Cumberland Times-News


May 11, 2014

Here are numbers that apply in our lives

One of the best exercises is walking. Cardiologists suggest that each of us walk 10,000 steps per day. Assume each step is 0.5 meters or 19.7 inches. Then 10,000 steps would cover 5,000 meters or 3.11 miles. But studies find that the average American (from age 4 and up) takes only 2,000 steps/day or 1 kilometer.

So over the course of a year, on the average we would cover 365 kilometers or 227 miles by foot. This compares to the average car mileage per American licensed driver of 13,900 miles. But young people and some elderly don’t drive.

There are 680 licensed drivers per 1,000 people in America. This would bring our driving mileage per American to 9,450. So Americans on the average cover about 42 times the distance in cars compared to walking.

After air, the most essential substance for life is water. Water is in short supply in many areas in the developing world. (America and Canada, Western Europe, Japan, some countries in South America and the Middle East are the developed countries.) For a human to survive, the minimum water intake is 2.5 liters per day or 2/3 of a gallon of water per day. Some foods we eat, especially fruits are mostly water, which contributes to your water intake. Drinking coffee, tea and even sodas also count.

To allow for sanitation, cooking and bathing the minimum amount of water is 50 liters per day per person. The American way of life involves an average water consumption of 1,500 liters of water per person per day.

How do these figures compare with alcoholic beverages? Beer consumption in the U.S. averages 88 quarts or 83 liters per year/(person of drinking age).

An average American of drinking age drinks a little less than three gallons of wine per year. This would be the consumption
of 15 standard bottles of wine. So beer intake per person of drinking age is about 7 times as much as the wine intake. So alcoholic beverage intake in America is about 10 per cent of our minimum water intake.

One thing that some of us lack is coverage of our heads with hair. Hair is good, it can protect your head from the sun (when sunlight is most intense). I have an area on top where my hair is very thin. In a recent visit to my dermatologist, I had a precancerous spot there sprayed with liquid nitrogen.

Now there are places where male hair loves to grow, no matter how scarce it is on top. Beard hair can grow an average of 5.5 inches per year. In the Middle East, some faiths require a beard of at least 3.5 inches in length. That will take nearly eight months to grow on the average. How long would you need to grow a beard whose length equals your height? If we take an average male height to be 68 inches, then it would take over 12 years to grow such a beard. Think of the risk of tripping over your beard!

Smoking tobacco is a difficult habit to cease. The annual global consumption of cigarettes is about 5 trillion! If each cigarette were lined up end to end, it would cover a distance of 281 million miles. This is about twice the distance of the planet Mars from the sun.

Book References: “Number Freaking” by Gary Rimmer, “World Almanac 2014” and “Earth: A Tenant’s Guide” by Frank Rhodes.

Text Only
  • If we don’t sell it to them, somebody else will

    The front page article on coal exports by AP writer Dina Cappiello is one of the most asinine and biased “news” articles I’ve read (“Not in my backyard: U.S. sending dirty coal abroad,” July 29 Times-News, Page 1A).

    July 30, 2014

  • Research cost of watershed plan before implementing it

    July 30, 2014

  • ‘Prayers in the Park’ event slated Aug. 18 in Johnstown

    July 30, 2014

  • Not a villain Not a villain

    Time was that we looked for heroes. Heroes of the make-believe variety have sold a lot of comic books. We also had real-life heroes like Presidents Franklin D. Roosevelt and John F. Kennedy, whose deaths the whole nation mourned.
    These days, we seem to be more interested in looking for villains. “Vote for me because I’m the good guy” has taken a back seat to “Don’t vote for him, because he’s the bad guy.”

    July 29, 2014 1 Photo

  • Other groups get county funds, so should CHCO

    At a recent county commissioner meeting, members of the Cumberland Historic Cemetery Organization, Maryland Delegate LeRoy Myers Jr. and Pastor Alfred Deas of the Metropolitan A.M.E. Church, Cumberland attended to request from the commissioners $5 dollars of marriage license money be permanently allocated to the CHCO (“Cemetery group renews funding request,” July 25 Times-News, Page 1A).

    July 29, 2014

  • No public funding for extremist organization

    Once again, the Cumberland Historic Cemetery Organization has asked the Allegany County commissioners for public funding (“Cemetery group renews funding request,” July 25 Times-News, Page 1A).

    July 29, 2014

  • About time About time

    Although many Cumberland streets are in need of repair and improvements, the decision by city and county officials to address Greene Street is a good one.

    July 28, 2014 1 Photo

  • Why are fair officials targeting firefighters?

    The Allegany County Fair has been known for its Demolition Derby for a long time. Several years back the operation of the derby was awarded to the local Cresaptown Volunteer Fire Department.

    July 28, 2014

  • Here’s a time when W.Va. law took precedence over Md. law

     There may be an applicable precedent concerning any assumption that the Potomac Highlands Airport Authority (PHAA) can choose to ignore West Virginia territorial state laws.

    July 28, 2014

  • Citizens don’t want Terrapin Run; remove it from the plan

    July 28, 2014