Wednesday, October 31, 2012

Life Master

Friday October 26, 2012 was an important day for Susan. Earning her necessary remaining 0.59 Silver points, she officially became a Life Master (Bridge that is). She already had the necessary 300 pts (306.04 total points to be exact) but didn't have the necessary 50 Silver points.

I was at the same sectional tournament (but not as her partner) so she and I got to celebrate together with dinner at the Grand Finale.

I am humbled since my measley 51.44 pts (with 5.82 Silver) has a long way to go to reach Life Master.  I am just a "Padawon hoping to become a Jedi Knight" (from Starwars) - or in Bridge terms Sectional Master hoping to become a Regional Master (100 pts; 5 red/gold; 15 silver).

As Susan told me a Grand Life Master (over 35,000 pts) quipped to her at the last National Tournament she was at -  "All those points and five dollars will buy a beer".

Congratulations Susan!  A MASTER!  --------  see Nov. 13 2009 Blog  :)

P.S.  Grand Life Master is over 60,000 pts.  There are only four living people in the ACBL (American Contract Bridge League) that have achieved this level - the highest being Jeff Meckstroth,  with 72,353.43 (as of Oct. 1, 2012).

Sunday, October 28, 2012

P Squared


This weekend was somewhat confusing - P.R. and P.S.  (P squared) were with the family on the excursion to Keenland (the last day of the season).  Several mentions of their identical first names resulted in dual responses.  Yet throughout the confusion it was a wonderful time.  Even with the cold blustery weather, the rain held off and the races were enjoyable.  Ellen picked the first three races perfectly, so we expanded our equestrian expertise into attemping the Superfecta.

The Superfecta is picking the first four horses.  This is of course confused by the variations of mathematics.  The Superfecta "wheel" is picking the first horse with all the combinations of the next three.  The Superfecta "box" is actually making 24 different bets to assure every combination of the four winners.  Or if you are really an expert - just the plain Superfecta - picking the EXACT order of the first four horses.

So it was a "fun" in the ninth race (the 55th running of "The Fayette") when P.R. bet a Superfecta but mistakenly bet the Superfecta exact (the exact order of the first four horses) when he thought he was betting a Superfecta box.  So at the final crossing when #4, #3, #5, and #6 results became official, we all speculated how P.R. would have felt winning Superfecta Box paying  about $259 for a $0.10 bet ($2.40 overall).  Alas - he had picked the order as #3, #4, #5, #6.  What we didn't tell P.R. is that the Superfecta exact paid $4,539.60 for a $2 bet.

So the day ended in great coincidences of mathematics.  P squared and Combinatorial Statistics.


Friday, October 26, 2012

Butt Heads

As I sat at the stoplight, the driver in front of me flicked his cigarette butt out the top of his sun roof.  I wonder what percentage of smokers just litter their butts off?  Disgusting!

In fact cigarette butts are the most littered item in the USA and the world (several trillion butts a year) as estimated by the non-profit

One of the early non profits that submitted a letter of interest to SVP Cincinnati was Keep Cincinnati Beautiful (afflilated with Keep America Beautiful).   G.B. and I performed the site visit to this non-profit during the 2008 investment cycle.  Their mission attempts to change behaviors - one of the toughest challenges for anyone or any organization. 

The first most important step is to educate people on what is litter and the consequences (since the $500 fine is rarely imposed).  The next step is to instill the habit of cleaning up after one's self.  For example:  At a baseball game, theater, etc.  do you leave your "litter" at the seat assuming your ticket price includes the cost of custodian help to clean up?  Or do you feel the individual responsibility for throwing your litter away?

I think I will modify Sir Francis Bacon and John Wesley's treatise on cleanliness and godliness.

"Litter-less is next to Godliness".

Thursday, October 25, 2012

Parent Class

Wayne Walder was the Physical Director at several YMCA branches in Cincinnati, so he had lots of experience watching unsupervised kids.  He had a great quote -  "We need a law that establishes before you become a parent, you have to go to a parental training school".  This popped into my memory as I listened to the book "Willpower, Rediscovering the greatest human strength" by Baumeister and Tierney.  There were a few chapters on parenting that suggests it is lack of  parental willpower to discipline which is the cause of the behaviorial chaos in "control-less" children. 

