Tallinn on the decrease in crime around the developed world in recent years:

But the sheer scale of the drop—and its broad persistence in the face of the deepest economic depression in a century—make a new crime wave seem unlikely. Policing is still improving; heroin and crack-cocaine consumption continue to fall; and no one is likely to reintroduce lead into petrol. The period of rising crime from the 1950s through to the 1980s looks increasingly like an historical anomaly.

A portion of the theory reminds me a bit of Minority Report’s “pre-crime”. No, not the knowing the future part, but the fact that would-be criminals realize their actions are more likely to be caught in some way, so they are simply thinking twice about doing anything in the first place.

codethekitty-deactivated2014013 asked:

So I head you like magma! Did you know about the 'Door to Hell', located in Derweze, Ahal Province, Turkmenistan? Apparently it was a natural cave filled with gas. Scientists wanted to enter the cave and explore it. So they thought of lighting it up, expecting the cave to burn for a few days, maybe a week. But as it turns out, it still burns today. It was lit in 1971. Fun world, we live in! :)

Fascinating. Thanks for sharing (here’s a link for others). I hope to be able to check it out one day!

The Economist:

The country that cut poverty the most was China, which in 1980 had the largest number of poor people anywhere. China saw a huge increase in income inequality—but even more growth. Between 1981 and 2010 it lifted a stunning 680m people out poverty—more than the entire current population of Latin America. This cut its poverty rate from 84% in 1980 to about 10% now. China alone accounts for around three quarters of the world’s total decline in extreme poverty over the past 30 years.

Just to elaborate a bit more on the Bill Gates post from yesterday, these stats are crazy. The economic rise of China has decimated extreme poverty in that country — and has led to a huge improvement (percentage-wise) for the world at large.

Bill Gates:

Child mortality went down—again. One of the yearly reports I keep an eye out for is “Levels and Trends in Child Mortality.” The title doesn’t sound especially uplifting, but the 2013 report shows amazing progress—for example, half as many children died in 2012 as in 1990. That’s the biggest decline ever recorded. And hardly anyone knows about it!

Any way you slice it, that’s insanely good news. The poverty rate numbers are pretty striking as well.