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Food for Thought (or Guns) from Harper’s

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Food for Thought (or Guns) from Harper’s

Posted by Maggie Fick on February 24, 2009

On a recent Friday afternoon, I discovered a fantastic (and temporarily free) service on the Harper’s magazine website:

In celebration of the 25th anniversary of the Harper’s Index, all 12,058 lines of the Index are free for searching and browsing.

I highly recommend taking a look through the easy-to-navigate index yourself.

Here are some of the interesting statistics I came across while I was word-searching some of Enough’s topics. Click on the statistic to go to the Harper’s site and find each source:

  • $25,000,000: Signing bonus that two oil companies paid Chad in April 2000 in order to join an oil-exploration project.  $4,500,000: Amount of this bonus that Chad spent on weapons, violating an International Monetary Fund agreement. (From the July 2001 edition)
  • 60; 34: Projected lifespan in years of a Zimbabwean born in 1989 and one born in 2002, respectively. (From the October 2004 edition)
  • 7: Average number of civilian policemen per every thousand square miles of Darfur, Sudan. (From the February 2006 edition of Harper’s)
  • 548,400: Tons of international food aid provided to Sudan last year. 534,000: Estimated tons of food Sudan produces and exports to other countries each year. (From the December 2008 edition), and
  • 1 Chicken: How much an AK-47 was worth on Uganda’s black market in 2000  (From the May 2000 edition)

I can’t decide if this is excellent food for thought, a depressing blast from the past, or both. In any case, thanks to Harper’s for this thought-provoking treat.