Wednesday, February 27, 2013

Urban Picture

Evolution of  the New York Skyline (1876 - 2013)

[Click on the image to enlarge it]
[Image Credit: Retronaut]




Soundtrack: a duet of Miles Davis and LCD Soundsystem

Tuesday, February 26, 2013

Sunday, February 24, 2013

The Social Network Effect Behind Obesity

This is a nice talk by Nicholas Christakis on Sociology and Social Networks. It is very concise and well presented covering a quite broad range of topics such as suicide, social capital, collective behavior and social networks.

What attracted my attention though was the part on the Social Network Effect Behind Obesity, where Christakis talks about this paper he and James H. Fowler have published in The New England Journal of Medicine (in the video, skip to 19:06). Quite impressive!






Saturday, February 23, 2013

The unintended consequence of licence plate schemes

A couple of cities such as São Paulo, Bogota and Mexico City have already tried to cut down on traffic using licence plate schemes. Needless to say they have achieved limited success  if any .

In this Freakonomics episode Dubner and Levitt talk about the universal law of 'unintended consequence' and how it applies to such schemes.

Wednesday, February 20, 2013

Is there a demographic divide between rich and poor countries ?

Here is a presentation by Hans Rosling (aka the “Mick Jagger” of TED) breaking down the myth of demographic divide between rich and poor countries.


No wonder why we never get tired of watching. 

Message of the Day

Tuesday, February 19, 2013

Demographic Cliff

The issue of World Population Bomb is gradually losing ground to other issues such as imploding national populations and aging workforce.

Of course we always find those who sounds extremely pessimistic. Jim Russell (Burgh Diaspora blog), for example, points out to several declining places (low fertility and no migration attraction). According to him, Southern New England Is Dying, Puerto Rico Is Dying, China Is DyingGermany Is DyingAmerica Is DyingSun Belt Counties DyingSilicon Valley Is DyingNew York City Is DyingLondon Is DyingSan Francisco Is Dying etc etc  ok. We understood, we're all dying anyway 

The McKinsey Global Institute has published a report on how aging populations will reduce global savings (15min audio summary). Other pessimist, Jonathan Last (author of 'What To Expect When No One's Expecting'), trumpets a coming demographic disaster:
"Forget the debt ceiling. Forget the fiscal cliff, the sequestration cliff and the entitlement cliff. Those are all just symptoms. What America really faces is a demographic cliff: The root cause of most of our problems is our declining fertility rate." 

The fact is no one is actually optimistic about current demographic trends. Nancy Folbre (MIT) has a more moderate opinion, although still far from being optimistic.

This post is getting too long for my  time constraint  standards, so I'll end it with this chart by Simon Hedlin and a coulpe of related links.

Monday, February 18, 2013

Seoul's Cheonggyecheon Stream

For those flying to South Korea this year (XXVII IUSSP Population Conference or 9th Space Syntax Symposium), here is a place worth visiting! (hat tip Prof. Fred Holanda)

Sunday, February 17, 2013

Porn star demographics

The Marginal Revolution blog led me to Jon Millward's page. Jon Millward is a sort of 'Ideas Detective', in his own words. Every now and then he comes up with a probing analysis of something 'new', like the last words of death row prisoners or call girl reviews.

His latest study makes a deep analysis of Porn star demographics. This is probably the largest study of porn stars ever undertaken, including age, race, hair color, birthplaces, film categories etc. It’s based on a massive data set of 10,000 porn stars extracted from the Internet Adult Film Database. 

Here is the 'Deep Inside Infographic' that combines all of the results (don't worry, the link is safe for work). And here is a map showing the birthplaces of female porn stars. California is reported to be the birthplace of one-third of all female porn stars!



obs. Jon Millward's work on the last words of death row prisoners is highly recommended!

Thursday, February 14, 2013

Airport Time-Lapse

Inspired by this striking composite image by Ho-Yeol Ryu, Cy Kuckenbaker filmed this beautiful timelapse.

(via Shinnfo).

Chart of the Day

The cost of living around the world.

[Image Credit: The Economist]

Thursday, February 7, 2013

Urban Picture

Brasilia (Brazil), by João Campello


Soudtrack:

Tuesday, February 5, 2013

The Economic Future of British Cities

Prof Henry Overman (SERC / LSE) gave a very interesting lecture a couple of weeks ago. The lecture was titled 'The Economic Future of British Cities: What should Urban Policy Do?'

He addressed several issues such as migration, housing, skilled workforce, labor productivity and regional wage disparities, to name a few.

You can download both the lecture and the slides here. You may also go further into Overman's writings on SERC blog Part I, Part II.