Watching the World
In Germany, 7 out of 10 babies already have an online presence. Parents create profiles and e-mail addresses for them or post their photos or ultrasound images. Experts advise caution, however, as online photos can accompany a child for life.—BABY UND FAMILIE, GERMANY.
According to government statistics, every year in Russia 14,000 women die as a result of domestic violence.—RIA NOVOSTI, RUSSIA.
Snow falling on Mount Everest at altitudes of 22,500 feet (6,858 m) to 25,432 feet (7,752 m) contains levels of arsenic and cadmium considered dangerous for drinking water. Man-made pollution is thought to be to blame.—SOIL SURVEY HORIZONS, U.S.A.
The only company authorized to print Bibles in China recently produced its 80-millionth copy. The company produces 1 million Bibles per month—a quarter of all those currently being printed worldwide.—XINHUA, CHINA.
“Slightly more than 10 percent of American adults (10.1 percent) have left the Catholic church after having been raised Catholic.”—NATIONAL CATHOLIC REPORTER, U.S.A.
Natural Disasters of 2010
A leading insurance company recorded 950 natural catastrophes worldwide in 2010, exceeding the last decade’s average of 785 events per year. The five worst disasters were earthquakes in Chile, China, and Haiti; floods that inundated Pakistan; and a heat wave in Russia, where tens of thousands died from the effects of heat and air pollution. Over northern Europe, ash from an Icelandic volcano caused little direct damage but nearly paralyzed air traffic. In Australia two severe hailstorms caused in excess of $2 billion (U.S.) of damage. “Total economic losses, including losses not covered by insurance,” says The Telegraph of London, “rose to $130 billion from last year’s $50 billion.”
Were Neanderthals Like Us?
“The long-held view that Neanderthals were inferior to Homo sapiens is changing as, one by one, capabilities thought unique to us have been linked to them,” says New Scientist. Recent discoveries indicate that Neanderthals built shelters and hearths, controlled fire, wore clothes, cooked food, made tools, and created glue to attach spear points to their shafts. There is also evidence that they cared for sick individuals, wore symbolic ornaments, and buried their dead. According to Erik Trinkaus, professor of physical anthropology at Washington University, St. Louis, Missouri, U.S.A., “Neanderthals were people, and they probably had the same range of mental abilities we do.”