Sabtu, 04 Februari 2012

The # Of Us

Two days ago I flew west from Paris. The Airbus A 380 is the biggest passenger aircraft in the commercial fleets. When I asked the Air France stewardess about the seating, she replied, "546 passengers and a crew of 34.""Merci." I thanked her in French. More than 200 million people speak that language out of a population of 7 billion and I took out my cellphone to calculate the percentage seven billion people were on this massive plane. It was a long flight and I had already watched all the movies.The figure came out to be .000000081428571%.580 was the same number of townspeople living in Isleboro, Maine, but this number is only .0000000058% of the total number of people who have lived since 50,000BC. This demographic number comes from a study by the Population Reference Bureau in Washington, which I read on BBCNEWS.Arthur C Clarke in 2001: A Space Odyssey wrote back in 1968, "Behind every man now alive stand 30 ghosts, for that is the ratio by which the dead outnumber the living."We are numerous. By the way the total number of people who have lived has been calculated to 107,602,707,791.Thankfully only 580 of them were on that A380.Another fifty and the behemoth would have never left the Earth.

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