European Smackdown: America is now an innovation follower?

The European Innovation Scorecard, which measures the relative innovation performance of EU member nations vis-a-vis the U.S. and Japan, shows once again that the Nordic countries (Sweden, Finland, Denmark) are at the top of the innovation rankings, while the newest member states of Europe (e.g. the former Soviet satellites of Eastern Europe) are at the bottom. So far, so good. What's shocking, though, is that the U.S. is now considered an INNOVATION FOLLOWER, joined by the likes of Iceland, the UK, France, Belgium, Netherlands, Austria and Ireland. The U.S. even trails Germany and Switzerland when it comes to innovation. As if that wasn't bad enough, the nations of Spain and Italy are considered to be among the laggards of Europe when it comes to innovation. Despite a huge head-start, they're basically struggling to keep up with the likes of Bulgaria, Romania and Slovakia.

As the URENIO Portal blog points out, this is all part of a larger trend. Many of the new EU Member States are steadily catching up with the EU average, while at the same time, the EU is rapidly gaining ground on both the US and Japan:

"The US and Japan are still ahead of the EU25 in terms of innovation

performance, but the innovation gap between the EU25 and Japan, and in

particular, with the US, is decreasing. The EU25 has improved its

relative performance compared to the US in S&E graduates, tertiary

education, business R&D, early-stage venture capital, medium-high

and high-tech manufacturing employment, EPO patents, USPTO patents and

community trademarks. The EU has improved its relative performance

compared to Japan mostly in S&E graduates and broadband penetration

rate. For business R&D, the share of medium/high-tech R&D and

the employment share in medium/high-tech manufacturing, the EU has

experienced a decline of its relative performance."

[image: World Wrestling Entertainment]

Why a federal judge ordered White House to restore Jim Acosta's press badge

A federal judge ruled that the Trump administration likely violated the reporter's Fifth Amendment rights when it stripped his press credentials earlier this month.

WASHINGTON, DC - NOVEMBER 16: CNN chief White House correspondent Jim Acosta (R) returns to the White House with CNN Washington bureau chief Sam Feist after Federal judge Timothy J. Kelly ordered the White House to reinstate his press pass November 16, 2018 in Washington, DC. CNN has filed a lawsuit against the White House after Acosta's press pass was revoked after a dispute involving a news conference last week. (Photo by Alex Wong/Getty Images)
Politics & Current Affairs
  • Acosta will be allowed to return to the White House on Friday.
  • The judge described the ruling as narrow, and didn't rule one way or the other on violations of the First Amendment.
  • The case is still open, and the administration may choose to appeal the ruling.
Keep reading Show less

How to split the USA into two countries: Red and Blue

Progressive America would be half as big, but twice as populated as its conservative twin.

Image: Dicken Schrader
Strange Maps
  • America's two political tribes have consolidated into 'red' and 'blue' nations, with seemingly irreconcilable differences.
  • Perhaps the best way to stop the infighting is to go for a divorce and give the two nations a country each
  • Based on the UN's partition plan for Israel/Palestine, this proposal provides territorial contiguity and sea access to both 'red' and 'blue' America
Keep reading Show less

Scientists just voted to change the definition of a kilogram

The definition of a kilogram will now be fixed to Planck's constant, a fundamental part of quantum physics.

Greg L via Wikipedia
Surprising Science
  • The new definition of a kilogram is based on a physical constant in quantum physics.
  • Unlike the current definition of a kilogram, this measurement will never change.
  • Scientists also voted to update the definitions of several other measurements in physics.
Keep reading Show less