(Roughly) Daily

Factoids from around the world…

KOREA
52% of Korean infants aged 3-5 regularly use the Internet, spending on average 4 hours every week online.
Ref: Korean Herald (Korea)

RUSSIA
5% of Soviet officials under President Gorbachev had security service backgrounds. Under Putin the figure was 78%.
Ref: Harper’s (US)

BRITAIN
The wealthiest 20% of the British population cycles 250% further each year than the poorest 20%.
Ref: The Times (UK)

By the year 2050, 90% of British adults will be obese.
Ref: Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development (France)

JAPAN
Five of the top ten best-selling novels sold in Japan during 2007 started life as cell-phone stories (i.e.  digital downloads to mobile phones)
Ref: South China Morning Post (China)

UNITED STATES
In 2000, the death rate of poor people aged under-65 in the US was 60% higher than for rich people. The figure was also 100% higher than it was back in 1980.
Ref: New Scientist (UK)

AUSTRALIA
Australia has overtaken the US as the most obese nation on earth according to an Australian study. 26% of adults in Australia are now classified as obese. In the US the figure is 25%.
Ref: Financial Times (UK)

CHINA
The population of China is 1,330, 044, 605 (give or take). By the year 2050 this is expected to hit 1,424,161,948.  However, the really interesting statistic is this is that there are 130 million people aged 60+ in China at present; by 2050 it will be 400 million.
Ref: China Daily (China)

Thanks to friend Richard Watson, on whose site, Now and Next, the reader can find these and other tid-bits.

As we connect the dots, we might recall that it was on ths date in 19 BCE that Publius Vergilius Maro, better known to us as Virgil, died (in Brindisi, on his return from a trip to Greece).  Happily for posterity, he had recently removed from his will a request that the text of The Aeneid be burned after his death.

A bust of Virgil, from the entrance to his tomb in Naples

Update:  Reader FC points out that one of today’s factoids is confusingly worded:

UNITED STATES
In 2000, the death rate of poor people aged under-65 in the US was 60% higher than for rich people. The figure was also 100% higher than it was back in 1980.
Ref: New Scientist (UK)

FC asks “How can the death rate be higher (or lower) than 1?”

Apologies.  As the cited New Scientist piece made clearer that your correspondent did, it is the differential (not the death rate itself) that grew 100% from 1980 to 2000.  So in 1960, poor people under-65 in the US was 30% higher than for rich people; over 20 years that gap doubled to 60%.  The point, the New Scientist suggests (from its vantage in the UK), is that “healthcare is infamously inequitable in the US, and it appears to be getting worse.”

The journal article on which it is based is here (download full paper here).

Written by (Roughly) Daily

September 21, 2008 at 1:01 am

Posted in Uncategorized

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