I grew up with Harpers. Well-thumbed editions were stacked high in the bathroom when I was growing up – I guess it was dad’s attempt to feel more urban than was possibly possible out on the fringe of a logging city like Vancouver.  The mag grew on me.

I was more than pleased to see that public pressure pushed Lewis Lapham to share more of the magazine online recently and revel in the expanded content now available.

Harper’s is available online at http://www.harpers.org/

The Harper’s Index has always been a favourite. Here is last month’s.

Harper’s Index

Number of new U.S. soldiers the Army would need in 2006 to replenish ranks abroad : 80,000[U.S. Army Recruiting Command (Fort Knox, Ky.)]

Percentage of this goal it expects to meet : 9.9[U.S. Army Recruiting Command (Fort Knox, Ky.)]

Percentage change since 1996 in the average recruitment cost per new U.S. soldier : +84[U.S. Army Recruiting Command (Fort Knox, Ky.)]

Number of killed or captured suspects reported so far by U.S. media to be Al Qaeda’s “number 3” man : 4[Harper’s research]

Minimum number of people convicted on “terrorism-related charges” since 2001, according to Alberto Gonzales in April : 200[U.S. Department of Justice]

Actual number convicted on charges related to terrorism or national security : 39 (see page 48)[Dan Eggen, Washington Post]

Number of Iraqi troops that have been “trained and equipped,” according to President Bush in April : 150,000[White House (Washington)]

Number that the U.S. military considers ready to deploy independently : 1,500[U.S. Military Combined Press Information Center (Baghdad)]

Number of members of the Iraqi parliament who worship not only Muhammad but a fallen angel named Lucifer : 3[Verlag Denge Ezidiyan (Oldenburg, Germany)]

Acres in Israel to which a born-again Christian from Texas bought oil-exploration rights in 2000 : 96,000[Zion Oil & Gas, Inc. (Dallas)]

Chapter and verse of Deuteronomy that he says predicts his success, because of the phrase, “let him dip his foot in oil” : 33:24[Zion Oil & Gas, Inc. (Dallas)]

Number of Palestinian communities that will be surrounded by the new Israel security fence on at least three sides : 53[B’Tselem (Jerusalem)]

Chance that a German says Israel’s treatment of Palestinians is the same “in principle” as how Nazis treated Jews : 1 in 2[Wilhelm Heitmeyer, Institut für interdisziplinäre Konflikt und Gewaltforschung (Bielefeld, Germany)]

Factor by which the unemployment rate among Jewish immigrants to Germany exceeds the national average : 3.5[Moses Mendelssohn Zentrum (Potsdam, Germany)]

Percentage of Germans who say, about the Nazi era, that “one should not always poke around in old wounds” : 60[TNS Emnid (Bielefeld, Germany)]

Selling price in June for a bar of soap allegedly made from the liposuctioned fat of Silvio Berlusconi : $18,000[Galerie Nicola von Senger (Zurich)]

Number of Pepsi products plainly visible in a May TV ad for Arnold Schwarzenegger : 5[Harper’s research]

Ratio of the projected U.S. ad revenue of Google and Yahoo! this year to that of NBC, CBS, and ABC in primetime : 1:1[eMarketer (N.Y.C.)/”Jack Myers Report”(N.Y.C.)]

Amount that the Catholic Church spent in Britain this summer advertising for new priests on bar coasters : $1,100[National Office for Vocation (London)]

Number of New Orleans bars visited this spring by an undercover team investigating racial discrimination : 40[Greater New Orleans Fair Housing Action Center (New Orleans)]

Percentage of the bars that charged black customers more than white customers : 40[Greater New Orleans Fair Housing Action Center (New Orleans)]

Amount recouped by the U.S. government in institutional fraud cases since 1986 : $8,000,000,000[U.S. Department of Justice]

Amount that whistleblowers received as a cut of this : $1,300,000,000[U.S. Department of Justice]

Chance that a U.S. company monitors the emails of at least some employees : 1 in 3[Proofpoint, Inc. (Cupertino, Calif.)]

Chance that it has fired an employee for violation of email policies : 1 in 4[Proofpoint, Inc. (Cupertino, Calif.)]

Factor by which the expulsion rate in U.S. preschools last year exceeded the rate in grades K‒12 : 3[Walter Gilliam, Yale Child Study Center (New Haven, Conn.)]

Average amount of sugar consumed each year by a U.S. preschooler, expressed as a percentage of body weight : 149[Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (Atlanta)/U.S. Department of Agriculture]

Estimated total number of tons by which American adults are overweight : 1,180,000[Harper’s research]

Total weight, in tons, of the population of the Los Angeles metropolitan area : 883,000[Harper’s research]

Number of U.S. cities that have agreed to meet the Kyoto Protocols on global warming : 166[Office of the Mayor (Seattle)]

Average number of times each day that aircrafts intrude into D.C.-area restricted flight zones : 2[Federal Aviation Administration (Washington)]

Days it took a Nepali Sherpa in May to crawl the length of Manhattan : 6[L. G. Khambache Sherpa (Brooklyn)]

Fine levied last year on a restaurant in southwest China for serving sushi atop naked women : $242[Kunming Xishan District Bureau of Health]

Percentage of the world’s cell phone users who say they have interrupted sex to answer a call : 14[BBDO Worldwide (N.Y.C.)]

Percentage of newlywed couples who report having had a physically violent fight in the year before marriage : 37[Kenneth Leonard and Julie Schumacher, Research Institute on Addictions (Buffalo)]

Number of Viagra users who have reported becoming blind from the drug : 38[U.S. Food and Drug Administration (Rockville, Md.)]

Number of corpses shipped on Delta Air Lines last year : 42,175[Delta Air Lines (Atlanta)]

Amount that Northwest Airlines expects to save each year by eliminating free magazines on flights : $565,000[Northwest Airlines (Minneapolis)]

Amount by eliminating free pretzels : $2,000,000[Northwest Airlines (Minneapolis)]

Paul Ford’s Weekly Review is also delightful.

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