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Thursday, July 31, 2008

Another Job for Jerry Brown: Teaching the Examiner to Count

Posted By on Thu, Jul 31, 2008 at 11:41 AM


A news blurb on Page 10 of yesterday's Examiner caught readers' eyes, but not in the way its writers would want.

The "Newsmakers" section noted Attorney General Jerry Brown's opposition to Nestle's plan to pump 200 million gallons of water from natural springs that flow into the town of McCloud.

Okay, fair enough. But here's the kicker: Regarding the 200 million gallons, the article concluded "Brown's office says that's enough to fill 3.1 billion 8-ounce plastic water bottles."

One's first thought would probably be "that's a lot of water bottles." But, before too long, you might note, "Do I really need the Attorney General to tell me how many ounces are in a gallon?"

Put it this way: What if the story concluded "Brown's office says that's enough to fill 200 million gallon jugs of water." Pretty redundant, eh?

Also, confusingly enough, since a gallon is 128 ounces and Nestle wants to pump 200 million gallons, a little quick math reveals that this is enough water to fill 3.2 billion eight-ounce bottles, not 3.1 billion.

That's not a trivial difference -- in fact, it's enough to fill 100 million eight-ounce water bottles. -- Joe Eskenazi

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About The Author

Joe Eskenazi

Joe Eskenazi

Joe Eskenazi was born in San Francisco, raised in the Bay Area, and attended U.C. Berkeley. He never left. "Your humble narrator" was a staff writer and columnist for SF Weekly from 2007 to 2015. He resides in the Excelsior with his wife, 4.3 miles from his birthplace and 5,474 from hers.


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