I remember the parental course Susan and I were required to take during our adoption proceedings.  Of course we thought we "knew it all" since we had eight years of the "hard knocks experience" with Jenna already.  Regardless, we had to sit through a video training  on child discipline called "Magic 1-2-3".  It was amazing and I immediately tried the technique on Jenna (then 8 yrs old) and it worked perfectly.

The technique is amazing.  When you want to discipline a behavior you just say - "That's One".  Normally the child might respond "What do you mean?".  No answer is needed.  If the child continues the behavior or action you say "That's Two".  At this point the child gets it usually.  But in the early circumstances of determining your "will power" a child might attempt it a third time.  At that point you say "That's three" and then punish with whatever appropriate consequence.  After only a few of these events you will rarely (and in my case never) get to three again.

It worked perfectly with Jenna and Ellen.  No explaining, no justification, just Magic 1-2-3!

Wednesday, October 24, 2012

Fall Countryside

I just finished 23 hours of driving (1600 miles) across the Midwest countryside - to and from Wichita Kansas.  I took the southern route (through Louisville) for the trip out and the northern route (through Indianapolis) on the way back.  Amazingly the weather was hot (Kansas had the hottest day on record Tuesday) at almost 90 degrees but with the "2-80" airconditioning (two windows down at 80 miles per hour), I got to experience the smells of fall - the Combines clearing the fields and the smell of burning leaves. 

This is the most visually appealing time of the year to drive the relatively flat terrain of Indiana, Illinois and Missouri.  Luckily San Franscico won the National League Championship (so tonights game is in San Fransicso) so the traffic through St. Louis was minimal. 

It's good to visit Mom, Dad, Vana and Dayton but also great to be back home.  This weekend will be a fun excursion to Keenland with the family.  I hope my luck in horse picking will be better than this year's stock picks.

Saturday, October 20, 2012

Fall Transitions

A damp chilly fall October day - a prescription for "winterizing" the home.  That means storing the spring/summer furniture, collecting and storing the thousand feet of hose, cleaning the gutters of leaves, lighting the fireplace pilots and testing them and verifying the setback on the thermostat. 

The mosaic of orange, yellow, red, and brown background make the oustide work enjoyable.  Inside the early test of the fireplace warmth makes the house feel cozy and invites a hot cup of coffee to relax with after the chores are done.  Fall is my favorite time of year.

Even though nature is hunkering down for the winter, the transition is beautiful.

Friday, October 19, 2012

Bifurcate Nuance

Seems to me words come into vogue.   I getting sick of hearing people say nuance and bifurcate. 

Whenever someone say's "nuance" I think of the company I invested in called Nuance Communications.  On my wall is a framed picture of a worthless stock certificate from Lernout Hauspie Speech Products (LHSP) which also reminds me of Nuance (Nuance acquired most of the intellectual capital of this LHSP; which had been acquired from the bankrupt Kurxweil - KURZ).  My investment in voice recognition software started after a presentation by Kurzweil at an Accenture Technology Conference at St. Charles Illinois (3/8/1994).  So there were many bifurcations KURZ  - LHSP - SSFT - NUAN.
I was convinced that voice recognition would eliminate the keyboard within 10 years - how wrong that assumption was!  If you have experimented with Siri on your iphone, you can attest that voice recognition technology will take a very very long time to become mainstream.  I sold my Nuance position May 18, 2012 because of the Siri glitches.

For me, if you bifurcate Nuance, you get a bad investment.

Wednesday, October 17, 2012

Dignity in Politics

I was amazed at the number of my friends who did not watch the Presidential debate #2.  In fact, I did not watch it live since I was playing duplicate bridge that evening.  But I did tune into (and toggle between) Fox News and MSNBC and their spin doctors. 

I have become increasingly troubled with the tone and reporting on both of these channels.  E.W. put it the best - "We've lost our dignity in politics".  Seems to me, political debates have become another "reality TV" or another football rivalry but without referees.

Both networks and their reporters have no problem calling the opponent a "Liar".  Even writing this now reminds me of children whining "Liar, Liar, pants on fire".  I think calling someone a Liar is disrespectful and has no place in the analysis of a debate.  It is time to change the format of debates.  Newt Gingrich probably had it correct when he suggested that debates should be in a Lincoln/Douglas format (although in researching this there was some partisan editing done after the fact in the news print). 

