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Why is vanilla so expensive? | The Economist
 
05:20
In recent years, natural vanilla has sometimes been more expensive than silver by weight. Vanilla farmers in Madagascar are cashing in—but violence, theft and volatile markets are threatening their prospects. Read more here: https://econ.st/2W5qwNB Click here to subscribe to The Economist on YouTube: https://econ.st/2xvTKdy From ice cream to cakes and even perfume, vanilla is the go-to flavour the world over. In recent years the price of natural vanilla has shot up. At one point it was more expensive than silver by weight. 80% of the world’s vanilla is grown in the perfectly suited climate of the north-east region of Madagascar. It’s the country’s primary export crop. For the farmers, like Beni Odon, life is far sweeter when the vanilla price is high. In 2014 vanilla was $80 a kilo. Three years later it was $600. Today it’s around $500. The price rise is due in part to global demand. The trend of eating naturally means that food companies have shunned synthetic flavouring in favour of the real deal. Beni and the other farmers are cashing in. But things can change very quickly. Price fluctuations affect producers of agricultural commodities everywhere but vanilla is particularly volatile. In just a few weeks the price can jump, or plummet, by over 20% Liberalisation is one reason for such movements. The Malagasy government once regulated the vanilla industry and its price. But now the price is negotiated at the point of sale which makes for a freer market but a more volatile one. It’s also a tiny industry. A single cyclone can knock out the entire crop within Madagascar. It’s also a difficult and delicate crop to grow. The growers have to contend with another problem. Thieves are targeting the vanilla crops. Some farmers have resorted to harvesting the beans before they’re ripe but this produces a poorer quality vanilla and ultimately pushes down the price. The combination of deteriorating quality and high prices is having an effect. The vanilla price bubble may burst. Big buyers that provide vanilla for the likes of Häagen-Dazs and Ben & Jerry’s are now working directly with farmers in a bid to gain greater control over quality. Other companies have started to look elsewhere for their natural vanilla. Indonesia, Uganda and even the Netherlands are growing the crop. For a century Madagascar has enjoyed a near-monopoly on vanilla. But this industry may be in line for a radical overhaul. For more from Economist Films visit: http://films.economist.com/ Check out The Economist’s full video catalogue: http://econ.st/20IehQk Like The Economist on Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/TheEconomist/ Follow The Economist on Twitter: https://twitter.com/theeconomist Follow us on Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/theeconomist/ Follow us on Medium: https://medium.com/@the_economist
Views: 530720 The Economist
What happens when we sleep? | The Economist
 
02:45
Sleep is central to maintaining your physical and mental health, but many people don't sleep enough. We all do it, but what happens to us when we sleep? Click here to subscribe to The Economist on YouTube: https://econ.st/2xvTKdy Every night almost everyone on the planet enters into a state of unconsciousness and paralysis - but what is really happening inside the body when we drift off, and what's the impact if we don't get enough sleep? Sleep is regulated by your circadian rhythm, or body clock located in the brain. The body clock responds to light hews ramping up production of the hormone melatonin at night, and switching it off when it senses light. There are four stages of sleep that the body experiences in cycles throughout the night. On a good night we cycle through these stages four or five times. Stages one and two are light sleep. This is a transition from being awake to falling asleep. Heart rate and breathing begin to slow, body temperature falls, and muscles may twitch. Stage 3 is sometimes referred to as Delta sleep - because of the slow Delta brainwaves that are released during this stage. This is the first stage of deep sleep where our cells produce the most growth hormone to service bones and muscles, allowing the body to repair itself. Stage 4 is where we begin to dream. The body creates chemicals that render it temporarily paralyzed so that we do not act out our dreams. In this stage, the brain is extremely active and our eyes, although closed, dark back and forth as if we were awake. Humans roughly spend one third of their lives asleep. Modern lifestyles, stress and the proliferation of Technology, mean that people is sleeping far less today than they were a century ago. Sleeping less than seven hours per day is associated with an increased risk of developing chronic conditions which could reduce life expectancy. So for a healthier longer life get some shut-eye For more from Economist Films visit: http://films.economist.com/ Check out The Economist’s full video catalogue: http://econ.st/20IehQk Like The Economist on Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/TheEconomist/ Follow The Economist on Twitter: https://twitter.com/theeconomist Follow us on Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/theeconomist/ Follow us on Medium: https://medium.com/@the_economist
Views: 77484 The Economist
Why London is the most expensive city to build in | The Economist
 
01:52
Oddly-shaped buildings and unexploded bombs are two reasons it costs more to build in London than any other city. For more video content from The Economist visit our website: http://econ.st/1qe7c8l Subscribe NOW to The Economist: http://econ.st/1Fsu2Vj Get more The Economist Follow us: https://twitter.com/TheEconomist Like us: https://www.facebook.com/TheEconomist View photos: https://instagram.com/theeconomist/ The Economist videos give authoritative insight and opinion on international news, politics, business, finance, science, technology and the connections between them.
Views: 563911 The Economist
The true cost of fast fashion | The Economist
 
06:51
Millions of tonnes of clothes end up in landfill every year—it’s one of the fastest-growing categories of waste in the world. How can the fashion industry continue to grow while addressing the environmental need for people to buy fewer clothes? Click here to subscribe to The Economist on YouTube: https://econ.st/2xvTKdy For more from Economist Films visit: http://films.economist.com/ Check out The Economist’s full video catalogue: http://econ.st/20IehQk Like The Economist on Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/TheEconomist/ Follow The Economist on Twitter: https://twitter.com/theeconomist Follow us on Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/theeconomist/ Follow us on Medium: https://medium.com/@the_economist
Views: 279309 The Economist
Singapore's Economic Success | The Economist
 
02:13
When it started life as an independent, separate country in 1965, Singapore’s prospects did not look good. Tiny and underdeveloped, it had no natural resources and a population of relatively recent immigrants with little shared history. The country’s first prime minister, the late Lee Kuan Yew is credited with transforming it. He called one volume of his memoirs, “From Third World to First”. Why did Singapore become an economic success? First, its strategic location and natural harbour helped. It is at the mouth of the Malacca Strait, through which perhaps 40% of world maritime trade passes. It was an important trading post in the 14th century, and again from the 19th, when British diplomat Sir Stamford Raffles founded the modern city. Now it is at the heart of one of the world’s most dynamic regions. Under Mr Lee, Singapore made the most of these advantages. Second, under Mr Lee, Singapore welcomed foreign trade and investment. Multinationals found Singapore a natural hub and were encouraged to expand and prosper. Third, the government was kept small, efficient and honest—qualities absent in most of Singapore’s neighbours. It regularly tops surveys for the ease of doing business. But the island city is not ideal. Although clean and orderly, it has harsh judicial punishments, a tame press and illiberal social policies. Homosexual acts, for example, remain illegal. Protest demonstrations are rarely permitted. Mr Lee saw his authoritarian style of government as an essential ingredient in Singapore’s success, emphasizing the island’s vulnerability in a potentially hostile neighbourhood. But younger people now question whether Singapore really is that fragile, and resent the restrictions on their freedom.
Views: 232782 The Economist
2019: the year of moon missions, marijuana and mega-hub airports | The Economist
 
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From groundbreaking moon missions to growth in the legal-cannabis market, 2019 will be year of new highs. Here's what to watch out for in the year ahead. Click here to subscribe to The Economist on YouTube: https://econ.st/2xvTKdy For more from Economist Films visit: http://films.economist.com/ Check out The Economist’s full video catalogue: http://econ.st/20IehQk Like The Economist on Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/TheEconomist/ Follow The Economist on Twitter: https://twitter.com/theeconomist Follow us on Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/theeconomist/ Follow us on Medium: https://medium.com/@the_economist
Views: 128411 The Economist
Why do languages die? | The Economist
 
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There are more than 7,000 languages. The number of people speaking English, Spanish and Mandarin continues to grow, but every fortnight a langauge will disappear forever. The Economist's language expert Lane Greene explains why. Click here to subscribe to The Economist on YouTube: https://econ.st/2xvTKdy Irankarapte iishu Dydh Da I don't speak those languages. In fact very few people do. They're used only by a handful of people, and all those languages are in danger of extinction. There are more than 7,000 languages spoken in the world today but about 1/3 of those have fewer than 1000 speakers and according to UNESCO more than 40% of those languages are in danger of extinction. In fact every fortnight one of the world's languages disappears forever. When you say dead language many people think of Latin, but Latin actually never died it's been spoken continuously since the time of the Caesars, but it changed very gradually over 2,000 years until it became French, Spanish, and other Romance languages. True language death happens when communities switched to other languages and parents stopped raising their children to speak their old ones. Then the last elderly speaker dies the language is unlikely ever to be spoken fluently again. If you look at this chart which measures the world's languages in terms of their size and their state of health you can see that most languages are ranked in the middle. English like just a few other dominant languages is up at the top left hand corner it's in a really strong state but if your language is down here in the bottom right hand corner of the graph like Kayupulau from Indonesia or Kuruaya from Brazil you are in serious trouble. In the bad old days governments just banned languages they didn't like but sometimes the pressure is more subtle. Any teenager growing up in the Soviet Union soon realized that whatever language you spoke at home, mastering Russian was going to be the key to success. Citizens of China including Tibetans as well as speakers of Shanghainese or Cantonese face similar pressure today to focus on Mandarin. Once the language is gone well it usually goes the way of the dodo - just one language has ever come back from the dead - Hebrew. It was extinct for two millennia but Jewish settlers to Palestine in the early 20th centuries spoke different languages back in Europe and they adopted Hebrew on their arrival as their common language. It became Israel's official language when the country was fully established in 1948 and now has seven million speakers. Now Hebrew is the world's only fully revived language but others are trying. Cornish, spoken in southwestern England, died out two centuries ago but today there are several hundred speakers of the revived language. Practicality aside human diversity is a good thing in its own right. Imagine going on an exciting holiday only to find that the food, clothing, buildings, the people and yes the language was just the same as back home. Oliver Wendell Holmes put it well "every language is a temple in which the soul of those who speak it is enshrined". Moving that soul of the people from a temple into a museum just isn't the same thing. Daily Watch: mind-stretching short films throughout the working week. For more from Economist Films visit: http://films.economist.com/ Check out The Economist’s full video catalogue: http://econ.st/20IehQk Like The Economist on Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/TheEconomist/ Follow The Economist on Twitter: https://twitter.com/theeconomist Follow us on Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/theeconomist/ Follow us on Medium: https://medium.com/@the_economist
Views: 53262 The Economist
What makes elite athletes thrive or dive under pressure? | The Economist
 
