Water In Texas

Water In Texas | Texas Interfaith Center for Public Policy.

My Friend Andy Sansom, Director of the Meadows Center for Water and the Environment at Texas State, talks about water, public policy, and the future of Texas.

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Aging Well in Japan

Elderly at Record Spurs Japan Stores Chase $1.4 Trillion – Bloomberg.

Adult diaper sales are at an all-time high in Japan; in fact, they have surpassed sales of baby diapers.  Why?  Because Japan is aging, and few women are choosing to have children.

Companies are rushing to grab a bigger chunk of the estimated 109 trillion yen ($1.4 trillion) that consumers over 60 spent in the year ended March 31 in Japan. The number of Japanese over 65 hit a record 23.3 percent of the population in October.

Japan has one of the world’s lowest fertility rates – 1.39 per women.  The US rate is 1.93.  Replacement rate, where the population neither grows nor shrinks, is 2.1.

Unicharm, Japan’s largest diaper maker, said the lessons it’s learning in Japan will help its expansion in China, where the population at or above 65 rose to 8.87 percent of the total as of Nov. 1, 2010, up 1.91 percentage points from the 2000 census. China introduced a one-child policy in 1979 to curb population growth.

How will Japan replace retiring workers?  Who will care for (and pay for) the growing numbers of elderly people?  And why does it matter?

Israel and the Palestinians: Gaza abacus | The Economist

Israel and the Palestinians: Gaza abacus | The Economist.

Some interesting statistics

WITH a hat-tip to Harper’s Magazine, which invented this kind of index, here are some enlightening numbers regarding the fighting in Gaza, as of 8.00am GMT on November 19th.

Number of Israelis killed by fire from Gaza between January 1st 2012 and November 11th 2012: 1
(Source: Wikipedia)

Number of Palestinians in Gaza killed by Israeli fire during the same period: 78
(Source: United Nations)

Number of Israelis killed by fire from Gaza, November 13th-19th 2012: 3
(Source: press reports)

Number of Palestinians in Gaza killed by Israeli fire, November 13th-19th: 95
(Source: IDF)

Number of those killed in Gaza under 15 years of age: 19
(Source)

Total number of Israelis killed by rocket, mortar or anti-tank fire from Gaza since 2006: 47
(Source: Wikipedia. This is disputed; another source says 26)

Number of Palestinians in Gaza killed by Israeli fire from April 1st 2006 to July 21st 2012: 2,879
(Source: United Nations)

Number of Egyptian schoolchildren killed when a train hit their bus on November 17th 2012: 53
(Source: press reports)

Number of people killed in traffic accidents in Israel in 2011: 384
(Source: Wikipedia)

Number of Syrians killed in fighting between November 13th-19th 2012: 646
(Source: Syrian Observatory for Human Rights (SOHR

Estimated deaths in Syria since beginning of unrest in March 2011: 40,000
(Source: SOHR)

Estimated deaths from all Israeli-Arab wars between 1945 and 1995: 92,000
(Source: Wikipedia)

Number of targets in Gaza struck by Israel, November 13th-19th: 1,350
(Source: IDF)

Number of projectiles fired at Israel from Gaza from November 13th-19th, 2012: 848 
(Source: IDF)

Number that did not fall in “open areas”: 35
(Source: IDF)

Number intercepted by Israel’s Iron Dome defence system: 302
(Source: IDF)

Percentage of projectiles targeted by Iron Dome shot down, as claimed by Israeli military: 80-85%
(Source: IDF)

Reported cost in dollars of one interceptor missile fired by Iron Dome: 62,000
(Source: Ha’aretz)

Estimated cost in dollars of one short-range Qassam missile built in Gaza workshop: 800
(Source: News reports)

Cost in dollars of one Iron Dome battery; Israel has deployed five and plans 13 in total: 50m
(Source: AFP)

Number of kilos explosive equivalent in payload of Iranian-supplied Fajr-5 longer-range rocket deployed by Hamas: 90 (200lb)
(Source: Wikipedia)

Number of kilos explosive equivalent of Israel Military Industry’s MPR-500 advanced-penetration precision-guided bomb: 900 (2,000lb)
(Source)

Area in square kilometres of Gaza: 365 (141 square miles)

Area in square kilometres of Israel: 20,700 (7,992 square miles)

Population of Gaza: 1.7m

Number of Israelis within range of Fajr-5 missiles: 3.5m
(Source: IDF)

Jewish population of Israel/ under Israeli jurisdiction (ie including West Bank settlements): 5.9m
(Source)

Non-Jewish population under Israeli jurisdiction (ie including Gaza and West Bank): 6.1m
(Source)

Per capita GDP of Israel in 2011, in dollars: 31,000
(Source: Wikipedia)

Per Capita GDP of Gaza in 2011, in dollars: 1,483
(Source)

Verse of Exodus containing the phrase “Pillar of Cloud”, the official codename for Israel’s current Gaza operation: 13:21

Verse of the Koran containing the phrase “Stones of Clay”, Hamas’s codename for its current operations: 105:4

Number of days before Israeli general election: 64

Election maps

Election maps.  Definitely the coolest election maps.

Election maps

Election maps

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