Watch Humans Take Over the World in 200,000 Years

In the grand scheme of things, it really hasn’t taken humans very long to conquer the world. Modern humans didn’t evolve until 200,000 years ago, and didn’t start moving out of Africa until 100,000 years ago. Now, we dominate most regions across the globe, reshaping our environment, and encroaching on the environment of other animals. The American Museum of Natural History visualized just how quickly humanity has spread across the planet in this video spotted by Digg.

Each 1 million people living in a particular area is represented by a yellow dot, and labeled badges show the rise of specific empires, as well as notable population-changing events, like the bubonic plague or world wars. Over the course of just a few minutes, you can watch just how humans spread out of Africa, across Eurasia, and into the Western Hemisphere. Though booming populations and the spread of megacities aren't always positive developments, the timeline will at least give you an appreciation for humanity's long-lasting dedication to exploration.

[h/t Digg]

Teaser image by NASA/NOAA/GSFC/Suomi NPP/VIIRS/Norman Kuring

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The Evolution of "Two" in the Indo-European Language Family
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The Indo-European language family includes most of the languages of Europe as well as many languages in Asia. There is a long research tradition that has shown, though careful historical comparison, that languages spanning a huge linguistic and geographical range, from French to Greek to Russian to Hindi to Persian, are all related to each other and sprung from a common source, Proto-Indo-European. One of the techniques for studying the relationship of the different languages to each other is to look at the similarities between individual words and work out the sound changes that led from one language to the next.

This diagram, submitted to Reddit by user IronChestplate1, shows the word for two in various Indo-European languages. (The “proto” versions, marked with an asterisk, are hypothesized forms, built by working backward from historical evidence.) The languages cluster around certain common features, but the words are all strikingly similar, especially when you consider the words for two in languages outside the Indo-European family: iki (Turkish), èjì (Yoruba), ni (Japanese), kaksi (Finnish), etc. There are many possible forms two could take, but in this particular group of languages it is extremely limited. What are the chances of that happening by accident? Once you see it laid out like this, it doesn’t take much to put *dwóh and *dwóh together.

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Beyond Plumbing: 19 Other Jobs on Mario's Resume
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Nintendo made news this week by subtly announcing that Mario is no longer a plumber. In fact, they're really downplaying his whole plumbing career. On the character's Japanese-language bio, the company says, "He also seems to have worked as a plumber a long time ago."

But Mario has always had plenty of jobs on the side. Here's a look at his resume:


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