It’s more than an annoyance. Those who are stuck in long commutes every day face physical and mental health challenges that could easily be dismissed because of our need to support ourselves and our families, but at what cost?
Leave it to a car company to break life down into segments associated with their factory warranties. That’s exactly what was done in this entertaining look at the way we live through the decades.
This infographic, courtesy of Watertown CT Kia, gives us a glimpse at life events such as getting a new job or getting a house and uses them as the highlights that make up our existence. Click to enlarge.
Via: Automotive SEO
Food speculation is the business practice of “betting” on whether food prices will go up or down. In a recent report (pdf), WDM attempts to expose this issue.
The world is facing a global food price crisis. In 2008, food prices reached record levels, rising 80% in 18 months, pushing the total number of people going hungry to over 1 billion. Following this peak food prices rapidly declined. However, since 2009 the cost of food has been climbing again on global markets, with food prices reaching record highs once again in early 2011. Many commentators expect food prices to continue to rise, threatening the lives and livelihoods of millions of people.
This huge increase in the cost of food and a sharp increase in food price volatility over recent years triggered a global debate on the causes and solutions to this crisis. Some factors are widely agreed to have had an impact on food prices, such as declining crop yields as a result of climate change, the impact of growing demand for biofuels and the long-term neglect of investment in agriculture by governments around the world.
The role of financial speculation in contributing to this crisis has been much more controversial. Many have argued that the huge increase in financial participation in commodity derivative markets has played a central role, fueling price inflation and increasing price volatility. In the UK, the World Development Movement has played a pioneering role in drawing attention to the impacts of financial speculation.
The Sumatran sport of Pacu Jawi, or “Mud Cow Racing” is held in the beginning of each rice harvesting season in Minangkabau to bring fun and encouragement to the people. Between 500-700 cows are used for the event.
With their hands and feet occupied steering the cows, jockeys must bite the tails of the cows to make them go faster. It’s dirty, dangerous, and somewhat deranged, but it’s an event worth watching nonetheless.
Here’s the best video we could find. Low quality, but it does capture the event well enough.
Just in case you think of them as the patriarchs of modern music or the venerable legends of Liverpool, just remember: they had pimples too as kids.
(via: All That is Interesting)
There are many groups such as PETA that fight animal cruelty, but few address the issues surrounding animal captivity. Supporters of zoos claim that giving animals food, shelter, and protection from predators and hunters is a fair exchange for enclosing them in areas with no hope of “living free.”
For many animals, such as the lion above, this just isn’t the case.
Their instincts tell them to live wild. They want to hunt, to mingle with other animals, to travel in their native lands and be animals. In zoos, many of these creatures have been forced to deny their instincts and change the way they live. It may not be cruelty to animals the way most define, but it’s far from an ideal existence.
Calls for Freedom Accompanied by Explosion in Socialist Preferences
Report finds 85% of people approve of Muslim Brotherhood participation in politics
WASHINGTON, April 6, 2011 /PRNewswire/ — A new social media analysis report has identified a rapidly growing preference for neo-socialist politics among Arabs who are taking part in the region’s revolutionary movements.
The study, conducted by News Group International, the Dubai based media intelligence company, found that 70 percent of online conversations called for Arab governments to play a significantly greater role in their national economies.
The report was a preview of News Group’s Arab Media Influence Report (AMIR) and was presented at “Arab Social Media & Predictive Analytics,” an event held at the National Press Club in Washington, D.C.
“We are facing a dichotomy,” explained Mazen Nahawi, president of News Group. “On the one hand the public is calling for freedom, accountability and justice. On the other hand over 70% of them are also demanding that their governments take the lead in solving national problems, increasing public sector pay and taking the central role in economic and social planning going into the future.”
Nahawi said many governments in the region had responded to these calls with large increases in public spending and employment in state institutions: “Saudi Arabia has just unveiled a $93 billion program that focuses on free public housing and the employment of 50,000 people in the security services. Countries like Oman, Jordan, Syria and Algeria are taking similar steps, while somewhat different in scale, they are identical in taking much larger government involvement to appease public anger.”
