Vaccinations and public health are in the news lately, mostly with a focus on the United States. But it's worth taking a look at this map Benjamin Hennig made of where children go unvaccinated on a global basis to help put things in perspective: You can see here that India (the enormous yellow blob) and Nigeria (the large light-orange blog that dominates western Africa) are the two countries that combine very large populations with low immunization rates. The Philippines, Indonesia, Bangladesh, Congo, and Ethiopia also seem like major problem spots. Clearly in most of these places the problem is a lack of financial and institutional resources rather than explicit anti-vaccine sentiment. Insofar as politics are relevant it's in terms of setting priorities.
"Walk along the streets of London and it’s not uncommon to hear a variety of langauges jostling for space in your eardrums. Step inside a tube carriage on the underground and the story is no different.
Oliver O’Brien, researcher in geovisualisation and web mapping at University College London’s department of geography, has created a map showing what the most common second language (after English) is at certain tube stops across the capital.
Using a map of tube journeys and busy stations that he had previously created, O’Brien used 2011 Census data to add the second most commonly spoken language that people who live nearby speak."
Valentines Day is this one day when one product — a red rose — is worth two or three times more than it is at any other time of the year. If a florist catches that window, he's golden. But the process of getting the roses to is fraught with risk, middlemen, crazy expense and bad weather.
"The position [that belief in God is essential to morality] is highly prevalent, if not universal, in Africa and the Middle East. At least three-quarters in all six countries surveyed in Africa say that faith in God is essential to morality. People in richer nations tend to place less emphasis on the need to believe in God to have good values than people in poorer countries do."
"Canada: land-wise, it's one of the world's biggest countries, but population-wise, it's anything but.The map comes from the Government of Canada's 'Plant Hardiness Site,' which contains images showing 'Extreme Minimum Temperature Zones' throughout the Great White North."
Tags: Canada, map, North America, weather and climate.
"Argentina should be careful in considering the implications of the idea of moving the capital [from Buenos Aires] to Santiago del Estero. While a dramatic move might be appealing as a fresh start, it could end up aggravating the challenges of governing the country. Capitals, like flags, are symbols, but their choice has very real consequences."
As stated in this NPR article: "The video shows satellite tracking of routes superimposed over Google Earth. It focuses on some of the main choke points for international shipping, such as the Strait of Malacca on the southern tip of Malaysia, Suez Canal, the Strait of Gibraltar and Panama Canal. It's a good reminder that about 90 percent of all the goods traded globally spend at least some of their transit time on a ship."
New figures show the lowest total number of births since the formation of the modern Italian state
Fewer babies were born in Italy in 2014 than in any other year since the modern Italian state was formed in 1861, new data show, highlighting the demographic challenge faced by the country’s chronically sluggish economy. National statistics office ISTAT said on Thursday the number of live births last year was 509,000, or 5,000 fewer than in 2013, rounding off half a century of decline. The number of babies born to both natives and foreigners living in Italy dropped as immigration, which used to support the overall birth rate, tumbled to its lowest level for five years.
"There’s nothing more irritating to a pedant’s ear and nothing more flabbergasting than realizing you’ve been pronouncing the name of so many places wrong, your entire life! Despite the judgment we exhibit toward people who err in enunciating, we all mispronounce a word from time to time, despite our best efforts. Well, now it’s time we can really stop mispronouncing the following places."
"This map shows Human Development Index (HDI) for 169 countries in the World. The HDI is a comparative measure of life expectancy, literacy, education, and standard of living for countries worldwide. The HDI sets a minimum and a maximum for each dimension, called goalposts, and then shows where each country stands in relation to these goalposts, expressed as a value between 0 and 1, where greater is better. The Human Development Index (HDI) measures the average achievements in a country in three basic dimensions of human development: health, knowledge and standard of living."
"The Sahel’s ability to produce food is not keeping pace with its growing population, and global warming will only exacerbate the imbalance, according to a new study. Among the 22 countries making up the arid region in northern Africa, the population grew to 471 million in 2010 from 367 million in 2000, a jump of nearly 30%. As the population grew rapidly, the production of crops remained essentially unchanged. Using satellite images to calculate annual crop production in the conflict-ridden Sahel belt, south of the Sahara desert, the researchers then compared output with population growth and food and fuel consumption."
"By 2025, the developing world, as we understand it now, will be home to 29 megacities. We explore the latest UN estimates and forecasts on the growth of these 'cities on steroids', and take a look at the challenges and opportunities megacities present for the tens of millions living in Lagos, Mexico City and Dhaka."
"There are 1.2 billion people between the ages of 15 and 24 in the world today — and that means that many countries have populations younger than ever before. Some believe that this 'youth bulge' helps fuel social unrest — particularly when combined with high levels of youth unemployment. Youth unemployment is a 'global time bomb,' as long as today’s millennials remain 'hampered by weak economies, discrimination, and inequality of opportunity.' The world’s 15 youngest countries are all in Africa. Of the continent’s 200 million young people, about 75 million are unemployed.
On the flip side, an aging population presents a different set of problems: Japan and Germany are tied for the world’s oldest countries, with median ages of 46.1. Germany’s declining birth rate might mean that its population will decrease by 19 percent, shrinking to 66 million by 2060. An aging population has a huge economic impact: in Germany, it has meant a labor shortage, leaving jobs unfilled."
Tripoli, 20 September 2013: Libya, Egypt, Chad and Sudan have signed a UN-backed agreement on the shared use of a massive underground aquifer system straddling the four countries known as the Nubian Sandstone Aquifer System.
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