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Watching the World

Watching the World

United States

In 2012, 14.5 percent of U.S. households—a total of 49 million people—were “uncertain of having, or unable to acquire, enough food to meet the needs of all their members” at some time during the year, according to Department of Agriculture statistics.


A study of university students found that about 56 percent of women and 41 percent of men admitted to binge drinking, which this study defined as consuming at least eight standard drink units (for men) or six standard drink units (for women) in one sitting.

Pacific Ocean

Scientists who took samples at a depth of some 36,000 feet (11,000 m) in the Mariana Trench found that bacteria and other microbes flourish there—despite complete darkness, crushing pressure, and near-freezing temperatures. Previously, it had been thought that life at such depths would be scarce.

United Arab Emirates

In an effort to combat increasing obesity, the authorities of Dubai recently offered residents one gram of gold, at that time worth approximately $45 (U.S.), for every 2.2 pounds (1 kg) of body weight that they lost. To receive the gold, people had to register and then lose a minimum of 4.4 pounds (2 kg) during the month of Ramadan.