The Reentry: October 24
We begin this week’s Reentry with news that a German satellite reentered Earth’s atmosphere over the weekend and slammed itself into one or more portions of Southeast Asia, though no one is sure exactly where. In a (only-slightly) reassuring statement from Jonathan McDowell of the Harvard-Smithsonian Center for Astrophysics, “If [the flaming mini-van-sized two-ton comet] had come down over a populated area, there probably would be reports by now.”
Here’s what else you (may or may not have) missed over the weekend…
7 BILLION PEOPLE ON EARTH: At some point this week the world’s population will reach 7 billion people. In his New York Times op-ed, Joel E. Cohen explains that “the first billion people accumulated over a leisurely interval, from the origins of humans hundreds of thousands of years ago to the early 1800s. Adding the second took another 120 or so years. Then, in the last 50 years, humanity more than doubled, surging from three billion in 1959 to four billion in 1974, five billion in 1987 and six billion in 1998. This rate of population increase has no historical precedent.” National Geographic is currently running a year-long series on earth’s “big seven-b.”
GADDAFI’S FINAL HOURS: As recounted by The Telegraph’s Ben Farmer, one of the only journalists remaining in Sirte at the time of Gaddafi’s death, “The embattled leader had been forced to retreat to an area 1000 yards by 500 yards, and was desperately moving from house to house, trying to evade capture.”
SAINTS EMBARRASS COLTS, 62-7: Complete and utter humiliation on Sunday Night Football.
- — C. Brian Smith