China Wants More Guns, Less Butter

China has at once decreased it economic forecast and bolstered its military budget. The change signals its search for higher-quality manufacturing and a modest military ambition. 

What's the Latest Development?


China has released its new military budget and announced decreased expectations for economic growth in the years ahead, causing concern over political stability in East Asia and the strength of global markets. For 2012, China will increase military expenditures by 11.2 percent, breaking the $100 billion mark. From 2005 to 2011, the Chinese government forecast annual economic growth at eight percent, a goal it easily overcame every year. From 2011 to 2015, it has lowered its expectations to seven percent growth annually. 

What's the Big Idea?

China's increased military spending does not threaten the US and will do little to change the region's power scheme as the US shifts many of its forces to Southeast Asia and maintains an annual military budget of over $600 billion. Economically, China is set to focus less on its production of exports, preferring to develop a consumption-based domestic economy. That will mean introducing, "structural tax cuts and helping small and midsize businesses with preferential tax policies," Chinese Premier Wen Jiabao said before the country's legislature. 

Photo credit: shutterstock.com


'Upstreamism': Your zip code affects your health as much as genetics

Upstreamism advocate Rishi Manchanda calls us to understand health not as a "personal responsibility" but a "common good."

Sponsored by Northwell Health
  • Upstreamism tasks health care professionals to combat unhealthy social and cultural influences that exist outside — or upstream — of medical facilities.
  • Patients from low-income neighborhoods are most at risk of negative health impacts.
  • Thankfully, health care professionals are not alone. Upstreamism is increasingly part of our cultural consciousness.
Keep reading Show less

Meet the Bajau sea nomads — they can reportedly hold their breath for 13 minutes

The Bajau people's nomadic lifestyle has given them remarkable adaptions, enabling them to stay underwater for unbelievable periods of time. Their lifestyle, however, is quickly disappearing.

Wikimedia Commons
Culture & Religion
  • The Bajau people travel in small flotillas throughout the Phillipines, Malaysia, and Indonesia, hunting fish underwater for food.
  • Over the years, practicing this lifestyle has given the Bajau unique adaptations to swimming underwater. Many find it straightforward to dive up to 13 minutes 200 feet below the surface of the ocean.
  • Unfortunately, many disparate factors are erasing the traditional Bajau way of life.
Keep reading Show less

Golden blood: The rarest blood in the world

We explore the history of blood types and how they are classified to find out what makes the Rh-null type important to science and dangerous for those who live with it.

Abid Katib/Getty Images
Surprising Science
  • Fewer than 50 people worldwide have 'golden blood' — or Rh-null.
  • Blood is considered Rh-null if it lacks all of the 61 possible antigens in the Rh system.
  • It's also very dangerous to live with this blood type, as so few people have it.
Keep reading Show less

Scientists create a "lifelike" material that has metabolism and can self-reproduce

An innovation may lead to lifelike evolving machines.

Shogo Hamada/Cornell University
Surprising Science
  • Scientists at Cornell University devise a material with 3 key traits of life.
  • The goal for the researchers is not to create life but lifelike machines.
  • The researchers were able to program metabolism into the material's DNA.
Keep reading Show less