Sunday, August 28, 2011

Numbers, Colors, and Letters

This has been the summer for numbers, colors, and letters.

Phase II Water Rationing:  Odd numbered houses (mine) may water between 12 midnight and 10am, or 8pm to 12 midnight, Wednesdays and Saturdays only.  $1,000 fine.

Ozone Alert Level Red:  Asthmatics, old people, children stay indoors.  Healthy adults limit outside exposure.  Not too difficult to do, with...

Triple-Digit Temperatures:  Normally I complain that the "official" temperature measurement is never accurate, because they measure it at that nice grassy field at the airport instead of here in the middle of the concrete.  Not today.  The actual air temp at the nice grassy field at the airport is 107.  My car says 114.  I trust my car.

24 Days:  number of days in 2011 that Houston reached air temperatures at the nice grassy field at the airport of over 100 degrees, shattering the previous record of 14.  The day the streak broke was only 99 degrees.  It’s been 100 degrees + every day since (3 days and counting).

D4, 77.80:  The Texas Drought of 2011.  D4 means “Exceptional Drought”, the highest category; 77.80 is a percentage—that’s the percentage  the largest state in the lower 48 covered by a D4 drought.

5.90:  Number of inches of rain in Houston in 2011.

20+:  Number of days (historically) in which Houston has received in excess of 5.90 inches in a single day.

13.9 million:  Number of unemployed Americans as of August 5, 2011.

9%:  2011 Unemployment rate, see above.

22.7%:  Estimate of ACTUAL unemployment rate, 2011 (including underemployed and those who have given up), as calculated by the Bureau of Labor Statistics’ OLD formula, used from its beginning until 1994.

23.2%:  Highest unemployment rate at the peak of the Great Depression, 1932.

1%:  Growth in US GDP, 1/1/2011 – 8/1/2011

8.3%:  Growth in corporate profits, same period.




Thank God for Football.