Tuesday, February 08, 2005


One million is a quantity you rarely encounter in your own life, unless you have a bad infestation of ants, fleas, or mercenary ex-spouses. I've written over a million words each year since 2002. Sometime in March, I'll have a million books in print, which still seems rather surreal. Part of me doesn't believe it and wants a recount. Dead, I'm worth about two million, but only to my progeny and a couple of people who probably won't murder me.

Millions are out there, though, for those of you who want to chase them:

The National Academy of Engineering is offering a million dollar prize to anyone who can design and create a workable, sustainable, economical point-of-use water treatment for arsenic-contaminated groundwater, as found in Bangledesh, India, Nepal, and other developing countries. Given the point-of-use conditions, incorporating natural arsenic magnets like rusting iron or Chinese brake ferns might be your best bet. (via the print version of Discover magazine)

Jim Beam is offering a trip to the Indy 500 and if their sponsored driver, Dan Wheldon, wins, a million dollars. (via the Andretti family web site.)

Author Michael Stadther pulls the ultimate promo gimmick by offering seven lucky readers of his children's novel one million dollars in jewels, provided they participate in a treasure hunt based on the book and find they golden tokens he's hidden all over America. I also have it on good authority that Stadther does not employ midgets, and the rumors about some treasure hunters being drowned in rivers of chocolate and turning into giant blueberries are completely false.

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