John Zube

On Diversity and Variety

(2005 - 2008)

 



Note by John Zube

Who CAN know the world, a country, a people, a city or even his own family enough to be able to quite successfully run it or them?
How many of the “great” leaders failed even to manage their own families successfully?
Who is even quite successful in running his own life?
Is the accumulation of much power or capital a sign of success or of failure in one’s life?
Who can know the world, seeing that it comes in so many varieties?
So, who can presume to rightfully rule over it?
For years I have collected some figures on the astonishing diversity of life on earth and of the products and activities of human beings - and of human beings themselves.
For the individual they are unknowable in their totality. Our outlook is often comparable only to the horizon of an ant.
For instance: In a lifetime of avid reading we manage at most about 20 000 books.
But between 400 and 500 million books were published so far - not to speak of the much larger number of articles, essays and papers.
Awareness of such numbers should contribute to make us more humble and tolerant, more prepared for a panarchistic society.
The world is much more diverse than we think and we comprehend much less of it than we imagine.
Nobody can know and rule and regulate all this diversity rightfully and efficiently. Only self-management at the lowest possible level works well enough.

More such hints are welcomed by me.

PIOT, John Zube, john.zube@bigpond.com

 


 

Love the tenthousand things.”

(Ascribed to Laotse)

 

Academic Essays for Sale on the Internet: “Estimated number of academic essays that are for sale on the Internet: 350,000.” - James Croucher, in GOOD WEEKEND, 20.9.03. - How many are offered there free of charge? How many libertarian and anarchist ones? - J.Z., 1.4.05.

Air Pressure: "Air pressure per square metre at ground level: 10 tonnes." - John S. Croucher, Professor of Statistics, Macquarie University, "Good Weekend", July 1, 06.

Algae: Approximate number of species of algae: 12.000. - John S. Croucher, Prof. of Statistics, Macquarie University. NSW., in GOOD WEEKEND, Sept. 30, 06.

Aliens among us: Between 4000 to 5000 microbes or bacteria, viruses and fungi are living in and on every pore and hole in our body. - NATURE & HEALTH, June, July 98, p. 97. - But not are harmful. Many of them live even in symbiotic relationship with us and defend our skin against worse parasites. - Thus exterminating or deporting all of them might even lead to our death! - J.Z., 14. 5. 06.

Anarchist Spectrum: Years ago I listed dozens of hyphenated kinds of anarchism and their opposite in a list. C.B. put it, somewhere, on his web pages: www.butterbach.net - Now and then I note another such term, which ought to be entered there, but I have not got around to update that list. Why not? C.B. seems to be the only one, apart from me, who appreciates it. The anarchist movement is content to let these contradictions continue to exist, without any comment. And libertarians have as yet, to my knowledge, not even assembled their equivalent kind of listing. Why not? - J.Z., 14. 4. 07.

Anchovies: They are related to herring, and there are 100 or so species worldwide, all of them edible. - GOOD WEEKEND, 3.2.07, page 45.

Apples: I read somewhere that there are 5000 different kinds of apples on Earth. - In all your life you never even get around to taste all the different kinds of apples! - J.Z.

Arthritis: 100 types of arthritis!

Bacteria on our skin: "The figures go something like this (per square centimeter) for a grown man: a million in the armpit, one and a half million on the scalp, 200 000 on the forehead, but only 50 000 per square centimeter on the back and 11 000 on the forearm. These figures are taken from surgically removed pieces of skin, frozen and then sectioned, when a very accurate count can be made." - Michael Andrews: The Life that Lives on Man", 1976, 1978, page 53.

Bananas: “There are about 500 to 1000 banana species, most of them bearing hard, pea-sized seeds and small amounts of flesh that is fairly unpleasant to eat.” The ones we eat “is a fruit - albeit a sterile and mutant one.” - Dr. Karl S. Kruszelnicki, “Good Weekend”, 30.4.05.

Bats: Number of species, about 1000. - GOOD WEEKEND, 23.2.08, p. 11.

Beers: 1500 different beers. - But to me most heavy beer drinkers are somewhat alike. - J.Z., 6.10.05.

Bees: "Number of species of native bees in Australia: 1500 to 2000, number of these that do not sting: about 10." - John S. Croucher, Prof. of Statistics, Macquarie University, GOOD WEEKEND, April 14-16, 06.

Bird songs: 200 distinct sounds can be found in bird songs of a single second. - Skylarks: All the sound has pattern and design & probably function. - Beyond 2000, 2/12/93.

