With all the hubbub about the downtown baseball stadium--for which Maricopa County taxpayers are expected to pay up to $250 million--it's high time for some perspective. With apologies to Harper's Index, here's what else could be done with a spare quarter-billion dollars:

1. Estimated number of molestation lawsuits Michael Jackson could settle: 10.42

2. Make-A-Wish trips to Disneyland for dying children: 83,333

3. Number of Barry Bonds' seven-year contracts: 5.68

4. Number of U.S. senators one could buy: 833

5. Heart transplants at University Medical Center in Tucson: 2,500

6. Years of consecutive weekly romance ads in New Times: 961,538

7. Nights of shelter (meal not included) at Central Arizona Shelter Services: 41,666,667

8. Number of annual Arizona teacher salaries: 7,715

9. Number of HIV/AIDS patients who could get lifetime medical coverage: 12,970

10. Number of reporters the Arizona Republic could devote to "Saving Arizona's Children" for one year: 6,250

11. Number of colonoscopies Arizona Republic columnist Steve Wilson could get: 625,000

12. Leg of planned freeway: The Pima, from Red Mountain interchange at the Salt River north to Frank Lloyd Wright Boulevard, a distance of more than 12 miles.

13. Years one could pay the Phoenix Zoo's operating budget: 31.25

14. Years one could pay the June electric bill for every Salt River Project customer in the Valley: 3.85

15. Fire trucks Rural/Metro could buy: 1,250

16. Fire stations Rural/Metro could build: 625

17. Years one could fund the operating budget of the Arizona chapter of American Civil Liberties Union: 1,351.35

18. Years of round-the-clock legal service from the law firm of Jennings, Strauss and Salmon: 178.37

19. Hot dogs Attorney General Grant Woods could buy at a downtown stand: 166,666,667

20. Years the Samaritan Poison Control Center could be kept in operation: 357.14

21. Freeway pots one could buy: 18,498.94

22. Top-of-the-line Rawlings National League baseballs: 25,025,025

23. Camelback Esplanades one could buy, according to 1992 value stated by Governor J. Fife Symington III: 1.25

24. Camelback Esplanades one could buy, according to a 1992 value estimate by the Maricopa County assessor: 5.1

25. Vowels on Wheel of Fortune: 1,000,000

26. New Phoenix city halls: 3.01

27. Lottery tickets: 250,000,000

28. Number of Phoenix Suns pay-per-view games one could buy: 16,722,408

29. Number of injuries to skaters' knees one could pay for: 38,462

30. Number of times a chain of 250,000,000 dollar bills laid end to end would stretch from the pitcher's rubber to home plate: 1,031,353

Sources: 1. Media reports of $24 million settlement; 2. Arizona chapter, Make-A-Wish Foundation, based on a three- to four-day trip; 3. Based on Bonds' seven-year, $44 million pact; 4. Based on the total disclosed amount Charles Keating paid for Alan Cranston, Dennis DeConcini, John McCain, John Glenn and Donald Riegle; 5. University Medical Center public information office; 6. New Times classified advertising department; 7. Central Arizona Shelter Services public information office; 8. Arizona Department of Education, based on average teacher salary for 1992-93 school year; 9. U.S. Department of Health and Human Services; 10. Based on annual salary of $40,000; 11. Based on $400 fee Wilson reported in his probing, January 26 column about getting one; 12. Arizona Department of Transportation; 13. Warren Iliff, executive director, Phoenix Zoo; 14. Salt River Project public information office; 15. and 16. Rural/Metro Corporation public information office; 17. Louis Rhodes, executive director, Arizona chapter of the ACLU; 18. Michael Beale, attorney with Jennings, Strauss and Salmon; 19. Based on advertised price on hot-dog cart in New Times cover photo of Woods, July 21, 1993; 20. David Pasztor, New Times staff writer; 21. Based on $473,000 shelled out by the City of Phoenix for 35 pots scattered along the Squaw Peak Parkway; 22. Oshman's Sporting Goods; 23. and 24. John Dougherty, New Times staff writer and 1992 Arizona Journalist of the Year; 25. Dewey Webb, New Times staff writer and 1984 Wheel of Fortune grand-prize winner; 26. Scott Phelps, press secretary to Phoenix Mayor Paul Johnson; 27. Duh; 28. Dimension Cable; 29. Based on reported $6,500 fee initially agreed to by Jeff Gillooly and "hit man." 30. Stephen Hawking.

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Amy Silverman is a two-time winner of the Arizona Press Club’s Journalist of the Year award. Her work has appeared on the radio show This American Life and in the New York Times, the Washington Post, Lenny Letter, and Brain, Child. She’s the co-curator of the live reading series Bar Flies, and a commentator for KJZZ, the NPR affiliate in Phoenix. Silverman is the author of the book My Heart Can’t Even Believe It: A Story of Science, Love, and Down Syndrome (Woodbine House 2016). Follow her on Instagram (@amysilverman), Twitter (@amysilvermanaz), and at
Jeremy Voas