At 12:51 p.m. today, a 6.3 magnitude earthquake struck the Canterbury region of New Zealand’s South Island, near the country’s second-largest city, Christchurch. It is an aftershock of a massive, deeper earthquake that hit New Zealand last September, and has already caused more damage, injuries, and fatalities than the earlier quake.
A series of devastating photographs:
Alan Taylor – In Focus – The Atlantic.
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National Geographic has launched a series of articles on the world’s population reaching seven billion this year. Some of the fascinating facts from the magazine :
“In 1975 only three cities worldwide topped ten million – today there are 21 such megacities.
Before the 20th century, no human had lived through a doubling of the human population, but there are people alive today who have seen it triple.
There are more than twice as many people on the planet today as there were in 1960.
The current population of the planet could fit into the state of Texas, if Texas were settled as densely as New York.”
– a 50-year anniversary: The Tyranny of Defense Inc. in The Atlantic recalls President Dwight Eisenhower’s farewell address on January 17, 1961. He warned Americans of the dangerous rise of the “military-industrial complex”:
“Every gun that is made, every warship launched, every rocket fired signifies, in the final sense, a theft from those who hunger and are not fed, those who are cold and are not clothed. Any nation that pours its treasure into the purchase of armaments is spending more than mere money. It is spending the sweat of its laborers, the genius of its scientists, the hopes of its children.”
To emphasize the point, Eisenhower offered specifics:
The cost of one modern heavy bomber is this: a modern brick school in more than 30 cities … We pay for a single fighter with a half million bushels of wheat. We pay for a single destroyer with new homes that could have housed more than 8,000 people.
– defence spending is not on the list compiled by Nobel Laureates of eight very small investments that will help the planet the most, number one being micronutrients;
– from The Social Animal in the The New Yorker:
I’ve come to think that happiness isn’t really produced by conscious accomplishments. Happiness is a measure of how thickly the unconscious parts of our minds are intertwined with other people and with activities. Happiness is determined by how much information and affection flows through us covertly every day and year.”
– New York makes me happy even though it is the most unequal city in the most unequal state in the most unequal developed country in the world.
Have a good weekend.
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