The Red planet has captured the imagination of many generations of writers and filmmakers, but now it has captured the whim of space explorers who plan on organizing landing missions within the next 20 years. Vast distance separates us from the planet and any misison for now amounts to a one way ticket for the brave astronauts.
Everyone loves a banana. It’s rich in nutrients, delicious and a great colour to boot. Its shape has inspired artists and writers and its erotic symbolism has entered into humanity’s collective unconcious, even acquiring dream interpretation standing as a lucky omen. It also rules the tables of international trade.
There are many kinds of sexual abuses, that range from sexual advances, obscene remarks, harassment to rape and violence. Despite the media’s focus on some of the more superficial and controversial examples, the issue around the world, especially in less developed countries is extremely serious.
Twenty years ago it wasn’t even recognized, now it is becoming a notable issue, freeing not only civil bonds but people’s chosen sexuality.
In a maxed-out economy, where some fear emerging nations may not emerge fast enough to counter the decline of developed nations, wages continue to rise.
If one nation can be the poster child for military dictatorship-turned-democracy, then it is Myanmar. But now the country is in the spotlight for reasons that reflect deeply rooted conflicts.
There is one reason why alcohol consumption is dropping all around the world: beer.
Less and less of it is being consumed, and the planet seems to be sobering up.
If the world feels like it’s getting less and less stable by the day, that might just be because it is. Recent studies back up the feeling with numbers.
Few hope that it will come sooner rather than later, but that takes nothing away from our fascination with the end of the world. We even have a clock that claims to measure its advent.
Crazy is more than just being eccentric. Real insanity is the most blatant expression of mental illness, a phenomenon that is growing more acute as the world’s population ages.
Deep in the earth are buried some of the most brilliant treasures of the universe. Will we eventually need to explore the universe to sate our hunger for their light?
Long known to American consumers as the “chicken of the sea,” this once ubiquitous fish has become the object of concern for foodies, environmentalists and even financiers.
Relations between Mexico and the United States were originally shaped by territorial disputes and war. Even though the two neighbors are now on friendly terms, it won’t take much to reignite the rhetoric.
Goods and people have all become globetrotters. For some this is a good thing. For others it is an ominous sign of future chaos.
Once a haven for drug gangs and kidnappers, Colombia has undergone a remarkable transformation in recent years. Now it is one of the economic engines of Latin America.
Whenever there is a major emergency such as war or natural disaster, rich nations are inspired to generosity. But the financial aid entails a host of paradoxes, and in some cases perpetuates chronic poverty.
Astronomers with their sights set on the most distant places have been caught up in an exciting hunt for the past quarter of a century: they are on the lookout for extrasolar planets, otherwise known as exoplanets.
Fun has become a huge industry. Catering to all ages and cultures, fun parks have evolved into universes unto themselves.
Since acquired immune deficiency syndrome, better know as AIDS, swept across the globe, doctors, scientists and governments have struggled to contain it and find a cure. It hasn’t been easy, but there is hope.
Of all the professions in the world, schoolteachers might have the most impact on the future of society. Yet these unsung heroes tend to be underpaid and overlooked.
The Mekong River flows through six countries in one of the world’s greatest areas of expansion. Its riches, however, have always been a double-edged sword.
The modern global economy is inseparable from debt – taking money from where it is and moving it to where it isn’t. When we measure and keep track of this movement, however, the proportions can be mind-boggling.
It may not be the most optimistic thought to have, but it’s one that many nations are putting into practice: the wall as a way to stave off the encroachment of the dreaded other.
In a world like ours, where high technology has become indispensible for daily living, the key to economic competitiveness lies in the ability to innovate.
With toxic car emissions threatening to turn our planet into a pressure cooker, the bicycle – muscle-powered vehicle par excellence – can help us pedal away from the brink.
The elixir of immortality is not yet available at your nearest pharmacy, but we are moving closer to a milestone in life expectancy.
Less than 20 years ago no one would have understood a request to “google” something. Today we do it many times a day – to the point where the huge tech company has become an appendage of our individual and collective minds.
As political volatility and conflict increases, so does the number of people whose homes are no longer safe.
The plight of refugees and displaced people is a growing problem worldwide.
Arabia has long been an exotic land that fascinated travelers. Now Saudi Arabia has evolved into an inscrutable political entity that seems to relish in straddling the past and future.
Ever since the Tower of Babel we have wanted to build into the clouds. Now there is a veritable race going on, in which the rankings of tallest buildings change faster than we can keep track.
In some places on the planet the annoying buzz of a mosquito at night is fraught with lethal menace. Despite deaths in epidemic proportions, we often ignore one of the world’s biggest health problems.
Hidden in the rocks and sand of our planet are a host of elements that are both difficult to extract and indispensible to our increasingly high-tech daily lives.
Expo organizers in Milan are burning extra calories to get this monumental event ready for the opening. They will need all the energy they can get.
Transplanting organs from one body to another has become routine. But what was once considered a miracle of modern science has turned into an industry full of surprises.
Piracy on the high seas has seen a resurgence in recent decades. But international efforts to control it have led to a constant shift of hotspots around the globe.
We all want sweetness in our life. And a dose of sugar is the quickest way of getting it. No wonder the consumption of sugar has multiplied over the centuries.
The country that came to be synonymous with genocide in the 1990s has not only recovered, but it has also become one of Africa’s fastest growing economies.
The Neolithic revolution came when people started farming the land instead of hunting and gathering. Now a similar revolution is happening with fishing. Our oceans will never be the same.
