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State by State, Or, A View of America That Doesn’t Involve Lipsticked Pigs*

wpagg.pngThis has been a long, and awful week for a lot of people (one of the upshots of being in the online world is that we don’t have any money to lose) filled with extremely depressing numbers. So we thought, hey, why not end the week with some interesting numbers that have absolutely nothing to do with money, or Wall Street, or anything financial whatsoever. Phew. For example, did you know that New York rates 36th in the country for toothlessness (17.5%), or that we are 25th when it comes to breastfeeding (maybe they forgot to include Park Slope), or that we have the lowest suicide rate (Alaska has the highest, insert Palin joke here), and the 7th most Classic Movie Theaters and Drive In’s per capita. We also rank last in population born elsewhere in the U.S., which sort of blows the theory that there no native New Yorkers.

And no, we did not decide to read the Census bureau in lieu of the (scary) front page of the Times this morning. All these numbers can actually be found in the back of a new collection of essays called State by State, which features the likes of Anthony Bourdain (NJ), Rick Moody (CT), Sarah Vowell (MT), and Susan Orlean (OH) (just to name four of the fifty contributors — that’s right, one for each state). The book’s editors Matt Weiland and Sean Wilsey took their inspiration from the WPA state guides of the 1930′s (a government intervention program we would love to see someone in Washington reconsider). There’s also a movie. You can watch the trailer for the movie that was made to accompany the book after the jump. Books have trailers these days, you know.

*We haven’t actually read the whole thing yet, so we can’t guarantee the absence of lipsticked pigs.


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