Wednesday, July 25, 2018

The Nobel Prize:The Great Intellectual Flight from the Old World to the New

The Nobel Prize has existed for 117 years. In that time, a total of 916 prizes have been awarded to individuals and organizations, with some receiving the Nobel Prize more than once.

In this article I  examine the national, ethnic and gender  composition of the laureates. I examine TRENDS over time,  and I show how the allocation of  Nobel awards  reflects the history and the evolution of the world over the past 117 years.

This article is not an exercise in nationalism or chauvinism. To the contrary, you’ll see that there is probably no more international population on the planet than the  body of Nobel laureates. But to demonstrate this, it is necessary to identify each laureate’s background. This is the first objective of this article. A second, and related, objective is to demonstrate the changing composition of this population and to show that the trends over time   reflect the world’s geopolitical  and cultural evolution.

Tuesday, July 24, 2018

Turkeys and Squirrels and Bunnies, Oh My!


If you think that life in the suburbs is boring, think again. It is full of surprises, especially if you have a backyard where creatures small and big make their home. Whether you like it or not, you become a witness to all the exciting, cruel and beautiful drama that nature has to offer.

Every late afternoon, two female turkeys come by for their supper. They are large animals, with iridescent feathers, the color of bronze and copper. Their heads are small, reddish brown and their wattle is modest, unlike the tom turkeys’ incredibly elaborate appendage, turning blue, red or white, depending on their emotional state. My two females come all the way up to the French doors, waiting while they groom themselves. They wait for me to step out and spread bird seeds on the grass. Now they are impatient, following me around the yard until I have emptied the container. I sit down on the bench and watch them eat, a few feet away from me.

Suddenly, their small heads jerk up. They run to the edge of the yard, making a strange clucking sound. I don’t know why. But then I hear faint high-pitched squeaking come from the next yard. I recognize it as a turkey chick’s call for his mother. I know this, because every morning we have another female turkey come into the yard with seven little baby chicks in tow.

Why is it calling? Where is its mother? We stand there, the two turkeys, and I, peering through the trees, trying to figure out why and from where the chick is calling. Read more...

Monday, July 2, 2018

Abortion: A Sad State of Affairs


The majority of countries in the world do not allow abortions on demand. Only 32% have laws that permit abortion if the woman wants it. The United States is one of the 63 countries where this is legal.

The majority of countries in the world do not allow abortions on socio/economic grounds. They force women to bear children that they cannot support or that for some other socio/economic reason they do not want.

Half of all countries do not allow abortions in case of rape or incest.

A little under half of all world countries do not allow abortions when it endangers the mental or physical health of the woman. It is only when the woman’s life is in danger that abortion is legal in 96% of world countries. Still, some countries don’t even allow it in those cases.

Approximately 25% of the world's population lives in countries with highly restrictive abortion laws, which either completely ban abortion, or allow it only to save the mother's life. That means that hundreds of millions of women on earth are denied control over their own bodies.

This category of countries includes most countries in Latin America and the Middle East, approximately half of the countries of Africa, seven countries in the Asia-Pacific region, and two countries (Malta and Ireland) in Europe. Read more...