HOBSON'S CHOICE

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The Independent Online
Number of Aborigines separated as children from their parents and forcibly assimilated into white culture because of a government policy abandoned in 1970:

30,000

Years by which Aborigines' life expectancy is less than that of other Australians:

20

Age of the oldest known can of Spam to have been consumed without adverse side-effects:

25 years

Speed at which neural impulses travel from the human brain down through the arms and legs:

200 mph

Number of hibakusha in Japan (people in Hiroshima or Nagasaki when the atom bombs fell, contaminated by radioactive fallout or affected in utero):

350,000

Cost of silver earrings of "Little Boy" and "Fat Man" (the bombs dropped on Hiroshima and Nagasaki), best-selling gifts at the US National Atomic Museum until withdrawn recently:

$20

Number of bomblets, the small canisters in cluster bombs, dropped on Kosovo and Serbia during the Nato bombing:

225,000

Conservative estimate of number of people killed in Kosovo between 13 June and 13 July by bomblets that hadn't exploded on initial impact or by mines planted by the Yugoslav army and the KLA:

150

Number of times a year members of the Yanomami people in Venezuela are bitten by malaria-transmitting mosquitoes:

16,500

Number of people who emigrated to Ireland last year, part of the trend, since 1995, for more people to move there than leave:

44,000

Average price of a new house in Dublin:

pounds 127,071

Number of empty flats in Venice (1,000 people are leaving a year):

10,000

Average cost of a two-bedroom flat in Venice:

pounds 102,435

Ratio of bars to people in Italy:

1:3,000

Ratio of bars to people in Venice:

1:188

Factor by which the pillars of the nave of Durham Cathedral are larger than the pillars of the nave of Canterbury Cathedral:

17

Cost, per kg, of musk, used in perfume and traditional Chinese medicine:

pounds 45,000

Number of musk deer killed to produce 1kg of musk:

160

SOURCES: INDEPENDENT, DAEDALUS, AP, INTERNATIONAL HERALD TRIBUNE, GEOGRAPHICAL, NATIONAL GEOGRAPHIC, R-R, COLORS, CONCILIUM, AP, TLS, HISTORIAN.

COMPILED BY WILL HOBSON

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