Everyone in the world could fit in New York City

That’s if you squished everyone together:


But contrary to popular belief, the world is not a clown car. And you’d still be unable to hail a taxi.(Via Know More)

If all the world’s people stood really close, how much room would they take up? You probably haven’t had the time or inclination to consider this question, which is why you should be grateful for Tim Urban of the blog Wait But Why. Urban chose to investigate this question in a recent post with lots of enlightening calculations and fun graphics. Urban’s core assumption is that 10 humans can fit in a square meter. If you watch this video of nine journalists squeezing themselves into a square meter, you can see that while this would be cozy, it’s definitely possible. This especially true given that about a quarter of the world’s population is under 15. At 10 people per square meter, that means we can fit 1,000 people in a 10-by-10-meter square. 54,000 people can fit in an American football field, and 26 million people – about the population of Scandinavia – can fit into one square mile, Urban writes. Central Park, which is 1.3 square miles or 3.4 square kilometers, could hold the population of Australia or Saudi Arabia. All 320 million Americans could huddle together into a square that is 3.5 miles or 5.7 kilometers on each side. And what if we found a piece of land for everyone on Earth – all 7.3 billion of the world’s people? Urban calculates that we would need a square that is 27 km, or 16.8 miles, on each side – an area smaller than Bahrain and, yes, New York City. Urban calculates that we could fit 590 million people in Manhattan — that takes care of North America. We could fit 1.38 billion people in Brooklyn, equivalent to the population of Africa, South America and Oceania. Queens could hold 2.83 billion — roughly the equivalent of India + China + Japan. 1.09 billion could fit in the Bronx, taking care of Europe, while 1.51 billion could fit Staten Island, making room for the rest of Asia ex-China, Japan and India. If this sounds sweaty and gross, check out Urban’s next exercise — fitting all the world’s people into a cube in downtown New York City. It’s enough to make you appreciate the roomy personal space in today’s Manhattan.

Better than Knicks basketball

Scott Cacciola covers the New York Knicks for the New York Times. But the Knicks really suck! So earlier this month, the Times ran this note:

The Knicks, in an effort to rebuild through the N.B.A. draft and free agency, appear to have officially given up on this season. They’re an unthinkable 5-32, and on Monday night they traded away J. R. Smith and Iman Shumpert, leaving a roster that might struggle against an N.B.A. Development League team.

So the Sports department’s editors feel it is only merciful to give our Knicks beat writer, Scott Cacciola, a break from such woeful basketball. He deserves to see the game played at a higher level. For the next month or so, we would like to point him to some good, quality basketball, wherever it may be. Any suggestions?

So he went to Springfield, Ill., to cover the Central Illinois Xpress basketball team:

The Xpress were already drawing attention, having emerged as an unlikely force in the fifth-grade boys’ league at the Gym, a bustling basketball center here. In running their record to 8-1 through the first half of the season, the Xpress executed a motion offense and often overwhelmed the competition. But they really stood out for another reason.

Yeah, he’s doing stories on fifth-grade girls because the Knicks are extraordinarily bad. But the girls are really good, and making the boys they play cry. Click on the link in the tweet. It’s a fun story.

A walk on the wild side?

This is a crime?

It was a one-mile walk home from a Silver Spring park on Georgia Avenue on a Saturday afternoon. But what the parents saw as a moment of independence for their 10-year-old son and 6-year-old daughter, they say authorities viewed much differently.

Danielle and Alexander Meitiv say they are being investigated for neglect for the Dec. 20 trek — in a case they say reflects a clash of ideas about how safe the world is and whether parents are free to make their own choices about raising their children.

I guess this confuses me because of the way I was raised. In the summer, my mom would say in the morning, get out of the house and don’t come back until lunch, then get out of the house and don’t come back until dinner. Which meant I could do whatever I want wherever I wanted. That wasn’t called parental neglect. It was called growing up. And at one point when I was in sixth grade, I was getting on the subway in the Bronx with my sister, who was in the fourth grade, in order to go to school in Brooklyn. Without adult supervision.

Are things really that more dangerous for children now than they were then?

And now there’s a thing called “free-range parenting.” Which is what people normally did in the past.