Elections have always had a component of a popularity contest - looks, charisma, eloquence, humor, and style (and even more so in our media intensive age).  The best way to "dethrone" the most popular kid, is to discredit, disrespect, and demean their dignity.  Consequently negative advertising, cutting humor, and belittling quips work.  So our political stewards become polluted by the advisers who become their "hence men".  They (and I mean both parties) use the partisan networks to mouth their most demeaning remarks. They hide behind the PAC's and Super PAC's trash while innocently remarking that they had nothing to do with those advertisements.

And the dignity decline spirals down with increasing momentum to the November day of reckoning.  When both parties can rise up and declare the process was necessary to "get elected". After spending months in the mud, we should all wipe our faces clean and "kiss to make up" for a brief intermission until we can start the process again.

Tuesday, October 16, 2012

Hope for Change

Tonight is the second Presidential Debate.  R.M asked me who I was going to vote for last week. I'm fairly cynical about the Presidential vote - they both talk to the middle and you must guess how their "real" ideology will affect how the nation is governed.  My vote will be about which individual has vision and inspiration - which to me is leadership.

I think Obama won the last election with his "Hope and Change" theme.  This year's "Forward" is a weak follow on theme.  My theme is best described in the letter I sent to the Cincinnati Enquirer today:

You Can’t Buy Hope - You Can Vote for Change
You can't buy hope.  In fact, over-spending money will only create a vicious circle of addiction to superficial values with dire long-term consequences. 

Hope is best promoted by sacrifice - deferring today's want for the benefit of a future need.  My parents were the best example of this for me.  Raised during the depression, Mom and Dad realized that hope came in the package of hard work, responsibility, and caring for community.  They worked their way through college, spent below their means, and provided for their family in the hope that their values would be embraced by the next generation.  They passed on that hope to me - not through money or loans or spending what they didn't have - but through their values.
I agree that we are all in this together.  Hope is a collective asset.  It can't be bought or sold, traded or bartered. Hope is the inspiration an individual gets from their heroes (usually our parents) when they act responsibly and with care.  It builds with each generation, not in what we have, but in what we can be. The future can't be bought with borrowed funds, but it can be built with leadership and actions. Our careless governmental spending has proven that the more government spends, the more hope recedes.

Measure our hope today:  twenty-three million people have questionable hope for employment.  Twenty million young people fortunate enough to be employed have diminished hope for promotion and salary growth.  Thirty-nine million retirees have questionable hope about their financial security.  And some elderly are beginning to hope that the end is near.

Our nation was founded on hope – not by buying it, but by building it. But even with reckless, and divisive rhetoric, and poor leadership, Hope's flame cannot be extinguished. Hope can be rebuilt.  My parents built it - you can too.

"Forward?"  or Four Words    VOTE FOR A CHANGE!

Monday, October 15, 2012

Limited Freedom

Just going through country customs reminds me that our freedom is limited to the borders of cooperating countries.  Of course the five questions asked on the Declaration sheet (Form 6059B) are important "regulations" for trade/commerce and safety - food, farm products, livestock, money, purpose of visit etc.  That's what we have come to believe.

Our "protection" comes at a cost - privacy, personal invasion, and inconvenience.  As I re-entered the US, my boarding pass was a "4S" and the first checkpoint guard smiled and said "You're Special".  The US customs agent finished his questions and said welcome home but at the next checkpoint, the guard joked "He tried to hide his boarding card" he will need to be checked.  The "4S" on the boarding pass meant that I had been randomly  selected (by Delta) to have a complete search (either body pat down or machine scan).  This also meant that Ellen's bag would be searched (in case I had packed something in her bag). 

We accept these security measures for our combined safety (or the perception of that safety).  The reality is that we have lost some personal freedom.  Many would say - "You should have nothing to hide.  Why not put up with a little inconvenience to find "evil ones".   The answer is simple:

Are you innocent until found guilty  or guilty until found innocent? 

Sunday, October 14, 2012

Father/Daughter Trip

I have to give credit to K.C. for suggesting that I plan a father/daughter trip and so it is fitting that the destination was Toronto, Canada. 

Leaving Friday morning I almost created a disaster when, at the check in, I discovered I had accidentally picked up Susan's passport instead of mine.  Luckily (but because of my obsessive habit now of getting to the airport early), Susan was able to make it to the airport with my passport in time for us to make the flight (but it was a close one).  Ellen all during the turmoil was willing to forgive me.

Thankfully the rest of the long weekend went perfectly.  Shopping at the Eaton Center, Bloor-Yorkville, Haselton Lanes, the Distillery, and Chinatown.  Even I couldn't resist dropping into the Mont Blanc Boutique store on Bloor Street.

