Samuel Arbesman explains ‘The Half-life of Facts’

Much of what we believe to be factual has an expiration date.

In primary school you learned that there were nine planets in the solar system. There weren’t any that were  known to exist outside of it. Since then, astronomers have spotted over 800 planets around other stars (and thousands more “candidates”) and demoted Pluto to a mere “dwarf planet”. Even a cursory glance at other fields reveals similar patterns.

 

 

Continue reading… “Samuel Arbesman explains ‘The Half-life of Facts’”

0

World Languages – 24 Unusual Statistics & Facts

Medley_Languages

Language spoken by the greatest number of non-native speakers: English

There are approximately 6,900 languages currently spoken around the world today, the majority of which have only a small number of speakers. About 4 billion of the earth’s 6.5 billion people, or over 60% of the earth’s population, speak one of the top 30 languages as their native tongue. The rest are suffering a slow death.

Here are some rather unusual statistics about the world’s languages that you may not know.

Number of living languages: 6912
Number of those languages that are nearly extinct: 516
Language with the greatest number of native speakers: Mandarin Chinese [See Top 30 languages]
Language spoken by the greatest number of non-native speakers: English (250 million to 350 million non-native speakers)
Country with the most languages spoken: Papua New Guinea has 820 living languages. [See Top 20 countries]
How long have languages existed: Since about 100,000 BC
First language ever written: Sumerian or Egyptian (about 3200 BC)
Oldest written language still in existence: Chinese or Greek (about 1500 BC)
Language with the most words: English, approx. 250,000 distinct words
Language with the fewest words: Taki Taki (also called Sranan), 340 words. Taki Taki is an English-based Creole spoken by 120,000 in the South American country of Suriname.
Language with the largest alphabet: Khmer (74 letters). This Austro-Asiatic language is the official language of Cambodia, where approx.12 million people speak it. Minority speakers live in a handful of other countries.
Language with the shortest alphabet: Rotokas (12 letters). Approx. 4300 people speak this East Papuan language. They live primarily in the Bougainville Province of Papua New Guinea.
The language with the fewest sounds (phonemes): Rotokas (11 phonemes)
The language with the most sounds (phonemes): !Xóõ (112 phonemes). Approx. 4200 speak !Xóõ, the vast majority of whom live in the African country of Botswana.
Language with the fewest consonant sounds: Rotokas (6 consonants)
Language with the most consonant sounds: Ubyx (81 consonants). This language of the North Causasian Language family, once spoken in the Haci Osman village near Istanbul, has been extinct since 1992. Among living languages, !Xóõ has the most consonants (77).
Language with the fewest vowel sounds: Ubyx (2 vowels). The related language Abkhaz also has 2 vowels in some dialects. There are approximately 106,000 Abkhaz speakers living primarily in Georgia.
Language with the most vowel sounds: !Xóõ (31 vowels)
The most widely published language: English
Language with the fewest irregular verbs: Esperanto (none)
Language which has won the most Oscars: Italian (12 Academy Awards for Best Foreign Film)
The most translated document: Universal Declaration Of Human Rights, written by the United Nations in 1948, has been translated into 321 languages and dialects.
The most common consonant sounds in the world’s languages: /p/, /t/, /k/, /m/, /n/
Longest word in the English language: pneumonoultramicroscopicsilicovolcanoconiosis (45 letters)

Continue reading… “World Languages – 24 Unusual Statistics & Facts”

0

10 Facts You May Not Know About April Fools’ Day, No Kidding!

CT  MET-10-Things-spaghetti-harvest-aj

A 1957 BBC video report about Switzerland experiencing an early spaghetti harvest.

We’re just a few days from April 1, a notorious time for hoaxes. We could have waited, but we figured you might not trust these 10 facts if they were printed on April Fools’ Day. All indeed are true. Really. No kidding. We promise.

Continue reading… “10 Facts You May Not Know About April Fools’ Day, No Kidding!”

0

Interesting and Current Facts About Sex

woman 3333

Want the ultimate orgasm? Wondering which country has the best lovers? Pondering how the poor economy affected sexual habbits? Here are the answers to this and more…

Did You Know?

— There are 500-1,000 deaths per year from autoerotic asphyxiation. that’s equal to the numbers of murders in New York City each year.

— 11% of guys say they use sex to relieve stress.

— Sex-related entertainment (porn mags or videos, strip clubs, escort services, phone sex, sexting, etc.) has taken the plunge with the economy: Forty-two percent of guys cut it from their budget entirely.

(many more after jump…)

Continue reading… “Interesting and Current Facts About Sex”

0