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Video of the Day
All Right, Humans: How Do We Stack Up Against The Other Species On Earth?
February 2, 2013
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There are a lot of humans on this planet: we recently passed seven billion people, and we're still counting.

'It's Okay To Be Smart', produced by PBS Digital Studios, has put together this video comparing our numbers to those of some other species.

Are we the most populous species on Earth? Far from it.

There are more bats than humans, sure - estimates put the worldwide bat population at about 10 billion. But when you leave behind the world of mammals, numbers get a little higher.

How about aphids, those little insects that live on crops? According to the video, there are about a quadrillion aphids (that's 1,000,000,000,000,000) living on the soybean crops in North America alone.

There's another measure we can use to compare species, though. It's called biomass - that means the amount a species would weigh if you could get each of its members together in one place.

All the humans on the planet would weigh about 287,000,000 tons - quite a bit. But it's nothing compared to the group that lays claim to the biggest chunk of biomass on the planet: bacteria.

The final message of the video is this: "When it comes to getting things like food, energy and a place to live, we've got to start paying more attention to how we get along with all the other billions of tons of life on Earth."

human-rights-watch-report-cover.jpgFor a different take on how we're doing as a species, check out World Report 2013 from Human Rights Watch (HRW). This is the 23rd year HRW has put together their overview of human rights around the world.

One of the major themes this year is "The Day After" - what happens when an abusive ruler has been deposed? After the events of the Arab Spring, can countries build "a rights-respecting democracy," as the report puts it?

Another key piece of the report warns about countries that are "evoking tradition and traditional values to undermine human rights, especially for women and members of the lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender community."

There are also sections about corporations taking responsibility for human rights, and the relationship between environmental movements and human rights, as well as photo essays, and an examination of the human rights record of countries around the world in the course of 2012.

If the 'It's Okay To Be Smart' video is all about getting along with our fellow species, the World Report looks at how we're treating each other.

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