We enjoyed wonderful food at the Royal York, atop the CN tower, Marche, and Il Fornello and sipping Starbucks in the underground passages connecting all of the downtown shopping.

The highlight of the weekend was Amaluna (Cirque Du Soleil) - worth every penny of the expensive tickets.

Sunday, Toronto was hopping (or I should say running) with the Scotiabank Toronto Waterfront Marathon with over 3000 participants and probably 20,000 people lining the streets of downtown. 

Ellen (and all her shopping booty) and I arrived safely home this evening.  A "priceless" memory.

Wednesday, October 10, 2012

Boomerang Principle

Susan, Jenna, Paul and I were discussing customer service issues and specifically Susan's recent experience at a local retailer.  We discussed challenge of handling returns, missed expectations, quality issues, and pricing mistakes. 

At Accenture, I helped many companies with their computer systems which have grown to be integral to the customer service experience and measuring performance.  When I was consulting in the Consumer Products industry, I used to send a book to my clients - "Crowning the Customer" by Feargal Quinn.  In that book Feargal explains a simple customer service metric that can completely change a company's business strategy, objectives and employee focus.

Feargal learned this metric while working at his Dad's holiday camp called Red Island just outside Skerries on the coast of north County Dublin. When a customer booked a week or two at Red Island everything was included (like a cruise).  They had their money up front.

"The fact was that when guests arrived, we had made as much money from their visit as we were going to make. No matter how hard we worked to give them a good time, we would not increase our profit from their stay. That was already fixed.  So why did we work our tails off, week after week, trying to create for these visitors the best holiday experience they had ever had?

Every single thing we did was centered on one..... simple benchmark ... the number of repeat bookings (while they were still at the camp!)."

The Boomerang Principle: the name of the game is getting the customer back.

If you want to read a book filled with Customer Driven principles - this is one for you.
(1) Boomerang Principle
(2) Getting a "feel" for the customer
(3) Listening to customers: three secrets - Listening System; Listening from the Top;  Hear what you don't want to hear;
(4) How to make customer panels work
(5) How (and why) to create MORE complaints
(6) How to see customers as people
(7) The secret weapon: availability
(8) The jokers in the pack: fun and surprise
(9) Don't let the accountants win

Tuesday, October 9, 2012

Closet Wars

S.S. was describing why men are always considered messy (leaving clothes laying around).  "It's because we never have any closet space".  He then proceeded to describe the hostile takeover that his wife enacted in occupying closet space at his house. 

Closet capacity in the home is always an issue.  The first law of closet space is "clothing will always expand to fill the available closet capacity in any home".  The second law of closet space is "you will never take the time to get rid of clothes that you haven't worn for the last two years". 

That brings me to the theory of clothing - "If you haven't worn it in the last two years, you won't wear it again".  Think about it - there are 365 days in a year.  How many clothing items do you need for a unique combination of combined dress (for the guys shirt and pants-or suit and ignoring socks and shoes)?  About 20 of each.  The reality is we actually wear only 20-40% of that number (of course I fabricated that statistic based on my experience). 

If you don't believe that statistic - answer how often you are looking in the laundry room to see if the item is clean yet.  Yet we want to know that for any given day we could (but don't) pick from the vast inventory of clothes we have distributed across the various closets in the house.

Excuses for warehousing clothing with low turnover statistics include variations needed for weather, weight, colors, fashion/style, holiday attire, and  type of occasion (e.g. tuxedo).  Of course we need remote closets for these lower use items. 

Combine these principles of clothing and closets and you provide a rich battle field for closet capacity warfare.

Who's winning the closet war in your household?   Probably the obsolete clothes.

Monday, October 8, 2012

Top of the Mountain

On the controls review at Gorman Heritage Farms (GHF) for Social Venture Partners Cincinnati, I looked into my old and tattered leather Coach briefcase and grabbed my Mont Blanc pen. I had used that pen during most of my years at Accenture.  After all it was J.R. (one of my co-Accenture Partners) and I performing the interviews at GHF.  I was living the nostalgic consulting days with J.R. using my old pen and briefcase.

Alas - the ink cartridge was dry (after all I had not touched the pen for over 10 years).  So off to Staples to get replacement cartridges.  You can't buy just one - they come in a two pack ($12.29).  I probably have a stranded extra cartridge buried somewhere in the junk drawer contents of my old Accenture desk junk -  but finding it would be impossible.