05:49
Psychology is an increasingly important part of elite sport. Winning at the highest levels can depend as much on peak-fitness of the mind as the body. Click here to subscribe to The Economist on YouTube: https://econ.st/2xvTKdy Sponsored by DXC Technology. for top-level sports people it's not just skill and athleticism they count. So often, it's mind over matter. Psychology is now seen as increasingly vital to winning. In elite sport the difference between success and failure is often the finest of margins. The annual boat race between Oxford and Cambridge universities is one of the oldest and most prestigious events in the sporting calendar. For the competitors, it's 20 minutes of pure pain but also pure pressure. How the rowers cope with that intense pressure can make the difference between glory and failure. The Cambridge women's team have won the last two races and this woman has been one of the secrets of their success. Sports psychologist Helen Davis has worked on specific techniques to help the team at the most mentally testing moments in the race. As training for the 2019 race intensifies, just trying to keep up with teammates is mentally grueling. Understanding what makes athletes cope or panic at those crucial moments is an ever-growing obsession in professional sport - it's the multi-billion dollar question that sports psychologists are constantly trying to answer. Dr Jamie Barker lectures at the world's leading sports science university Loughborough in Britain. In 2013 Jamie helped devise a cardiovascular test. It compared the physiological reactions of athletes who thrive in a high-pressure situation with those who flop. A group of aspiring professional cricketers were set a specific target. The cricketers were warned that their results would be made public and would decide who makes the team and who doesn't. Nearly half the players hit the test for six and scored the runs and most of them went into what psychologists call a challenge state. Over half the batsman found themselves on a stickier wicket and failed to make the runs they mostly entered the so-called threat state. Jamie employs a mental visualization technique that sports psychologists have used with a variety of professional teams. Athletes are asked a picture a set of scales - on one side are their demands, the obstacles to success. They're taught to tip the balance the other way towards their resources, the attributes they possess that can help them. Sports psychology is sometimes criticized as a phony science but many major sports teams and personalities now use psychologists and there's a growing acceptance that this boosts performances. In sports, as in the world beyond, a mental edge can bring a winning one. In elite sport the difference between winning and losing often hangs on the smallest of margins. As coaches, teams and athletes press ever harder in pursuit of victory, this series reveals the latest innovative approaches they hope will keep them ahead. From data to design, science to psychology, discover what it takes to find the winning edge. For more from Economist Films visit: http://films.economist.com/ Check out The Economist’s full video catalogue: http://econ.st/20IehQk Like The Economist on Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/TheEconomist/ Follow The Economist on Twitter: https://twitter.com/theeconomist Follow us on Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/theeconomist/ Follow us on Medium: https://medium.com/@the_economist
Views: 130383 The Economist
Where does your phone come from? | The Economist
 
02:30
Apple is expected to announce its latest handset—the iPhone XS. Like all smartphones it will contain more than 70 chemical elements, which are mined from the Earth's crust in countries all over the world. Click here to subscribe to The Economist on YouTube: https://econ.st/2xvTKdy The number of smartphone users globally is set to reach 2.5 billion by 2019. Around a third of the world's population will own one. Smartphones touch every element of our lives but did you know that they also connect nearly every element on the planet. In fact of the 118 elements on the periodic table 75 can be found inside a smartphone. These raw materials are extracted from the ground and shipped to refineries and factories in a truly global supply chain. Silicon, one of the most common elements in the Earth's crust, is used to make the billions of transistors in the chips that power your phone. Gold is used for electrical wiring, about 0.03g of it in each iPhone. Indium, another metal, is used to make touchscreens. But when it comes to batteries, lithium is one really key components and this element is only mined in a handful of countries. Until recently, Chile used to produce the most lithium but now Australia has the biggest market share. The Democratic Republic of Congo, a dangerously unstable country with a poor human rights record, produces more than half the world's cobalt, another crucial element in smartphone batteries. Smartphone makers are under pressure to ensure their cobalt is responsibly sourced. About 80% of the cobalt used in batteries is refined in China. Many so-called rare earth elements are also used in smartphones. In the screen, the speaker, and the motor that makes your phone vibrate. About 85% of rare earth elements are produced in China. Despite their name rare earth elements are not particularly rare but they are hard to extract without producing toxic and radioactive byproducts. Many of the elements used in smartphones are finite resources and have no functional substitutes. Rather than digging in the ground for the elements needed for new handsets it makes sense to extract them from old phones - but only about 10% of handsets are recycled now. So recycle your phone if you get a new one this year. Why? It is you might say, Elementary. Daily Watch: mind-stretching short films throughout the working week. For more from Economist Films visit: http://films.economist.com/ Check out The Economist’s full video catalogue: http://econ.st/20IehQk Like The Economist on Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/TheEconomist/ Follow The Economist on Twitter: https://twitter.com/theeconomist Follow us on Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/theeconomist/ Follow us on Medium: https://medium.com/@the_economist
Views: 65269 The Economist
Why is chicken so cheap? | The Economist
 
06:24
People eat 65 billion chickens every year. It is the fastest-growing meat product. Yet pound for pound the price of chicken has fallen sharply. How has this happened? Read more about Chickenomics here: https://econ.st/2Wtp04o Click here to subscribe to The Economist on YouTube: https://econ.st/2xvTKdy Chickens are the most populous bird on the planet. There are 23 billion of them at any given time - that's ten times more than any other bird. It's by far the fastest growing meat product but pound for pound the price of chicken has fallen sharply. How has this happened? This farm is at the forefront of a technology revolution that has drastically changed chicken farming. It's run by David Speller who's pioneered the use of CCTV and CO2 monitors in chicken sheds. Along with his own farm, he works as a consultant overseeing the raising of around 3 million chickens in the UK. Chickens were first domesticated over 8,000 years ago but it wasn't until the 1940s that major efforts were made to create a super breed. The chicken of tomorrow competition in America would change chickens forever. Today the lifecycle of broilers, chickens that are bred purely for their meat, is entirely preordained. They grow faster and bigger than ever before and they can only live supported by human technology. Chickens have changed so quickly they are now four times the size they were in the 1950s. A barnyard chicken can live up to 10 years showing the huge evolutionary change the broilers have undergone. But selective breeding on a global scale comes at a cost. If the chickens live beyond their planned life they develop huge medical problems. And there are concerns the chicken industry is relying on an increasingly small gene pool. Keeping chickens in battery cages was banned in the EU in 2012 but some people want to create better lives for broiler chickens. Free-range birds have more access to open air runs, while organic chickens are typically free from antibiotics, hormones and other synthetic chemicals. Organic chickens get to live the longest - 81 days compared to intensively reared birds which live between 35 and 40 days. Free-range chickens get the most access to open air runs but when it comes to living space, organic and free-range fair far better than intensively reared birds where as many as 17 adult birds live in a single square metre. Organic farming might offer animals a greater quality of life but consumers are largely driven by cost and in an average UK supermarket, an intensively reared chicken cost several times less than its free-range or organic cousins. Over 95% of broiler chickens are intensively reared in the UK. Organic and free-range chickens make up the rest. For as long as shoppers want cheap and plentiful chicken, they will continue to be bred ever more intensively. For more from Economist Films visit: http://films.economist.com/ Check out The Economist’s full video catalogue: http://econ.st/20IehQk Like The Economist on Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/TheEconomist/ Follow The Economist on Twitter: https://twitter.com/theeconomist Follow us on Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/theeconomist/ Follow us on Medium: https://medium.com/@the_economist
Views: 2200191 The Economist
Why does time pass? | The Economist
 
10:30
The equations of physics suggest time should be able to go backwards as well as forwards. Experience suggests, though, that it cannot. Why? And is time travel really possible? Click here to subscribe to The Economist on YouTube: http://econ.trib.al/rWl91R7 Why does time pass? It is a question so profound that few people would even think to ask it. Yet its effects are all around. Human beings live in a perpetual present, inexorably sealed off from the past, but moving relentlessly into the future. For most people, time seems to be something that is just out there. A thing ticking away in the background - fixed, immutable. Time seems to go in one direction and in one direction only. But physicists see it much differently. One of the great minds who changed the way science thinks about time was Albert Einstein. In 1905 he published his special theory of relativity. In it he demonstrated that time passes differently in different places depending on how those places are moving with respect to one another. Einstein showed that the faster one travels the slower time goes for the traveler. At the speeds at which humans move this is imperceptible. But for someone traveling on a spaceship at speeds close to that of light, time would slow down compared with its passage for people on earth. There was another important aspect of Einstein's theory which he didn't even realize when he published it. That time was woven into the very fabric of space itself. Einstein used this insight to help develop his general theory of relativity which incorporated gravity. He published it in 1915. With the general theory of relativity he demonstrated that massive objects warped the fabric of space-time. It is this curvature that causes time to slow down near them. Time slows down in proportion to the gravitational pull of a nearby object so the effect would be strong near a black hole but milder near the earth. But even here it can be detected. Einstein's theories had to be taken into account when the GPS system was set up otherwise it would have been inaccurate. One scientist who puzzled over the directionality of time was Arthur Eddington, a 20th century astronomer who defined the concept of the arrow of time, based on observations made by the 19th century physicist Ludwig Boltzmann. The arrow of time is based on the second law of thermodynamics which says the disorder known as entropy increases with time. For example, a building left untouched will slowly decay into its surroundings. It will disintegrate into a more chaotic state but it is highly unlikely that the building will become more orderly over time - this is because there are many more ways for a system to be disorderly than orderly. There can be many ways for something to break for instance but only one way for it to be put back together again. A system will be less disordered in the past and more disordered in the future. This is the arrow of time. So how can the arrow of time be reconciled with Einstein's equations? If time can go forwards and backwards according to relativity does that mean it's possible to go backwards in time? The theory of relativity does allow time travel to the future. Einstein's theories do allow for the formation of wormholes in space. These are shortcuts that link otherwise distant places in the space-time continuum. Although wormholes are theoretically possible they're a highly implausible proposition. That's because the equations suggest enormous masses and energies would be required to create and manipulate one. What remains then is a mystery. Theory fails to forbid traveling backwards in time but practice suggests it might just as well be forbidden. For now it would appear the arrow of time cannot be reversed. No one knows why time passes but it seems that no matter how people look at it, it goes in one direction in one direction only. Check out Economist Films: http://films.economist.com/ Check out The Economist’s full video catalogue: http://econ.st/20IehQk Like The Economist on Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/TheEconomist/ Follow The Economist on Twitter: https://twitter.com/theeconomist Read our Tumblr: http://theeconomist.tumblr.com/ Follow us on Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/theeconomist/ Check out our Pinterest: https://uk.pinterest.com/theeconomist/ Follow us on LINE: http://econ.st/1WXkOo6
Views: 2762613 The Economist
Why solar power is spreading so fast in Africa | The Economist
 
