86 would be able to read and write; 14 would not
7 would have a college degree
40 would have an Internet connection
78 people would have a place to shelter them
from the wind and the rain, but 22 would not
1 would be dying of starvation
11 would be undernourished
22 would be overweight
91 would have access to safe drinking water
9 people would have no clean, safe water to drink
Jeff Desjardins: Mapped: Visualizing the True Size of Africa (Visual Capitalist)
The reason for this is that the familiar Mercator map projection tends to distort our geographical view of the world in a crucial way — one that often leads to misconceptions about the relative sizes of both countries and continents.
The African continent has a land area of 30.37 million sq km (11.7 million sq mi) — enough to fit in the U.S., China, India, Japan, Mexico, and many European nations, combined.
A map of the world's lighthouses.
Where the data is available (and you can see it’s quite sparse for some areas of the world), the map shows the location, color, range, and flashing frequency/pattern of each lighthouse. The color and flashing pattern of a lighthouse is called the characteristic. Each lighthouse has a different characteristic so that mariners can tell them apart and to indicate different water areas.
Oliver Corlett: Iran: Wealth and Colonialism (Popula)
If you were a 70 year old who had lived in Iran all your life, you would not be able to remember a time, except for a brief interlude in the early 1980s, when your country was neither (a) occupied by a foreign power, (b) ruled by the puppet of a foreign power, nor (c) prevented from free trade by the sanctions of a foreign power. That is what comes of being what the British imperialist Lord Curzon called in 1892—even before oil became a strategic issue—one of “the pieces on a chessboard upon which is being played out a game for the dominion of the world”. More than a century later, Iran (Persia as it was in Curzon’s day) is still a piece on the board.
Longreads Member Exclusive: 'The Nature of Social Evil'
Maria Bustillos picked Ernest Becker’s ‘Escape from Evil’.
Becker won a Pulitzer for his previous book, The Denial of Death, but this one, published posthumously and building on ideas from that earlier work, is far, far better, to my mind, more compact, more advanced, more compelling. This book is pragmatic synthesis of multiple disciplines in the science of man, the place where humanities and science collide. Theories about Becker's work abound, but for me his great gift was the way he seemed to have led us to the threshold of a new enlightenment, clear-eyed, undeceived, ready to take the next step. It's a step the reader may be able to intuit, and perhaps even gain, and make practical use of in his or her own life: '[W]e have to take a full look at the worst in order to begin to get rid of illusions. Realism, even brutal, is not cynicism.'
Tom Philpott: How Not to "Feed the World" (Mother Jones)
The solution to the growing global food crisis will not be technical; it will be social and political. The Oxfam report offers a good start: The World Bank, which operates under the leadership of a president chosen by the US, should stop financing dodgy land deals in the global south—as it has been doing—and start advising the governments of low-income, food-insecure countries to set up strict protections for smallholder farmers. Further, Oxfam advises, the World Bank should cajole low-income nations to insist that any land deals be structured to ensure that local food security is enhanced by them.
The Onion: Nation Suddenly Realizes This Just Going To Be A Thing That Happens From Now On
Following Hurricane Sandy’s destructive tear through the Northeast this week, the nation’s 300 million citizens looked upon the trail of devastation and fully realized, for the first time, that this is just going to be something that happens from now on.
Jack McDonald: Joseph Kony and Crowdsourced Intervention (Kings of War)
Joseph Kony deserves to be put in cuffs and dragged before the ICC. Raising the profile of the heinous nature of the guy’s crimes is awesome. The idea that popular opinion can be leveraged with viral marketing to induce foreign military intervention is really, really dangerous. It is immoral to try and sell a sanitised vision of foreign intervention that neglects the fact that people will die as a result.
Why I don't think I'm a curmudgeon for thinking the green Iran icons are a joke. "…if you believe for one minute that publicly agreeing with an echo chamber is changing anyone’s mind, behavior, or outlook, you need to stand up, locate your disused front door, walk the fuck through it, and then go spend a full (unwired) day doing something to actually help another person."
Butterflies and Wheels: Identity is That Which is Given
Kenan Malik writes that the attempt to preserve "cultural identity and authenticity" is largely an inauthentic act, one steeped in relativism and traditionalism, and more concerned with how individuals "should" act than how they actually do. Thanks to @kemp for the link.
"'Garden of Eden', 2007 by Wollle shows eight pedestals, each of which is covered with an airtight Plexiglas box. Via the internet, the latest air pollution levels in the capitals of the G8-countries are obtained. The system reproduces these levels artificially inside these boxes, each of which contains a lettuce that serves an indicator of the quality of the air inside the capsules."
Beautiful photographs, at once empty and full. This set is called "Silent World" by whoever put this page together, but I can't find any reference to that collection on Kenna's website, so I think this is a fan mashup.
Wired: Clive Thompson Explains Why We Can Count on Geeks to Rescue the Earth
People like Bill Gates who can truly understand the horror of millions of people suffering will save us. "Perhaps we should avoid leaders who 'feel your pain,' because their feelings will crap out at, you know, eight people."