Sunday, October 23, 2011

More of the world is protected

Over 12 percent of the world's land area is now officially protected, and that number has been rising fast, doubling just since 1990. You can see it in the right-most bars on the chart below. The rest of the chart breaks down the progress by types of regions.

This reminds me of a story that I can only half remember (by Grant Morrison maybe?), where in the far future humanity, with a population even greater than ours today, has coalesced into a few immense towering city-states, protected by bubbles. The majority of the earth was allowed to return to its natural, wild state, with humanity carefully visiting the "outside" for recreation. It was a peaceful, prosperous future.

Source: Vital Signs 2010, article by Margarita Yatsevich

Sunday, October 9, 2011

Deaf woman hears her voice for the first time

Just a quick feel-good pick-me-up post to tug at the heartstrings and remind us how lucky we all are to live in this day and age. We've come to the point where doctors and scientists perform miracles every day - healing the blind, deaf, and the sick.

This is a woman who has been deaf her whole life. 29 years of relying on reading lips, and to a very limited extent, hearing aids. Here is the video of her receiving a new implant that allows her to fully hear for the first time. Apologies if you've already seen this; it's making the facebook rounds quite a bit: