NewburyportNews.com, Newburyport, MA

Opinion

December 28, 2013

Connecting with a world of information

(Continued)

This is more of what I found in the newest Almanac: The monetary unit of Papua New Guinea is the kina. Wilhelm Steinitz of Austria was the world chess champ between 1886 and 1894. Both towers of the Century Plaza in Los Angeles have 44 stories. There are 12 commercial banks in Maine. Heidelberg University in Tiffin, Ohio, was founded in 1850. Some 1.2 million people died in a drought in Bengal in 1900. Allan Nevins won the 1933 Pulitzer Prize for his biography of Grover Cleveland.

Crushed stone, sand, salt, gravel, cement and wollastonite make up a $1.3 billion industry in New York State. The area code for Brown Deer, Wis., is 414. The flag of Somalia has a very pretty shade of light blue. Jehovah’s Witnesses participate in an annual Lord’s Meal ceremony. Some 3.3 percent of males completed distance-education programs in the 2008-2009 academic year. Togo has 353 miles of rail track.

This is more of what Ms. Janssen told me. The Almanac staff is divided about equally by gender. Many of them have beats — broad subject areas in which they cultivate expertise and experience — and sometimes they suggest adding elements (such as: more information this year on how often people check their email). Sarah can’t think of anything the group does together for fun. But everyone who works on the World Almanac, she says, “thinks the work is fun.”

This is more of what I found in the 2014 Almanac: The purple finch is the state bird of New Hampshire. Vice President Charles W. Fairbanks was born in Unionville Center, Ohio. African-Americans account for 9 percent of the population of Indiana. In a public auditorium, the American flag should be placed at the speaker’s right as he or she faces the audience. The westernmost town in the 48 continuous states is La Push, Wash. The first reliable measurement of the speed of light was made by the French physicist Armand Hippolyte Louis Fizeau. Middlebury College has a graduation rate of 94 percent. Denmark has 1,657 miles of rail track.

This is what I think about the World Almanac: I hope it never goes away. And one more thing: Panama has 41 miles of rail track.

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North Shore native and Pulitzer Prize winner David M. Shribman is executive editor of the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette.

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