02:22
Africans have been waiting for decades for the mains electricity which the rich world takes for granted. Sub-Saharan Africa’s 910m people consume less electricity each year than the 4.8m people of Alabama. Many more who are on the grid suffer brown-outs and dangerous surges in current. But a solar revolution is afoot. Click here to subscribe to The Economist on YouTube: http://econ.st/2F8I0jB In 2009 just 1% of sub-Saharan Africans used solar lighting. Now it is nearly 5% or 11m people. The International Energy Agency, a Paris-based government think-tank, reckons that 500m more people will have solar electricity by 2030, Why is solar power spreading so fast in Africa? There are three main reasons. First, solar panel technology has improved. Efficiency gains and mass production mean that modern photovoltaic panels have plunged in price per watt – to around 30 cents. Second, low-energy bulbs have got better and cheaper. Modern solar lamps cost as little as $8—they charge by day and give light by night. They replace costly and dangerous alternatives - Africans waste $10 billion a year on kerosene. Even worse are candles, open fires—or darkness, which hurts productivity and encourages crime. The third, crucial development is in storage, as lamps are needed at night and solar power is collected in the daytime. Old nickel cadmium batteries wore out after 500 recharges; lithium-based ones can manage 2,000 and store much more electricity Additionally, solar power is increasingly well-financed in Africa. Aid donors are sponsoring more ambitious projects – specially designed fridges and televisions, for example. Bigger solar systems can run a school or clinic, a grain mill or irrigation pump, or even a whole village. Some dismiss solar as a second-best solution. But conventional, centralised electrical grids have proved unreliable and inefficient in the past -- and solar is much better than nothing. Daily Watch: mind-stretching short films throughout the working week. For more from Economist Films visit: http://econ.st/2F6DWQL Check out The Economist’s full video catalogue: http://econ.st/20IehQk Like The Economist on Facebook: http://econ.st/2F7ejiJ Follow The Economist on Twitter: http://econ.st/2F6SsIo Follow us on Instagram: http://econ.st/2F9Xsfc Follow us on Medium: http://econ.st/2F9NWck
Views: 72409 The Economist
How data transformed the NBA | The Economist
 
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NBA teams are changing the way they play basketball. The Houston Rockets, who boast stars like James Harden, have used data analytics to help them become championship contenders in recent seasons. Click here to subscribe to The Economist on YouTube: https://econ.st/2xvTKdy Sponsored by DXC Technology. An invisible powerful force is lifting professional basketball to new heights, transforming how this multibillion-dollar sport is played and, crucially how to win. In elite sport the difference between success and failure is often the finest of margins. The Houston Rockets are one of the top teams in NBA basketball. They boast some of the sport's biggest stars, including the NBA's most valuable player in 2018. In the past decade the Rockets have risen from mid-table mediocrity to serious NBA championship contenders. But it's not just big names that have fueled this dramatic ascent - it's big data. The Rockets recent success owes much to their pioneering decision to start crunching data about every aspect of their game - and this is the man responsible. Computer scientist Daryl Morey is the sport's foremost data and statistics guru among NBA bosses. Ten years ago Daryl set out to find that winning formula. The Rockets were one of four NBA teams to install a pioneering video tracking system which mined raw data from games. What they discovered changed the way teams try to win. In the 1990s, long two-point shots from just inside the three-point line were common but Darryl's data analysis showed that statistically these shots provided the worst return. In the 2017-18 season the Rockets made more three-pointers than any other team in NBA history and this was a major reason they won more games than any of their rivals. Professor Rajiv Masheswaran co-founded Second Spectrum. The analytics company gathers and codes a vast range of increasingly granular data for all 30 NBA teams. Cameras now track and record 3D spatial data for every player and ball movement at 25 frames per second. Machine learning technology uses this huge volume of data to produce interactive visualizations allowing teams to analyze the minutiae of their performances and achieve marginal gains on court. There is a particular focus on all important data around player movement and the probability of making a shot. Qualitative data analysis has even changed the type of players that successful teams like the Rockets have players today are on average leaner and more agile. When it comes to recruiting new players from the college draft each season, poring over data on player performance has given the Rockets a winning edge. Basketball has constantly changed but it's about to enter a brave new world where data could be courtside in the hands of coaches, helping to swing a game as it happens. For more from Economist Films visit: http://films.economist.com/ Check out The Economist’s full video catalogue: http://econ.st/20IehQk Like The Economist on Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/TheEconomist/ Follow The Economist on Twitter: https://twitter.com/theeconomist Follow us on Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/theeconomist/ Follow us on Medium: https://medium.com/@the_economist
Views: 230110 The Economist
Fashion's naked truths | The Economist
 
01:47
Half of all clothes are thrown away within one year—many have never been worn. The industry's obsession with fast fashion comes with a steep environmental price tag. Click here to subscribe to The Economist on YouTube: https://econ.st/2xvTKdy Fashion is one of the fastest-growing industries on the planet. Around the world eighty billion new pieces of clothing are sold every year - 400% more than just forty years ago. Americans alone are buying five times more garments than in 1980. Now a $1.3 trillion mega industry, fashion employs more than 300 million people worldwide. While other industries have come apart at the seams, clothing production has doubled in the last 15 years. But it's a fashion statement with a steep environmental price tag - making one kilogram of fabric produces 23 kilograms of greenhouse gases. Textile production generates more carbon dioxide than all international flights and maritime shipping combined. Yet half of all clothes are thrown away within one year - many having never been worn. Fashion is now considered the second most polluting industry in the world after oil. And with increasing middle classes in the developing world keen to make their own fashion statement, this will get worse. If 80 percent of emerging markets reach Western levels of clothes shopping, carbon dioxide emissions could increase by nearly 80% per person. By 2050 total clothing sales could reach 175 million tons - turning the planet into the biggest fashion victim of them all. For more from Economist Films visit: http://films.economist.com/ Check out The Economist’s full video catalogue: http://econ.st/20IehQk Like The Economist on Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/TheEconomist/ Follow The Economist on Twitter: https://twitter.com/theeconomist Follow us on Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/theeconomist/ Follow us on Medium: https://medium.com/@the_economist
Views: 108614 The Economist
Mars: when will humans get there? | The Economist
 
03:11
Sending astronauts to Mars is a daunting prospect. But this will not deter NASA and private companies from trying to put humans on the red planet. Click here to subscribe to The Economist on YouTube: https://econ.st/2xvTKdy For more from Economist Films visit: http://films.economist.com/ Check out The Economist's full video catalogue: http://econ.st/20IehQk Like The Economist on Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/TheEconomist/ Follow The Economist on Twitter: https://twitter.com/theeconomist Follow us on Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/theeconomist/ Follow us on Medium: https://medium.com/@the_economist
Views: 92284 The Economist
How could veganism change the world? | The Economist
 
06:30
Interest in vegan food and its associated health benefits has been booming across the rich world. A global retreat from meat could have a far-reaching environmental impact. Click here to subscribe to The Economist on YouTube: https://econ.st/2xvTKdy By 2050 the world's population could approach 10 billion - and around 60% more food could be needed to feed everyone. The environmental impacts of the food system are daunting its responsible for about a quarter of all greenhouse gas emissions and uses about 70% of all freshwater resources, and it occupies about 40% of the Earth's land surface. Food rated emissions could increase to 50 percent by 2050 and fill up the total emissions budget that we have in order to avoid dangerous levels of climate change. Interest in vegan food has been booming across the rich world. A major study has put the diet to the test - analyzing an imagined scenario in which the world goes vegan by 2050. If everybody went vegan by 2050 we estimated that food-related greenhouse gas emissions could be reduced by 3/4. Cows are the biggest emission contributors. Bugs in their digestive system produce methane and deforestation for their pasture releases carbon dioxide - these gases warm the planet. If cows were a country, they'd be the third largest greenhouse gas emitter. Daily Watch: mind-stretching short films throughout the working week. For more from Economist Films visit: http://films.economist.com/ Check out The Economist’s full video catalogue: http://econ.st/20IehQk Like The Economist on Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/TheEconomist/ Follow The Economist on Twitter: https://twitter.com/theeconomist Follow us on Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/theeconomist/ Follow us on Medium: https://medium.com/@the_economist
Views: 552784 The Economist
Japan's Yakuza: Inside the syndicate | The Economist
 
