Which country has the largest population after the USA?

According to the US Census Bureau, the population of the United States as of today is projected at 312,695,157.   The latest US Census Bureau data projections indicate:

  • One birth every 8 seconds
  • One death every 12 seconds
  • One international migrant (net) every 43 seconds
  • Net gain of one person every 16 seconds

Do you know which country has the largest population after the US?

Hints:

  1. It is the world’s most populous Muslim-majority nation
  2. It has the world’s second highest level of biodiversity (after Brazil)
  3. Its neighboring countries are Australia, Singapore and the Philippines
  4. Like the Philippines, it is an archipelago nation with thousands of islands.

The

answer

is……

INDONESIA, with population data indicators from the World Bank of 239,870,940.

Located between the Indian and Pacific Oceans, Indonesia is a vast archipelago nation with over 17,000 islands.

Did you know….

The nutmeg plant — once one of the world’s most valuable commodity —  is native to Indonesia’s Banda Islands.

Europeans arrived in Indonesia in the 16th century looking to monopolize the source of spices like nutmeg, cloves and peppers.

Click here to learn more about the history of Indonesia.

Indonesia is an emerging market with a growing and thriving economy.

According to the IMF (International Monetary Fund), their economy will grow by 6.4 % this year.  Last year, it grew by 6.1 percent.

Compared to other emerging markets this year, Indonesia’s stock markets performed at +4%, compared to Mexico at -13%, Russia at -16%, China at -17%, Turkey at -19% and India at -21%.

Algae Abundance

We were driving back from Phil’s Fish Market several weeks ago when I noticed the water in this area — by the Moss Landing Harbor — practically covered in algae.

The color was a beautiful bright green, but instinctively you get the feeling that something is not right or a sort of imbalance produced all this algae.

I forgot about the photos I took until I read an article in the Monterey County Herald titled “Elkhorn Slough teeters on algal mess”, by Marissa Fessenden of the Santa Cruz Sentinel, about UC Santa Cruz researchers mapping the extent of algae growth threatening Elkhorn Slough.

Graduate student Brent Hughes examines algae (green sea lettuce) from Elkhorn Slough, an indicator of high nutrient levels. Photo by Monique Fountain.

The study indicates that the growth of these thick mats are a result of excessive nutrient levels (e.g., from fertilizer runoff from agricultural fields) and limits on how much tidal water enters parts of the slough.

The combination of high nutrient levels and stagnant water in certain parts of the slough produces the right conditions for these thick mats to grow, resulting in low-oxygen conditions that can harm fish and other wildlife.

For more information, click on the picture of graduate student Brent Hughes or here to link to the University of California Santa Cruz article by Tim Stephens.

 

The Story of Daylight Saving Time

I hate having to change all our clocks again — this time back to standard time — because of Daylight Saving Time (DST).  What is the story behind DST and why do we do this?

It turns out over 70 countries observe DST.  There is an American law, called the Uniform Time Act of 1966 (though not requiring DST) that requires those who observe DST to do so uniformly.

While serving as an American delegate in France, Benjamin Franklin first suggested the idea of Daylight Saving Time in an essay titled “An Economical Project for Diminishing the Cost of Light.” The essay was first published in the Journal de Paris in April 1784.

In 1907, an Englishman, William Willett, suggested it again.  Recognizing that the nation could save energy, England put in place a form of DST during the first World War.

In 1918, the U.S. Congress also placed the country on Daylight Saving Time to conserve resources for the war effort.  However, the law was unpopular and later repealed.  Congress reinstated Daylight Saving Time during World War II.

If you really want to know more about the history of DST and why we use it, The California Energy Commission’s website has a detailed article by Bob Aldrich, Webmaster (retired).

The bottom line is that Daylight Saving Time is about saving energy consumption, and though very small for each household, it makes a difference in total.

And so yes….I’ll stop complaining now and change all our clocks knowing it is all about saving energy, and I will not complain when I do this again in the Spring, when we move an hour of daylight from the morning to the evening.

 

And if you want to know even more about Daylight Saving Time, here is a link to David Prerau’s book “Seize the Daylight: The Curious and Contentious Story of Daylight Saving Time.