We think we know what poverty looks like. But how do we accurately account for it? How do we know where to look? Poverty maps are one place to begin. Technological advances of the past decade—the increased capability to both collect and process improved data—make it possible to reveal the face of the poor in finer detail than ever before. By translating data into the visual accessibility of a map, we can locate poverty more precisely, understand its sources more comprehensively—and attack it more effectively. Such maps can even be used to monitor the results of anti-poverty efforts. Poverty maps can be part of a strong, new foundation for building and tailoring policies and programs, to reach those people that will benefit the most.
Via Seth Dixon
Who wants to spend the night in a Walmart parking lot?
There are a few generally accepted principles when it comes to the etiquette of spending the night in a vehicle in a Walmart parking lot. One night only. No chairs or barbecue grills outside an R.V. Shop at the store for gas, food or supplies, if you can, as a way of saying thanks. Walmart, the country’s largest discount retailer, says you’re welcome: its Web site says that R.V. travelers are “among our best customers.” The photographer Nolan Conway has been taking pictures of Walmart’s resident guests at several stores in central Arizona. Sophia Stauffer, a 20-year-old who travels the country in a van with her boyfriend and their dog, describes their lots, which usually feel quiet and safe, as their best option for most nights. “We really don’t want to work or live in a house,” she says.
"For the first time in human history, more of the world’s 6.8 billion people live in cities than in rural areas. That is an incredible demographic and geographic shift since 1950 when only 30 percent of the world’s 2.5 billion inhabitants lived in urban environments.
The world’s largest cities, particularly in developing countries, are growing at phenomenal rates. As a growing landless class is attracted by urban opportunities, meager as they might be, these cities’ populations are ballooning to incredible numbers.
A May 2010 Christian Science Monitor article on “megacities” predicted that by 2050, almost 70 percent of the world’s estimated 10 billion people—more than the number of people living today—will reside in urban areas. The social, economic and environmental problems associated with a predominantly urbanized population are considerably different from those of the mostly rural world population of the past."
Understanding mistakes of the past can help guide U.S. transportation policy in the future.
In 2010, Americans drove for 85 percent of their daily trips, compared to car trip shares of 50 to 65 percent in Europe. Longer trip distances only partially explain the difference. Roughly 30 percent of daily trips are shorter than a mile on either side of the Atlantic. But of those under one-mile trips, Americans drove almost 70 percent of the time, while Europeans made 70 percent of their short trips by bicycle, foot, or public transportation. The statistics don't reveal the sources of this disparity, but there are nine main reasons American metro areas have ended up so much more car-dependent than cities in Western Europe.
"English language has 'borrowed' words for centuries. But is it now lending more than it's taking, asks Philip Durkin, deputy chief editor of the Oxford English Dictionary. "
Knowledge of what is being borrowed, and from where, provides an invaluable insight into the international relations of the English language. Today English borrows words from other languages with a truly global reach.
"Republicans want to blame government (a Democrat thing) or Atlanta (definitely a Democrat thing). Democrats want to blame the region’s dependence on cars (a Republican thing), the state government (Republicans), and many of the transplants from more liberal, urban places feel the same way you might about white, rural, southern drivers. All of this is true to some extent but none of it is helpful."
Maternity care and childbirth cost far more in the United States than in other developed countries, but studies show that their citizens do not have less access to care during pregnancy than Americans.
In this article, the topic of discussion is piracy off the Horn of Africa. It explains how pirates and the investors have made a fortune over the years aproximately 400 million dollars in the last 8 years alone.
The article also includes a breakdown of who benefits from these attacks and what their main money makers are. Even though piracy has tapered off in the past 3 years it still has cost the global trade market billions of dollars in trade expenses. Piracy has also negatively impacted the Sub-Saharan geographic region because it has begun to spread further into different areas affecting tourism which is a positive moeny maker for the this region and reduced maritime activity in frequently pirated waters.
What are the long-term effects of uncontrolled piracy?
How will the coastal economy of the Cape withstand frequent monetary losses and reduced tourist activity?
How does this impact trade internationally, but mainly in the Sub-Saharan realm and it's neighbors?
Reuters photographer Carlos Barria recently spent time in Shanghai, China, the fastest-growing city in the world. A week ago, he took this amazing shot, recreating the same framing and perspective as a photograph taken in 1987, showing what a difference 26 years can make. The setting is Shanghai's financial district of Pudong, dominated by the Oriental Pearl Tower at left, and the new 125-story Shanghai Tower, China's tallest building and the world's second tallest skyscraper, at 632 meters (2,073 ft) high, scheduled to finish by the end of 2014. Shanghai, the largest city by population in the world, has been growing at a rate of about 10 percent a year the past 20 years, and now is home to 23.5 million people -- nearly double what it was back in 1987. This entry is focused on this single photo pairing, with several ways to compare the two.
The old labels no longer apply. Rich countries need to learn from poor ones.
BILL GATES, in his foundation’s annual letter, declared that “the terms ‘developing countries’ and ‘developed countries’ have outlived their usefulness.” He’s right. If we want to understand the modern global economy, we need a better vocabulary.
Mr. Gates was making a point about improvements in income and gross domestic product; unfortunately, these formal measures generate categories that tend to obscure obvious distinctions. Only when employing a crude “development” binary could anyone lump Mozambique and Mexico together.
It’s tough to pick a satisfying replacement. Talk of first, second and third worlds is passé, and it’s hard to bear the Dickensian awkwardness of “industrialized nations.” Forget, too, the more recent jargon about the “global south” and “global north.” It makes little sense to counterpose poor countries with “the West” when many of the biggest economic success stories in the past few decades have come from the East.
All of these antiquated terms imply that any given country is “developing” toward something, and that there is only one way to get there.
It’s time that we start describing the world as “fat” or “lean.”
People who live in them actually have greater social cohesion, according to one sociologist.
Thomas R. Hochschild Jr. actually first encountered the social cohesion of cul-de-sacs in his latest research when he wandered into one in Connecticut with his clipboard and polo shirt, and someone called the cops. That never happened on the other types of streets he was studying, places where it would turn out the neighbors didn't know each other as well, and it was less clear who "belonged." Repeatedly, though, he found at the end of cul-de-sacs families who watched each others' children and took in each others' mail, who barbequed and orchestrated the removal of snow together, and who considered each other close friends. In cul-de-sacs, these families had a stronger sense of shared social space and territoriality. An outsider stood out.
The above YouTube clip was embedded in this LiveScience article: "Sinkholes are an increasingly deadly risk in Florida, due primarily to the region's geology. The state is largely underlain by porous limestone, which can hold immense amounts of water in underground aquifers. As groundwater slowly flows through the limestone, it forms a landscape called karst, known for features like caves, springs and sinkholes.
The water in aquifers also exerts pressure on the limestone and helps to stabilize the overlying surface layer, usually clay, silt and sand in Florida. Sinkholes form when that layer of surface material caves in.
The collapse can be triggered by a heavy overload, often caused by a downpour or flooding, or when water gets pumped out of the ground."