The Press: The Almighty Googol

In full-page ads, newspapers and magazines often trumpet their conflicting circulation claims in ways that bewilder readers but apparently impress ad agencies. Last week the Sunday supplement Parade (circ. 5,115,300) spoofed the whole practice with a circulation brochure to prove that it is headed unmistakably toward the "googol" (i.e., mathematical term for 1 plus 100 zeros). The present trend, says Parade "is assuredly toward the googol," since their new claimed readership is over one billion. Method of figuring it out: "Start with Parade's documented total of regular weekly readers (12,892,000), multiply by 3.2, the corrected coefficient of friction (always present in...

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