Bird species: Peru alone has 1700 species of birds. - Source not noted. - According to the hypothesis of one professor, that I found recently reported in a newspaper, birds are descendants of dinosaurs! - J.Z.  6.10.05.

Bird species in Australia: Number of species of birds in Australia: about 800; proportion that are unique to Australia: 50 %. - John S. Croucher, Prof. of Statistics, Macquarie University. NSW., in GOOD WEEKEND, Jan. 6, 2007.

Books published: In a lifetime of avid reading we manage at most about 20 000 books. But between 400 and 500 million books were published so far - not to speak of the much larger number of articles, essays and papers. What percentage of worthwhile books is not yet translated into at least the major 10 languages? - - “Average number of books published each day: 1000.” - John S. Croucher, GOOD WEEKEND, 18.12.04.

Brain Neurons: Number of neurons in a human cerebral cortex: 25 billion. - John S. Croucher, Prof. of Statistics, Macquarie University, in GOOD WEEKEND, May 7, 05. - Number of neurons in a human brain: about 100 billion. - Stated also by John S. Croucher, Prof. of Statistics, Macquarie University. NSW., in GOOD WEEKEND, March 10, 2007. - A more accurate count? - J.Z., 14. 4. 07.

Bread & cheese: “Don’t miss the food hall Ka De We, the largest department store on the continent. Among other things it stocks 400 kinds of bread and 1,800 types of cheese. Find it on Berlin’s main shopping and café strip, the Kurfuerstendamm.”- Marc Llewelln, The Sun Herald, Sep. 2,.01.

Buddhism: There are about 60 different strands of Buddhism in the world. - Remark in an ABC interview, ABC Illawarra, 97. 3, on 24 3 06, around 9.30 am.

Card game variations: “There are fifty-two cards in an ordinary deck. The number of ways in which they can be arranged is just about 80,660,000,000,000,000,000,000,000,000,000,000,000,000,000,000,000,000,000,000,000,000,000.
If you had that many decks of cards, each arranged in a different way, and if each deck weighed only as much as a single hydrogen atom (the lightest atom), all the decks together would weigh a billion times as much as the sun.” - Isaac Asimov, The Book of Facts, p. 71.

Cells in the human body, that die in every minute: “Average number of cells that die in your body every minute: 300 million.” - John S. Croucher, Prof. of Statistics, Macquarie University, in “Good Weekend”, 30.5.05, page 13. - Were you familiar with all of them - and are you, with all their replacements? - J.Z.

Character traits: Gordon Allport taught psychology at Harvard for nearly 40 years before his death in 1967. An exponent of the trait theory of personality, Allport compiled a list of 17,953 characteristics from Webster’s dictionary, among them the smugness personified by the three self-satisfied women in Gran Wood’s ‘Daughters of Revolution’.

Cheeses: General De Gaulle once complained about Frenchmen, saying: Who can govern a nation that likes 400 different kinds of cheeses? - Nevertheless, he was fool enough to try. -  J.Z.
There are 2,000 different types of cheese in the world. - TV series: “Beyond 2000”, of 22.6.86.

Chemical treatments of foods: As many as 40 human-made chemicals may be applied to a mango before it reaches the fruit market. - The Rebel Lion, Summer 97. - My question is: How many of them remain confined to the skins of fruit etc. and how many do penetrate the whole fruit, at least somewhat? - J.Z., 5.10.05.

Chemicals, diverse: "According to a book called "Curious Facts: there are now 4 million identified chemicals on earth." - "… new chemicals are being developed at a rate of 6000 a week." - Jan Parry-OKEDEN, "Daily Mirror", 17.5.82, page 9. - Of how many do we know their long-term effect upon human beings? - J.Z., 6.10.05.

Chess game variations: “The number of possible ways of playing just the first four moves on each side in a game of chess is 318,979,564,000.” - Isaac Asimov, The Book of Facts, p. 68.

Chilis: 350 types of chilis!

Civil War books: Books on the US Civil War: By 1941 ca. 1 book per day, on this war alone, was printed since 1865. - Margaret Leech, Reveille in Washington, 1860-1865, Time Life Books, editorial, VI.

