The US Navy has spent a lot of money developing a spy-fish. It’s five feet long, weighs a hundred pounds, looks like a blue-fin tuna, and swims. It’s loaded with all sorts of intelligence gear. Now all we have to wait for one of them to end up in some fishing boat’s trawl net. There’s a funny movie in this.
Back in 1977, 56 percent of people aged 18 to 29 said that they had tried marijuana. In 2013, 36 percent of Americans aged 18 to 29 said that they had tried marijuana. So, in a sense, it’s a generational thing. You wouldn’t understand. A 2014 academic study concluded that 76 percent of the marijuana consumers in the U.S. were people who never went to college or never finished, while about 17 percent of consumers were college graduates. Whoa, dude.
In Summer 2007, almost 40 percent of births were to un-wed mothers. This was the highest level ever recorded. The rate had risen among all racial groups. The biggest increases were among women in their twenties. Then, between 2010 and early 2015, abortion rates in the US fell by 12 percent in both “red” and in ‘blue” states. Fewer unwanted pregnancies or more children? Well, from 2010 to 2012 alone, the teen birth-rate dropped by 6 percent. So, it looks like fewer unwanted pregnancies. Condoms are a dollar each at the CVS. If it hasn’t been burned down or you have a thing about “taking a shower in a raincoat.”
Americans have gotten a lot bigger over recent decades. In the early 1960s the average man weighed 166.3 pounds; today the average man weighs 195.5 pounds. American women have kept pace, with the average woman now clocking in at 166.2 pounds. As a result of the increased size of real dummies, crash-test dummies have had to be scaled-up as well. Current dummies are based on the average weight of Americans back in the Sixties. One recently-developed prototype is based on a person who weighs 273 pounds. How is this public opinion, you ask? Well, public opinion polling is about discovering beliefs. Apparently, a lot of Americans “believe I’ll have another helping.”
People have begun to complain that “radiation from cellphones, Wifi systems or smart meters causes them to suffer dizziness, fatigue, headaches, sleeplessness or heart palpitations.” We are seeing the rise of “Electrosensitive people” and of “Electro-Americans.” (Kind of like John Boehner being the spokesman for “Orange Americans.” Can learning accommodations be far behind?
Back in 2013, Former President-in-Exile Al Gore was reported to be worth $300 million. That put him ahead of Never-Was-President Mitt Romney, who was reported to be worth between $190 and $260 million. One of the chief criticisms made of Romney by Democrats was that his work at Bain Capital often led to job losses. I haven’t found any overall total for these job losses. One story on just four companies put the total at about 6,000 jobs lost. As an environmental activist, Al Gore opposes burning coal. There are about 174,000 working-class jobs in the coal-mining industry.
 “Noted,” The Week, 26 December 2014, p. 20.
 “Noted,” The Week, 27 March 2015, p. 16.
 “Noted,” The Week, 20 July 2007, p. 18.
 “Noted,” The Week, 19 June 2015, p. 14.
 “Noted,” The Week, 27 September 2013, p. 16.
 “Noted,” The Week, 26 June 2015, p. 14; “Noted,” The Week, 14 November 2014, p. 18.
 NYT, 31 January 2011, p. A12.
 “Noted,” The Week, 8 February 2013, p. 18.