03/09/07
by

Pecking Order

Date when New Zealand had the strongest currency in the world: 24/07/07

Last year in which it was stronger: 1985

Month when the total value of euros in circulation worldwide surpassed that of U.S. dollars: June 2006

Amount in dollars Mayor Kerry Prendergast has spent on travelling so far during her most recent term: 39,860

Amount of this contributed by rate payers: 39,860

Amount in dollars spent in the same period by her Mayoral rivals Ray Ahipene-Mercer, Rob Goulden, Helene Richie, Jack Ruben and Bryan Pepperell respectively: 8, 834, 712, 0, 0, 604

Amount that Hillary Clinton had received by this autumn from former donors to George W. Bush: $633,674

Amount that Barack Obama had received from such donors: $446,524

Estimated total net worth of the seventeen presidential candidates who have appeared in the party debates: $599,054,500

Amount in dollars a Wellington man was fined for littering domestic rubbish in a green council bin after cleaning out his car while waiting for a kebab in Hataitai: 100

Chance that he was caught after a litter officer found his personal details shifting through the bin: 100

Portion of British trash that ends up in landfills : 4/5

Portion of German trash that does : 2/5

Amount a German company says it can save a cargo ship in annual fuel costs by outfitting it with a giant kite: $1,671,780

Energy, in megawatt hours, saved over 35 years by a bicycle rider who does not drive a car: 109

Portion of these savings that will be used up over the extra years the biker will live: 9/10

Ranking respectively of New Zealand energy companies; Genesis, Contact, Bay of Plenty Electricity, Mercury Energy, King Country Energy, Trust Power and Meridian as the largest contributors to climate change: 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7

Number of recent computer models that a team of climate experts studied to assess Arctic warming: 15

Number of the models that showed the North Pole having ice-free summers by 2100: 7

Estimated portion of the world’s undiscovered petroleum that is buried under Arctic ice: 1/5

Amount the British military spent in 2002 researching whether psychics could find terrorist hideouts: $48,760

Chance that a psychic it tested could, blindfolded, identify some portion of the contents of a sealed envelope: 1 in 3

Chance that a psychic fell asleep during the test: 1 in 6

Cost, from a California company, for a headset that can control a video game with brain waves: $70

Number of different moods it can read, in order to select an appropriate MP3 playlist: 3

Amount that Lockheed Martin has spent so far on Polecat, a new unmanned stealth aircraft: $37,615,050

Date on which the only prototype crashed when the self-destruct mode was accidentally activated: 18/12/06


SOURCES: 1. Dominion Post July 24, 2007; 2. Bloomberg.com; 3, 9. Harpers Magazine; 4. Wellingtonian, 2007; 5. Salient research; 6. The Wellingtonian, 2007; 7, 8. Center for Responsive Politics (Washington); 10, 11. Dominion Post July 20/21, 2007; 12, 13. Environmental Services Association (London); 14. SkySails (Hamburg, Germany); 15, 16. Karl T. Ulrich, University of Pennsylvania (Philadelphia); 17.Dominion Post July 17, 2007; 18, 19. Mark Serreze, National Snow and Ice Data Center (Boulder, Colo.); 20. Wood Mackenzie (Houstonl/Fugro Robertson Limited (Llandudno, North Wales); 21, 22, 23. Ministry of Defence (London); 24,25. NeuroSky (San Jose, Calif.); 26, 27. Lockheed Martin Aeronautics Company (Fort Worth, Tex.).

E-mail Pecking Orders to editor@Salient.org.nz

About the Author ()

Salient is a magazine. Salient is a website. Salient is an institution founded in 1938 to cater to the whim and fancy of students of Victoria University. We are partly funded by VUWSA and partly by gold bullion that was discovered under a pile of old Salients from the 40's. Salient welcomes your participation in debate on all the issues that we present to you, and if you're a student of Victoria University then you're more than welcome to drop in and have tea and scones with the contributors of this little rag in our little hideaway that overlooks Wellington.

Comments (1)

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  1. I read with interest the story on pecking order and wish to add that the $604 I spent was the fee for attending two energy conferences that were across the road from Council in Wellington. My attendance at these two conferences was voted for by full Council. Considering the serious problem of Peak Oil I thought they were good value and in no way could be described as a junket. If you check out my web site at pepptalk.net you will see that I’m the only councillor with a serious concern about energy.