Just an average day in America

Is it a return to solar energy by hanging out the laundry that keeps up the production of clothespins during the automatic washter-dryer age? We were amazed to discover that 191,952 clothespins are manufactured on an average day in America.

On the other hand, considering the number of radios we see and hear in public and private, it is not so surprising that 180,000 Americans buy a new one on that same average day. Nor, in view of all the warnings about the present reckless disregard for future food needs, is it so unexpected to learn that on an average day four square miles of good American farmland are diverted to housing, roads, or shopping centers.

Yet, back on the surprising side, it seems that, despite all the estimates of six hours a day before the TV screen, one out of every six Americans sits down with a book, and the typical American spends two hours a day in reading -- if you count everything including signboards and labels.

If you have spent part of your two hours in reading this far, you deserve to know that all of these figures and many more are from the authors of a forthcoming book, "American Averages: Amazing Facts of Everyday Life." We came across them in an airlines magazine while deciding to stay in our seat instead of becoming one of the 4,109 people who parachute from airplanes for the fun of it on an average day in America.

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