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PCs, parking tickets and Witches Dead: The week in numbers

Feeling happy about the world? Let us take your Saturday down a notch by reminding you of how banjaxed the banks might be.

Image: Darwin Bell via Flickr

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

€260 – The top price of one Bitcoin, when the online-only currency had its price spike this week. The top price didn’t last long. Here’s our guide to the ‘crypto-currency’ and the Irish people who use it.

€34.44 billion – The amount in loans that Ireland has borrowed from the EFSF and EFSM bailout funds. Yesterday European finance ministers agreed to give Ireland seven more years to repay each chunk of the loans.

€16 billion – The bill we could be left with if the banks need another bailout, according to the IMF, which has warned that if banks continue to lose money, they could run out of capital reserves which taxpayers have already spent €64.1 billion providing.

29 per cent – The amount of ‘Ding Dong The Witch is Dead’ that the BBC will play on its Radio 1 chart show tomorrow. The broadcaster will play 15 seconds of the 51-second song, looking to strike a balance between avoiding offence to followers of Margaret Thatcher, and those who bought the song as a way of celebrating her passing.

$105,000 - The amount a Chicago woman was fined after her car was left abandoned in an airport parking lot for three years. The woman says her boyfriend abandoned the car – and that the car itself is only worth $600.

3,388 kilometres – The distance between Pyongyang and Guam. We probably don’t need to explain why that’s important.

0.5 per cent – The amount by which the cost of living has risen in Ireland in the last 12 months. That’s well below the EU average – which is beginning to fall, leading to the possibility that the ECB might cut interest rates next month.

13.9 per cent – The amount by which worldwide PC sales has fallen in the last year. Data provider IDC, which compiles the figures, blames Windows 8.

€46 – The price of a €10 coin (as long as it’s in sterling silver, minted by the Central Bank, and has a slightly erroneous quote from Ulysses on it).

€384 million – The amount a PWC report reckons RTÉ contributed to the Irish economy in 2011. That’s not bad, consider its total funding was €351 million…

38 – The number of people who were one digit away from a €250,000 jackpot in last Saturday night’s Lotto Plus 2 draw. The National Lottery says a number was read out incorrectly – meaning one of those people could end up with a pretty significant payday.

26.04 million – The number of pieces of luggage which were ‘mishandled’ (lost or misdirected) last year by the world’s airline baggage carriers. That’s a 53 per cent drop compared to six years ago.

4,500 – The approximate number of dogs who died in Irish shelters last year. Again, that’s a fall of over 55 per cent in four years.

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

About the author:

Gavan Reilly

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