06:20
In 2011 a Belgian photographer was allowed entry into one of Japan’s Yakuza families. Over two years, he captured the lives of those living in the underworld. Click here to subscribe to The Economist on YouTube: http://econ.trib.al/rWl91R7 Japan's Yakuza: Inside the syndicate. With at least 50,000 members, Japan's Yakuza gangs form one of the world's largest criminal networks. Anton Kusters, a Belgian photographer, was allowed a rare glimpse inside a Yakuza family in early 2009. He documented the family for two years. The Ya-Ku-Za means 8-9-3, a losing combination in a card game similar to Blackjack. The exact origins of the Yakuza are unclear, but they are thought to have descended from masterless samurai in the early 17th century. In the 18th century, these poor, landless bandits began grouping together, creating families. The family Anton spent time with controls Kabukicho, Tokyo's red-light district; its business is largely prostitution. Other Yakuza criminal operations include drug trafficking, money laundering, gambling and bribery. The Yamaguchi-gumi is Japan's largest organised-crime group. By one estimate, its revenue in 2014 was $80bn. In 2013, Italy's 'Ndrangheta mafia has a turnover of around $69bn. In February 2011, towards the end of the project, Anton was at home in Europe, when he received a call from the Yakuza family. Miyamoto-san, a high ranking Yakuza boss, was in hospital after suffering a stroke. Anton returned, and was invited to attend the prominent Yakuza boss' funeral. Check out Economist Films: http://films.economist.com/ Check out The Economist’s full video catalogue: http://econ.st/20IehQk Like The Economist on Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/TheEconomist/ Follow The Economist on Twitter: https://twitter.com/theeconomist Read our Tumblr: http://theeconomist.tumblr.com/ Follow us on Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/theeconomist/ Check out our Pinterest: https://uk.pinterest.com/theeconomist/ Follow us on LINE: http://econ.st/1WXkOo6
Views: 3744797 The Economist
The changing face of tourism | The Economist
 
02:07
Tourism is one of the biggest industries in the world—and it's rapidly changing. Chinese travellers have overtaken Americans as the biggest spenders and nearly all regions are welcoming more tourists. Except one. Click here to subscribe to The Economist on YouTube: https://econ.st/2xvTKdy Daily Watch: mind-stretching short films throughout the working week. For more from Economist Films visit: https://econ.st/2v5Oqtz Check out The Economist’s full video catalogue: http://econ.st/20IehQk Like The Economist on Facebook: https://econ.st/2v5g0XV Follow The Economist on Twitter: https://econ.st/2v5Os4F Follow us on Instagram: https://econ.st/2v3KXLZ Follow us on Medium: https://econ.st/2v1nLOm
Views: 100079 The Economist
Do we live in a multiverse? | The Economist
 
08:58
It has long been thought that our universe is all there is, but it is possible we may live in just one of many. This is the second in our six-part series on unsolved mysteries in science. Read the accompanying article: http://www.economist.com/news/science-brief/21660968-our-second-brief-scientific-mysteries-we-ask-whether-world-might-make-more-sense. Subscribe NOW to The Economist: http://econ.st/1Fsu2Vj When the ancients looked into the night sky they thought the heavens revolved around the earth and mankind. over the centuries this view has changed radically. We discovered we lived on a planet orbiting a star within the solar system and the solar system was found to be part of the Milky Way galaxy. Later we learned that our universe was filled with billions of other such galaxies - but could it be that we're committing the same error as our ancestors by thinking the universe contains everything there is? Could it be that we live in a multiverse? There are a number of different theories about what the multiverse could be. One proponent of the idea of the multiverse is Dr Tegmark of MIT. Dr Tegmark suggests a four fold classification of possible types of multiverse. The first type of multiverse is just an extension of what we already know our universe expanding into infinity rather than ending at the limits of our vision. We can look back almost to the beginning of time to the edge of the observable universe, but we can see no further. So the space beyond that distance known as the Hubble radius is literally out of sight. But that doesn't mean there isn't anything there. Because the expansion of the universe has stretched space, astronomers are able to see out to a distance of about 42 billion light years. How far things extend beyond this is unknown. If they stretch to infinity there could be numerous isolated universes cut off from one another by their own Hubble radius - depending on the observers vantage point. To understand the second type of multiverse in Dr Tegmark system it is first necessary to understand how the universe was formed and the theory of inflation. It was first conceived of by Alan Guth in 1979 and then later refined and expanded upon by Andrei Linde who had some key insights. This is one of the ideas of string theory which attempts to unify general relativity with quantum mechanics. The thinking is that all of the solutions produced by string theory that don't match up with what we can see in our own universe, may actually represent reality in other universes. The anthropic principle is the idea that our universe is fine-tuned to allow humans to live. A small fiddle with the strength of gravity for example and life as we know it would not exist - a coincidence that does not sit easily with scientists. The concept of a multiverse neatly addresses this problem within the infinite number of universes that could exist we are simply living in the one we are able to. In the third type Dr Tegmark multiverse in the first the laws of physics are the same from one to another. In this type though the component universes are separated not by distance but by time. At every moment within such a multiverse all of the possible futures allowed by the uncertainties of quantum mechanics actually happen. In the many worlds theory of the multiverse the entirety of the universe acts like the quantum photon, but instead of having two potential future states, every possible outcome would be manifested so our entire universe and everything within it, including you, would be constantly undergoing multiple visions into daughter universes - each with its own reality and future. Any given observer though would only see one outcome. In the final classification, the level 4 multiverse, Dr Tegmark proposes that all coherent mathematical systems describe a physical reality of some sort. Those different systems are of necessity different universes. What this last idea translates to in practice is hard to conceive of - it is more the province of metaphysics than physics, but the other three types of multiverse though they push the bounds of physical theory do not overstep them. Observational data supporting the theory of inflation have convinced some scientists that a multiverse is possible - but the idea is still controversial. It may be impossible to ever directly observe the multiverse but some scientists hope to eventually gather enough data supporting the theories that predict it to one day confirm its existence. If that were to happen, like the ancients before us, we would be given a whole new perspective on how the cosmos works and on our place in it. Get more The Economist Follow us: https://twitter.com/TheEconomist Like us: https://www.facebook.com/TheEconomist View photos: https://instagram.com/theeconomist/ The Economist videos give authoritative insight and opinion on international news, politics, business, finance, science, technology and the connections between them.
Views: 1589776 The Economist
A monarchist and a republican go head to head | The Economist
 
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British republicans are stuck in the minority. See both sides to the argument: Graham Smith, who campaigns against the monarchy, and Thomas Mace-Archer-Mills, the chairman of the British Monarchist Society. Click here to subscribe to The Economist on YouTube: http://econ.trib.al/rWl91R7 Check out Economist Films: http://films.economist.com/ Check out The Economist’s full video catalogue: http://econ.st/20IehQk Like The Economist on Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/TheEconomist/ Follow The Economist on Twitter: https://twitter.com/theeconomist Read our Tumblr: http://theeconomist.tumblr.com/ Follow us on Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/theeconomist/ Check out our Pinterest: https://uk.pinterest.com/theeconomist/ Follow us on LINE: http://econ.st/1WXkOo6
Views: 145366 The Economist
What could threaten Amazon’s empire? | The Economist
 
02:30
Amazon accounts for more than half of every dollar spent online in America and is the world's leading provider of cloud computing. But can the company avoid the attention of the regulators? Click here to subscribe to The Economist on YouTube: http://econ.trib.al/rWl91R7 This week we put Amazon on the cover. Amazon is a remarkable company but what's extraordinary about it is the scale of its ambitions. Its shareholders expect it to grow faster for longer than any big company in modern business history and we asked whether it can do so. More than half of every new online dollar that's spent in America goes to Amazon. It's already the world's biggest cloud computing firm; it's set to spend more on TV investments than HBO, a big cable channel, next year. Amazon's success is built on two things in particular. One is its willingness to think about the long term - in an era when chief executives complain about the pressure to deliver results on a quarterly basis, Jeff Bezos, Amazon's founder and chief executive, thinks in terms of years and decades. It's expressly been part of its business model to take the cash that it earns and to invest it in order to take advantage of what it calls network effect, the idea is that more users you attract to its e-commerce site the more attractive it is to other retailers and therefore the more users come on to the site. Its bet is that if you invest hard for the long term the rewards will be enormous. The other thing that distinguishes Amazon is the span of its activities. It's no longer right to think about Amazon as a retailer. In its filings it lists as competitors everyone from media companies to food manufacturers, social networks to logistics firms. It is a conglomerate that spreads across all commerce. The amazing thing about Amazon is that it could well achieve investors expectations for it, but if it does then it could run into a problem, and that problem is the regulators. At the moment antitrust enforcers don't particularly worry about Amazon. It's not even the biggest retailer in America, it's most mature market. But if it gets as big as shareholders expect it to then they may start to look at it and not just because of antitrust rules but also because it will become a kind of utility for commerce. Lots of competitors will rely on it for services. Renting warehouses, for example, paying for goods, and that dependence on Amazon could be a reason for the government to look at it more closely and with that it's business maybe threatened. Daily Watch: mind-stretching short films every day of the working week. For more from Economist Films visit: http://films.economist.com/ Check out The Economist’s full video catalogue: http://econ.st/20IehQk Like The Economist on Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/TheEconomist/ Follow The Economist on Twitter: https://twitter.com/theeconomist Follow us on Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/theeconomist/ Follow us on LINE: http://econ.st/1WXkOo6 Follow us on Medium: https://medium.com/@the_economist
Views: 64965 The Economist
A potential cure for HIV | The Economist
 
05:09
Scientists have developed a therapeutic vaccine for HIV which has the potential to create a functional cure for the disease. Here's how it works. Click here to subscribe to The Economist on YouTube: http://econ.trib.al/rWl91R7 Have doctors found a cure for HIV? Since 1981 the AIDS epidemic has killed around 35 million people. Up until now HIV antiretroviral drugs have been the only way to control the disease. But they create their own problems as antiretrovirals can cost around $10,000 a year. Daily Watch: mind-stretching short films throughout the working week. For more from Economist Films visit: http://films.economist.com/ Check out The Economist’s full video catalogue: http://econ.st/20IehQk Like The Economist on Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/TheEconomist/ Follow The Economist on Twitter: https://twitter.com/theeconomist Follow us on Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/theeconomist/ Follow us on LINE: http://econ.st/1WXkOo6 Follow us on Medium: https://medium.com/@the_economist
Views: 378979 The Economist
Where is the world's most liveable city? | The Economist
 
