What Caused the Arab Spring?
French social scientist Emmanuel Todd says the rapid increase in (women's) literacy, a falling birthrate and a significant decline in the custom of marriage between first cousins are to thank.
What's the Latest Development?
French social scientist Emmanuel Todd calls himself a "cosine academic". In favoring statistical models over political or ideological explanations, it is not surprising that he links the uprisings across the Middle East and North Africa to very measurable metrics: literacy, birth and marriage rates. In each case he sees a process of modernization that augments individuals' liberties. "When more than 90 percent of young people can read and write and have a modicum of education, no traditional authoritarian regime will last for long."
What's the Big Idea?
In seeking to explain the Arab Spring, idealists have appealed to a pan-Arab desire for democratic ideals while materialists have blamed Arab economies for being highly vulnerable to inflation and recently rising food prices. But Todd sees it another way: "The basic fallacy consists in seeing the ideological or religious crises in the Islamic countries as phenomena of regression. On the contrary, these are crises of a modernization that destabilize the ruling regimes. The fact that the turmoil in the region and the advance of fundamentalism are coinciding is a classic phenomenon."
Upstreamism advocate Rishi Manchanda calls us to understand health not as a "personal responsibility" but a "common good."
- 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.
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.
- 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.
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.
- 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.
An innovation may lead to lifelike evolving machines.
- 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.
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