Saturday, December 20, 2014

Mexico by the numbers: * It's name is bribe, legal bribe. * What Mexico City newspaper readers really want. * A comeback for the monarch butterflies? * When minimum really means minimum.

6 million . . . number of dollars that the Mexican government is reported (by the UK’s Telegraph newspaper) to be paying Sony to have scenes in the next James Bond movie filmed in Mexico City.   24 . . . number of Bond films that will have been made once this one, titled “Spectre,” is finished.   341,259 . . . Average daily readership of El Universal in the greater Mexico City area. That almost doubles second-place La Jornada at 183,454. Reforma is third at 130,586. Take those numbers with a grain of salt each, because 1) They come from El Universal itself, not an unbiased source. 2) They are based on survey respondents who said they read that paper the day before, not exactly a scientific survey methodology. 3) What does “read” mean? All of it? Some of it? The main headline only? 4) Circulation figures are generally unreliable anyway.     722, 726 . . .  daily Valley of Mexico readership (same methodology) of El Gráfico, the leader of the “popular newspaper” category, consisting of those tabloids obsessed with the bodies of dead male crime victims covered in blood and live female babes covered in next to nothing. No. 2 is Metro at 533,174 and No. 3 La Prensa at 298,281. Note that the “popular” El Gráfico, published by El Universal, out-readers El Universal itself by more than 2-1.

1.65 . . . number of forest acres (half a hectare) that the returning monarch butterflies occupied last season in the Michoacán and State of México reserves, down from what used to be the norm of six to eight hectares and way below the recorded high of 18.2 hectares or 45 acres. The good news is that the acreage is expected to at least double this butterfly season (now under way) once the figures are in.   2 . . . number of California condors that the U.S. government delivered this fall to Mexico City’s Chapultepec Zoo for breeding in captivity and eventual release. The raptors once lived throughout much of North America, but only about 230 exist in the wild today, all in California and Baja California.   45 . . . number of additional kilometers the Mexico City Metro system is expected to cover by the time Mayor Miguel Ángel Mancera’s term ends in 2018. Much of the new track will serve the State of Mexico, including extending Line A from La Paz to Chalco, and Line 4 from Martín Carrera to Ecatepec. Within the city limits, Line 9 will keep going from Tacubaya to Observatorio, paralleling Line 1 for that last stretch. Line 12 will also be extended from its current terminus at Mixcoac to Observatorio. Thus three lines will take riders to the starting point of the future Mexico-Toluca train.

70.10  . . . new minimum wage in pesos that will take effect on January 1 throughout much of the country. That’s a 4.2% increase, 2.81 pesos more than the existing minimum wage. The amount is per day, not per hour, and converts to about five dollars. Minimum wage workers in other parts of the nation will get 66.45 pesos per day. The PRD leader in the Senate, which approved the increase on Friday, called it “paltry.”   30 . . . percentage of State of Mexico residents who spend the equivalent of the aforementioned daily minimum wage to get to work and back each day in public transportation, according to a study carried out by the polling firm Dinamia and the U.S.-based Institute for Transportation and Development Policies.   70 . . . percentage of mexiquenses who use two or more kinds of public transport to get to the Federal District each day.

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