02:56
Where is the world's most liveable city? The Economist Intelligence Unit has ranked 140 cities based on their liveability. Melbourne, Australia, has been ranked the world's most liveable city for the past seven years but it has lost the top spot to Vienna. See the full report: eiu.com/liveability Click here to subscribe to The Economist on YouTube: http://econ.trib.al/rWl91R7 Daily Watch: mind-stretching short films throughout the working week. For more from Economist Films visit: http://films.economist.com/ Check out The Economist’s full video catalogue: http://econ.st/20IehQk Like The Economist on Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/TheEconomist/ Follow The Economist on Twitter: https://twitter.com/theeconomist Follow us on Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/theeconomist/ Follow us on LINE: http://econ.st/1WXkOo6 Follow us on Medium: https://medium.com/@the_economist
Views: 216733 The Economist
Carnival: origins of the world’s biggest party | The Economist
 
03:27
Carnival started as a pagan festival in ancient Egypt and has grown to become one of the largest celebrations in the world. Today more than 50 countries celebrate the tradition, but where did the party start? Click here to subscribe to The Economist on YouTube: http://econ.st/2rXzONA From samba blocos in Brazil to masked balls in Italy, Carnival is a truly global phenomenon, celebrated in over 50 countries around the world. Carnival originated as a pagan festival in ancient Egypt, to usher out winter and celebrate the beginning of spring. When Alexander the Great conquered Egypt, the Ancient Greeks adopted the festival. The Romans assimilated the festival from the Greeks, and it was later overlaid with Christian meaning to become the festival of “Carne Vale” The word, “carne” means “meat” in Latin and “vale”, means “farewell”. In the Catholic calendar “carne vale” - farewell to meat, is a feast before the fast of Lent. In 18th century Italy, people preparing for Lent would throw indulgent fancy-dress parties and gorge before the fast. As Christianity spread throughout Europe, so too did the celebration of carnival. Colonisation exported it across the world. Portuguese colonists took Lent to the shores of Brazil, where they had also taken an estimated 4 million African slaves. Over time European rituals fused with African ones, to create Brazil’s world famous carnival. The flamboyant street parties are a celebration of Brazil’s mixed heritage. And it’s big business. In 2016 the city of Rio alone welcomed 1.1 million tourists during carnival, contributing around $900 million to the city’s economy. On the Caribbean island of Trinidad, the festival of Lent was introduced by French colonists. Slaves, excluded from these celebrations, created their own parties to the soundtrack of Calypso music, which mocked the French. This is now an integral part of Trinidad’s carnival. In India carnival is only celebrated in the southern state of Goa, where Portuguese colonists ruled for over four centuries. Parades occur throughout the state with bands, dances, and floats. Carnival is known as Mardi Gras in the American city of New Orleans and contributes over 2% to the city’s GDP. Carnival is not just a party in the sun. Quebec holds the third biggest carnival celebration in the world. From humble beginnings carnival has become a truly global celebration with millions of revelers all over the world contributing billions of dollars to the party Daily Watch: mind-stretching short films throughout the working week. For more from Economist Films visit: http://econ.st/2rXhTqu Check out The Economist’s full video catalogue: http://econ.st/20IehQk Like The Economist on Facebook: http://econ.st/2rW2zKz Follow The Economist on Twitter: http://econ.st/2rW2AhB Follow us on Instagram: http://econ.st/2rW2B59 Follow us on LINE: http://econ.st/1WXkOo6 Follow us on Medium: http://econ.st/2rYl2q8
Views: 72493 The Economist
How long will you live? | The Economist
 
02:36
In Japan people can expect to live beyond 84 years on average—yet in Lesotho life expectancy is just 53 years. The age at which people die still depends a lot on where they live. Read more on longevity in rich countries: https://econ.st/2Ibf8ch Click here to subscribe to The Economist on YouTube: https://econ.st/2xvTKdy For more from Economist Films visit: http://films.economist.com/ Check out The Economist’s full video catalogue: http://econ.st/20IehQk Like The Economist on Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/TheEconomist/ Follow The Economist on Twitter: https://twitter.com/theeconomist Follow us on Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/theeconomist/ Follow us on Medium: https://medium.com/@the_economist
Views: 69082 The Economist
How pacemakers work | The Economist
 
02:53
How pacemakers work. Animated explanation of the mechanics of the human heart, and the devices that can assist it Subscribe NOW to The Economist: http://econ.st/1Fsu2Vj Implantable pacemakers and defibrillators are devices that apply electric shocks to maintain the rhythm of the heart and, if necessary, restart it. As the technology improves and the list of treatable conditions grows, the number of devices being implanted is increasing steadily and now exceeds half a million a year. The heart is made up of four chambers; two atria and two ventricles. On each side the atrium is connected to the ventricle by a one-way valve. Blood is pumped as these chambers contract and relax in turn. The beating of a healthy heart is regulated by electrical impulses. The sequence begins as the atria fill with deoxygenated blood from the body on the right and oxygenated blood from the lungs on the left. An electrical signal from the sinoatrial node then causes the atria to contract, forcing blood into the ventricles. The electrical signal is then picked up by the atrioventricular node and directed into the Purkinje fibers in the ventricle walls, causing the ventricles to contract, and the blood is then pumped through the pulmonary valve on the right to the lungs, and the aortic valve on the left to the rest of the body. These valves close and the cycle then restarts. When the sinoatrial node fails to function correctly an artificial pacemaker can be fitted to help regulate the heartbeat with small evenly timed electric shocks. This involves implanting electrodes into one or more of the heart's chambers, by inserting leads into a vein near the collarbone and implanting a device called the generator just under the skin. For more severe heart conditions an implantable defibrillator or ICD can be used which is also capable of sensing a stopped heart and delivering an electric shock powerful enough to restart it. For some conditions an even more sophisticated device called a CRT ICD can be implanted. This uses a third lead inserted into the left ventricle to resynchronize the ventricles when necessary. However, all these leads can cause problems of their own. Patients with ICDs have a 20% chance of a lead failure within 10 years and replacing leads can require open-heart surgery in about 2% of cases. This has resulted in several efforts to develop new pacemakers that do not depend on leads inside the heart. One design, the subcutaneous ICD, places the lead just outside the heart under the patient's skin. And wireless designs are now being developed that may eventually do away with the need for leads altogether. Get more The Economist Follow us: https://twitter.com/TheEconomist Like us: https://www.facebook.com/TheEconomist View photos: https://instagram.com/theeconomist/ The Economist videos give authoritative insight and opinion on international news, politics, business, finance, science, technology and the connections between them.
Views: 510891 The Economist
Obesity: not just a rich-world problem | The Economist
 
03:15
Obesity is a global problem, but more people are getting fatter in developing countries than anywhere else. If current trends continue, obese children will soon outnumber those who are undernourished. Click here to subscribe to The Economist on YouTube: http://econ.st/2rAAQPL People are fatter than ever. Obesity has more than doubled since 1980. But the biggest rise is in the developing world. Anyone with a body mass index, or BMI, over 30 is considered obese. The higher your BMI, the greater your risk of developing weight-related diseases like diabetes and heart disease. Nearly half of the world’s overweight and obese children under five years old, live in Asia. And in Africa, the number of overweight children under five has increased by nearly 50% since 2000. Hunger still blights many parts of the world. But the share of people who do not have enough to eat is in decline. Globally one in nine people in the world suffer from chronic undernourishment. One in ten are obese. If current trends continue, the share of obese children in the world will surpass the number of undernourished by 2022. Africa has the fastest-growing middle class in the world. A move from traditional foods to high-calorie fast food and a more sedentary lifestyle is driving the rise in obesity. Fast food outlets like KFC and McDonalds have seen rapid growth on the continent. Women appear to be most affected. More than half of women in Botswana are overweight. Ethiopia known for its terrible famine, has seen obesity rates in women rise by 600% since 1984. Health systems in Africa, more focused on treating malnourishment and diseases like malaria and HIV, are ill equipped to deal with obesity-related illnesses like heart disease and diabetes. Pacific islands have the highest obesity rates in the world, thanks to the spread of western fast food. Diets which a generation ago consisted of fish and coconuts are now dominated by processed meat. Nauru is top of the list. 61% of the population are obese, making this tiny paradise island the world’s fattest nation. Cook Islands take second place, with an obesity rate of 56% and Marshall Islands come in third, with 53%. The Middle East is also in the grip of an obesity crisis. In the Saudi Arabia and Qatar and Kuwait more than a third of the population is obese. Obesity is already a global epidemic and is rapidly spreading from the rich world to the poor. Daily Watch: mind-stretching short films throughout the working week. For more from Economist Films visit: http://econ.st/2rAhytv Check out The Economist’s full video catalogue: http://econ.st/20IehQk Like The Economist on Facebook: http://econ.st/2rxBQ7e Follow The Economist on Twitter: http://econ.st/2rAARmN Follow us on Instagram: http://econ.st/2rFj260 Follow us on LINE: http://econ.st/1WXkOo6 Follow us on Medium: http://econ.st/2rAASHn
Views: 51580 The Economist
Can extreme poverty ever be eradicated? | The Economist
 
03:20
Poverty rates have fallen faster in the past 30 years than at any other time on record. The UN wants extreme poverty to disappear by 2030. We assess the data to see if this is achievable. Click here to subscribe to The Economist on YouTube: http://econ.st/2AfBchr It is estimated that somebody escapes extreme poverty every 1.2 seconds. According to the World Bank, anyone on less than $1.90 per day is living in extreme poverty unable to afford basic food, clothing, healthcare and shelter. Absolute poverty rates have fallen faster in the past 30 years than in any other time on record. This is a remarkable achievement but the task of taking people put of the worst poverty remains a huge challenge. The impressive fall is the result of changes in just two countries, China and India. In the 1980s the majority of people in both of these countries were living in extreme poverty. But now the share of the poorest has fallen to 21% in India, and less than 2% in China. Increased productivity in farms and a mass migration from poor rural areas to the booming cities enabled many Chinese and Indian people to better their lives. Asia is moving into a new phase but can other parts of the world copy their model of moving people to factory jobs in cities? Today, more than half the world's poorest people live in sub-Saharan Africa. The percentage of the African population living in extreme poverty fell from 54% in 1990, to 41% in 2013. But in that same time period, the population of sub-Saharan Africa boomed meaning the total number of poor people rose from 276m to almost 400m. The population of sub-Saharan Africa is predicted to reach 2bn by 2050 and a large percentage of those people are likely to be extremely poor. And unlike Asia, a transformation of this region is unlikely to happen soon. Sub-Saharan Africa is urbanising faster than any other place on earth. But moving into the cities is not providing the same ladder out of poverty as it did in Asia. A lack of infrastructure, public transport, and essential services in many African cities prevents poor people from finding jobs and getting an education. The rapidly growing population only makes mater worse by putting further strain on resources. Millions of poor people in sub-Saharan Africa live far below the World Bank's threshold of $1.90 per day. That means it will be harder to pull them out of extreme poverty. Daily Watch: mind-stretching short films throughout the working week. For more from Economist Films visit: http://econ.st/2AdErpF Check out The Economist’s full video catalogue: http://econ.st/20IehQk Like The Economist on Facebook: http://econ.st/2AexPY4 Follow The Economist on Twitter: http://econ.st/2Af0pIv Follow us on Instagram: http://econ.st/2AdA4ut Follow us on LINE: http://econ.st/1WXkOo6 Follow us on Medium: http://econ.st/2AdXK26
Views: 55065 The Economist
How to fuel the future | The Economist
 
