“IN ONE DAY”

By Tom Parker

Tom Parker, an illustrator who lives in Ithaca, N.Y., wanted some figures to show Americans the “amazing”amount of food and material things needed to support the human animal.

He wanted irrefutable, accurate information. He did research, but even he was amazed by what his scratching through musty, seldom-read papers turned up.

He became so engrossed in the markets of food and material, and so many other issues were uncovered, that he realized that he had more than just the components for an accurate and revealing illustration. He had a book, or would have it if he kept at it. He kept delving, and the book, “In One Day” is the result.

Parker, 34, began the seven-year project in 1977. He drew his information from the voluminous files of government agencies, from technical papers, corporate bookkeeping, market reports, magazines, books, and newspapers.

He became one of his statistics.

He found that, even now, in a single day he reads four newspapers, front to back, writes an average of 60 letters, and makes 100 phone calls.

“In One Day” is published by Houghton Mifflin Co. Of Boston. It has been printed, in part, in American Demographics magazine. Totally assembled into 94 pages and handsomely illustrated you can now own it too.

Parker, his nose buried in government reports , puts the price more graphically: “In one day, Americans print enough counterfeit money to buy 30,000 copies of this book.”

Always the statistician, he adds, “But the U. S. Secret Service claims that 90 percent of the funny money is seized before it reaches the public.”


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Parker learned that Americans consume or use or make or do all of these things “In One Day”

We use 550,000 pounds of toothpaste,
eat 2,900 tons of chocolate candy,
consume 52 million aspirin, and
jog 28 million miles.
(The jogging mileage represents seven times the accumulated length of every road in the United States)

Americans eat 75,000 pounds of pimento, the small red pepper stuffed into green olives. (If the pimento were in tape form the thickness of the stuffing, it would stretch 3,500 miles, long enough to reach from Griffin, Ga., the pimento capital of the United States, to Lindsay, Calif., the stuffed olive capital, and touch Washington, D.C. the martini capital, on the way.)

We sallow 75 acres of pizza, enough to cover 60 football fields. Parker puts it this way: From that amount, one could make 13 pizzas, each the size of the Roman Colosseum.”

Americans bring 364,000 live wild animals into the country daily;
337,000 of them ornamental fish.
Also imported, 296,000 items made out of wildlife.

Dogs bite 20 mailmen. The Postal Service spends $3,500.00 a day on medical help for its dog-bite victims.

Animal shelters destroy 30,000 unwanted cats and dogs.

Americans eat 18,000 pounds of buffalo meat.

This is each day, remember.

We write 100 million checks, of which 1 million bounce.

Americans buy 4,100 official Swiss Army knives, as well as countless imitations.

California gains 1,287 people

Michigan loses 165.

Detroit itself , loses 79 of that amount.

One million Americans visit museums, most choosing a science rather than a history museum. (Less preferred than either is an art museum.)

Pet owners, each winter, buy more than 400,000 T-shirts for their dogs. They spend $27,000 a day on pet clothing.

Americans import the skins of 12,000 reptiles, along with 400 lizard-skin watchbands, and 20,000 other items made from the hides of lizards and snakes. Also included are the skins of 400 ostriches, 350 kangaroos, and more than 100 frogs and toads.

We drink 17 million gallons of coffee. (If the Niagara River were flowing with coffee, it would take a full 30 seconds for that amount to flow over Horseshoe Falls.)

The U.S. center of population, an imaginary point at which the country’s population would balance—north, south, east and west—creeps about 35 feet to the southwest, towards El Paso and Juarez.

Americans lay about 2,750 acres of pavement, enough concrete and asphalt to make a bicycle path seven feet wide stretching from the Atlantic to the Pacific.

A monumental accomplishment, but it happens every day.

American drivers use 313 million gallons of fuel—enough to drain 26 tractor-trailer tank trucks every minute.

We bring into the country 2,000 exotic birds that have ben captured in the wild. (One-fourth of the birds are dead on arrival, or die before they find an owner.)

Americans throw out 150,000 tons of boxes, bags and wrappers. It takes 10,000 tractor-trailer trucks to haul that mush junk to the dump.

We sack, compact and waste 200,000 tons of edible food. Junk 20,000 passenger cars (A bumper-to-bumper line 50 miles long) and 4,000 trucks and busses (In N.Y. city 20 vehicles are abandoned daily)

Americans driving on unpaved roads stir up 81,000 tons of dust, enough to cover a football field to a depth of 48 feet.

We use 450 billion gallons of water for our homes, factories and farms, enough to cover Manhattan to a depth of 96 feet.

Each day, 10,000 Americans are born.

We manufacture enough artificial Christmas trees to reforest eight acres of land.

Americans pump 365 million gallons of crude oil out of the ground, and import 147 million gallons from other countries. (More than 9 quarts for every American)

We produce 33 million pounds of aluminum, enough to make 132 square miles of aluminum foil.

We also recycle 78 million aluminum cans, enough to make 18 Boeing 747's

For civilian use alone, U.S. gunsmiths make 6,700 pistols and revolvers 4,000 rifles, 2,500 shot-guns, from 50 to 200 machine guns (depending on demand here) Thieves in this country steal 275 guns a day from law-abiding owners.

Americans produce 1.5 billion pounds of hazardous waste. (Nine pounds per person)

We use 6.8 billion gallons of water---- flush our toilets. (If one toilet were used, the water container would Need to be a half-mile high. The Rose Bowl could fit inside the seat.)

All this in one day, remember!

Multiply by 365 for a year----and one day more each year in four, as the leap year rhyme puts it.

We know all of this, and much more in the book, because of a New York illustrator with a penchant for accuracy, a thirst for facts and time to work on his project.

Thanks! The Editor.

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