Cockroaches: We believe to know all about them or enough. But, according to Lincoln Hall, GOOD WEEKEND, Dec. 1999, article “Garbage Guts”, there are about 4,000 species of them world-wide and, of these, 10 species have become domesticated, living quite happily with humans. “Our 450 Australian species are bush-dwelling scavengers, many of them with very narrow dietary preferences, such as for lichens or the leaves of a particular plant.” …”The domestic species tend to be omnivorous and very keen breeders. German cockroaches, for example, are distributed Australia-wide and have the potential to produce 100 million young from 10 females within a year.” - - - Decades ago it was pointed out that cockroaches are very radiation resistant and may thus belong to the few survivors of a general nuclear war.

Colds and Flues: There are about 2000 different types. - I look forward to someone finally assembling all the different cold cures so far offered, together with their pro and con experiences. - J.Z., 14. 4. 07.

Computer viruses: I have recently read, but do not have the clipping on hand, that there are by now ca. 200 000 computer viruses! The vandals are still with us. And most of the email that I receive is just spam, much harder to ignore than are most printed, painted etc. advertisements. - J.Z., 14. 4. 07. - - Chances are that an unprotected computer will be infected by a virus within an hour of being connected to the internet: 90 percent. - John S. Croucher, Prof. of Statistics, Macquarie University, Sydney, - GOOD WEEKEND, May 12, 07.

Congressional Record: “Congressional Record carries more than 4 million words - the approximate equivalent of twenty long novels. It is printed and published overnight.” - Isaac Asimov, The Book of Facts, 1979-1981, p.338.

Corals: There are over 400 different species of corals in the Great Barrier Reef alone. - Heard on ABC radio, 25.8.98.

Colours: The eye could perceive perhaps ten million different shades, he read; the colour handbook he was referring to had 1266 samples in it; and only a very small fraction of these had names. - Kim Stanley Robinson, Blue Mars, 670.

Credit Cards: "Number of different types of credit card on offer in Australia: about 250. ." - John S. Croucher, Professor of Statistics, Macquarie University, "Good Weekend", July 8, 06.

Credits, different kinds: Es gibt wohl mehr als 50 Arten von Krediten. - Prof. Heinrich Rittershausen and Ulrich von Beckerath, 27. 7. 1953. (There are, probably, more than 50 different kinds of credit.)

Dogs: 115 breeds of canines.

Dolphins: 40 species.

English Language, Oxford English Dictionary: “Currently there are thirteen volumes, 15,487 pages, 414,825 defined words, and 1,827,306 illustrative quotations.” - Isaac Asimov, The Book of Facts, 1979-1981, p.339.

Enzyme reactions in the human body: “Seven hundred and fifty-odd vitally important enzyme reactions are occurring constantly in the human body. Were any one of them to break down for even two/three minutes, the body would die.” - Samuel R. Delany, High Weir, IF Science Fiction, October 1968, page 17.

Facial expressions of human beings: "… there are 43 or so muscles in our faces that control the 3000 or so expressions we humans recognize. . O'Sullivan reckons those who can pick liars are extraordinarily skilled at reading these momentary facial expressions. … " - Dr. Karl S. Kruszelnicki, "The Truth about Liars", in "Good Weekend", July 16, 05, page 13.

Faust: Some years ago a diligent German professor, named Karl Engle, totted up the books, plays, and pamphlets in which the story of Faust had been told. He collected two thousand seven hundred and thirteen titles before he died, and even then he left his task unfinished - it was called “Die Zusammenstellung der Faust Schriften”. - Henry W. Nevinson, Essays in Freedom, London, Duckworth & Co, 1909, 1911, p. 261.

Ferns: Approximate number of species of ferns: 10,000. - John S. Croucher, Prof. of Statistics, Maquarie University. NSW., in GOOD WEEKENED, Sept. 30, 06.

Fertility: A sunfish sometimes lays 300 million eggs.

Fish, Australian: “The project by Dr. Ward and Bronwyn Holmes in Hobart to bar code all 4000 species of Australian fish is part of the CSIRO’s Wealth from Oceans national research flagship.” - Deborah Smith, in SMH, 28.3.05.

Fleas: "There are over 2000 different kinds of fleas, of the order Siphonaptera (siphon without wings)." - Michael Andrews: The Life that Lives on Man", 1976, 1978, page 95.

Flowers: "Estimated number of flowering plant species in the world: about 260 000." - John S. Croucher, Prof. of Statistics, Macquarie University, in GOOD WEEKEND, 14.1. 06.

Folksongs: Latvia has 1.3 million folksongs! - Radio ABC, 13.12.87.

