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Watching the World

Watching the World

“At the beginning of 2011, there were 5.4 billion mobile cellular subscriptions worldwide.”​—UN CHRONICLE, U.S.A.

Over the past decade, “disasters have caused more than 780 000 deaths, with earthquakes accounting for nearly 60% of all disaster-related mortality.”​—THE LANCET, BRITAIN.

“Over the last 20 years, about 800,000 Russians have committed suicide.”​—ROSSIISKAYA GAZETA, RUSSIA.

In the Philippines, a country where divorce is not permitted, the proportion of 15- to 49-year-old women who cohabit in common-law, or “live-in arrangements . . . , more than doubled between 1993 and 2008.”​—THE PHILIPPINE STAR, PHILIPPINES.

In the Republic of Georgia, “79.2 percent of the population . . . is affected by passive smoking.” In the capital, Tbilisi, “87.7 percent of children are affected.”​—TABULA, GEORGIA.

Medical Tourism in Asia

More and more patients from various parts of the world are traveling abroad to receive quality medical care, often at a fraction of the price they would have to pay at home. Business World reports that one million “medical tourists” are expected per year in the Philippines by 2015, and the same number are expected in South Korea by 2020. India, Malaysia, Singapore, and Thailand are also popular destinations. Demand is not limited to Westerners seeking help in such areas as orthopedics and cardiology. Many newly affluent Chinese are also visiting plastic surgeons with pictures of “celebrities they want to look like,” says the report.

Multitaskers Perform Poorly

Technology often obliges employees to work on two or more complex tasks simultaneously and answer queries immediately. Yet, “workers who are doing multiple things at one time are doing them poorly,” says Clifford Nass, director of the Communication Between Humans and Interactive Media Laboratory, at Stanford University, U.S.A. Reportedly, multitaskers are often stressed, are more easily distracted by irrelevant stimuli, do not think deeply and, as a result, miss important details. Nass suggests: “When you start to do something, do it and nothing else for 20 minutes. This trains you to focus, to think deeply.”