Fact-a-day

At the end of the tunnel

May 22nd, 2015

The Ebola outbreak of 2014 had a mortality rate of around 60% and claimed more than 11 000 lives, with Guinea, Sierra Leone and Liberia bearing the brunt of the loss. More than a year after the outbreak started, in May 2015, Liberia became the first of the three countries to be declared Ebola-free. (http://bit.ly/1F1gN6J see the The Economist’s infographic on the outbreak here: http://econ.st/1c8xu96)

This week’s theme: Death and Disease

Survival of the smartest

May 21st, 2015

The Darwin awards recognise those that die in such an idiotic manner that ‘their action ensures the long-term survival of the species, by selectively allowing one less idiot to survive.’ A recent paper for the British Medical Journal found that males are significantly more likely to receive a Darwin award; of the 318 valid awards granted over a 20 year period, 88.7% were awarded to males. (http://bmj.co/1dkjbQv)

This week’s theme: Death and Disease

Managing Malaria

May 20th, 2015

The World Health Organization projects that every year about 3.2 billion people are at risk of malaria. In 2012 there were an estimated 207 million cases of malaria and an estimated 627 000 deaths. 90% of all malaria deaths occur in sub-Saharan Africa. (http://bit.ly/1EWQO0t)

This week’s theme: Death and Disease

Old news

May 19th, 2015

Average life expectancy worldwide has increased by 18.5 years since 1960, from 52.5 to 71 years in 2013. Over the same time period South Africa’s life expectancy increased by 7 years from 49 years to 56.7 years in 2013. (http://bit.ly/LW1Qbh).

Watch Hans Rosling’s brilliant representation of changing life expectancies worldwide – 200 countries, 200 years in 4 minutes: http://on.fb.me/1Glx6kb)

This week’s theme: Death and Disease

Longevity

May 15th, 2015

Three people born in the 1800′s are still with us today, all three are women with two living in the USA and one in Italy. The oldest living person is Jeralean Talley from the USA, born on May 23 1899, she’ll be turning 116 next Saturday. (http://usat.ly/1PJTqoq)

This week’s theme: Global Awards

Top Honours

May 14th, 2015

An OECD think tank recently conducted a comparison of high school education in 76 countries based on the mathematics and science results of 15 year old students. Singapore was ranked the overall best; the United States came in at 28th and South Africa was ranked 75th only beating out Ghana. (http://bbc.in/1e1qvjY)

This week’s theme: Global Awards

Happy times

May 13th, 2015

According to the World Happiness Report 2015 which ranks countries by level of

Winds of change

May 12th, 2015

In 2014, Denmark set a new world record for renewable energy production, with 39.1% of the country’s overall electricity generated by wind turbines. By the end of March 2015, the country had more than 5000 turbines with generation capacity of approximately 4900 MW.(http://bit.ly/1EvzEHW, http://bit.ly/1dYFtY5)

This week’s theme: Global Awards

Good harvest

May 11th, 2015

For the first quarter of its current fiscal year, US technology giant Apple reported the biggest quarterly profit ever made by a public company with a net profit of $18 bn. The massive profits were driven by record sales of 74.5 million iPhones in that quarter. (http://bbc.in/1FeT3T2)

This week’s theme: Global Awards

Mobilise

May 7th, 2015

9.7 million (59%) youth age 18 – 34 years in South Africa have personally accessed the internet in the past year. Of those, the vast majority (95%) accessed the internet using their mobile phones. (AMPS2014B)

This week’s theme: Youth Market

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