Posts Tagged ‘World’

Rising education levels save lives

In Read on January 21, 2011 at 7:09 am

The Institute for Health Metrics and Evaluation (IHME) has released a study finding that as the education level among women rises in developing countries, the mortality rate among young children in those countries goes down:

Between 1970 and 2009, mortality in children under age 5 dropped from 16 million to 7.8 million annually, and IHME researchers estimate that 51% of the reduction can be linked to increased education among women of reproductive age. This means that 4.2 million fewer children died in 2009 because women received more years of schooling.

“More education helps mothers make better choices in a range of areas – personal hygiene, nutrition, parenting approaches,” said Dr. Christopher Murray, IHME Director and one of the paper’s co-authors. “It also helps them take better care of their own health when pregnant, and, after the child is born, they are able to navigate the expanding array of health services being offered to their families.”

Researchers also believe that higher education levels among mothers will increase the likelihood that they are willing to accept and adopt new medical advances as they become available, thus creating a synergistic effect that can further reduce mortality rates.

Google Earth stunners

In View on January 20, 2011 at 7:25 am

PC World has put together a list of some notable sights on Google’s Maps or Earth satellite views.  Some are just well-timed pictures (see an airplane in flight over England at slide 13) and some are spectacular shots of the natural world in action (elephants running at slide 10 and below, and Victoria Falls at slide 11):

African elephants on the move.  Google Earth.

African elephants on the move. Google Earth.

To look at any of these locations paste the coordinates from the description into Google Earth or Google Maps.  When the map comes up look around for the arrow and that should mark the spot.  Here’s a link to the elephants above in Google Maps.  You can see that in this particular part of Africa, there are only a few select locations that have photos at this zoom level.  (Also, PC World flipped this photo for some reason in their slideshow.)  There’s a bigger herd of elephants just to the west of this group.

UPDATE:  PC World’s Part 2.  My favorite is the Coliseum at slide 10.

Seven Wonders panoramas

In View on September 13, 2010 at 7:19 am

I can’t keep the various Seven Wonders of the [X] World straight, but one list is the New Seven Wonders of the World.  The wonders themselves aren’t new, just the list.  They were announced on July 7, 2007 (07/07/07) and even have their own website.


The point is that has excellent HD panoramic photos of these wonders.  Click on the images below to see the full versions:

Colosseum, Italy

Colosseum, Italy

The Great Wall, China

The Great Wall, China

Petra, Jordan

Petra, Jordan

Taj Mahal, India

Taj Mahal, India

Machu Picchu, Peru

Machu Picchu, Peru

Christ Redeemer, Brazil

Christ Redeemer, Brazil

Chichen Itza, Mexico

Chichen Itza, Mexico

Sally Centrifuge for developing countries

In Read on September 9, 2010 at 7:19 am

Two Rice University undergrads have invented a device that uses a salad spinner as a simple centrifuge that medical clinics in developing countries can use without electricity.

Lauren Theis and Lila Kerr with the Sally Centrifuge.  Photo by Jeff Fitlow/Rice University.

Lauren Theis and Lila Kerr with the Sally Centrifuge. Photo by Jeff Fitlow/Rice University.

Rice sophomore Lila Kerr and freshman Lauren Theis will take their Sally Centrifuge abroad for nearly two months this summer as part of Beyond Traditional Borders (BTB), Rice’s global health initiative that brings new ideas and technologies to underdeveloped countries. Kerr will take a spinner to Ecuador in late May, Theis will take one to Swaziland in early June and a third BTB team will take one to Malawi, also in June.

When tiny capillary tubes that contain about 15 microliters of blood are spun in the device for 10 minutes, the blood separates into heavier red blood cells and lighter plasma. The hematocrit, or ratio of red blood cells to the total volume, measured with a gauge held up to the tube, can tell clinicians if a patient is anemic. That detail is critical for diagnosing malnutrition, tuberculosis, HIV/AIDS and malaria.

Click through for the full story and a video interview with the creators (who both have non-engineering backgrounds, BTW).

Via:  Freakonomics

Parting of the sea

In Read, View on September 3, 2010 at 7:18 am

Continuing with this week’s perfect-timing-natural-phenomena theme (see:  Yosemite firefall), here’s the story of the “Moses Miracle of Jindo” in South Korea:

Two times a year, during a low tide, a land path 2.8 kilometers long and 40 meters wide is revealed, uniting the islands of Jindo and Modo for a period of one hour. A festival is dedicated to this natural wonder and people from all around the world attend every year.

