This blog post draws on data and research discussed in our entry on World Population Growth.UPDATE: On September 20 and again on October 7 I have updated the World Population Cartogram and made a number of minor changes.
[…] Doctors and policymakers in the rich world are increasingly worried about loneliness. Campaigns to reduce it have been launched in Britain, Denmark and Australia. In Japan the government has surveyed hikikomori, or “people who shut themselves in their homes”. Last year Vivek Murthy, a former surgeon-general of the United States, called loneliness an epidemic, likening its impact on health to obesity or smoking 15 cigarettes per day. In January Theresa May, the British prime minister, appointed a minister for loneliness.
As anyone who lives in a city knows, public sidewalks these days are a free-for-all of pedestrians staggering along, zombie-like, staring intently at the screens of their phones. As well as infuriating other pedestrians, there’s some evidence that this behavior increases our chances of being hit by a car.
To avoid that fate for its smartphone-addicted residents, a Dutch town is trying out a pilot program to put traffic lights where everyone is already looking. On the pavement.
Of all the changes within Nicaragua to come out of the overthrow of the Somoza regime by the Sandinistas in 1979, perhaps the least anticipated was the birth of a new language. Nicaraguan Sign Language is the only language spontaneously created, without the influence of other languages, to have been recorded from its birth. And though it came out of a period of civil strife, it was not political actors but deaf children who created the language’s unique vocabulary, grammar, and syntax.
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Sentences that start with the phrase “A guru once told me…” are, more often than not, eye-roll-inducing. But recently, while resting in malasana, or a deep squat, in an East London yoga class, I was struck by the second half of the instructor’s sentence: “A guru once told me that the problem with the West is they don’t squat.”
A paternoster lift lacks most of the essential qualities we associate with elevators; it never stops for passengers and features no doors or buttons in its compartments or on the various floors it services. Indeed, its cars do not even slow down to allow riders to enter or disembark. Despite its eccentric features, paternosters have a big fan base, which largely explains why these unusual elevators continue to exist.
A decade ago, the landlocked state of Kosovo declared independence from Serbia. In the years since, 113 UN states have come to recognize this diamond-shaped block, a little smaller than the state of Connecticut, as a country in its own right. Its neighbor Serbia, however, has not. Tensions between the two territories persist, particularly as many ethnic Serbs continue to live in a country they do not believe exists.