03:25
America, under President Donald Trump, is securing its “energy independence” with oil and gas. But unlike fossil fuels, renewables will not increase global warming —and China is moving fast. Click here to subscribe to The Economist on YouTube: https://econ.st/2xvTKdy Oil moves the world around and creates powerful countries. Oil is such a vital commodity that it provoked wars throughout the 20th century. The few countries that produce it, try to keep control of it to ensure its riches stay at home. Those who do not have it, strive to get it. In the 1930s Saudi Arabia was one of the poorest countries in the world but the discovery of oil transformed it and Saudi Arabia has amassed $515.6 billion in sovereign wealth funds. It has become the linchpin of a powerful cartel that sometimes rations oil to push up prices. The United States is now the biggest producer of oil and gas owing to its shale revolution. It has tapped abundant reserves through fracking - a technology that uses high-pressure water and sand to fracture rock deep below the ground to extract hydrocarbons. This shale revolution has helped the United States become less dependent on oil imported from Saudi Arabia, Venezuela, Iraq, and other OPEC countries. More oil and gas on global markets has also benefited the world's energy consumers by pushing down costs. Oil still remains the primary fuel, supplying almost 1/3 of the world's energy but its heyday may soon be over, despite growing demand. By 2040 the world's global energy use is set to increase by 30 percent. That energy must be much cleaner if the world wants to prevent catastrophic global warming. In the past coal and gas were less expensive than renewable technology but their costs have come down dramatically. There is now a race among some nations to create more efficient renewable technologies to reduce pollution and be more energy self-sufficient. China is the world's largest consumer of coal and the second largest of oil but it also now leads the world in clean energy. one third of the world's new wind power and solar panels is installed in China, and it sells more electric cars than any other country. The quest for energy self-sufficiency is a big motivation for many countries. China is moving fast, and America under President Donald Trump, is securing its energy independence with oil and gas. But unlike oil and gas renewables will not increase global warming. The long term transition to clean energy will throw up new global challenges. It will create tensions in unstable parts of the Middle East as oil revenue starts to dry up. Another challenge is that wind and sun are intermittent. renewables may require vast shared electricity grids spanning boarders to make them more efficient. To stop global warming the world needs a huge collaboration over our shared energy future. If we fail, wars over scarce resources could be even worse in the 21st century than in the 20th. Daily Watch: mind-stretching short films throughout the working week. For more from Economist Films visit: http://films.economist.com/ Check out The Economist’s full video catalogue: http://econ.st/20IehQk Like The Economist on Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/TheEconomist/ Follow The Economist on Twitter: https://twitter.com/theeconomist Follow us on Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/theeconomist/ Follow us on Medium: https://medium.com/@the_economist
Views: 83029 The Economist
What is consciousness? | The Economist
 
12:42
Understanding what consciousness is, and why and how it evolved, is perhaps the greatest mystery known to science. Click here to subscribe to The Economist on YouTube: http://econ.trib.al/rWl91R7 Check out Economist Films: http://films.economist.com/ Check out The Economist’s full video catalogue: http://econ.st/20IehQk Like The Economist on Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/TheEconomist/ Follow The Economist on Twitter: https://twitter.com/theeconomist Read our Tumblr: http://theeconomist.tumblr.com/ Follow us on Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/theeconomist/ Check out our Pinterest: https://uk.pinterest.com/theeconomist/ Follow us on LINE: http://econ.st/1WXkOo6
Views: 1027150 The Economist
Instagram playboy is also the vice-president of Equatorial Guinea | The Economist
 
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Equatorial Guinea’s vice-president records his lavish lifestyle on Instagram, but it is unclear where his money comes from. He is currently being tried for embezzlement and money-laundering in France, where a verdict will be announced this week. Click here to subscribe to The Economist on YouTube: http://econ.trib.al/rWl91R7 Meet one of Instagram's most famous playboys. He tours the world, driving fast cars and eating at the world's finest restaurants. He even gets hip-hop stars like Wyclef Jean to play at his lavish parties posting his exploits on his Instagram account. But this isn't your typical Instagram star. He's the vice-president of a country, Equatorial Guinea. A small country in west Africa with a lot of oil. Teodoro Nguema Obiang is the second-most-powerful man in the country. His father is the world's longest serving president, Teodoro Obiang Nguema. The Obiang family has amassed a fortune running into the hundreds of millions of dollars. But how have they made their money? Equatorial Guinea has some of the most opaque national accounts in the world. Per head it is the richest country in Africa, yet people live in plastic-shack poverty. The most recent figures available from the World Bank suggest that three-quarters of the population live below the poverty line. But the presidential family seem oblivious to the poverty. If the country is so wealthy, where is all the money going? Tutu Alicante is a lawyer from Equatorial Guinea who is in exile in the United States. He runs an organisation that is trying to tackle corruption in his homeland. He knows first hand how the massive theft of public money has left little behind to fund public services. While most of the population live in squalid conditions, Teddy splashes the cash, showing off his wealth on his Instagram account. Often using the hashtag luxury living he reveals a life of privilege and excess. Court papers say he amassed around $300m worldwide between 2000 and 2011, despite having an official government salary of less than $100,000 a year. The Department of Justice alleged that Teddy embezzled millions of dollars from the public purse as cabinet minister. The Department of Justice agreed a settlement of around $30m with Teddy. This year Teddy has found himself on trial again. This time in a separate case in France charged with embezzlement and money-laundering. After being unsuccessful in claiming diplomatic immunity he failed to show up to any of the court hearings. Instead, he posted videos on Instagram of himself on safari near Victoria Falls. The French court valued his assets in France at around €100m, including a large property bought for €25m in Paris. The French public prosecutor has asked for a three-year jail sentence, €30m fine, and all of Teddy's assets in France to be seized. The vice-president denies the charges. The future for Equatorial Guinea looks bleak. The president is ageing and his son is preparing to take over. The spendthrift strongmen of Equatorial Guinea are not the only presidential family in Africa who are under investigation for embezzling from the public purse. The presidents of Gabon and the Republic of Congo are also being investigated by judges in France. But Teddy's had a busy time of late posting from the beaches of Brazil to the Great Wall of China. There are plenty of countries where regulators turn a blind eye to despots who want to hide their ill-gotten gains. But their secrets are increasingly being leaked and it helps if the autocrats themselves do the leaking, via Instagram. Daily Watch: mind-stretching short films throughout the working week. For more from Economist Films visit: http://films.economist.com/ Check out The Economist’s full video catalogue: http://econ.st/20IehQk Like The Economist on Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/TheEconomist/ Follow The Economist on Twitter: https://twitter.com/theeconomist Follow us on Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/theeconomist/ Follow us on LINE: http://econ.st/1WXkOo6 Follow us on Medium: https://medium.com/@the_economist
Views: 651215 The Economist
Why is Alzheimer's still a medical mystery? | The Economist
 
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Decades of scientific research into Alzheimer’s have failed to find a cure. Little is known about the degenerative brain disease—but this may be about to change. Click here to subscribe to The Economist on YouTube: https://econ.st/2xvTKdy As populations have aged, dementia has soared to become the fifth leading cause of death worldwide. Alzheimer’s disease, a form of dementia, accounts for most of these cases. Tens of billions of dollars have been spent on Alzheimer’s research over the past several decades but still there is no cure. All attempts to halt the progression of the disease have failed. Now many major drug companies have pulled out of research altogether. So why is Alzheimer’s disease still such a medical mystery? One of the signs of Alzheimer’s in the brain is damage of connections and the loss of large numbers of neurons over time. It affects the hippocampus and its connected structures making it harder to form new memories or learn new information. As damage spreads through the brain the cortex becomes thinner and more memories are lost. Although emotional responses can often remain. As the brain shrinks further it slowly alters personality and behaviour and eventually the ability to live and function independently. For 35 years there has been scientific disagreement about the origins of the disease. The main area of debate has focused on the abnormal build up of clumps of protein called amyloid plaques often found in brains of those affected by Alzheimer’s. But all attempts to target this protein with drugs have failed. A new study is now challenging the way science thinks about the disease. The study suggests that the bacterium Porphyromonas gingivalis, which is involved in gum disease, may contribute to Alzheimer’s. In studies on mice the bacterium can cause brain inflammation, neural damage, and amyloid plaques. The researchers went on to show in mice this damage could be stopped using drugs that target the toxic enzymes There is more to this story though. The risk of Alzheimer’s is higher in those who have severe head injuries and also for those with an arterial disease known as atherosclerosis. This suggests there are many causes with one end point. And scientists hope that finding an underlying cause that could tie these together will hold the key to better treatments in the future. For more from Economist Films visit: http://films.economist.com/ Check out The Economist’s full video catalogue: http://econ.st/20IehQk Like The Economist on Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/TheEconomist/ Follow The Economist on Twitter: https://twitter.com/theeconomist Follow us on Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/theeconomist/ Follow us on Medium: https://medium.com/@the_economist
Views: 120460 The Economist
Why many World Heritage sites are at risk | The Economist
 
