Category Archives: Culture

Maps of the day II: We’re all getting much taller


But Americans, once the third tallest men and fourth tallest women in the world in 1914 have fallen comparatively in the century since, now ranking 37th and 42nd tallest place respectively by 2014, according to a new global survey:

Relative global heights of men in 1914 [top] and 2014 [bottom]:

BLOG Ht men

And the keys for 1914, left, and 2014, right:

BLOG Ht men upper

BLOG Ht men lower

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

And the same comparison for women, with 1914 above and 2014 below:

BLOG Ht women

And the relative scales for 1914 [left] and 2014 [right]:

BLOG Ht women upper

BLOG Ht women lower

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

So just how much taller and where?

A report on the study from Imperial College London:

Dutch men and Latvian women are the tallest on the planet, according to the largest ever study of height around the world.

The research, led by scientists from Imperial College London and using data from most countries in the world, tracked height among young adult men and women between 1914 and 2014.

Among the findings [open access], published in the journal eLife the research revealed South Korean women and Iranian men have shown the biggest increases in height over the past 100 years. Iranian men have increased by an average of 16.5cm, and South Korean women by 20.2cm. Interactive world maps are available here.

To see a full list of the countries please click here.

The height of men and women in the UK has increased by around 11cm over the past century. By comparison, the height of men and women in the USA has increased by 6cm and 5cm, while the height of Chinese men and women has increased by around 11cm and 10cm.

The research also revealed once-tall USA had declined from third tallest men and fourth tallest women in the world in 1914 to 37th and 42nd place respectively in 2014. Overall, the top ten tallest nations in 2014 for men and women were dominated by European countries, and featured no English-speaking nation. UK women improved from 57th to 38th place over a century, while men had improved slightly from 36th to 31st place.

The researchers also found that some countries have stopped growing over the past 30 to 40 years, despite showing initial increases in the beginning of the century of study. The USA was one of the first high-income countries to plateau, and other countries that have seen similar patterns include the UK, Finland, and Japan. By contrast, Spain and Italy and many countries in Latin America and East Asia are still increasing in height.

Furthermore, some countries, particularly those in sub-Saharan Africa, North Africa and the Middle East have even seen a decline in average height over the past 30 to 40 years.

There’s lots more after the jump, including an explanation for humanity’s vertical explosion. . .

Continue reading

Americans feel guilty over food waste, but. . .


Agreement with statements related to food waste.

Agreement with statements related to food waste.

Doing anything about it on the domestic scene is just too much of a bother, according to a new report from Ohio State University:

Even though American consumers throw away about 80 billion pounds of food a year, only about half are aware that food waste is a problem. Even more, researchers have identified that most people perceive benefits to throwing food away, some of which have limited basis in fact.

A study published today in PLOS ONE [open access] 77is just the second peer-reviewed large-scale consumer survey about food waste and is the first in the U.S. to identify patterns regarding how Americans form attitudes on food waste.

The results provide the data required to develop targeted efforts to reduce the amount of food that U.S. consumers toss into the garbage each year, said study co-author Brian Roe, the McCormick Professor of Agricultural Marketing and Policy at The Ohio State University.

The researchers developed a national survey to identify Americans’ awareness and attitudes regarding food waste. In July 2015, it was administered to 500 people representative of the U.S. population.

The study found that 53 percent of respondents said they were aware that food waste is a problem. This is about 10 percent higher than a Johns Hopkins study published last year, Roe said, which indicates awareness of the problem could be growing.

“But it’s still amazingly low,” he said. “If we can increase awareness of the problem, consumers are more likely to increase purposeful action to reduce food waste. You don’t change your behavior if you don’t realize there’s a problem in the first place.”

Among other findings, the study identified general patterns that play a role in people’s attitudes regarding household food waste.

“Generally, we found that people consider three things regarding food waste,” said doctoral student Danyi Qi, who co-authored the study. “They perceive there are practical benefits, such as a reduced risk of foodborne illness, but at the same time they feel guilty about wasting food. They also know that their behaviors and how they manage their household influences how much food they waste.”

