2 Text or Not 2 Text

The average teen sends between 50 and 75 text messages a day. Perhaps more impressive: the top 14% of texting teens send more than 200 texts per day. Now, we've all seen this. At the mall, at the roller-rink, etc., so it shouldn't come as a huge surprise. Yet, at least for me, when I see these numbers "in print," I'm still rather blown away. Maybe it's bcos when I was a teen, the only phone I had access to outside the house was a payphone and if I wanted to get a message to a friend, it was by passing notes in class or in the hallway. Somehow, I can't imagine passing 50 notes a day, even if I had the opportunity and it were that ez.

Mind you, I'm not passing judgement here. (ikr) I like texting. And I can sort of imagine enjoying keeping in touch with my own kid via text one day when he's a teenager. But still, the numbers floor me. Here's some others that really got me thinking:

If you text while driving, you are almost 25% more likely to get in an accident. Given that my number one fear in life is of being in a serious car accident, this particular statistic kills me. (j/k) Then there's this: 200,000 car crashes a year are caused by texting. (This doesn't include the other 1.2 million caused by talking on cellphones!) According to some studies, if you text while driving, your reaction rate becomes that of a 70-year-old. Not sure what that means for the 70-year-olds who are texting while driving ;-) All joking aside, these numbers are no laughing matter. Nor are the profits for cellphone providers who are making $65 billion annually off the texting explosion. And, of course, it's not their fault that we're overusing or misusing the technology.

Finally, I'll leave you with 1 more interesting #: 160 Ever wonder y texts are limited to 160 characters? U can thank communications researcher Friedhelm Hillebrand for that. In 1985, he conducted an experiment whereby he typed out a bunch of random sentences and then counted all the characters (including spaces) of each. Most of them came in just under 160. He also analyzed postcards and found that the average one had about 150 characters on it. Using this info, he convinced his Global System for Mobile Communications (GSM) team that 160 characters was plenty for the short messaging service (SMS) they were working on.


Quick True/False: World Capitals
Bain News Service - Library of Congress, Public Domain, Wikimedia Commons
10 Pats Born on St. Patrick's Day
A photo from the 1919 wedding of Princess Patricia of Connaught to the Hon. Alexander Ramsay.
A photo from the 1919 wedding of Princess Patricia of Connaught to the Hon. Alexander Ramsay.
Bain News Service - Library of Congress, Public Domain, Wikimedia Commons

Need some St. Patrick's Day conversation fodder that doesn't involve leprechauns or four-leaf clovers? Ask your friends to name a "Pat" born on St. Patrick's Day. If they can't, they owe you a drink—then you can wow them with this list of 10.


Princess Patricia was the granddaughter of Queen Victoria, who gave up all of her royal titles when she married a commoner. She was born at Buckingham Palace on March 17, 1886.


The Dallas star was born on March 17, 1949. And here's a totally random fact about Duffy: His nephew is Barry Zito, former MLB pitcher for the Oakland Athletics and the San Francisco Giants.


Pattie Boyd
Larry Ellis, Express/Getty Images

Pattie Boyd is well-known to lovers of classic rock: She has been married three times, including once to George Harrison and once to Eric Clapton, who both wrote a couple of the most romantic songs in rock history in her honor (including The Beatles's "Something" and Clapton's "Wonderful Tonight"). Boyd was a model when she met Harrison on the set of A Hard Day's Night in 1964; the pair were married two years later. They divorced in 1977 and she married Clapton, Harrison's close friend, in 1979. She also had an affair with Ronnie Wood of the Rolling Stones toward the end of her marriage to The Quiet Beatle.


Belfast-born Pat Rice is a former footballer and coach who spent the bulk of his career with Arsenal F.C. (that's "football club," a.k.a. soccer to us Americans). He joined the Gunners in 1964 as a mere apprentice, turning pro a couple of years later. He became captain in 1977 and left the club for a few years in the early 1980s to go to Watford, but returned after he retired from playing in 1984. In 2012, after nearly 30 years with the organization, he announced his retirement.


Patty Maloney is an actress with dwarfism who stands just three feet, 11 inches tall. She has appeared in many movies and T.V. shows over the years, including operating the Crypt Keeper puppet in Tales from the Crypt. She also played Chewbacca's son Lumpy in The Star Wars Holiday Special.


Michael C. Hall and Mathew St. Patrick in 'Six Feet Under'

Ok, so Mathew St. Patrick is the stage name of the actor, but he was born Patrick Matthews in Philadelphia on March 17, 1968. You probably know him best as David's boyfriend Keith on Six Feet Under.


He may not be a household name, but the recording artists Patrick Adams writes for and helps produce certainly are. Adams has been involved in the careers of Salt-N-Pepa, Sister Sledge, Gladys Knight, Rick James, and Coolio, among others.


It's possible you look at Patrick McDonnell's work every day, depending on which comics your newspaper carries. McDonnell draws a strip called Mutts featuring a dog and a cat named Earl and Mooch, respectively. Charles Schulz called it one of the best comic strips of all time.


 Singer/Guitarist Billy Corgan of Smashing Pumpkins performs onstage during Live Earth New York at Giants Stadium on July 7, 2007 in East Rutherford, New Jersey
Evan Agostini, Getty Images

Yes, you know him better as just plain old Billy Corgan: he's the face of the Smashing Pumpkins, engages in public feuds with Courtney Love, and maybe once dated Jessica Simpson. He made his debut on March 17, 1967.


Patricia Ford is a retired model probably best known for her Playboy photoshoots in the 1990s.


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