China’s most important border is imaginary: the Hu Line

First drawn in 1935, Hu Line illustrates persistent demographic split – how Beijing deals with it will determine the country's future.

Credit: Tomaatje12, CC0 1.0 – Public domain.
  • In 1935, demographer Hu Huanyong drew a line across a map of China.
  • The 'Hu Line' illustrated a remarkable divide in China's population distribution.
  • That divide remains relevant, not just for China's present but also for its future.

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‘Cockeyed’ map shows both glamour and margins of 1930s Hollywood

Legendary cartoonist John Groth's pictorial map captures LA's film factories in their Golden Age.

Credit: Public domain, via David Rumsey Map Collection.
  • Maps are the safest way to travel during the pandemic - old maps even allow for time travel.
  • This 1930s view of Hollywood captures the film factories of Los Angeles in their Golden Age.
  • But it's not all glitz and glamour: look to the margins for the hard work done by immigrants.
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Norway has highest share of women scientists and engineers in Europe

Despite overall increase over the past 20 years, share of women in science and engineering falls in some European countries

Credit: Eurostat
  • Norway's 55% of women in science and engineering is a massive improvement over the past two decades.
  • 20 years earlier, just over a third of Norwegian scientists and engineers were women.
  • Europe overall progressed from 30% to 41%, but some countries saw a dramatic drop.
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In France’s Red Zones, World War I never ended

More than a century after the end of hostilities in 1918, some battlefields of WWI are still deadly enough to kill you.

Credit: Guicherd, J. & Matriot, C.: La terre des régions dévastées – Journal d'Agriculture Pratique 34 (1921). CC BY-SA 2.5
  • More than a century after the end of WWI, an area the size of Paris is still off limits.
  • This archipelago of Red Zones remains pockmarked with deadly explosives and chemicals.
  • They are silent witnesses to the long-lasting environmental impact of modern warfare.
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Why do ‘Kevins’ vote for far-right parties?

In Germany and France, having an Anglo-Saxon first name is a good predictor of extreme voting behavior.

  • Kevin (1), Cindy and other 'Anglo' first names are especially popular in some areas of France and Germany.
  • These also happen to be the regions where far-right parties are very successful.
  • The link: working-class whites, inspired by English-language pop culture and disaffected from mainstream politics.
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