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Steve's use of "B-2 units" suggests other possible units. From the 1996
Statistical Abstract of the United States (available at:

http://www.census.gov/prod/2/gen/96statab/96statab.html )

I note, for example on page 450, expenditures (1994) of $47,600,000,000
for "tobacco products," $34,800,000,000 for "jewelry and watches,"
$64,100,000,000 for "personal care" (as separate from medical care). I
didn't find specific breakdowns of monies spent on specific items, like
beer, cosmetics, tickets to wrestling matches, etc.

One of the concepts I try to get across to students in my math classes is
that *context* is awfully important in evaluating numbers. I made the
comment that it was too bad that the imperial vs. metric error made by the
vendors to NASA caused the crash of the Mars spacecraft, but it was "only
$128,000,000." They thought I was kidding. I wasn't. My share of that cost
is a little less than what I spend on soft drinks. "Too bad," I say to
NASA. "Build a couple more and try again."

Keep in mind that the huge expenditures Steve is referring to are,
themselves, a kind of aid to the needy: Think of all the people hired to
run the program, many of whom, probably, couldn't get jobs otherwise.

John M. Flanigan <[log in to unmask]>     The equation is the final arbiter.
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Kapi'olani Community College            The scoreboard is the final arbiter.
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