The more we are dependent
on gas and oil, the more the pipelines that carry these indispensible commodities
will crisscross the planet and become a part of the landscape.
Given the means, man would not hesitate at tweaking the evolutionary process. With genetics making progess by leaps and bounds, the dream of reviving long extinct animal species has become a reality.
We tend to imagine robots as androids with personalities of their own, but most robots are just very specialized machines. Nevertheless, these machines are taking over the world.
Computer technology and the internet have revolutionized the recording industry. Illegal downloads have cut into artists’ earnings, but new streaming services and payment structures give hope to those who live to make music.
Gambling is as old as money (if not older). But with increased mobility, including virtual travel, the gambling topography has changed radically.
Education is by no means impervious to globalization. Students are now studying outside of their country more and more, and their choices are indicative of geopolitical trends.
Despite the proliferation of easy-access entertainment – or perhaps because of it – the pleasure of going to a museum to see great artworks and well-curated exhibitions is growing.
The whips and shackles of the transatlantic slave trade may seem a thing of the past, but slavery is still a scourge that quietly surrounds us. The forms it takes can often be so subtle that they go unnoticed in plain sight.
As the world develops, the amount of carbon dioxide and other greenhouse gases emitted into the atmosphere increases. Are we anywhere near bringing it under control?
Some things are good to begin with and get even better with age. The iron horse that led the Industrial Revolution is still a great way to keep us and our wares moving.
It’s a rich land and a poor land, a country of amazing variety. Within a few decades it will also be huge, both its population and its economy.
It might be hard for a rich man to enter the Kingdom of Heaven, but that hasn’t stopped the majority of us from desiring wealth. Unfortunately for most people, it’s lonely at the top.
Many of the world’s biggest businesses and industries will never appear on any of the world’s stock exchanges. In fact, they do their best not to appear on anybody’s radar – except, of course, those of consumers.
The jet set once referred to an exclusive elite. Now everyone is travelling at supersonic speeds. The airline industry, however, is changing – both geographically and economically.
As more and more people rise out of poverty, the amount of protein consumed per capita will increase steadily. In most cases, this means more meat. The implications, both economically and ecologically, are huge.
Drones are the weapon of the future. But these vehicles are far more than just flying missile launchers. They are the spies of the future: either hovering through the stratosphere, or simply another fly on the wall.
There’s something sinister looming over those sand dunes. The vast Sahara desert has now become a base of operations for fundamentalist Islamic fighters.
There’s crusade under way against the evils of cigarette smoking. But business is as brisk as ever in the developing world. And where smoking has diminished, Big Tobacco has found a way to diversify.
The printed word may have seen better days, but the word itself is thriving in a new dimension – the electronic dimension. More and more people are catering to their reading needs with e-readers.
Making a country more business friendly is, in theory, quite simple: speed up the process of doing business by eliminating unnecessary bureaucracy. So which countries have been successful?
India is the land of gods with thousands of hands, heads and eyes, where a single bicycle rickshaw can ride over a dozen children to their school, and where the rule is simple: there is always room for one more.
As the world’s population gets longer in the tooth, the change in demography will have an impact on society. If once the eldery were considered over the hill, they will soon be a force to be reckoned with.
The feel of ink flowing across paper has become a quaint sensation associated with bygone times. As the use of computers increases, penmanship may soon become a lost art.
It’s no secret that art is more than just an aesthetic pursuit. It is a viable form of investment. And as once dormant economies emerge, so does their taste for artworks.
The number of people undergoing plastic surgery is steadily increasing, as are the types of procedures. What they redo often depends on cultural and geopolitical factors, as some are trying make their ethnic origins less visible.
We are constantly being invaded by aliens. Most come from other parts of the world, but some are literally extraterrestrial. Will there come a time when we can converse with beings from outer space?
The more you get out into the world the more you realize how many different languages and dialects there are, and how much possibility for misunderstanding.
In a multipolar world, peacekeeping operations are growing in importance. The United Nations’ blue helmets have in the past 64 years become a mainstay in situations requiring experienced conflict resolution.
The Democratic People’s Republic of Korea, more commonly referred to as North Korea, is arguably the most anomalous country in the world. Its numbers only confirm its peculiarities.
Too much information? Or still not enough? Whatever the case may be, the amount keeps growing, and in order to keep up with it we’ll need to expand our vocabulary.
The world is literally on the move. Once the prerogative of the privileged classes or religious pilgrims, tourism is now a massive industry.
Women have come a long way over the last few centuries, but numbers show that they still have further to go – in some places more than others.
Once there were smoke signals, carrier pigeons, distant lights and even pieces of paper in a bottle. We’ve come a long way in terms of telecoms.
The uniqueness of Norway’s population is in many ways a result of the land on which they live – as well as what’s under it.
The extraordinary growth in the number of cars over the last one hundred years, while remarkable, has largely gone unnoticed.
Technological progress has given us synthetic recreational drugs. Globalization has made them available almost everywhere. And their interdiction has resulted in extreme profitability for those willing to risk.
It’s an ancient story: country bumpkin looks for a better life in the big town. But now the towns have grown and spread into each other to such an extent they form vast megacities that defy borders.
Most people believe that as the population grows, food resources will become scarcer. In fact, the opposite is true. So there is no excuse for endemic hunger.
The day is arriving when machines will be able to think better than humans. This formerly sci-fi scenario is becoming a reality more quickly than many would like to believe.