Mont Blanc's were the "in" pen during the 80's.  Priced at greater than $100 it was the status symbol of its day (taking the place of the gold Cross pens). Today, the Miestertuck Le Grand retails for $425.  Every consultant trying to emulate the Partners purchased their Mont Blancs to "look the part".  I was racing to the top - so I needed the pen.

Status symbols (pens, watches, cell phones, rings, designer clothes, cars, and now Starbucks cups) are the many objects that people use to "elevate" themselves.  Those objects (and their cost) become a vicious spiral of "keeping up".  Peer pressure affects each of us in different ways at different times in our lives.  In some cases we follow others thinking the path to the top is where everyone else is headed.

I received one of the better spiritual books about climbing to the top (as a gift for teaching Sunday School) called "Hope for the Flowers" by Trina Paulus.  Here's the summary:

In the tale, the caterpillar heroes, Stripe and Yellow, want something more from life than eating and growing bigger. They get caught up in a "caterpillar pillar," a squirming mass of bodies, each determined to reach a top so far away it can't be seen. Finally disillusioned, they discover that the way for the caterpillars to find their particular "more," who they really are, is to enter the cocoon and "...risk for the butterfly." Hope for the Flowers has helped people gain the courage to leave jobs, change their lives and explore their love for another human being.

Mont Blanc - The highest European Mountain Top.  Every caterpillar's initial dream-- but with time runs out of ink.  :)

Sunday, October 7, 2012

Put your little foot

It was another birthday celebration (60th milestone), this time for P.Y. last night.  His famous quote of "How Lucky am I?" was celebrated with the book "Luck: The essential guide" by Deborah Aaronson.  Since P.Y was traveling the next day, I read some of the dos and don'ts of travel luck.

For instance, always leave home with the right foot first and arrive at the destination with the right foot first.  Both P.Y and L.Y. immediately said "Of course, we always do that for good luck". 

So immediately I began thinking - what foot do you start out with?  Left or Right?  Does it vary by function - stairs, getting up, running, skating etc.  or whether you are wearing boots, or sandals; or  whether you are left handed, right handed (or should I say left footed, right footed) or physical nature of your feet - big foot, little foot? 

And what about all those sayings "Put your best foot forward"; or "Getting off on the wrong foot"; or "Jumping right in with both feet"?

Or maybe this right foot luck thing is just Hokey Pokey :)

Saturday, October 6, 2012

Missing Shakespeare's Punchlines

Jenna organized a family outing to the CCM (Cincinnati College-Conservatory of Music) production of Midsummer's Night Dream at the Patricia Corbett theater last night.  The first Shakespeare play that Mom took me to was Midsummer's Night Dream (probably back in the 60's).  So it was ironic that the set and costumes were set in the 1960's but the prose was all "Shakespearean". 

It was either the acoustics or my unpracticed listening of the Shakespeare prose that created the feeling that I was sitting in a foreign country wishing for translation headphones.  Even my faded memory of the plot was little help in understanding what the actors were saying.  It's a shame to hear the rest of the audience laugh while you sit there dumbfounded on what they are laughing about (like missing the punch line of a joke).

By the second act (and late into the evening), there was some question of whether we would stick it out. Poor Ellen probably didn't understand a word or thing about what was going on. But feeling the duty of not skipping English Literature class at high school/college, we stuck it out to the end.

Missing a few punchlines is no great tragedy. 

Friday, October 5, 2012

Heart Beat Theory

I was walking along with J.R. and K.M. when I mentioned the well studied and scientifically proven theory I invented called the Heart Beat Theory :)   I invented this theory to justify why I don't run for exercise (or exercise too much).

Heart Beat Theory:  Each individual has a predetermined number of heartbeats in their life - consequently you need to be sure to conserve your heart beats. 

Note that exercising by running would use too many heartbeats and thereby reduce your elapsed time for life.  In describing this theory, many have countered that runners (who during their runs have overexercised their heart beats) have such low pulse rates (hence conserving heart beats during the day to day activities).  They use this argument to convince me that running is a great way to exercise.

However there is a corollary to the Heart Beat Theory to combat this attempt to get me to exercise by running. 

Corollary 1:  "Wide fluctuations in rates of heart beats are also dangerous to one's health."

