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FYI the two really niggardly issues I wished to comment on, but not make a big deal about, were in the Vaclav Smil article: first, dates like “2/10/2010″ only make sense to US imperialists and are a combination of confusing, irritating, and ambiguous to every other person on the planet...
I am responsible for both, at least in part:
In the Azimuth Project I usually enter dates in a format like "2 October 2010", which is comprehensible to everyone, even Americans. In this partcular case I typed "2/10/2010" because:
1) I read that date in a Canadian newspaper and could not remember whether they used the US system or the rest-of-the-world system.
2) This particular date makes sense either way, since both 2 and 10 are less than 12.
3) I was feeling lazy and hoped someone else would figure it out and pick up after my mess.
I urge everyone here to use the "2 October 2010" system, because it's the only one that 1) everyone can easily understand and 2) follows the world majority system of "date-month-year".