August 2014

Numbers on the Periphery

Issue V


Malaysian Airlines Flight MH17 was shot down by a missile just outside Shaktarsk, an eastern Ukrainian town held by pro-Russian rebels. The flight was heading to the International Aids Conference in Melbourne, and among its passengers were more than 100 AIDS scientists and advocates.


The number of passengers on the flight, all of whom were killed. [1]


Number of airborne vehicles shot down in Eastern Ukraine in month of July; this was the first commercial plane shot down. [2]


Number of International Aids Society members who died aboard the flight, among them the former President of the Society, Joep Lange. [3]



On July 8th, Israel Defense Forces (IDF) initiated Operation Protective Edge, the deadliest military operation in Gaza since 2008.


Average age of Gaza civilian population. [4]


Number of Palestinian civilians killed in July's conflict. [5]


Number of Israeli civilians killed in July's conflict. [6]



Correspondent Rula Jebreal went on MSNBC’s Ronan Farrow Daily to protest the US media bias in reporting on Israel-Palestine.


Number of Israeli representatives interviewed on CNN between June 30 and July 9, 2014. [7]


Number of Palestinian representatives interviewed on CNN between June 30 and July 9, 2014. [8]



The New York City Police Department, under the direction of Police Commissioner William Bratton, has accelerated a campaign to criminalize street performers (dancers, musicians, artists) performing on New York City’s streets and subways without “busking” permits. "Is it a significant crime? Certainly not," Bratton says. "Does it have the potential both for creating a level of fear as well as a level of risk that you want to deal with?"


Number of NYC street performers arrested so far in 2014. [9]


Number of street performing permits handed out annually in NYC. [10]



The Sentencing Project has released a report showing that US states which have reduced their prison population in recent years have seen disproportionate decreases in crime.


US Prison Population (total population 313.9 million). [11]


Chinese Prison Population (total population 1.35 billion). [12]


Combined prison population of Brazil, India, Thailand, Mexico, Iran, South Africa, Indonesia, and Turkey (combined population 2.07 billion). [13]



Hundreds of demonstrators gathered in Detroit to protest the city’s termination of citizens’ water supplies. National Nurses United, the group that organized the protest, called the shut offs an “attack on the basic human right of access to safe, clean water.”


Number of Detroit citizens to have their outstanding water bill paid for by PETA, as long as the citizens “go vegan” for a month. [14]


Number of anonymous donors who are matched with Detroit residents to help pay their water bills through the online Detroit Water Project. [15]



Police Chief James Craig has linked the drop in Detroit’s crime to its citizens proclivity to arm themselves. Craig said, “I don’t want to take away from the good work our investigators are doing, but I think part of the drop in crime, and robberies in particular, is because criminals are thinking twice that citizens could be armed.”


Criminal homicides in Detroit in 2013. [16]


Criminal homicides in Detroit in 2012. [17]



A Kickstarter campaign to raise money for a potato salad became an internet sensation and raised much more than its $10 goal. Zack Brown, the man responsible for the campaign, has never made a potato salad before.


Amount of money that was pledged to a man who launched a campaign on Kickstarter to raise $10 to make a potato salad. [18]


Amount of money pledged each day on average in 2013 on Kickstarter. [19]


Servings of potato salad one could make with $61,153, according to Hellman’s official potato salad recipe. [20]



The City Council in Ocala, Florida unanimously approved a new city ordinance in which wearing pants two inches or more below your waist will result in a second degree misdemeanor.


Months in jail one could serve for breaking the sagging pants ordinance [21]


Maximum fine for breaking the ordinance [22]


Average waist circumference in inches for American males ages 20 years and over [23]



A viral video has emerged showing a photo-shopped image of Supreme Leader Kim Jung-un break-dancing and fighting kung fu. The North Korean government issued a statement that the video “seriously compromises Kim’s dignity and authority.”


Number of pages the Chinese Communist Party’s newspaper committed to a photo spread of North Korean Leader Kim Jong-un after he was awarded The Onion’s “Sexiest Man of the Year” award in 2012. [24]