How much do you know about the world? Hans Rosling, with his famous charts of global population, health and income data (and an extra-extra-long pointer), demonstrates that you have a high statistical chance of being quite wrong about what you think you know. Play along with his audience quiz — then, from Hans’ son Ola, learn 4 ways to quickly get less ignorant.
"The desperate men, women, and children flooding into Europe from the Middle East and Africa are not the only people moving along ever-shifting and dangerous migration routes. Last year saw the highest levels of global forced displacement on record—59.5 million individuals left their homes in 2014 due to 'persecution, conflict, generalized violence, or human rights violations' according to the United Nations. That's 8.3 million more people than the year before."
Liam Dutton nails pronouncing Llanfairpwllgwyngyllgogerychwyrndrobwllllantysiliogogogoch
Known as Llanfairpwllgwyngyll, Llanfair PG and Llanfairpwll, the small community of 3,000 on the island of Anglesey has the longest single word toponym (place name) in Europe. The name means "Saint Mary's Church in a hollow of white hazel near the swirling whirlpool of the church of Saint Tysilio with a red cave."
The longest toponym in the world is a New Zealand hill named Taumatawhakatangihangakoauauotamateapokaiwhenuakitanatahu.
"In which John examines the progress of the UN's Millennium Development Goals over the last 15 years and looks ahead to the Global Goals. Can we live in a world where extreme poverty and undernourishment are rare? Are we closer to gender equality? How have infant mortality rates and maternal mortality rates changed in the last 25 years? And how will we ensure that the astonishing progress since 1990 continues?"
"As you may know, Google Maps uses the Mercator projection. So do other Web mapping services, such as Bing Maps and MapQuest. Over the years I’ve encountered antipathy toward the use of the Web Mercator from map projection people. I know of two distinct schools of opposition. One school, consisting of cartographic folks and map aficionados, thinks the Mercator projection is 'bad': The projection misrepresents relative sizes across the globe and cannot even show the poles, they are so inflated. The other school, consisting of geodesy folks, thinks mapping services have corrupted the Mercator projection, whether by using the wrong formulæ for it or by using the wrong coordinate system for it."
"The New England Journal of Medicine looks at death reports in 200 years of back issues. The first thing to notice here is how much our mortality rate has dropped over the course of a century, largely due to big reductions in infectious diseases like tuberculosis and influenza."
Hidden beneath the 245,000 square miles that make up the Great Plains, resides a lake that’s one of our greatest water assets: The Ogallala Aquifer. Haven’t heard of it? Farming the plains would be unprofitable at best without it, as shown by the Dust Bowl of the 1930s. At the time, the aquifer’s existence was known, but the technology to tap into it wasn’t.
"A new census that shows that Earth is host to a staggering 3.02 trillion trees — more than scientists expected.The most recent estimate only counted 400 billion trees, reports Rachel Ehrenberg. Because prior studies used satellite technology alone instead of including data from on-the-ground tree density studies, writes Ehrenberg, they missed the mark. They also estimate that since human civilization began, 45.8 percent of all trees been lost."
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