HOBSON'S CHOICE

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Number of nuclear weapons tests carried out by the US since 1945:

1,030

Number of nuclear weapons tests carried out by Russia and the former USSR since 1945:

715

Number of nuclear weapons tests carried out by France, responsible for 210 alone, China, UK, India and Pakistan since 1945:

305

Amount spent daily worldwide on defence:

$2.5bn

Ratio of anti-personnel mines to inhabitants in Angola:

1:1

Number of years after refusing to allow him to practise law in South Africa before the Natal Law Society apologised to Mahatma Gandhi:

105

Amount of loans under $1,000 taken out each month by members of South Africa's 31 million black population:

9 million

Annual interest, on average, charged by the South African micro-finance industry, compared with 44 per cent worldwide:

2,000

Average number of hours worked by Americans in 1997, compared to 1,883 in 1980:

1,966

Average number of hours worked by Japanese in 1997, compared to 2,121 in 1980:

1,889

Average number of hours worked by French in 1997, compared to 1,809 in 1980:

1,656

Number of times more housework done by working women over 35 in the UK than by their working partners:

3

Number of hours washing-up a week done by working men in the UK:

2

Cost of the energy used each year in the US by TVs and videos on stand- by mode:

$1bn

Number of copies sold, in its first year, of the poster of Farrah Fawcett in a red bathing suit, which established her as the pin-up of "the sexual revolution of the Seventies":

6 million

Number of decibels humpback whales can generate while singing:

144

Number of decibels registered by a jet plane's engine:

140

Number of days of thunder in an average year in Tororo, Uganda:

251

Tons of excrement deposited every day on Parisian streets by the 200,000 resident dogs:

16

Number of people a year in Paris, on average, who break bones or are hospitalised after slipping in dog excrement:

650

SOURCES: NEW SCIENTIST, LE MONDE DIPLOMATIQUE, ROUND TABLE, WASHINGTON POST, ILO, POLITICAL QUARTERLY, SOCIAL TRENDS, NATURE, TALK, NATIONAL GEOGRAPHIC, TIMES, NEW YORK TIMES

COMPILED BY

WILL HOBSON

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