Why Finnish babies sleep in cardboard boxes

BBC News – Why Finnish babies sleep in cardboard boxes.

It’s a tradition that dates back to the 1930s and it’s designed to give all children in Finland, no matter what background they’re from, an equal start in life.

The maternity package – a gift from the government – is available to all expectant mothers.

It contains bodysuits, a sleeping bag, outdoor gear, bathing products for the baby, as well as nappies, bedding and a small mattress.

With the mattress in the bottom, the box becomes a baby’s first bed. Many children, from all social backgrounds, have their first naps within the safety of the box’s four cardboard walls.

In the 1930s Finland’s infant mortality rate was very high.  In an effort to lower it, the government came up with a plan to encourage women to see a doctor before the birth.  So, if the lady went to a doctor before the fourth month of pregnancy she would receive a box of baby supplies. The box they were packed in becomes the crib.

The plan worked, and was so popular that it’s still in effect.  And Finland has one of the lowest infant mortality rates in the world.

Avoid Louisiana, Ladies

Here’s How Much Less Women Make In Each State.

Who Knew?

We talked about this in class – why is there such a gap between what people think, and what’s really true?

This is from a piece on Vox: 35 Maps That Explain How America is a Nation of Immigrants 

The Economist explains what we talked about today: Boko Haram

The Economist explains: Why Nigeria has not yet defeated Boko Haram | The Economist.

The crisis in the north-east needs to be seen in the context of generally rising criminality in Nigeria. Kidnappings for ransom are rife: celebrities and clergymen are plucked off the street in daylight. Hundreds of people are killed every year in land disputes. Thieves siphon off as much as a fifth of the country’s oil output in the Niger delta. Piracy is common. Rampant criminality also infects politics. Gangsters aid politicians by intimidating opponents. In return elected officials share out funds plundered from state coffers. Two years ago KPMG, a global audit firm, named Nigeria as the most fraud-prone country in Africa.

North-east Nigeria has been ignored by the government, and now they aren’t able to deal with it.

Boko Haram’s motivations lie not so much in religious fanaticism as in protest against government neglect. While fabulously wealthy, Nigeria’s government and elite shares very little with the masses, especially those in the north-east, traditionally the poorest and least influential part of the country. Development levels there are among the lowest in the world, despite being one of OPEC’s biggest oil producers. Nigeria’s government has also neglected to pour money into its armed forces, out of both greed and fear. Coups used to be common. So now unpopular leaders are fighting an insurgency without capable security forces, which often inflames the situation, for example when under-paid and ill-trained soldiers rape and pillage just like Boko Haram.

So until the government cleans up its act, we can unfortunately prepare for more of these horror stories.

America’s Dirtiest Power Plants

How Close do You Live to America’s Dirtiest Power Plants? | BillMoyers.com.

Out of about 6,000 power plants in the US, These are the dirtiest.

The researchers found that the 50 dirtiest power plants in the U.S. are responsible for 30 percent of the energy industry’s CO2 emissions, and a full two percent of all emissions worldwide — these 50 plants were responsible for more climate change than all but six countries in the world.

Click the link above to open the map.

Dashboard 1


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