Watching the World

“Women living in poor countries are 300 times more likely to die during pregnancy or childbirth than if they lived in rich countries.”​—BUSINESSWORLD, PHILIPPINES.

According to a survey in Germany, 40 percent of 11- to 15-year-olds there do not know that the sun rises in the east; 60 percent do not know that the period between successive full moons is four weeks.​—WELT ONLINE, GERMANY.

Archaeologists have found a Philistine temple in ancient Gath. The structure, anchored on two central columns, is reminiscent of the Biblical account of Samson, who braced himself against such pillars, causing the temple to collapse.​—THE JERUSALEM POST, ISRAEL.

Importing Asian Brides

“Asian men from rich countries such as Japan and South Korea are increasingly seeking brides from poorer [Asian countries] like Vietnam and the Philippines,” says the online Philippine newspaper BusinessWorld. Between 1995 and 2006, the number of Japanese men marrying foreign women increased by 73 percent. Why? “Economically liberated local women get picky,” says the report, and are more reluctant to wed. Women from poorer countries, on the other hand, are willing to wed even working-class men in richer nations, because they “offer hope of a better life.”

Perfecting Infidelity?

A controversial online dating site operating in five countries promotes its services with the slogan: “Life is short. Have an affair.” According to its founder, the service does not make people more likely to be unfaithful to their partners, since those who turn to it have “already reached that decision.” “Most of the problems associated with infidelity come because people get caught. We allow people who want to have affairs to do so discreetly,” he asserts. “We did not invent infidelity​—we just perfected it.” The service currently boasts some 6.4 million members.

Born to Dance?

“Humans have a unique ability to coordinate their motor movements to an external auditory stimulus, as in music-induced foot tapping or dancing,” says a report published by researchers from the universities of York, England, and Jyväskylä, Finland. The researchers found that even before infants learned to speak, they responded to the rhythm of music and spontaneously tried to move in time with the beat. The more successful their attempts, the longer they smiled. This suggests that the sense of rhythm and a desire to move with music are not something we pick up but something that comes naturally.