Food thrown away: "Amount of food Australians throw away each year: about 3.3 million tonnes." - John S. Croucher, Professor of Statistics, Macquarie University, "Good Weekend", July 1, 06. - Population presently about 20 to 21 million. - J.Z., 22. 8. 06.

Frogs: “With more than 4,000 living species, frogs are by far the most successful and diverse of modern amphibians and the latest find confirms them as outstanding survivors, predating mammals and outlasting the dinosaurs.” - Julian Cribb: “The Australian, 12.9.95.

Fungi: “Some 400 species have so far been collected out of the estimated 5000 in Australia. Only about 20 per cent of Australia’s mushrooms have been scientifically catalogued and described. … Dr. Broderick estimates that perhaps 50 of Australia’s native fungi have commercial possibilities.” - John Stapleton, THE AUSTRALIAN, March 14, 1995, page 18. - - About 38,000 kinds exist in the fungus family. - Jack Denton Scott, READERS’ DIGEST, 4/87.

Gods: How many different kinds of Gods were conceived by men and worshiped by men so far - and are largely forgotten by now. H. L. Mencken wrote an interesting essay on this. Freedom for religious as well as non-religious people. They should sacrifice only themselves and willing victims for their beliefs.

Gold production total: Estimated volume of gold ever mined: 155 000 tonnes; proportion mined since 1950: 65 %. - John S. Croucher, Prof. of Statistics, Maquarie University. NSW., in GOOD WEEKEND, Jan. 20. 2007. - I very much doubt that the prices of goods and services, reckoned in gold, have increased correspondingly. I would rather expect a price reduction reckoned in gold weight units. - 14. 4. 07.

Grasses: “Australia has 2,000 species of grasses - New South Wales has 6000 and many farmers are beginning to realize that native grasses make excellent pastures that are drought resistant. Many of these grasses and the herbs that live with them are surviving only because of the existence of fenced-off cemeteries and rail yards.” - James Woodford, TSMH, 14.3.95, page 4.

Human potential movement: By the late 1970’s a human potential movement, spreading eastward from California, had spawned some 8,000 different “therapies” consisting of odds and ends of psychoanalysis, Eastern religion, sexual experimentation, game playing, and old-time revivalism. In the words of one critical survey, “these techniques were neatly packaged and distributed coast to coast under names like Mind Dynamics, Arica, and Silva Mind Control. Transcendental Meditation was already being peddled like speed reading; Scientology’s Dianetics had been mass-marketing its own popular therapy since the fifties. At the same time, America’s religious cults got into the swing, fanning out quietly across the country in massive fund-raising and recruitment drives. - Alvin Toffler, The Third Wave, Pan Books 1981, p. 376.

Humans and their variety: With all the possibilities for variation among the sex cells produced by each patent, it seems quite certain that each one of the estimated sixty billion humans who have lived has been distinctly different from every other one, and that this should continued for the indefinite future. The few exceptions are identical twins, triplets etc., for they arise from a single fertilized ovum that divides into two or more separate cells that then develop independently.” - Isaac Asimov, The Book of Facts, 1979-1981, p. 77.

Humans and their common traits: “…one gene shared by all creatures, including humans.” … “The project records the DNA sequence of the same gene for each species. The gene chosen is called cytochrome c oxidase 1. Species are identified by the order of 648 letters of DNA in the gene. Humans differ from each other only by one or two ‘letters’. (I assume that means only one or two letters in THAT gene. - J.Z.) Humans and chimps differ by about 60 letters.  - Deborah Smith, in SMH, 28.3.05.

Icebergs & the need for water: “Average weight of an iceberg: 20 million tonnes; proportion below water: 90 per cent.” - John S. Croucher, GOOD WEEKEND, 18.12.04. - Only the problem of getting them to where their water is needed has not yet been solved.  If the prices for the delivery of tap water or irrigation water were free market prices then there would be an incentive to solve this transportation problem.

Ice cream flavours: “Up to 400 at last count.” - Jill Duplex, TSMH, Jan. 9, 95, page 14.

India, minorities and languages: “Although the official language of Indiais Hindi, there are fourteen regional languages that are officially recognized for conducting national affairs. In addition, there are approximately 170 other languages and over 5000 dialects. Of the Indian population of over 548 million, only about 134 million understand Hindi.  - Isaac Asimov, The Book of Facts, 1979-1981, p. 336.

Insects: “Man has described and named about a million types of insects, and there are three or four times as many still unnamed.” - David Attenborough, in a Readers’ Digest article, extract from his TV series “Life on Earth.

