• COVID cases worldwide: 636 million (about 8% of global population); deaths: 6.6 million (about 1% of cases)
  • 1918 Spanish flu cases worldwide: 500 million (about 33% of the global population at the time); deaths: 50 million (about 10% of cases)

Births and deaths

  • 1950: 92 million births, 14.4 million deaths (15%)
  • 2016: 141 million births, 4.2 million deaths (3%)


  • 2007-2016: 159,000 deaths by terrorism (three times that of previous ten year). By far the majority in Iraq, Syria, Afghanistan, Nigeria and Pakistan.
  • Terrorism deaths in “first world” countries: Less than 1,500 (about 1%)

Overall, terrorism accounts for about 0.05% deaths overall.

Flying risks

  • 2016: 40 million commercial passenger flights, of which 10 crashed. (0.000025%)


Worldwide, coal + oil + gas accounts for 87% energy production

Biological sex

99.99% of babies fit into a binary category: males make (or have the potential to make) small mobile gametes (sperm); females have (or have the potential to make) larger, immobile gametes (eggs).

Goldbach conjecture

Every even number greater than 2 is the sum of two primes. Prove it and the $1 million Clay Prize is yours.

Bodily rejuvenation

Your body is constantly replacing itself, but at different rates.

  • Epidermis (outer skin cells): every 2-4 weeks
  • Women’s hair: every 6 years
  • Men’s hair: every 3 years
  • Liver cells: Replaced 150-500 days
  • Stomach and intestines: Cells lining these organs only last up to 5 days
  • Bones: 10 years
  • Cerebral cortex (memory, thought, language, attention, consciousness): Never

Local SLR

According to Aldaron Laird (2013), our local sea level rise is greater than anywhere else in California, Since 1977, SLR at the North Spit has been 4.74 mm/year, or 18.6 inches per century.

Farthest human-made object

Voyager 1 (launched August 20, 1977): 14.8 million miles from Earth (22 hours for radio signals to travel between Earth and the spacecraft). 

Voyager I. Photo: NASA (public domain).


  • Fully recognized members of the United Nations: 193
  • Permanent UN “observers”: 2 (Palestine and Vatican) 

Also: Kosovo (recognized by 98 UN members) and Taiwan (recognized by 15 UN members)


  • Number of consecutive Sunday “Growing Old Ungracefully” posts: 410