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UNESCO's World Heritage site designation aims to protect the world's most valuable natural and cultural treasures. But often, that designation is not enough. Click here to subscribe to The Economist on YouTube: http://econ.trib.al/rWl91R7 In 2016, the archaeological site of Philippi in Greece was listed as a World Heritage Site by UNESCO. It was one of 21 such sites that made the grade last year. The World Heritage Convention was adopted in 1972 with the aim of protecting the world's most valuable natural and cultural treasures. One of the first World Heritage sites was the Galapagos Islands in Ecuador. Italy has the most UNESCO World Heritage sites with 51 followed by China, Spain, France, Germany, and Mexico. There are now a total of 1052 World Heritage sites around the world in 165 countries. 814 of them are cultural sites that may have historical or anthropological value. 203 are natural sites that may include habitats for threatened species. 35 are a mixture of both types. But some of them are at risk. Of 229 sites identified by the World Wildlife Fund as being significant for their natural value in 2016 almost half are threatened by industrial development such as illegal logging, mining, and oil and gas development. Being designated a World Heritage site can bring attention and put pressure on governments to protect areas but the publicity can also cause an uptick in tourism to the sites, leading to further degradation. 55 World Heritage sites are listed a being in danger, some of them due to conflict. All six of Syria's UNESCO's World Heritage sites have been damaged or destroyed in the war. Palmyra was an ancient city whose well-preserved ruins were partially blown up by Islamic State militants after they seized control of the area. But World Heritage does not only consist of places you can visit. UNESCO has a list of things of "intangible cultural heritage" that icnludes items such as yoga, Turkish coffee and Belgian beer. They, at least, do not seem to be at risk of disappearing anytime soon. Daily Watch: mind-stretching short films every day of the working week. For more from Economist Films visit: http://films.economist.com/ Check out The Economist’s full video catalogue: http://econ.st/20IehQk Like The Economist on Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/TheEconomist/ Follow The Economist on Twitter: https://twitter.com/theeconomist Follow us on Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/theeconomist/ Follow us on LINE: http://econ.st/1WXkOo6 Follow us on Medium: https://medium.com/@the_economist
Views: 38648 The Economist
How powerful is your passport? | The Economist
 
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Passports can tell you a lot about a country. Colour can be a statement of national identity, state religion, or international co-operation. But not all passports are equal. Click here to subscribe to The Economist on YouTube: http://econ.st/2Gbhx2T Daily Watch: mind-stretching short films throughout the working week. For more from Economist Films visit: http://econ.st/2GeS3C1 Check out The Economist’s full video catalogue: http://econ.st/20IehQk Like The Economist on Facebook: http://econ.st/2GaGL1x Follow The Economist on Twitter: http://econ.st/2GbhxzV Follow us on Instagram: http://econ.st/2GaGM5B Follow us on Medium: http://econ.st/2GaGMCD
Views: 2080496 The Economist
Can you really fight corruption? | The Economist
 
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What does it take to clean up a corrupt state? In one of the European Union's most corrupt countries a prosecutor has taken on the establishment, convicting over 1,000 Romanian officials. Click here to subscribe to The Economist on YouTube: http://econ.trib.al/rWl91R7 Daily Watch: mind-stretching short films throughout the working week. For more from Economist Films visit: http://films.economist.com/ Check out The Economist’s full video catalogue: http://econ.st/20IehQk Like The Economist on Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/TheEconomist/ Follow The Economist on Twitter: https://twitter.com/theeconomist Follow us on Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/theeconomist/ Follow us on LINE: http://econ.st/1WXkOo6 Follow us on Medium: https://medium.com/@the_economist
Views: 43784 The Economist
What caused the Cambrian explosion? | The Economist
 
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For most of the Earth's history, life consisted of the simplest organisms; but then something happened that would give rise to staggering diversity, and, ultimately, life as complex as that which we see today. Scientists are still struggling to figure out just what that was. Subscribe NOW to The Economist: http://econ.st/1Fsu2Vj Get more The Economist Follow us: https://twitter.com/TheEconomist Like us: https://www.facebook.com/TheEconomist View photos: https://instagram.com/theeconomist/ The Economist videos give authoritative insight and opinion on international news, politics, business, finance, science, technology and the connections between them.
Views: 406026 The Economist
Videographic: A short, recent history of Congo | The Economist
 
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An animated videographic mapping the war in Congo: mineral wealth, militias and an epic march Subscribe NOW to The Economist: http://econ.st/1Fsu2Vj Get more The Economist Follow us: https://twitter.com/TheEconomist Like us: https://www.facebook.com/TheEconomist View photos: https://instagram.com/theeconomist/ The Economist videos give authoritative insight and opinion on international news, politics, business, finance, science, technology and the connections between them.
Views: 137370 The Economist
Temple Grandin on working with autism: I like the way I think
 
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The author of "The Autistic Brain", who has the condition herself, explains why getting young people with autism into the workforce is vital.
Views: 89678 The Economist
Italy's divisions | The Economist
 
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150 years after its unification, Italy remains riven by regional differences Subscribe NOW to The Economist: http://econ.st/1Fsu2Vj Get more The Economist Follow us: https://twitter.com/TheEconomist Like us: https://www.facebook.com/TheEconomist View photos: https://instagram.com/theeconomist/ The Economist videos give authoritative insight and opinion on international news, politics, business, finance, science, technology and the connections between them.
Views: 75683 The Economist
Are lab-grown diamonds the future? | The Economist
 
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Scientists now have the technology to make synthetic diamonds in a laboratory. They are far cheaper than mined stones, but can they replace the real thing? Click here to subscribe to The Economist on YouTube: https://econ.st/2xvTKdy It's the biggest disrupter the diamond industry has faced. Machines are now growing diamonds in a matter of weeks for two-thirds of the price - but can they replace the magic of a mined stone? Could they cause the $82 billion diamond jewelry industry to lose its sparkle? Sophisticated ads have been making the case for diamonds for decades. De Beers, the world's biggest rough diamond producer by value, linked diamonds with romance in the late 1940s and dreamt up the idea of a diamond engagement ring as an essential display of love. So-called queen of diamonds Alisa Moussaieff sells gems to the rich and the Royal the world over, and has done for over half a century. For her there's more to a diamond than its chemical structure. While sales of lab-grown diamonds are about 2% of the industry, the market is growing by over 15% a year. They've actually been around for more than 60 years but recently the process and the product have been refined. California-based Diamond Foundry can create a 1 carat diamond in two weeks. Though the difference can be detected using specialized equipment in a lab, the US Federal Trade Commission in July 2018, expanded its definition of a diamond to include lab-grown stones - but Mrs. Moussaieff doesn't feel threatened. Now buyers can pick up a lab-grown diamond for 1/3 less than a mined stone, and as technology improves, prices will drop further. Big mined stones are valuable because they are rare but diamond mining has been linked to conflict, human rights abuses, and state corruption. Lab-grown diamonds provide an ethically sourced alternative. But until top designers decide to work with lab-grown stones their potential will be limited within the luxury market. Lab-grown diamonds need the glamour and romance associated with mined diamonds if they're going to survive. It's a direction the diamond market is already heading. As of January 2019, Tiffany and Co, the biggest jeweler in the world by sales, will disclose the origin of all of its diamonds. It could force a new wave of transparency across the jewelry world - but for the makers of lab-grown diamonds, the jewelry world is only the beginning. For more from Economist Films visit: http://films.economist.com/ Check out The Economist’s full video catalogue: http://econ.st/20IehQk Like The Economist on Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/TheEconomist/ Follow The Economist on Twitter: https://twitter.com/theeconomist Follow us on Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/theeconomist/ Follow us on Medium: https://medium.com/@the_economist
Views: 235177 The Economist
Why Japan's conviction rate is 99% | The Economist
 
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In Japan, crime rates are low and the state incarcerates far fewer people than in other rich countries. But when people are accused of a crime they are almost always convicted. Click here to subscribe to The Economist on YouTube: http://econ.trib.al/rWl91R7 Japan is a remarkably safe society. Crime rates are low and the state incarcerates far fewer people than in other rich countries. The emphasis is on rehabilitation Check out Economist Films: http://films.economist.com/ Check out The Economist’s full video catalogue: http://econ.st/20IehQk Like The Economist on Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/TheEconomist/ Follow The Economist on Twitter: https://twitter.com/theeconomist Read our Tumblr: http://theeconomist.tumblr.com/ Follow us on Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/theeconomist/ Check out our Pinterest: https://uk.pinterest.com/theeconomist/ Follow us on LINE: http://econ.st/1WXkOo6
Views: 1101957 The Economist
Theresa May’s Brexit power struggle, cartooned | The Economist
 
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With a dangerous Brexit deadline looming, our cartoonist KAL contemplates the British Prime Minister's next move. Is this one power struggle Theresa May is destined to lose? Click here to subscribe to The Economist on YouTube: https://econ.st/2xvTKdy For more from Economist Films visit: http://films.economist.com/ Check out The Economist’s full video catalogue: http://econ.st/20IehQk Like The Economist on Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/TheEconomist/ Follow The Economist on Twitter: https://twitter.com/theeconomist Follow us on Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/theeconomist/ Follow us on Medium: https://medium.com/@the_economist
Views: 56880 The Economist
Christianity in China: Crosses to bear | The Economist
 
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The atheist Communist Party is faced with the growing popularity of religion. Click here to subscribe to The Economist on YouTube: https://econ.st/2xvTKdy Daily Watch: mind-stretching short films throughout the working week. For more from Economist Films visit: https://econ.st/2LDt2C0 Check out The Economist’s full video catalogue: http://econ.st/20IehQk Like The Economist on Facebook: https://econ.st/2LDt392 Follow The Economist on Twitter: https://econ.st/2LzWSHC Follow us on Instagram: https://econ.st/2LDt4K8 Follow us on Medium: https://econ.st/2LzWTeE
Views: 45067 The Economist
China: The largest migration in history | The Economist
 