The Jindo Sea Parting Festival.

The Jindo Sea Parting Festival.

Via:  The Presurfer

Lego wall patches

In Read, View on August 16, 2010 at 7:14 am

Wired UK has the story of a German artist who has been fixing walls with Lego patches around the world:

His “Dispatchwork” began in 2007 in the small village of Bocchignano, Italy, as part of the contemporary art festival 20 Eventi. Developing the work in situ, he became intrigued by the makeshift repairs that had been made to the crumbling walls. The approach favoured function over appearance, reminding Vormann of the haphazard Lego designs created by children.

Lego Patches

Lego Patches

Check out the artist’s website, which has photo galleries based on location:

Via:  Slashdot

Electricity in Ghana

In Read, View on August 12, 2010 at 7:39 am

The village of Wangtugu in northern Ghana was connected with reliable electricity two years ago.  Peace Corps worker and photojournalist Peter DiCampo has been visiting the village since 2006, and has photos of life before and after the lights went on:

Photo by Peter DiCampo.

Photo by Peter DiCampo.

The story in Wired tells of economic and health benefits that have come with electricity, but also of other unexpected cultural shifts that may happen.

Christopher Hitchens interview

In Read on July 16, 2010 at 7:47 am

This week Hugh Hewitt spent his entire Tuesday show interviewing Christopher Hitchens.  Hitchens is probably most well-known for his 2009 book God Is Not Great, and he recently made news with the announcement that he is undergoing treatment for esophageal cancer.

Hewitt’s interview [full transcript] primarily focused on Hitchens’s newly released memoir, Hitch-22:

HH: Now before the break, I mentioned I was going to ask you about the best people you met. This is, in many respects, a memoir of friendship – Martin Amis and Edward Said, and others throughout your entire life. Were they the best people that you knew? Is that who you look back as being the best? Or is it some public figure?

CH: No, I think they were, I mean, for me, there’s a cynical remark made by an Englishman, I think he was Hesketh Pearson, actually, who was a friend of G.K. Chesterton’s, who said a friend is God’s apology for relations. And when I was young, my family was perfectly nice. I write a lot about it, as you noticed. But it was rather limited. I think, I don’t think anyone in my family would really feel I’d done them an injustice by saying that. We didn’t see many people. There were many books. It was as if I wanted to get away from home. And so when I was able to choose my own company, I felt that was a huge stage in my own sort of self-emancipation. And then so friends are family to me.

Hewitt’s interviews tend to be worthwhile reading because of his heavy prep work (a sign of respect for his interviewee) and his willingness to undertake the long-form interview on the radio (a sign of respect for his audience).

This conversation with Hitchens is no exception, and is perhaps even more notable because of the magnanimity and generosity demonstrated by these two men who hold positions at opposite ends of the religious and political spectra.

World Cup musings

In Read on July 9, 2010 at 7:07 am

In recognition of this weekend’s final World Cup games, here are some thoughts from Allen Yeh on “How Soccer Explains the World”:

  • Sport can be the greatest unifier.  Everyone loves football, whether rich or poor, black or white, male or female.  It cuts through social stratifications.
  • Sport can be the greatest divider. Ugly nationalism can also rear its head.
  • Sport elicits the highest allegiance in many countries.  If you think that the greatest sports rivalries are Yankees-Red Sox, or Lakers-Celtics, nothing will prepare you for European and Latin American football (Brazil vs. Argentina is almost as intense as you can get).

Allen only got Spain right in his predictions for the final four, but read his piece before Sunday’s final nonetheless.

UPDATE:  Vanity Fair has eight photos of the beautiful game across Europe from Dutch photographer Hans van der Meer:

Photo by Hans van der Meer.  Click for hi res.

Photo by Hans van der Meer. Click for hi res.

“Don’t steal, man.”

In Watch on July 8, 2010 at 7:03 am

John Hinderaker at Power Line uncovers a highlight from the G20 riots:

“Civilization’s first and principal line of defense isn’t the police department, it is the citizenry.”

UPDATE:  At 0:07 check out dude in the brown shirt thinking twice about stepping into the Bell store.

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