pet owners in the United States who report taking their pet’s health more seriously than their own: 70. Who Have requested acupuncture for their pet: 40. Who have purchased CBD products for their pet: 30. Minimum number of dogs in the US on anti-anxiety medication: 10.35 million. Cats: 1.8 million. Average cost of cloning a dog: $50,000. Number of dogs cloned for law enforcement purposes in Iowa: 52.
Estimated year the woolly mammoth could become extinct: 2026. Average amount of soda, in gallons, Americans drink each year: 36. Amount by which the price of a seat on a Virgin Galactic spaceflight has increased last year: $200,000. Share of millionaires who fear leaving “too much” money to their heirs: 2/3. Percentage of Americans who hold favorable views of both capitalism and socialism: 20. Who hold unfavorable views of capitalism and socialism: 20. (Identical percentages are correct.)
Percentage of teenagers who report having a good or excellent relationship with their parents: 96. Share of single American men living in the parental home: 3/10. Monthly amount the Spanish prime minister has offered to pay adults to leave their parents’ homes: $292. Amount West Virginia will pay prospective residents to move into the state: $12,000. Ranking The Villages, a retirement community in Florida, among the fastest growing US metropolitan areas: 1
Percentage of U.S. executives who believe their workplace culture has improved since the pandemic began: 72. Among U.S. HR professionals who think so: 21. (We’re talking corporate disconnect!) Percentage according to by which men are more likely to sell their stock portfolios than women: 15. By which those who rate their investment knowledge as “excellent” are more likely to do so than those who report none: 70.
Percentage of US adults who haven’t been on a video call since the pandemic began: 20. Who say digital interactions are just as good as in-person ones: 20.
Number of TikTok videos removed from the platform last year for violating its “minor security” policies: 55.4 million. Estimated number of fake businesses removed from Google Maps in 2020: 3 million. Minimum number of fake reviews on Google: 107 million. Rank of “Google” among the most searched terms on the Bing search engine: 1.
Percentage increase since 2019 in the number of Americans aged 18-34 who have a will: 50. Average cost of a funeral in the United States including visitation, ceremony and burial: $7,848. Estimated percentage of deceased Americans who will be cremated by 2035: 75. Proportion of college-educated Americans who believe in ghosts: 1/3 (myself included).
I wonder if these last two items are related: the percentage of American adults who say they have questioned the meaning of life in the past year: 25, and the percentage of American theological schools reporting an increase in registrations since the start of the pandemic: 50.
Now back to the usual programming.