Indians in North and South America, tribes and languages: “A greater variety of languages existed in North America at the time of the Spanish invasion than in all the countries of the Old World put together. There was an even greater variety in South America than in North America. The most conservative guesses put the number of mutually unintelligible languages in North America at from 500 to 1,000, and in South America at at least twice that.” - Isaac Asimov, The Book of Facts, 1979-1981, p.336.
“In some parts of Africa, they regularly claim over half of all crops. Even in America, where farmers have the most sophisticated means of protecting crops, insects claim over 10 per cent of them. … Yet in spite of all his efforts, ingenuity and huge expenditures, he has so far failed to exterminate a single insect species. They march on.” - Extract from a Readers’ Digest issue, extract from “Life on Earth”, 1979, by David Attenborough Productions.

Interest rate theories: Several hundred theories on interest rates! (Ulrich von Beckerath an Pof. Heinrich Rittershausen, 14. 12. 53:Unter den vielen hundert aufgestellten Zinstheorien wird ja wohl auch diese schon enthalten sein. Ich wollte, ich kennte meinen oder meine Vorgänger.)

Islam: Islam is divided into 72 sects. - Holbach. - How many or how few of them are inclined to violence, in the attempts to spread their faith? How many fight mainly against each other, as they did and do still e.g. in Iraq? - J.Z., 6.20.05.

Islands: In the Pacific alone there are more than 10.000 islands.

Jobs & professions: There are by now probably between 400,000 and 500,000 different jobs and professions.

Languages: 2800 on Earth, according to a remark by Frank Herbert, The Priests of PSI, Macdonald Futura Publishers, London, 1981, page 12.  He also mentions that figure in “Eye”, page 123.
The record in language knowledge may be held by a German, I forgot his name (Mueller?), who knew 90.
“Among the thousands of languages spoken around the world, about 175 languages are spoken natively by at least a million people. The ten largest languages each have over 100 million native speakers. They are, in descending order, Chinese, English, Russian, Spanish, Hindi, Bengali, Arabic, Portugese, German and Japanese.” - Isaac Asimov, The Book of Facts, 1979-1981, p.338.
In pre-Roman Italy there were 40 different language groups. - ABC interview of an archaeologist, 4.8.98.

Languages, artificial: Austrian economists like Sudha Shenoy tend to deny the possibility of designing a language. But that assertion flies into the face of over 120 artificial languages having been proposed, some of which were adopted by millions, e.g. Esperanto. - Even ca. 1.000 constructed international languages were proposed so far, according to Mario Pei, What's in a Word? 223/224.

Languages in ancient Italy: In pre-Roman Italy there were 40 different language groups. - ABC interview of an archeologist, 4.8.98.

Languages of India, minorities: “Although the official language of India is Hindi, there are fourteen regional languages that are officially recognized for conducting national affairs. In addition, there are approximately 170 other languages and over 5000 dialects. - Isaac Asimov, The Book of Facts, 1979-1981, p. 336.

Languages of Indians in North and South America, tribes: “A greater variety of languages existed in North America at the time of the Spanish invasion than in all the countries of the Old World put together. There was an even greater variety in South America than in North America. The most conservative guesses put the number of mutually unintelligible languages in North America at from 500 to 1,000, and in South America at least twice that.” - Isaac Asimov, The Book of Facts, 1979-1981, p.336.

Laughter: “Number of times per day that babies laugh spontaneously: up to 300; by adulthood: 15. - - Number of muscles exercised when you laugh: 400. - - Amount of energy burned for an hour’s continuous laughing: 2100 kilojoules. - John S. Croucher, GOOD WEEKEND, Oct. 19, 02.

Libraries, size of collections: Number of items in the US Library of Congress: 130 million; the British Library: 150 million. - John S. Croucher, Prof. of Statistics, Macquarie University. NSW., in GOOD WEEKEND, Jan. 6, 2007.

Lice: "There are only two genera of lice found on man and only one species of each, although there are over 200 other species of sucking lice." … The force needed to pop a louse is about 500 000 times its own weight." - Michael Andrews: The Life that Lives on Man", 1976, 1978, page 126.

