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Popes, meteorites and marathon snogging: The week in numbers

Just how long is the world’s longest kiss? And how do we know for sure that Valentine’s relics are in Dublin?
Feb 16th 2013, 7:30 PM 6,182 4

EVERY WEEK, offers a selection of statistics and numerical nuggets to help you digest the week that has just passed.

27,700 kilometres – That’s how close asteroid 2012 DA14 came to Earth yesterday evening. That might not seem like much, but it’s closer than any asteroid of its size has ever come to Earth. Travelling at 75,000 kilometres an hour, it would only have taken 20 minutes to obliterate any of the cities on Earth if it had been nudged out of its path and into our direction.

6.17 metres – The length of ‘Lolong’, the largest saltwater crocodile in captivity anywhere in the world, who died in the Philippines last week. The townspeople went into mourning, despite suspicions that Lolong ate some of them.

950 – The number of people in Russia who were injured when a meteor burned up in the skies above the city of Chelyabinsk.

€18.89 - The amount that the average Irish TD, Senator or MEP declared in donations for 2012. Only three politicians out of 239 said they had received any donations that they were legally required to receive – and one of those was the use of services, while another actually fell under the legal requirement limit.

210,958 – The number of seconds for which a Thai couple kissed this week – setting a new world record. That’s over 58-and-a-half hours! It’s the second time in three years that a couple from Thailand has broken the record.

12 per cent – The amount by which energy usage in Ireland dropped in three years, according to Eurostat figures – which also showed that Ireland is among the EU countries most reliant on energy imports.

€56,500 – The average salary of a chaplain employed by the HSE in the Dublin North East region. That’s over twice as much as the €25,000-or-so that the Archdiocese of Dublin is able to give its priests.

€2.97 – The amount that a High Court jury ordered the Irish Daily Mail to pay Denis O’Brien over a defamatory article, in terms of the price per issue sold. The Mail had audited circulation of 50,515 for the first half of 2010; it’s considering an appeal against the €150,000 ruling.

3 – The number of HSE staff who were rehired the day after they retired last year. That’s despite voluntary redundancy programmes and incentivised public service retirements in 2012.

3 – The possible number of saints named Valentine. But, sure, let’s just have a shindig for all of them.

€21,440 – The amount that the average Irish person has to spend after they pay their taxes and social insurance, according to CSO figures. A quarter of the public is now considered to be living in deprivation.

598 – The number of years since the last time a pope resigned – and in that case it was only to heal a three-way split in the church by making room for a compromise pope. That sequence will be brought to an end when Benedict XVI steps down in two weeks.

111 – The number of popes between the time of St Malachy and Pope Benedict XVI. Malachy reckons the 112th will be the final pope, who will see the ‘city of the seven hills’ (Rome, but possibly Jerusalem) being destroyed. No pressure, then.

Want more? Check out our previous ‘In numbers’ pieces>
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Gavan Reilly


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