What's On: Greek Social Tragedy
The Greek government acknowledged that it will miss its deficit target this year and move ahead with plans to slash thousands of public-sector jobs to meet creditor demands.
What's the Latest Development?
There is no easy solution to Greece's sovereign debt crisis. The government announced yesterday that it will not meet its deficit-reduction goals this year even while it goes ahead with plans to cut thousands of public-sector jobs to meet its creditors' demands. "Greece also has agreed to take some $8.8 billion in new austerity measures in 2011 and 2012 to bring its budget back on track, but some economists warned that additional cuts will further weigh on the country's growth." Today, European finance leaders will discuss Greece's progress on reforms.
What's the Big Idea?
The Greek government is caught in a terrible situation. In order to receive further economic assistance from the European Union, it must undertake economic reform which entails cutting many public-sector jobs. Without further bailout funds from the European Commission, the next slice of which is currently at stake, the government could run out of money by the middle of this month. The global economic slowdown has only complicated Greece's efforts to pay back its creditors, bogging down all of Europe in financial uncertainty.
Antimicrobial resistance is growing worldwide, rendering many "work horse" medicines ineffective. Without intervention, drug-resistant pathogens could lead to millions of deaths by 2050. Thankfully, companies like Pfizer are taking action.
- Antimicrobial-resistant pathogens are one of the largest threats to global health today.
- As we get older, our immune systems age, increasing our risk of life threatening infections. Without reliable antibiotics, life expectancy could decline for the first time in modern history.
- If antibiotics become ineffective, common infections could result in hospitalization or even death. Life-saving interventions like cancer treatments and organ transplantation would become more difficult, more often resulting in death. Routine procedures would become hard to perform.
- Without intervention, resistant pathogens could result in 10 million annual deaths by 2050.
- By taking a multi-faceted approach—inclusive of adherence to good stewardship, surveillance and responsible manufacturing practices, as well as an emphasis on prevention and treatment—companies like Pfizer are fighting to help curb the spread.
Entrepreneur and author Andrew Horn shares his rules for becoming an assured conversationalist.
- To avoid basing action on external validation, you need to find your "authentic voice" and use it.
- Finding your voice requires asking the right questions of yourself.
- There are 3-5 questions that you would generally want to ask people you are talking to.
Sarco assisted suicide pods come in three different styles, and allow you to die quickly and painlessly. They're even quite beautiful to look at.
Death: it happens to everyone (except, apparently, Keanu Reeves). But while the impoverished and lower-class people of the world die in the same ol' ways—cancer, heart disease, and so forth—the upper classes can choose hip and cool new ways to die. Now, there's an assisted-suicide pod so chic and so stylin' that peeps (young people still say peeps, right?) are calling it the "Tesla" of death... it's called... the Sarco!
Swiss researchers identify new dangers of modern cocaine.
- Cocaine cut with anti-worming adulterant levamisole may cause brain damage.
- Levamisole can thin out the prefrontal cortex and affect cognitive skills.
- Government health programs should encourage testing of cocaine for purity.
SMARTER FASTER trademarks owned by The Big Think, Inc. All rights reserved.