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Ten things I learned this week, 01

posted by Jason Kottke   Apr 25, 2008

I’m debuting a new feature on kottke.org. On (some? most? all?) Fridays, I’ll wrap up the week with a list of interesting facts I’ve found that don’t really warrant their own posts for whatever reason. I hope you find it useful. Suggestions for next week’s list are welcome via email.

Life expectancy for women in some parts of the US declined significantly from 1983 to 1999. [NY Times]

The United States has less than 5 percent of the world’s population but has almost a quarter of the world’s prisoners. One out of every 100 American adults is presently incarcerated. [NY Times]

Nearly 1 million women in Iraq are widows or divorcees, or their husbands are missing. [Washington Post]

A quarter of all the petroleum ever consumed in the history of the world was consumed in the last 10 years. Humans collectively consume 6,000 gallons of fuel every second. [PBS]

About a third of all American high school students drop out. That’s about one every 26 seconds. [NY Times]

China now has the world’s largest population of internet users. [Reuters]

Humans may have almost gone extinct almost 70,000 years ago. The total population may have dipped to 2,000 individuals, possibly because of drought. [CNN]

Standard Operating Procedure is the first movie Errol Morris has shot with a Cinemascope aspect ratio of 2.35:1. [Errol Morris at the Apple Store]

Harrison Ford urged George Lucas to kill off Han Solo in The Empire Strikes Back or Return of the Jedi because it would have made a better story. [Guardian]

Nearly 80 percent of roommates got so drunk last night. [The Onion]