Watching the World
According to one survey, some 10.3 percent of sexually active Brazilian men aged 15 to 64 have had sex with at least one person met online within the past 12 months.—BRAZILIAN MINISTRY OF HEALTH.
The Arctic Ocean has long been covered by vast sheets of ice up to 260 feet [80 m] thick. Now such “multiyear ice . . . has effectively vanished, a startling development that will make it easier to open up polar shipping routes.”—REUTERS NEWS SERVICE, CANADA.
Moscow and the Vatican have announced the establishment of full diplomatic relations between them.—RIA NOVOSTI, RUSSIA.
Kilimanjaro, Africa’s highest mountain, “lost 26 percent of its ice cover between 2000 and 2007.”—DAILY NATION, KENYA.
Individualistic but Depressed
According to researchers, Britain is “the most individualistic society in the world, valuing the self over the group,” reports London’s Daily Telegraph. Another study found that Britons suffer some of the highest levels of depression and anxiety. Some experts believe that there is a connection. Studies compared societies such as those found in the Western world with those of China and Taiwan. In the latter, the greater value given to social harmony over individuality seemed to protect people from poor mental health. In the West, “selfish society . . . is making us depressed,” states the Telegraph.
Same-Sex Marriage in the Church of Sweden
In October 2009, the Lutheran Church of Sweden approved church weddings for homosexuals. The decision followed the Swedish parliament’s adoption of a gender-neutral marriage law just a few months earlier. “This means that the Church of Sweden is one of the first of the major churches in the world to deviate from the traditional view of marriage as a union between a man and a woman,” says the newspaper Dagens Nyheter.
In What Language Do Babies Cry?
From as early as the second day of life, babies cry to the tune of their mother tongue, according to researchers from Würzburg University, in Germany. The researchers recorded the cries of 30 French and 30 German newborns, analyzing frequency, melodic patterns, and pitch. The cries of French babies often began on a lower pitch and then moved higher, while those of German babies often began higher and then became lower. In both cases, the babies were mimicking melody patterns typical of the languages of their parents. Hence, it is believed that language development starts in the womb and that a baby’s language starts with its earliest cries.