Life in the treetops: “An estimated 40 per cent of all terrestrial species are to be found more than 20 meters up, where the first wispy leaves and twigs compete for solar energy. - Almost 90 per cent of the earth’s biomass - the sheer weight of life - is in the forests. But the canopy is an almost entirely unexplored zone. ‘ Some people say we know the surface of the moon better than we know the tops of the trees’, said Andrew Mitchell of the Global Canopy Program, based on Oxford University. ‘We find that about 80 per cent of the insects we recover from the canopy are undescribed, new to science. There is an astonishing variety of life up there.’”  - This life is now being explored with the aid of canopy cranes, placed down by helicopters. - Tim Radford, in London, in smh.com.au  22.3.05, page 11.

Mammals: “Today there are 4625 species of mammals, ranging in weight from a gram (bat) to 135 tonnes (blue whale).” - Dr. Karl S. Kruszelnicki, GOOD WEEKEND, 24.7.04, page 11.

Mangoes: Ca. 200 different kinds of mangoes exist.

Marine life: … scientists are celebrating the discovery of 500 previously unknown species in the oceans in the past year. - - On a smaller scale, biologists have identified 20,000 types of microbes in one litre of seawater.  In the Sargasso Sea, 200 zoo-plankton species, 12 previously unknown, were found 4.8 km beneath the surface. Lewis Smith in THE AUSTRALIAN, 12.12.06.

Mathematics, varieties of mathematical knowledge: Alexander Ostrowski is believed to be the last man to know every branch of mathematics ca. 1915. In the late 1940s, John von Neumann estimated that the bet-informed mathematicians of the time probably knew about 10 percent of the then-published papers and theorems. In the 1960s, Stanley Ulam estimated that 200 000 new theorems were being published every year. Today, there are 3,000 branches of mathematical knowledge, and hardly any mathematician is expert in more than two or three of them: more than 99 percent of math is unknown to any individual mathematician. - Source: The Mathematical Experience, P.J. Davis and R. Hersh. - Quoted in? Date? - J.Z.

Microbes on human skin: Between 4000 & 5000 microbes , bacteria, viruses & fungi are living in and on every pore & hole in our body. - Nature & Health, June, July 1998, p. 97. (In short, you do not know even all your closest neighbors! - Alas, it did not say how many of these are protective living in symbiosis with us and how many are at least potentially harmful to us. - J.Z., 6.10.05.)

Milk production of whales: "Amount of milk each day a female whale can produce: up to 600 litres." - John S. Croucher, Professor of Statistics, Macquarie University, "Good Weekend", July 1, 06. - Thus in some SF stories it was suggested to commercially milk whales. That would also help to preserve the whales, for there is certainly no shortage of cows on Earth, since we utilized them, largely without killing them. - Would whale milk be more or less healthy than cow milk, or more unhealthy, still, for human adults? - J.Z., 22.8.06.

Mites: There are claimed to be over a million different species of mites, and in the British Isles alone 1600 species have been classified. They are an extremely successful form of life, and flourish over almost as great a range of conditions and climate as bacteria. They can be both free-living and parasitic, and are adapted to live off the bounty of both plant and animal hosts. They are impressively tiny, the follicle mite with all its complex anatomy is smaller than the single cell of the human ovum." - Michael Andrews: The Life that Lives on Man", 1976, 1978, pages 64/65. Ibid, page 86: "Studies of the snow-shoe hare and ruffed grouse in North America have led to an estimate of 2-8 million ticks to the square mile, but mites can achieve densities of several million to the square inch." - Michael Andrews: The Life that Lives on Man", 1976, 1978.

Mites & bacteria: “There are probably 10 million or more species on Earth. Which are the best in filling their niches?” … “The champion human parasites may be the Demodex mites - microscopic spiderlike creatures that live unnoticed on the eyelashes and eyebrows of a large percentage of the human population.”  … “There are more E.coli and other intestinal bacteria in your colon at this moment than there are human beings who have ever lived.” - Edward O. Wilson, Microbes 3, Humans 2, TSMH, “Good Weekend”, 18.9.99.

Monkeys, number of species, about 250. - GOOD WEEKEND, 23.2.08.

Mosquitos: “Number of different species of mosquito: about 2,700.” - John S. Crouches, GOOD WEEKEND, 12.3.05.

Mushrooms: Australia has between 3000 and 5000 different mushrooms. Most of them not fully identified and known. - ABC TV, 14.4.97.

New Guinea tribes: In New Guinea, home of the last direct survivors of the Stone Age (? - J.Z.), there are 700 cultures, and 700 languages and dialects are spoken. Villages within five miles of each other speak different tongues. A day’s canoe trip of fifty miles could expose the traveller to ten or more languages.” - Isaac Asimov, The Book of Facts, 1979-1981, p.341.

