Snapshot of the US: 65 days in front of the TV and five months of mediahttp://www.guardian.co.uk/international/story/0,,1972530,00.htmlMedia occupies half of Americans’ lives, data from Census showshttp://www.rutlandherald.com/apps/pbcs.dll/article?AID=/20061215/NEWS04/612150354/1024/NEWS04New homes were cheapest in the South in 2005http://www.dicksonherald.com/apps/pbcs.dll/article?AID=/20061215/NEWS05/61215016The 2007 Statistical Abstract [pdf, Excel]http://www.census.gov/compendia/statab/Eurostat [pdf]http://epp.eurostat.ec.europa.eu/Most people are aware of the unwritten rule that politics and religion are two subjects that should generally be avoided while visiting friends and family to share a holiday meal or related activity. Fortunately, there is no such rule that forbids discussing the educational attainment levels in either Wisconsin or Massachusetts. Within the tables of the 2007 Statistical Abstract of the United States, users will find the raw data that can be used in such conversations. Released last week, the annual edition of the Abstract contains 1400 tables that cover everything from Americans growing problem with obesity to their seemingly insatiable appetite for media consumption. The publication of this particular document by the U.S. Census Bureau always attracts the attention of various commentators from Vermont to Venice, and this year is certainly no different. Some of the data presented in the Abstract represents a disturbing trend to a number of commentators, including Professor Wayne Fields of Washington University who remarked, “What people used to rely on people they love for, and get face to face, maybe they get that electronically now.” The first link will take users to a news piece from last week’s New York Times which discusses some of the data found within this year’s Statistical Abstract. Moving along, the second link leads to a bit more coverage of the Abstract offered by Dan Glaister, reporting for the Guardian newspaper. The third link will take visitors to a piece from the Rutland Herald that offers some additional statistics culled from the Abstract, including the striking observation that almost five months of the average American’s year is taken up by various media, ranging from reading the newspaper to listening to the radio. Persons with an interest in housing will appreciate the forth link, which leads to a news article from the Dickson Herald. The article notes that the media sales price for a new single-family home in the South was $197,300, which is far below the national median price of $240,900. The fifth link whisks users away to the homepage of the 2007 Statistical Abstract of the United States, where they may browse around all of its many tables to their heart’s content. The last link leads to the homepage of Eurostat, which is the central statistical data collection agency for the European Union.


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