HOBSON'S CHOICE

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Number of teenagers in the world:

800 million

Number of national varieties of Barbie doll, the latest additions being Austrian and Moroccan:

30

Amount, at conservative estimates, that merchandising from the Star Wars films has earned since 1977:

$4.5bn

Total amount of money held in offshore bank accounts in 1993, five times the sum available to the world's central banks:

$5 trillion

Amount Germany loses annually in tax revenue to undeclared personal savings held in offshore bank accounts:

$15bn

Percentage of Jersey's revenue which comes from its financial sector, which includes 45 registered banks with deposits of at least pounds 90bn:

90

Average cost of a Hollywood film made by one of the major studios in 1998, including marketing costs:

$75.6m

Average number of rounds of theatrical blanks used in a Hollywood crime or action film, at a cost of $65 per 100 rounds:

300,000

Cost, per day, to simulate a hurricane for a Hollywood film:

$10,000

Cost, per day, to rent a trained kangaroo for a Hollywood film:

$600

Cost, per day, to rent a trained cockroach, 30,000 of which were hired from Animals For Hollywood for the teen horror film The Craft in 1996:

$25

Amount paid recently by a collector for a 8cm-long stag beetle at Waku Waku Land, an insect speciality shop in Tokyo: $90,000

Average salary of an American dentist in 1987:

$76,000

Average salary of an American dentist in 1996, by which time the number of dentists had increased by 20 per cent:

$124,000

According to the Canadian Medical Association, percentage of advice given in medical advice columns in Canadian newspapers in 1995 which was inappropriate for elderly readers:

50

Percentage of advice given in medical advice columns in 1995 which was dangerous or potentially life-threatening for elderly readers:

28

Grams of salt consumed by British adults every day, twice the amount recommended by the British government and 10 times the amount recommended by the US government:

10

SOURCES: SLATE, WORLD TODAY, NATIONAL GEOGRAPHIC, REUTERS, HEAT, NEWSWEEK, TIME

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