Keep counting

Let’s learn a bit more about the figures that define the population of the world. Before you watch the video by National Geographic Magazine, try to guess what the figures below refer to:

7,000,000,000 / 25% / male / 8 hours / Chinese / India

Was there anything you found surprising about these facts? How typical are you?

Fun fact about this song:

On 30 September 2005, the writer and scientist Simon Singh accused Katie Melua in The Guardian of being scientifically incorrect with the lyrics.  In her song she says: We are 12 billion light-years from the edge. That’s a guess – no-one can ever say it’s true, but I know that I will always be with you.

Singh said it was an assault on the accuracy of the work of cosmologists, and the article motivated a series of letters from other  readers, agreeing or disagreeing.  On 15 October, Melua and Singh appeared together on the BBCs Today programme and Melua sang a new version of the song including Singh’s amendments to the lyrics:

We are 13.7 billion light-years from the edge of the observable universe / That’s a good estimate with well-defined error bars / And with the available information / I predict that I will always be with you”.

Both sides amicably agreed that the new lyrics were less attractive for commercial success, and continued with a discussion about scientific accuracy versus artistic licence.