As the theory progresses in science there will be many other corollaries developed.  But for now - keep the heart beats moderately moving :)

PS.    You can use the Heart Beat Theory for other justifications - like napping :)

Thursday, October 4, 2012


My recent posts on birthdays and world population "Billion Person" days continues to intrigue me (naturally I'm a statistician).  I've always loved reading Harry S. Dent's books about the coming booms and crashes based on his study of demographics and U.S. birth rates.  So it was appropriate that I read the Oct. 3, 2012 National Vital Statistics Report on 2011 preliminary Birth data.

So What?

Here is a small sample size to put the chart in perspective.  Susan was born in 1957 (the second highest record year for number of births 4.308 million).  She had her first child (at age 34) Jenna in 1991 (note 1991 was the ninth highest year for births 4.158 million).  I'll spare you the chart of rates of birth by age of women, but it clearly shows highest rates of birth  for women aged 25-34 (no surprise here). 

So we have the big boom - 1954 -1964  -  46.012 million births over a 11 year span

and its Echo  1989 - 1993    -   20.375 million births  over a 5 year span

What kind of sounds will we hear in 2018 - 2020?     Babies crying?

PS -  I'm getting old and telling old blogs (or should I say echoing old blogs).  Just noticed my entry March 19, 2010  Coonskin Hats.  A good statistician would ask - what happened in 2007 with the record number of births 4.317 million?   Maybe some static feedback?

Wednesday, October 3, 2012

Erroneous Company

Well I'm in good company making the same mistake as Johnny Carson regarding the "Birthday Paradox".  Actually I have no excuse since I have a masters degree in statistics.  Looking back at my Dec. 1 2009 Blog "A Statistician's Birthday", I made the classic mistake of statistics -  mixing combinations with specific probabilities (like Johnny Carson did on his show - Feb. 6, 1980). Consequently, I feel obligated to ReBlog and correct my mistake!

For those interested in the details read the Oct. 1, 2012 NYT article "It's my Birthday too, yeah".

Here is the summary:

(1) How many people would be enough to make the odds of a match (two or more with the same day) at least 50-50?
(2) How many people would be enough to make the odds of a match with your specific birthday at least 50-50?

The answers for 50-50 and 92%

(1) 23 people for  50%  probability              and for 43 people the odds are 92%
(2) 253 people  for 50% probability             and for 921 people the odds are 92%

So next time you are in a room of 1,000 people - announce your birth day and see if there is a match.  Maybe you will be more lucky than Johnny Carson was (actually his birth day - Oct 23 matched it was the other audience member test that failed).

PS.  Ed McMahon was pretty close with his 1000 person guess (if he was answering question #2)

PPS -  I posted this two days too early. Oct. 5th is the MOST Common Birthday.  So a good statistician would point out that certain days are not random.   Add nine months to Jan. 1  :)

Tuesday, October 2, 2012

Fertility & Mortality

I had mistakenly put the 8 billion day in my Outlook calendar as October 18th 2012. The reality is that the United Nations announced that the world population hit 8 billion humans on October 31, 2011 - a year earlier!!   Naturally the statistician in me wondered why I was off by a year?  And how could the various news articles have such wide variation in forecasted dates?

Here is what the news articles have reported:

1804 - 1 Billion
1927  - 2 Billion  -  123 years
1959  - 3 Billion   -  32 years
1974  - 4 Billion    - 16 years
1987 -  5 Billion    -  13 years
October 12, 1999   6 Billion  -  12 years
October 31, 2011   7 Billion  -  12 years

2023, 2025   8 Billion -  12 to 14 years
2041 , 2050  9 Billion  -  16 to 27 years
2081, 2083  10 Billion  -  31 to 42 years

It all comes down to fertility rates and morality rates.  Even small variations in these rates of change create huge fluctuations in yearly forecasts and it appears the most sensitive variable is fertility!

With just a small change in fertility the estimate of world population by the end of the century (2100) varies between 6.2 billion to 15.8 billion.   YES even a possible prediction of population DECLINE!  That is with an assumption that life expectancy will increase from 68 years to 86 years by the turn of the century.

Why is this important?  Because living in a world with flat population or declining population will be VERY DIFFERENT from the world we have experienced so far. 

Mark your calendars now - October 15, 2024 - 8 Billion!

PS - Population this moment  - U.S. 314,500,734World 7,043,098,14214:55 UTC (EST+5) Oct 02, 2012