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Q&A: Florida indeed is deadly for pedestrians, bicyclists

Florida deadly on bike, foot

There have been so many bicyclists and pedestrians killed by cars in Florida recently. Are we the worst state?

Florida is, indeed, a very dangerous place for pedestrians and bicyclists, according to figures compiled by the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration.

In 2008, Florida had 490 pedestrian fatalities, second only to California's 620, for a fatality per 100,000 residents rate of 2.67 — the worst in the United States. Delaware was second with a 2.41 rate. The national average rate was 1.44. The safest place was Vermont with a 0.16 rate.

In 2008, Florida had 125 bicyclist fatalities, the most in the United States, with a per-million residents fatality rate of 6.82, a rate second only to Delaware's 6.87. The national average rate was 2.35, and the safest places were Vermont, South Dakota and Nebraska, all with no fatalities.

While you didn't mention motorcycles, Florida also does poorly here, with 523 deaths in 2008. That was second to California's 537.

MTV stands for music television

What does MTV stand for? My dad says it stands for music TV, but I have never seen anything but reality shows on this station.

Your dad is correct: MTV stands for music television.

When MTV was started on Aug. 1, 1981, its stated mission was to play music videos 24 hours a day, seven days a week. It was considered the video version of the radio disc jockeys.

As the novelty wore off and ratings declined, MTV started branching out. It started talk and trivia shows, broadcast news, sponsored concerts and got politically active by urging young people to vote, and by promoting safe sex and AIDS awareness.

Then came animated series (remember Beavis and Butt-head?) and eventually reality shows. A glance at MTV's schedule today shows reality programming eating up more the 75 percent of MTV's airtime.

The network does still show music videos on the AMTV show, which airs from 3 a.m. until 8 or 9 a.m. on weekdays.

Statue of Liberty wears sandals

Why is the Statue of Liberty barefoot?

It isn't. The Statue of Liberty, which was built by Frédéric Auguste Bartholdi of France as a gift to the United States, wears open sandals on her 25-foot-long feet, according to the National Park Service. Using the standard formula for calculating women's shoe sizes, the sandal would be a size 879.

For more about the statue's foot, www.endex.com/gf/buildings/liberty/libertyfacts/Toes.041231.pdf provides some interesting background.

For more general facts about the statue, see www.statueofliberty.org/Fun_Facts.html.

Q&A: Florida indeed is deadly for pedestrians, bicyclists 02/21/11 [Last modified: Monday, February 21, 2011 5:35pm]
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