Orchids: The orchid family has 5,000 species. - Anthony Hoy in TSMH, 22.8.98.

Perfumes: … today there are around 3000 kinds of perfumes … - Hans Habe, Leben fuer den Journalismus, Band 2, Meilensteine, S. 195.

Plants, carnivorous: There are 515 species of plants that devour insects or other small animals. One species catches and digests small fishes. - E. Haldeman-Julius, Q & A, 11th Series, page 57.

Periodicals, scientific: I have a thick volume: World List of Scientific Periodicals 1900-1950, third edition, London, Butterworths Scientific Publications, 1952, with its index it comes to 1058 pages. By now there are probably at least double as many. 

Piranha: "Number of species of piranha" about 40; number of theses that are aggressive: 3." - John S. Croucher, Professor of Statistics, Macquarie University, "Good Weekend", July 1, 06.

Potatoes: “There were 40 varieties by the late 18th century and 100 by the beginning of this century.”  TSMH, Good Weekend, June 19, 1999.

Products of a single firm: “General Electric, for instance, one among countless producers, manufactures more than 200,000 different products.” - Leonard E. Read, Castles in the Air, footnote on page 13. - Who could really and centrally manage this diversity in production? - J.Z.

Products: “Our product catalogue includes 23,000 products and 110,000 suppliers globally; …” - Hewlett-Packard chief Carly Fiorina, quoted in SMH, 31.10.00.
Design costs:“For electronic manufacturers such as HP, 80 % of a product’s cost is established during the design phase.” … - “But Sim Circuit provides an online database of design information that features two million unique parts, and 250,000 new parts are added every month. So the time it takes to produce parts is dramatically reduced.” - David Hellaby in the above quoted article.

Psychiatrists, bureaucrats, politicians and rulers: “There are 11.5 psychiatrists per 100,000 population in the U.S. In the nation’s capital, however, there are 65.1 per 100,000.”  - Isaac Asimov, The Book of Facts, p. 76. - Either those who rule us are 6 times as mad as we are or they are that much better paid, or it could be a combination of these two factors. Should the psychiatric records of those who rule us fall under privacy rules?  - J.Z., 1.4.05.

Religions, churches & sects: “No other country has as diverse religious groups as the U.S., which has at least 52 major denominations with membership exceeding 100,000. The Yearbook of American and Canadian Churches lists 223 sects, cults, and denominations, not counting groups such as First Church of Christ, Scientist, which provide no membership statistics.” - Isaac Asimov, The Book of Facts, 1979-1981, p. 171.

Rodents: Number of species of rodents. About 1700. - GOOD WEEKEND, Feb. 23, 08, p. 11.

Roses: “Number of identifiable varieties of roses in the world: about 13,000.” .” - John S. Crouches, GOOD WEEKEND, 12.3.05.

Russia, minorities & languages: “There are (were) over 170 different nationalities and more than 200 languages and dialects spoken in the (ex) Soviet Union. - - Isaac Asimov, The Book of Facts, 1979-1981, p. 336

Sandflies: More than 30 species breed in the mangroves of the Darwin area. - TIME, 14. 8. 06, in article: "Highway One."

Satellites in orbit: 3500. TIME, 11.2.08.

Scientific journals: 1995: Nearly 30.000 scientific journals existed in 1995 and no library stocks all of them. - Radio ABC, 27.11.95.

Seaweed & kelp: James Woodford, in SMH, 11.10.99, page 5: “Dr. (Alan) Miller said scientists had identified about 2,000 species of seaweed in Australian waters but massive chunks of the coastline had never had their algae studied.” … “The world’s kelp forests are crucial as greenhouse sinks and are considered more productive than any land-based forest.”

Sex & TV: "Average number of times couples in Italy have sex each year if there is not TV in their bedroom: 96; with a TV in their bedroom: 48; if they have a TV in their bedroom and are also aged over 50: 18." ." - John S. Croucher, Professor of Statistics, Macquarie University, "Good Weekend", July 8, 06. - I read also, somewhere, some time ago, that after prolonged blackouts 9 months later the number of births did increase. Does that mean that at least to some extent people engage in sex only when they have nothing better or nothing else to do and still feel energetic? - J.Z., 22. 8. 06.

Species in Australia: Estimated number of species of animal life in Australia between 200,000 and 300,000. - John S. Croucher, GOOD WEEKEND, 5.1.02, p. 9.

