How much Paper is there in a Sunday Newspaper? Usually they are rolled up in a log, and that makes them difficult to visualize spread out flat. On Monday, we headed out to Marshall Park to find out. I had saved the whole paper the day before; a nice thick minor-holiday Sacramento Bee for Memorial Day. The cover price was $1.39, and it had a 16 inch girth.

Colleen, Brooke, Chris and Natalie helped me tape it together. I thought it would be a little bigger than a basketball court, and Colleen thought it would be 20 x 20 feet. We were all pretty excited to find out the truth.

The light breeze was wreaking havok on our project, so we started taping it to the grass. Ten or 15 people saw what we were up to, but only a couple came over to ask...we didn't have a good explanation.

There were about 10 sections, from 4 to 8 pages each. We disassembled the TV times, Parade, Family magazine and all the glossy stuff that is in the center of a Sunday paper. That stuff is included. We didn't last long in the hot sun before Chris and Brooke made a drink run to Am/Pm. We took a break when they got back, reading what was left of the project. A Newspaper seems like about 50% ads, although we didn't do any calculations.

After the break, we finally got it all taped together. It looked like Colleen was going to have the closest guess, so she started measuring with Natalie.

It was a large, rough rectangle measuring 12' x 21', or 252 square feet. It was about the size of a classroom, a little bigger than a 200 ft. roll of aluminum foil. Each page is 27" x 22", so that works out to about 61 pages. If you multiply that times the Bee Sunday Circulation (357,408) you could cover 90 million square feet, or 10 million square yards, 2,067 Acres, or 836 Hectares, or 3.23 square miles, which is precisely the size of Golden Gate Park in San Francisco.

We lounged around the paper for a while. Sunday papers emit a chemical that promotes lounging around.

Colleen and Brooke rolled themselves up in the newpaper, and hilarity ensued, but unfortunately my camera was set on extra-blurry mode, so you'll just have to take my word for it.

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write Last updated June 2, 2000.
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