Category Archives: News

Syrian Refugees in 2013


Since the armed conflict began in Syria, an estimated 100,000 people have been killed, and as many as 2 million people had fled the nation seeking refuge in neighboring countries. The majority of the refugees had fled to neighboring Lebanon, Turkey, and Jordan. Egypt and Iraq have seen an influx of Syrian refugees as well.

Additionally, another 4 million people had been internally displaced, roughly 1 of every 4 inhabitants, including an estimated 2 million children.

Source: PBS: Syrian Refugees


Same-Sex Marriage by State

state policies on same sex marriage 2013The Supreme Court stroke down the Defense of Marriage Act (DOMA) on June 26th, 2013 ruling in favor of recognition of same-sex marriage by the federal government in states where it is already legal.

To date, 12 states have already legalized same-sex marriage: Massachusetts (first state to do so in 2003), Connecticut, Delaware, Maryland, Minnesota, New Hampshire, New York, Rhode Island, Vermont, Washington state, Maine, and Iowa. The District of Columbia also legalized gay marriage. Additionally, 8 states have certain legal provisions and civil unions for gay couples: California, Colorado, Hawaii, Illinois, Nevada, New Jersey, Oregon, and Wisconsin.

Several states are still against same-sex marriage, and 29 of them amended their constitutions to ban it.

For the interactive map, please visit: Pew Research Center: Same-Sex Marriage State-by-State


Economic and Human Impact of Natural Disasters

economic and human impact of disastersThis visualization by the United Nations Office of Disaster Risk Reduction (UNISDR) shows the impact of natural disasters in the period 2000-2012.

Between 2009 and 2011 the economic cost of disasters increased from $50 billion to $371 billion due to the 2011 Great East Japanese Earthquake. The largest number of people killed occurred in the period 2009-2010, mainly due to earthquakes, including the 2010 Haiti earthquake. The largest number of people affected in the last twelve years occurred between 2001 and 2002, mainly due to droughts, including droughts in China and India.

Source: United Nations on Tumbler


Global Attitudes About the Economy

global attitudes about the economyA survey conducted by the Pew Research Center in 39 nations, regarding attitudes about the state of the economy in the respondents’ respective countries, yielded interesting results.

Respondents in emerging economies are the most optimistic. A median of 53% believe their economy is doing well, specially in China and Malaysia. In contrast, respondents in developed economies are the most pessimistic. A median of only 24% say their economy is doing well. European nations such as Greece, Italy, Spain, and France are the most pessimistic of all.

In the case of developing economies, some are somewhat optimistic (Philippines and Bolivia), and other not so much (Tunisia and Lebanon).

Source: Pew Research Global Attitudes Project: Widespread Dissatisfaction with Economy

Read full report: Pew Research Global Attitudes Project: Economies of Emerging Markets Better Rated During Difficult Times


Number of Nuclear Tests Since 1945

North Korea conducted its third nuclear test on February, 2013. Two nuclear test preceded this one, the first in 2006, and the second in 2009.

However, the nation that has performed the largest number of nuclear tests since 1945 is the United States, a total of 1,032. In the same period, the USSR/Russia performed a total of 715 nuclear tests, and France performed a total of 210 nuclear tests.

Source: Statista: North Korea Conducts Third Nuclear Test



Meteorite Impacts Around the Globe

Between 2500 B.C. and 2012, a total of 34,513 meteorite impacts have been registered, 33,277 (96%) of them with a mass of 10 Kg. or less. Only 531 meteorites with a mass of 40 Kg. or more, have been recorded in the same time period. The most common type of meteor registered is the L6 (19%), followed by types H5 (16%), H4, H6,and L5.

In the lower graph it is interesting to note, that the frequency of meteor impacts remained relatively constant until the year 1974, when we start to see spikes and larger numbers of registered impacts that continue to the present.

For the interactive map, visit: Health Intelligence: Registered meteorites that has impacted on Earth visualized