Lions & Tigers & Dinosaurs, Oh My!

     I began working for IBM in 1963, on Unit Record accounts, and there was as much fun and challenge in wiring a 604 or 403 board as trying to stuff a 13K program into a 12K 1401 or debug the various releases of software for the S/360. I spent 5 years at IBM, then 5 more years at a software house, a year freelancing, then 24 years at NYSE and its subsidiary SIAC. From 2000 to 2013 I worked at HealthQuest.

              
        
            
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World population to hit 11bn in 2100 – with 70% chance of continuous rise

New study overturns 20 years of consensus on peak projection of 9bn and gradual decline

The Guardian, By Damian Carrington, September 18

The world’s population is now odds-on to swell ever-higher for the rest of the century, posing grave challenges for food supplies, healthcare and social cohesion. A ground-breaking analysis released on Thursday shows there is a 70% chance that the number of people on the planet will rise continuously from 7bn today to 11bn in 2100.

The work overturns 20 years of consensus that global population, and the stresses it brings, will peak by 2050 at about 9bn people. “The previous projections said this problem was going to go away so it took the focus off the population issue,” said Prof Adrian Raftery, at the University of Washington, who led the international research team. “There is now a strong argument that population should return to the top of the international agenda. Population is the driver of just about everything else and rapid population growth can exacerbate all kinds of challenges.” Lack of healthcare, poverty, pollution and rising unrest and crime are all problems linked to booming populations, he said.

If present trends continue, that is…

Body odor linked to love and politics

Al Jazeera, By Wilson Dizard, September 17

Politics stink — literally — according to scientists who released a study this week showing that people find the smells of others who share their political viewpoints more viscerally attractive than the odors of their ideological opponents.

The researchers suspect that preferences of this kind stem from evolutionary adaptations that support bonds between friends and allies.

“People could not predict the political ideology of others by smell if you asked them, but they differentially found the smell of those who aligned with them more attractive,” said Brown University’s Dr. Rose McDermott, the head author of the report.

“So I believe smell conveys important information about long-term affinity in political ideology that becomes incorporated into a key component of subconscious attraction,” McDermott said.