The study drew a parallel between this trend of neo-socialism and government policy most directly in Egypt, where many businessmen from the country and around the world are losing their businesses. Several are being held on charges for being associated with the regime. “It is a throw back to the Nasser era in the 1960s, where billions in private businesses were either seized or put under the radar of the state – this goes for businessmen who may have taken illegal advantage of their relationship with the former regime, but it also is impacting many entrepreneurs who did no wrong,” said Nahawi.
The second main political trend identified in the social media analysis was the rapid increase in conversation about Islamic political movements, with a particular focus on the Muslim Brotherhood, and, to a lesser extent, the Salafi movement.
“We found 85% of Egyptians and similarly high numbers of people across the region approving of the participation of the Muslim Brotherhood in politics,” explained Fadl Al Tarzi, COO of News Group. “That did not translate into support for the Brotherhood which varies at between 8% and 21% depending on the country and demographic being studied.”
The Arab Media Influence Report (AMIR) is based on an analysis of data from over 10 million online conversations each day. “Our data shows that social media is continuing to play a major role in determining the course of popular uprisings around the Arab world,” Al Tarzi said.
“News Group’s findings in last year’s report accurately identified that social media had created a new Arab consciousness that was leading to major changes in the way people viewed themselves and their place in life,” added News Group President Mazen Nahawi. “Social media did not create the Arab Spring, but it was a key driver because it allowed the development of free, interactive thinking in the Arab heart and mind. Once people realized they could love who they want, do business with who they want, choose the products they preferred and talk freely about their experiences with people around the world…. It was a logical conclusion that their next step would be demand for major political change.”
The complete preview of the AMIR can be found at http://newsgroup.ae/amir2011/amir-march-29.pdf.
A video of the entire presentation and panel discussion can be found at http://www.viddler.com/explore/GothamMedia/videos/103/.
Findings from the preview include:
- There are now 65 million Internet users in the Arab world. That number is expected to reach 80 million by 2012. That figure represents 30.8 percent, higher than the global average of 28.7 percent.
- “The Syrian Revolution” Facebook page currently has over 95,000 fans and is increasing in popularity. Over 70% of users responded negatively to the recent reforms announced by the Syrian government.
- In Q 1 2010 35% of Arabic conversations on social media included political terms, this number increased to 88%i n 2011.
- Many users think that the Arab region will be ripe for an Arab union that ends years of unjustified splits and disagreements.
- In Egypt positive opinions of the U.S. slipped from 43% in 2010 to 27% in 2011. Negative sentiment grew from 35% to 63% in the same period.
- There are now 17 million Facebook users in the Arab world. In 2010 Arabic became the fastest growing language on Facebook.
The presentation of the AMIR preview was followed by a panel discussion featuring noted experts and analysts of social and traditional media in the Arab world, including:
Mazen Nahawi President, News Group International, the Dubai based news management company, monitoring and analyzing traditional and social media around the MENA Region
Sheldon Himelfarb Associate Vice President of the Center of Innovation for Media, Conflict, & Peace building, United States Institute of Peace
Paul Swider Special Projects Editor, Office of eDiplomacy, United States Department of State
Adel Iskandar Center for Contemporary Arab Studies, Georgetown University
Camille Elhassani Senior White House Producer, Al-Jazeera English
Much of the conversation focused on the use of social media as an analytical tool to forecast future events in the Arab-speaking world. “You cannot Google the future,” explained Nahawi. “But, just as we did last year and now again in this report, you can identify trends that are shaping public discourse and enable yourself to prepare and react to them effectively.” Selections from last year’s panel discussion are available at http://www.newsgroup.ae/past-year-videos.htm
News Group International’s 2011 Arab Media Influence Report (AMIR) is now available for purchase. The Report can be fully customized according to your requirements, including focusing on specific political or socio-economic issues, focusing on particular geographies, adding Farsi social media content, etc. Please contact email@example.com for more information about purchasing this year’s AMIR or other News Group services.