In particular, the survey revealed patterns in how Americans think about food waste:

  • Perceived benefits: 68 percent of respondents believe that throwing away food after the package date has passed reduces the chance of foodborne illness, and 59 percent believe some food waste is necessary to be sure meals are fresh and flavorful.
  • Feelings of guilt: 77 percent feel a general sense of guilt when throwing away food. At the same time, only 58 percent indicated they understand that throwing away food is bad for the environment, and only 42 percent believe wasted food is a major source of wasted money.
  • Control: 51 percent said they believe it would be difficult to reduce household food waste and 42 percent say they don’t have enough time to worry about it. Still, 53 percent admit they waste more food when they buy in bulk or purchase large quantities during sales. At the same time, 87 percent think they waste less food than similar households.

There’s more, after the jump. Continue reading

Headline of the day: Let’s scarf up some shit, dude


Toronto ponders the origin of the feces, via the Independent:

First poo-themed dessert cafe set to open in Canada

The restroom-restaurant will be a first for a city that is renowned for its varied and international culinary scene

Headline of the day: The Fox News frat house


From the Guardian:

Roger Ailes accused of harassment by at least 20 women, attorneys say

Accusations against Fox News CEO have poured in since former host Gretchen Carlson filed a lawsuit, her legal team say, with some claims dating back decades

More on the scandal and a Fox internal investigation  from the New York Times:

Network staff members were acutely focused on Megyn Kelly, who had hinted in recent months she wanted to leave the network. She was one of the women who told Paul, Weiss investigators that Mr. Ailes had acted improperly with her, one of the people briefed on the inquiry said Tuesday.

Ms. Kelly maintained her silence on Wednesday. But as the end of Mr. Ailes’s chairmanship approached, it appeared to embolden other women to discuss their own experiences at the network. Several spoke with reporters on condition that they not be named.

In interviews, several current and former Fox News employees said inappropriate comments about a woman’s appearance and her sex life were frequent in the newsroom.

The newsroom has been on edge in the weeks since Ms. Carlson filed her suit, one person said. Everybody wants to talk about the drama but nobody wants to talk in the open, the person said.

U.S.: Give land to indigenous people to save it


How incredibly sensible.

From the Thomson Reuters Foundation:

Indigenous people are better than governments at preventing forests from being cut and should be seen as a solution, not a barrier to protecting them, the U.N. Special Rapporteur on the Rights of Indigenous People said on Tuesday.

Indigenous peoples and communities have claims to two thirds of the world’s land but are legally recognised as holding only 10 percent, according to think tank World Resources Institute (WRI).

Without title deeds, indigenous communities may find their land is taken over for major development projects such as palm oil plantations and logging.

“Society thinks that indigenous peoples are claiming land that they shouldn’t be having because it should be used for expanded food production,” U.N. Special Rapporteur Victoria Tauli-Corpuz told the Thomson Reuters Foundation.

But giving indigenous peoples rights to land was a guarantee that forests, which store carbon and contribute to food security would continue to exist, Tauli-Corpuz said.

Headline of the day II: Is nothing sacred?


BLOG Gauloises

Back in the days when we were black turtlenecks and hing out in coffee shops [long before espressos and lattes were trendy], we’d buy the occasional pack of Gauloises because, well, all them French existentialists and jazz musicians smoked ’em. That or Gitanes [literally, Gypsies].

So did guys like Serge Gainsborough, one of our favorite directors.

But, alas, no more [even though we’ve given up the evil weed, save for the very occasional puff or too].

From the Guardian:

Smokers fume as France mulls ban on ‘too cool’ Gitanes and Gauloises

Tobacco firms demand clarification of new public health law that could see some brands outlawed for being too trendy

Chart of the day: Immigration polarization


From Gallup:

BLOG Immigrate