Tuesday, December 16, 2008

Say it with Numbers: #9-2008

  • When Iraq invaded Kuwait, there were only 58,000 men in the Saudi Arabian army. Iraq on the other hand had a standing army of nearly a million men – the 4th largest army in the world – not counting its reserves and paramilitary forces
  • The Beijing-Lhasa train cost $4.2 billion to build and runs on the highest rail tracks in the world, crossing passes at an altitude of around 16,000 feet
  • India exported Buddhism to China around 70 BCE
  • The number of Tibetans killed during the Cultural Revolution varies between 200,000 and 400,000
  • The first book printed in the world in 868 AD was a Chinese translation of the Sanskrit treatise ‘Diamond Sutra’ which was intended for free distribution
  • Between 12 and 29 million Indians were deliberately allowed to die during the 1877-78 famine under British rule
  • When the East India Company was founded in 1600, Britain was generating 1.8% of the world’s GDP while India was producing 22.5%
  • Manasarovar, at 4500 metres is the highest lake in the world and with a circumference of 88 kms, one of the largest too
  • Death Penalty

    A total of 135 countries have abolished the death penalty in law or in practice

    In 2007, only 24 countries carried out executions

    China, Iran, Saudi Arabia, Pakistan and USA are the top 5 perpetrators. They account for 88% of all known executions. India chose to vote against a motion (alongwith Pakistan and China) in response to the UN General Assembly call for a Universal Moratorium on Death Penalty
  • Indonesia is an anthropologist's fantasyland. It is made up of 17,500 islands, on which 230 million people speak more than 300 languages. The archipelago's culture is colored by Buddhist, Hindu, Muslim and Dutch traditions.
  • While there are 32 Americans per square mile of America, there are some 840 Indians per square mile of India.
  • Bacterial counts on the hands range from 5000 to 5000000 colony-forming units per sq.cm. The hair, underarm and groin harbor greater concentrations. On the hands, deep skin crevices trap 10 to 20% of the flora………The worst place is under the fingernails.
  • Speed of light: 299,792,458 m/s
  • Baba Budan, a 17th century Sufi is supposed to have brought coffee to India, from Yemen
  • 1 in 7 Filipinos is abroad working at any point in time. A quarter of the world’s seafarers are from Philippines. The Greek word for maid is ‘filipineza’.

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