About News Group News Group is a news management company founded in 2002. The company and its subsidiaries specialize in the sourcing, distribution, creation, monitoring and analysis of news content in the emerging markets of the Middle East, Africa and the Indian sub-continent. The group includes seven subsidiaries that employ over 300 people. News Group is based in Dubai and operates in 30 countries across the Middle East & North Africa (MENA) region, primarily through its subsidiaries
Fadl Al Tarzi
News Group International
USA Tel: 202-281-4071
Dubai Tel: +917504598156
SOURCE News Group International
Top-rated tablet faces stiff competition from Motorola Xoom in lab tests
YONKERS, N.Y., April 5, 2011 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ — After almost a year in which the Apple iPad has been virtually the only game in town in tablet computers, some serious competitors are finally hitting the market. Yet in Consumer Reports latest tests of the 10 most-promising tablet computers, the Apple iPad 2 with Wi-Fi and 3G topped the Ratings. The full report including Ratings of tablets is available at www.ConsumerReports.org.
In Consumer Reports lab tests, the Motorola Xoom revealed itself as the iPad 2′s chief rival. Like the iPad 2, the Xoom boasts a 10-inch screen but adds conveniences that the iPad lacks, including a built-in memory card reader and support for the Flash videos and animations found on many Web sites.
“So far, Apple is leading the tablet market in both quality and price, which is unusual for a company whose products are usually premium priced,” said Paul Reynolds, Electronics Editor at Consumer Reports. “However, it’s likely we’ll see more competitive pricing in tablets as other models begin to hit the market.”
Consumer Reports tested tablets from Archos, Dell, Motorola, Samsung, and ViewSonic, as well as several models from Apple. Each tablet was evaluated on 17 criteria, including touch-screen responsiveness, versatility, portability, screen glare, and ease of use, and testers found several models that outperformed the rest. The Apple iPad 2 with Wi-Fi plus 3G (32G), $730, topped the Ratings, scoring Excellent in nearly every category. The first-generation iPad, $580, also outscored many of the other models tested but tied with the Motorola Xoom, $800.
The largest gap in performance among the 10 tested tablets was evident in Consumer Reports’ battery-life test, measured by playing the same video clip continually on each tablet and timing how long it played until the battery ran down. The top-scoring iPad 2 lasted 12.2 hours, but one of the lowest rated, the Dell Streak 7, $450, lasted just 3.8 hours.
Before choosing a tablet, Consumer Reports recommends that consumers consider the following:
Many features are almost universal. Easy-to-use touch screens based on capacitive technology are now widely available. All the models Consumer Reports tested feature Wi-Fi and Bluetooth connectivity, a front-facing webcam, and GPS capability. Android-based models can be expanded using built-in USB ports or slots for SD flash-memory cards, but the iPad 2 lacks both.
You get what you pay for. With prices for the best tablets still too high for many budgets, consumers may be tempted by lower-priced competitors. Don’t be, says Consumer Reports, whose tests have found the performance of models costing $300 and under to be at best mediocre. Buying a tablet with a data plan may lower the initial cost of the device, but cancelling early may result in a stiff penalty. Otherwise, it might be cheaper to buy a 3G-capable model without a contract.
Future-proofing will pay off. Hardware specifications don’t tell the whole story. Portability, storage capacity, and weight are important. But less obvious differences in software, connectivity, and upgradability are critical too. And with faster 4G data networks becoming more widely available, 4G capability (or at least the ability to upgrade to it) is also a plus.
For additional buying advice and model recommendations, check out the May 2011 issue of Consumer Reports on newsstands April 5th. And for the latest Ratings of tablet computers, go to www.ConsumerReports.org.
The material above is intended for legitimate news entities only; it may not be used for advertising or promotional purposes. Consumer Reports® is published by Consumers Union, an expert, independent nonprofit organization whose mission is to work for a fair, just, and safe marketplace for all consumers and to empower consumers to protect themselves. We accept no advertising and pay for all the products we test. We are not beholden to any commercial interest. Our income is derived from the sale of Consumer Reports®, ConsumerReports.org® and our other publications and information products, services, fees, and noncommercial contributions and grants. Our Ratings and reports are intended solely for the use of our readers. Neither the Ratings nor the reports may be used in advertising or for any other commercial purpose without our permission. Consumers Union will take all steps open to it to prevent commercial use of its materials, its name, or the name of Consumer Reports®.
SOURCE Consumer Reports
Pepsico, Kraft Foods, and Nestlé are among the corporations partnered with a biotech company found using aborted fetal cell lines to test food flavor enhancers, according to a pro-life watchdog group.
… continue at Life Site News)