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Friday, October 28, 2011

6,999,999,998, 6,999,999,999, 7,000,000,000! HAPPY HALLOWEEN!

Just 11 years ago, somewhere in Bosnia, says the United Nations Population Division, we celebrated the birth of our 6 billionth living human being! I'm guessing the baby's name is not Brad or Tiffany, but whatever, he/she is now part of our earth family.  Oh, by the way, that is me in the photo... 28th row, 790th from the end.

And this year, on Halloween, to be exact (more or less), little number 7 billion will be born, probably in Asia. Welcome little person. As that baby will be so special to all mankind, it should be given the most popular first and last name in the world.

So welcome little Muhammad Chang (true). May you contribute mightily. Your Halloween costume should be our most popular: Angry Bird... though I still favor cowperson or firehuman, both generically and politically correct. 

It does seems we've reached that milestone rather fast, don't you think? Seems like just yesterday--in 1360-- we were at 300,000, which is less than the U.S. population today. It took us 600 more years to hit 3 billion... but times have been good, baby-wise.

Can you believe it only took us 40 years to double that number! I'd say that is pretty prodigious. Current projections show a continued increase of population, at a steady but slower growth rate. Looks like we will easily top 7.5 billion by 2050, and India will overtake China as the most populous. Those two countries represent about 40-percent of humankind... and if they ever accidentally jump up and down at the very same moment, good bye orbit.

Mom... put another plate on the table... we'll all be home for the holidays.

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