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An animated infographic about China's migrant workers. Migration from inland villages to coastal cities has transformed China. Now that is changing, as regional cities inland become the new focus of migration patterns. Subscribe NOW to The Economist: http://econ.st/1Fsu2Vj Since 1978 China has experienced the largest internal migration in human history. Nearly 160 million people - that's almost 12% of today's population - have left rural areas to seek work in the cities. The motivation to move was obvious. In 1978 everyone was poor, and rural incomes were less than 40% of urban ones. Suddenly Communist China threw open its doors and factories appeared in coastal towns, where farmers could make more money in a month than in a year growing rice. Migrants moved from the poorest inland provinces such as Guizhou, Sichuan and Anhui. In 1980 farmers here lived on less than $2 a day. According to Kam Wing Chan at the University of Washington, more than 10 million workers migrated out of their home province between 1990 and 1995. Another 32 million migrated from 1995 to 2000 and yet another 38 million over the next five years. By 2011 nearly 160 million rural Chinese were working far from home. Between 2001 and 2010 migration contributed nearly 20 percent of China's economic growth but it has all come at a personal cost - many migrants spend years away from their family. Industrialization has also caused a terrible pollution problem but many feel the huge personal and national economic impact have made it worthwhile. In the 1990s the wealth gap between rural and urban China opened wide- though the gap has closed a little, this is still a huge social issue with tens of thousands of cases of rural unrest each year. The city of Shenzhen, just over the border from Hong Kong, is a classic example of the speed at which Chinese cities have grown. Shenzhen has sprawled from a town of a few thousand in 1978 to a city of 12 million people in 2010 and it's set to keep on growing. The EIU forecasts that the population will hit 15 million by 2020. In just over 30 years the GDP of coastal provinces such as Guangdong, where Shenzhen is located, has shot up. Two other coastal provinces Zhejiang and Jiangsu in 2010 had the same GDP as Austria and Switzerland respectively. Now though, as the cost of labor and land near the coast has risen, Manufacturing is moving inland and fewer migrants are travelling to the coastal cities. As more jobs are created in inland cities and provinces more wealth is trickling down to rural areas too. Get more The Economist Follow us: https://twitter.com/TheEconomist Like us: https://www.facebook.com/TheEconomist View photos: https://instagram.com/theeconomist/ The Economist videos give authoritative insight and opinion on international news, politics, business, finance, science, technology and the connections between them.
Views: 243657 The Economist
The hunt for oceans in space | The Economist
 
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Scientists believe there are oceans buried under thick crusts of ice on the moons of Saturn and Jupiter. Sampling them would raise hope of life beyond Earth https://econ.st/2WDdEe5 Click here to subscribe to The Economist on YouTube: https://econ.st/2xvTKdy For more from Economist Films visit: http://films.economist.com/ Check out The Economist’s full video catalogue: http://econ.st/20IehQk Like The Economist on Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/TheEconomist/ Follow The Economist on Twitter: https://twitter.com/theeconomist Follow us on Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/theeconomist/ Follow us on Medium: https://medium.com/@the_economist
Views: 55540 The Economist
Why it is cheaper to buy property in Berlin than in other European capitals
 
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Property prices continue to climb in London and in other major European cities, but Berlin has defied the trend. While property prices have soared in European capital cities such as London and Paris, the city of Berlin remains an exception. Twenty-five years ago Berlin’s east side was in a shabby state. But even after years of renovation and development, a square metre in the German capital costs between €2500 and €3500, about a third of prices in London or Paris. So why is it still much cheaper to buy property in Berlin than other European capitals? First, Germans, especially Berliners, tend to rent property over the course of their lives instead of buying. Just over 42% percent of German properties are owner occupied according to the German federal statistics office. But only 15% of Berliners are home owners. With such a low demand for buying property, sellers cannot be too brash with their prices. Second, tenant co-operatives in Berlin are strong. Landlords cannot easily raise rents or evict bad tenants, which makes buying property to let less attractive as an investment. Finally, Berliners earn 7% less per year than the German national average. This may be because the city does not attract big companies. Of the 30 biggest companies listed on the Frankfurt Stock Exchange that make up the benchmark DAX Index, not one is based in Berlin. As a result the city attracts fewer high-income professionals, meaning that their salaries don’t trickle down to the city’s service economies. Although prices for standard apartments remain affordable, this may not last long. The development of new luxury apartments near the centre could drive up prices, making it more difficult in the future to find a bargain in Europe’s cool capital.
Views: 37814 The Economist
How volcanoes change the climate | The Economist
 
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Two hundred years ago, Tambora, a volcano in Indonesia, blew its top in the most violent eruption in recent history. Damage from the volcano and an associated tsunami was immense; perhaps 100,000 people died immediately, or starved in the aftermath. The effects on the wider world, though, were even greater. Like all large eruptions, Tambora’s was to change the climate around much of the planet for years. But just how do volcanoes change the climate? Eruptions spew out not just lava and ash, but also gases—indeed it is these gases, trapped under great pressure in molten rock, that give an eruption its explosive power. For the climate, the key gas is sulphur dioxide. Once it gets into the stratosphere, sulphur dioxide from a volcano mingles with water, forming tiny sulphate particles. These particles reflect some sunlight back into space, and the surface below cools. They also absorb some sunlight, warming up the stratosphere. These temperature changes have big knock-on effects. A cooler surface means less evaporation, and thus less rainfall. A warmer stratosphere means stronger jet streams. In the year after Tambora’s eruption, scientists estimate the stratosphere's sulphate veil caused a three percent drop in rainfall and cooled the planet by one degree Celsius. That is a temperature drop in one year twice as large as the long-term warming the Earth has seen over the past half-century. The climate upheaval caused a hiatus of the Indian monsoon, drought in southern Africa and widespread crop failures in Europe, where it was known as the year without a summer. No one can say when an eruption large enough to have such drastic effects will happen next. That one will happen, though, is a certainty. Music: "Thunder Dreams" Kevin MacLeod (incompetech.com) Licensed under Creative Commons: By Attribution 3.0 http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/3.0/
Views: 76495 The Economist
How to detect the deadliest form of cancer | The Economist
 
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Lung cancer is the deadliest of cancers. Screening could save thousands of lives, so why is it not the norm? https://econ.st/2VAzFNX Click here to subscribe to The Economist on YouTube: https://econ.st/2xvTKdy Lung cancer kills more people than any other form of tumour. About nine out of ten people die within five years of being diagnosed with the disease. If the cancer is caught very early most patients could be cured. But doctors struggle to diagnose early because there are no symptoms until the cancer is in its late stages and has spread to other organs. Some experts think that doctors should screen people at high risk to find lung cancer before symptoms appear. The national lung-screening trial in America subjected 53,000 current and former heavy smokers to either X-ray or computed-tomography scans every year for three years. Its results, reported in 2011 found that screening with CT scans did save lives. But there was a problem. Too many of the lumps found during the screening were not cancer. This is known as a false positive. False positives can harm patients who undergo dangerous follow-up procedures such as biopsies, even if they do not have cancer. It can also affect their mental health and false positives add to the cost of health care. According to new data from the World Health Organisation these harms can be greatly reduced by following a different protocol. Instead of treating all lumps as a positive result doctors are now advised to ignore the smallest nodules and treat them as a negative result. This has halved the rate of false positives. Out of every 1,000 people who were scanned 356 people required follow-up testing under the old protocol. With the new protocol, that has fallen to 180. Complications from follow-up testing have also been reduced. These results show promise. Many countries are waiting for the full report of another trial called Nelson before deciding whether to set up fully fledged screening programmes. Preliminary data from the Nelson trial suggest that screening reduces the death rate from lung cancer among high-risk men by 26% and 61% in women. If a balance between the cost and benefits of screening can be found, lung cancer need no longer be a death sentence. For more from Economist Films visit: http://films.economist.com/ Check out The Economist’s full video catalogue: http://econ.st/20IehQk Like The Economist on Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/TheEconomist/ Follow The Economist on Twitter: https://twitter.com/theeconomist Follow us on Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/theeconomist/ Follow us on Medium: https://medium.com/@the_economist
Views: 61292 The Economist
Why eating insects makes sense | The Economist
 
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The world's population is projected to reach 11 billion by the end of the century. Feeding that many people will be a challenge, and it is further complicated by the impact of climate change on agriculture. That is why some people advocate an unusual way to boost the food supply and feed people sustainably: by eating less meat, and more insects. About 2 billion people already eat bugs. Mexicans enjoy chili-toasted grasshoppers. Thais tuck into cricket stir-fries and Ghanians snack on termites. Insects are slowly creeping onto Western menus as novelty items, but most people remain squeamish. Yet there are three reasons why eating insects makes sense. First, they are healthier than meat. There are nearly 2,000 kinds of edible insects, many of them packed with protein, calcium, fibre, iron and zinc. A small serving of grasshoppers can contain about the same amount of protein as a similar sized serving of beef, but has far less fat and far fewer calories. Second, raising insects is cheap, or free. Little technology or investment is needed to produce them. Harvesting insects could provide livelihoods to some of the world’s poorest people. Finally, insects are a far more sustainable source of food than livestock. Livestock production accounts for nearly a fifth of all greenhouse-gas emissions – that’s more than transport. By contrast, insects produce relatively few greenhouse gases, and raising them requires much less land and water. And they'll eat almost anything. Despite all this, most Westerners find insects hard to swallow. One solution is to use protein extracted from bugs in other products, such as ready meals and pasta sauces. Not having to look at the bugs, and emphasising the environmental benefits, might make the idea of eating insects a bit more palatable. For more video content from The Economist visit our website: http://econ.st/1ytKwbp
Views: 204063 The Economist
Fashion's toxic threads | The Economist
 
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A single clothes wash can release up to 700,000 microplastic fibres, many of which end up in the ocean. Now some pioneering fashion brands are putting the materials they use under the microscope. Click here to subscribe to The Economist on YouTube: https://econ.st/2xvTKdy Supported by Woolmark For more from Economist Films visit: http://films.economist.com/ Check out The Economist’s full video catalogue: http://econ.st/20IehQk Like The Economist on Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/TheEconomist/ Follow The Economist on Twitter: https://twitter.com/theeconomist Follow us on Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/theeconomist/ Follow us on Medium: https://medium.com/@the_economist
Views: 103825 The Economist