Species on Earth: “… there may be 10 million species, including humans, in the world.” Richard Macey, referring to Dr. Gerry Cassis, head of Biodiversity and Conservation Research at the Australian Museum. “We estimate only 2 million have been described.” - Dr. Cassis. “5000 suspected species of bugs belonging to just one family of insects that suck sap for a living.” - smh.com.au  Oct. 4-5 03, page 11.
Over 1 million plant species in Australia. - From an advertising, 12.55 pm, 2.5.01, on Channel 7 TV.
Over 1 million animal & plant species in Australia, according to an advertisement, 19.11.00.

Spiders: Number of species of spider: 35,000; leg length of the South American Goliath tarantula: 25 centimetres. - John S. Croucher, GOOD WEEKEND, Oct. 19, 02.

Squids: “Number of species of squid that inhabit the world’s oceans: 500. - - John S. Croucher, GOOD WEEKEND, Oct. 19, 02.

Stars in our Milky Way galaxy: There are about 200 billion starts in our Milky Way galaxy. - John Walker, quoted in "Guardian", 4/07.

States, territorial ones: The ca. 200 territorial states now in existence can certainly not sufficiently express the desired diversity for human communities of volunteers. - J.Z., 14. 4. 07.

Success: What means success and who is the judge? “One survey, conducted in 1972, found that 49 % of a group of 2700 successful businessmen had either considered changing their occupations or had actually done so in the previous five years.” - “the individual” by Paul Good and the editors of Time-Life Books, New York, 1974, page 149.

Taste buds: We have ca. 10 000 taste buds. - From an advertisement seen 26/7/96. - No wonder that tastes differ, not only regarding foods and drinks. - J.Z.

Tea: “Melbourne’s tea scene was further boosted when O’Connoer and Maryanne Shearer opened tee too’s Brunswick Street shop two years ago, offering 300 teas, from recherché Japanese green leaves to classic black …” Malderson in TSMH, Aug. 18, 1998. - I believe other herbal teas amount to many more. - J.Z.

Termites: There are between 2000 and 3000 different species of termites.

Ticks: "Studies of the snow-shoe hare and ruffed grouse in North America have led to an estimate of 2-8 million ticks to the square mile, but mites can achieve densities of several million to the square inch." - Michael Andrews: The Life that Lives on Man", 1976, 1978, page 86.

Tobacco: Cigarette smoking is the largest single preventable cause of death in Australia; it kills about 19 000 of us each year. There are about 600 different flavourants and other chemicals that can be added to cigarettes. When tobacco burns, it gives off 4000 different chemicals, including at least 30 different carcinogens. Some of these chemicals are known to attack human embryos, male sperm and female eggs. In women, cigarette smoking can bring forward the onset of menopause by two years and increase the risk of miscarriage. … Fertility specialists know that smoking tobacco (mentholated or otherwise) almost certainly has bad effects on crude measurements of sperm health, such as sperm count, sperm motility and so on. But thanks to more sophisticated technology, they also know that tobacco smoke damages the DNA, in the sperm. The technical term is "DNA fragmentation", and it leads to reduced fertility and an increased rate of miscarriage. The medicos believe that smoking is the single most easily reversible factor affecting male fertility. Smoking also increases the likelihood of every other complication of pregnancy that you can imagine. - Dr. Karl S. Kruszelnicki, in GOOD WEEKEND, March 10, 07.

Tobacco mosaic disease: About 400 different strains exist.

Utopias: How many utopias or, supposedly, ideal constitutions or declarations of the rights of man have so far been advanced? One collection on microfiche, of pre 1900 titles, contains 462 books. My own collection of PRIVATE human rights declarations, in PEACE PLANS 589/590, now also offered digitized, contains over 130. But almost no interest has so far been shown for any or all of them. No wonder so many human rights are still unknown or suppressed! - J.Z., 14. 4. 07.

Vegetables: Somewhere I read that there are at least about 1800 edible vegetables of which we mostly use only about 80 and about 80% of our consumption of vegetables comes from a mere 20. Perhaps the apes had a healthier mixed diet? Perhaps even the sheep and cows on paddocks eat a greater variety, if one includes all the weeds that they do eat?

Venom: Amount of venom from the Brazilian huntsman spider required to kill a human: 0.0005 grams.” .” - John S. Croucher, Prof of Statistics, Macquarie University, in “Good Weekend”, 19.12.02. p. 13.

Worms: 4000 worms world-wide have been classified. Australia has more than 400 species. - James Woodford, TSMH, 7.11.98.

 


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