If the world had just 100 people

If the world were reduced to just 100 people, then one person would represent 1% of the population and 100 people would represent all of the population.  In other words, the same percentages would be true.  Here are the numbers.

There would be 50 men and 50 women.

There would be 14 Americans (North and South), 11 Europeans, 15 Africans, and 60 Asians.

There would be 27 people aged 0 to 14, 16 people aged 15 to 24, 40 people aged 25 to 54, 9 people aged 55 to 64, and 8 people over the age of 65.

There would be 12 native Mandarin speakers, 6 native Spanish speakers, 5 native English speakers, 4 native Hindi speakers, 3 native Arabic speakers, and 70 people who spoke the other 6500 languages.

There would be 31 Christians, 23 Muslims, 15 Hindus, 7 Buddhists, and 16 people with no religion.

There would be 86 people who could read and write and 14 who could not.

There would be 15 people who made less than $2.00 US a day, 56 people who made between $2 and $10 a day, 13 people who made between $10 and $20 a day, 9 people who made between $20 and $50 a day, 6 people who made between $50 and $90 a day, and 1 person who made over $90 a day.  In other words, one person would control 50% of all the money in the world.

There would be 21 people who were overweight, 63 people who had a healthy weight, 15 people who were malnourished, and 1 person who was starving to death.

There would be 87 people who had clean water and 13 who didn’t.

There would be 77 people who had shelter and 23 who didn’t.

There would be 44 people who had Internet access and 56 who didn’t.

There would be 75 people who had a mobile phone and 25 who didn’t.

There would be 7 people who attended college and 93 who didn’t.

Are you surprised by any of these numbers?

Click on the audio recording below to hear the lesson.


reduced:  lowered, made less
represent:  equal, be the same as
percentages:  numbers out of 100
Mandarin:  the official language in China
Hindi:  the official language in India
control:  have, be able to use
overweight:  fat, heavier than normal
malnourished:  not getting enough good food
starving:  having little or no food
shelter:  a home with a roof
access:  ability to use
mobile:  able to be carried
attended:  went to

Pronunciation Exercise: Listen and repeat the above vocabulary on the audio file below.

Statistics thanks to Gabriel Reilich

Sleep and dreams

Everyone sleeps and everyone dreams.  This is a fact.  It’s easy to know why we sleep – our bodies need rest – but why do we dream?  Researchers believe they have answers to this question.  They say that while we are awake, going through our day, we have new experiences.  Some of these experiences we want to keep as memories, but most of them are not important, so we need to forget them to make space for new memories.  Our dreams allow us to do this.

When we sleep, we have two different dream states.  The first is called “slow wave sleep” or SWS.  In this dream state, our hippocampus, the part of the brain where our day’s experiences are stored, sends all that information in short and very fast bursts to a different part of our brain called the frontal cortex.  Then the hippocampus shuts down to allow a second dream state called “random eye movement” or REM, which gets its name from the fast eye movement under the eye lids that happens in this dream state.  In these dreams, which seem like real-time movies, the cortex plays back information from the hippocampus along with other memories that are stored in the brain and determines if the new information is useful or useless.  We save the useful information and discard the useless.  REM dreams happen every 90 to 100 minutes and we have 3 to 4 of them every night.  Also, they last longer and longer as the night goes on.  The last REM dream can last as long as 45 minutes.  Researchers say that if there’s strong emotion connected to a memory, then it is usually stored and remembered.  Although our brains are very active during REM sleep, our bodies are paralyzed so that we don’t act out our dreams.  To have an effective night of sleep, we need a balance of SWS and REM dream states.  Although our brains are active at night, by morning most people don’t remember their dreams.

Click on the audio recording below to hear the lesson.


researchers:  people who study things to find answers
experiences:  situations that teach us something
states:  conditions, kinds
bursts:  instances of high energy.
shuts down: turns off
random:  with no order or regularity
stored :  kept
determines:  decides
discard:  throw away, get rid of
last:  continue to be
emotion:  feelings
paralyzed:  unable to move
act out:  do what we’re dreaming
effective:  good for you
balance:  equal amount

Pronunciation Exercise:  Listen and repeat the above vocabulary on the audio file below.

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© 2014 Ambien Malecot


The story of poker

For many years historians thought the game of poker came from other games with a similar name, such as the Irish card game of Poka or the French game of Poque.  It is possible that these games influenced the modern game of poker, especially in the area of bluffing.  Because no other card game before the game of poker had the same betting rules, modern thought is that the game of poker originated in the mid 1700s in the southern United States and spread throughout the Mississippi River region by the end of that century.  An English actor by the name of Joseph Crowell reported that the game of poker, as played in New Orleans, Louisiana, in 1829, was played with a deck of 20 cards with four players who bet on which person held the best hand.  Poker was played up and down the Mississippi River on riverboats, which became quite lavish to attract players. When the gold rush started in 1849, the game was brought west by adventurous men who moved to California to find their fortune.  It was played everywhere and became part of the social fabric of the early West.  It was a serious game, however.  There are many tales of men losing their ranches or other valuable assets in poker games.  At this point the 52-card deck was used and the flush was introduced to the game.  Later during the American Civil War, 1861 to 1865, the straight was added.  Modern poker became popular after the WSOP began in 1970.  By the 1980s poker was considered a commonplace recreational activity.  There was a boom in new players at the beginning of the 21st century when on-line poker was introduced and TV poker was made popular by little cameras showing the hole cards of each player to the audience.

Click on the audio recording below to hear the lesson.


historians:  people who study history
influenced:  had an effect on
bluffing:  making other players believe you have better cards than you really do
betting:  putting money on a possible result
originated:  started
region:  area
century:  one hundred year period
deck:  collection of playing cards
riverboats:  large boats with a rear paddle wheel powered by steam
lavish:  richly decorated
gold rush:  a migration of people to the gold fields of California
fortune:  riches, wealth
social fabric:  the collection of activities that people do together
tales:  stories
ranches:  land to raise animals
valuable assets:  things that you own that are worth lots of money
flush:   five cards of the same suit: spades, hearts, diamonds, or clubs.
introduced:  done for the first time
WSOP:  World Series of Poker
commonplace:  played everywhere
boom:  explosion, fast increase
on-line:  on the Internet
hole cards:  the two cards that only the player can see
audience:  people watching and listening

Pronunciation Exercise:  Listen and repeat the above vocabulary on the audio file below.

To learn the vocabulary of poker, click here.

© 2014 Ambien Malecot