1 of 8 Human Beings That Have Ever Lived Are Alive Today

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There are about 7 billion human beings on the planet.

Earth is in the middle of a population crisis.  While countless species have seen their numbers plummet in recent decades, with more than a few going extinct entirely, humans have seen theirs grow and grow — and the two trends are hardly unrelated. But incredibly, when considering the indelible impact we’ve had on the planet and the creatures we share it with in our brief time here, everyone alive today accounts for a whopping 12 percent of all the humans that have lived, ever.

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Monsanto Wins Big and Consumers Again Get Screwed

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What a great time to become a vegan!

Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack has officially approved the unregulated planting of Monsanto’s genetically engineered alfalfa. In a move that will undoubtedly set a precedent for what comes next (namely, the question of whether or not to deregulate GE sugarbeets) Vilsack did nothing more, and nothing less than obliterate our choice as organic consumers to be assured that we are avoiding genetically modified organisms in our food…

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Citigroup Estimates in 50 Years Smoking Will Die Out Around the World

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In approximately 50 years there will be no smokers in the developed nations according to Citigroup.

Citigroup estimates that within approximately 50 years there will be no smokers left in developed nations. We list the date smoking will die in 18 different countries from the UK to New Zealand.

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World Languages – 24 Unusual Statistics & Facts

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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)

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The World is Running Out of Helium

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A helium balloon in the future could cost $100.

The world is running short on several metals, but perhaps more disconcerting is the impending loss of the noble helium. The stuff of birthday balloons, superconducting magnets and Mickey Mouse voices could get a lot more expensive in the near future, according to a Nobel Prize-winning scientist.

 

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10 Amazing Land Art Pieces by Andrew Rogers

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“Ancient Language,” Atacama Desert, Chile

From high plains to deep gorges, deserts to rural fields, sculptor Andrew Rogers uses rock walls to outline the forms of symbols important to cultures around the world. Over the past decade, his massive land art pieces have spanned five continents.

The world’s largest land art exhibit he debuted in Turkey’s Cappadocia region is just part of his ambitious “Rhythms of Life” project. Here are 10 of his awe-inspiring artworks. (Pics)

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Incredible Sinkholes Around the World

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Taichung, Taiwan, 1999: earthquake-opened sinkhole filled with molasses spilled from nearby storage tanks.

Sinkholes tend to appear suddenly, and while particular regions are famously prone to sinkholes they happen all over the world.  Sinkholes form when the bedrock or soil underneath subsides, forcing the topsoil (or in many cases concrete) to collapse. They can be exceptionally large (several hundred meters in diameter and depth) and can swallow everything directly above.  They’ve been known to “swallow” cars, homes, businesses, and other structures. (Pics)

 

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