Stories give meaning to data - Hans Rosling’s 200 Countries, 200 Years.
Though Bangladesh remains a poor country (GDP/head of $1,900 at purchasing-power parity), the country has made huge gains in education and health. Infant mortality has more than halved, from 97 deaths per thousand live births in 1990 to 37 per thousand in 2010. Robust grass-roots institutions can achieve much that money can’t buy (via: The Economist).
Data compiled by The Economist show that of the six Bonds, Pierce Brosnan was the most bloodthirsty, bumping off an average of 19 baddies per film. The short-lived George Lazenby, it turns out, was the Bond for the babes, whereas Daniel Craig, the latest, is notably less successful. Maybe that’s because he drinks the most martinis (via: The Economist).
In the matter of both political outlook and political participation genes seem to matter quite a lot - claim Peter Hatemi of Pennsylvania State University and Rose McDermott of Brown University. Their research shows that genes affect a person’s views of the world, almost as much as his circumstances do, and assist in deciding which opinions an individual will find most attractive. Fascinating. (via: The Economist).
Since Monday, Burmese troops have been pounding rebel positions of the Kachin Independence Army in Hpakant, amid clashes that have raged since a 17-year peace agreement between the two sides was shattered in June last year. Aside from lucrative jade and mineral deposits, the contested areas in are home to vast hydropower potential on Kachin rivers, and lucrative trade routes to Yunnan. More here. (via:RFA)
Salman Khan, founder of the Khan Academy, on Al Jazeera’s TV Show, The Stream. Khan Academy is a pioneer of online education. The website covers topics from calculus to microeconomics to art history and has received millions of views on YouTube. Talk about disruptive innovations!
Not everyone is convinced, however, that online learning or Khan Academy is the solution to all problems in education. This blog post critiques Khan Academy for attempting to go beyond its limits, arguing, “it is not a coherent curriculum of study that engages students at all their cognitive levels”.
Here is the full story on Al Jazeera’s website.
The south and the states along the west coast are generally richer (via the Economist)
It is a strange fancy to suppose that science can bring reason to an irrational world, when all it can ever do is give another twist to the normal madness