Ninety percent of Tibetans share a genetic mutation that prevents their blood from becoming dangerously clogged with red blood cells at high altitudes—a response that can be deadly for non-native mountaineers. Karen Hopkin reports.
Most people around the world are pretty bad when it comes to knowing the numbers behind the news. But how issues such as immigration are perceived can shape political opinion and promote misconceptions
"Did you know that Swedish has more in common with Hindi than it does with Finnish? Explaining everything within the limits of the world is probably too ambitious a goal for a list like this. But here are 23 maps and charts that can hopefully illuminate small aspects of how we manage to communicate with one another."
Just how much of the world's cropland can we really call urban? That's been a big mystery until now.
Now, a study published in the journal Environmental Research Letters has an answer: Somewhere around 1.1 billion acres is being cultivated for food in or within about 12 miles (20 kilometers) of cities. Most of that land is on the periphery of cities, but 16.6 percent of these urban farms are in open spaces within the municipal core.
"The map above shows the volume of phone calls between countries around the world, and it’s one way of measuring information flows around the world—it’s part of an index of global connectedness developed by business researchers and sponsored by shipper DHL.
The index finds that globalization began deepening once again last year after reaching a post-crisis plateau in 2012—but it’s far from the deeply connected world sold by globalization advocates."
Earth is changing rapidly, and an increasing number of scientists say that humans have become the dominant force driving these changes. While the term has no formal definition, many agree that we are now living in an age shaped by human activity: the Anthropocene.
Evidence for the Anthropocene ranges from worldwide population booms to the expansive transformation of the landscape. But solutions are cropping up at the local level that could help create a more resilient global community."
Maps have always been a source of fascination and intrigue. Today's maps, however, can also help to save lives during disasters, document human rights abuses and monitor elections in countries under repressive rule. This presentation will explain how today's live maps can combine crowds and clouds to drive social change.
What if the Black Plague had killed off almost all Europeans? Then the Reconquista never happens. Spain and Portugal don't kickstart Europe's colonization of other continents. And this is what Africa might have looked like.
It’s 2014. So why do we still need World Toilet Day? Because 2.5 billion people still need one. World Toilet Day remains a critical means to raise awareness globally about one of the many important things…
Rajesh Rao is fascinated by "the mother of all crossword puzzles": how to decipher the 4000-year-old Indus script. He's enlisting modern computation to try to read this lost language, the key to understanding this ancient civilization.
On the same day that the news emerged of a Pakistani Christian couple burnt to death in a kiln by enraged Muslim villagers for apparently unwittingly burning the verses of the Koran, Prince Charles was addressing a gathering at the House of Lords on religious freedom. The future King, who once said that he wished to be Defender of Faith, rather than Defender of the Faith on ascending the throne, made an eloquent plea for religious tolerance at home and across the world.