Nov 27, 2023
The Eurostats website published an interesting article that emphasizes the increasing importance of digital skills in response to technological advancements. It discusses how the EU aims for at least 80% of adults to have the minimum basic digital skills by 2030.
It also describes how even if around 90% of EU citizens are using the internet weekly, only 54% in average had basic or above basic digital skills in 2021. Finland and the Netherlands led with 79%, followed by Ireland (70%) and Denmark (69%), highlighting disparities in digital proficiency across EU countries.
As more and more of our traditional activities move even further online, investing the digital skills education since early age would seem to be wise decision. I hope the EU goverments will prioritise it.
May 20, 2023
Dec 5, 2022
A couple of days ago I was chatting to one of my colleagues that this world cup has been really weird. Leaving aside all the justified controversies about the way Qatar treats migrant workers, the fact that this world cup is being played at Christmas time has been really strange. Since I live in Europe I have always associated this event with summer and people enjoying themselves outside, watching the games and having a good time. That has not been the case in 2022.
Now I wonder if any of the countries that have won the cup before will manage to do it again? Italy didn’t even qualify, Spain is out this week, Germany and Uruguay didn’t make it past the first round. So it could be Brazil or Argentina again? or European teams like France or the UK? We will see soon, but again this winter cup has lost a bit of its charm.
Mar 5, 2022
At least all western countries have condemned in unison this unprovoked invasion and have uniformly applied sanctions against the Russian regime. Hopefully they will make it economically impossible to sustain this senseless war.
Feb 23, 2022
Feb 22, 2022
Nov 24, 2021
The US department of state published a list of the countries invited to the virtual "Summit for democracy" that will take place next month.
Although certainly the USA doest not have at this moment a great moral authority to lead such conferences (cough January 6, cough new voting restrictions laws across the country), in any case it is a very good initiative to highlight how democracy is a right that should be protected and should not be taken for granted.
Nov 14, 2021
Yesterday I met a couple of colleagues from the university here in Basel and we discussed various topics. One of my colleagues is an epidemiologist and the topic of increasing hospitalization rates due to covid-19 was part of our conversations. One of the causes of this phenomenon is that vaccination rates in Europe are still low. According to the ECDC the cumulative complete vaccination rate in Europe is 64.9%, with Portugal being the country with the highest rate (81.3%).
Countries like Germany and the Netherlands, which are breaking daily records with the number of cases, have relatively low vaccination rates (67.1% and 64.8% respectively). We cannot let our guard down and more work must be done to prevent the continent from becoming again, the epicentre of this never-ending pandemic.
Apr 26, 2021
After a long wait, finally I was able to get an appointment today for the first dose of the covid-19 vaccine. I still need to wait another month, but having a spot in the queue is such a relief!. I was curious about what countries have the highest vaccination rate (using data from our world) and I realized that gibraltar has almost all the adult population innoculated.
I know the situation is bad in India nowadays, so I really hope at certain most of the countries will be able to have the same numbers as gibraltar, or the USA for that matter. The new administration definitely did wonders there!.
Nov 13, 2020
It has been almost a week since the major American television networks projected that Joe Biden would win the U.S. presidential election.
However, with all the noise in the news about the current president's refusal to recognize the election results, and with the dire consequences this attitude can have, the fact is that the Democratic candidate won the election.
Given that COVID-19 cases are skyrocketing in the country, and in much of the world, it is a relief to know that very soon there will be a president there with a concrete plan to deal with the pandemic.
Sep 30, 2020
A friend of mine who works at the European Union, shared an interesting articule about the Life Expectancy in the different EU regions.
The last data available from 2018, shows that Swtizerland (83.8), Spain (83.5) and Italy (83.4) had the highest life expectancy, as you can see on the map above.
Aug 26, 2020
Both in Basel city and Zurich it is required to wear facemask with the objective to reduce the COVID-19 transmission. The country flattened the curve but as soon as it began to reopen, the cases started to up again. The cantons of Geneva, Vaud and Zurich are the most affected as it can be observed in the previous graph.
Jun 01, 2020
Brazil has unfornately become of the new epicenters of the COViD-19 pandemia in the world. A recent editorial at The Lancet, describes how Brazil is the country with the highest rate of transmission (R0 of 2·81), based on the data compiled by an study conducted at the Imperial College of London.
The title of the editorial ("So what?"), summarises the biggest problem the country has dealing with this disease and that is the response (or lack thereof) of its president Jair Bolsonaro. His disdain for a vast proportion of the population suffering by this disease is outrageous, but not surprising.
Boa sorte brasil, você vai precisar!
May 10. 2020
Last easter holidays I setup this COVID-19 dashboard in one of my personal domains to follow the cases around the world, particularly in Europe. I used the data provided by the Johns Hopkins university, in particular their daily cases, death and recoveries time series. Using those data points and doing some data wrangling it’s possible to get a lot of insights about what’s currently happening in the world.
The last time I blogged about this topic was exactly one month ago and there have been a lot developments since then:
- In April I mentioned the US has become the new epicenter of the COVID-19 Pandemia and that’s still the case, but on a different scale. With over 1.3 million active cases, the United States accounts for 32.5% of all cases worldwide today. The situation in New York City is much better than it was then, but there are now multiple cases in rural areas, particularly in towns with meat processing plants
- The situation in the United Kingdom is dire as well. As of yesterday they have reported 31.3k deaths and 216.5k active cases.and they have less than 1k patients recovered from the disease. Famously Boris Johnson got infected himself, required hospitalization and even ICU admission for a couple of days.
- In contrast Germany has been recognized as of the countries who has dealt with the Pandemic in a responsilbe way using a scientific based approach. There are still in the list of the Top 10 countries most affected by the disease but the death rate has been really low, during the evolution of the pandemia.
- The Kiwi strategy has been one of the most succesful ones in the world. A headline in the prestigious Lancet magazine summarises all: New Zealand eliminates COVID-19. The administratrion of Jacinda Ardern couldn't be more proud of their decisions!.
Apr 10, 2020
Talking about exponencial growth ... back on the 31st of January, when I heard the novel corona virus mentioned in the news I blogged abpit how there were "9776 cases confirmed affecting 20 countries already, with the vast majority in China", regarding this '2019-nCoV' virus as it was known back then.
2.5 months later, this number has jumped to more than 1.5 millon cases, becoming a pandemic, affecting most of the nations in the world. Italy and Spain were hard hit, as well as the US, country that has become by far the new epicenter of this disease.
The strict social distancing rules have slowed down the transmission in the communities adopting this measures (with the unfortunate side effect of paralyzing the economies). Let's cross the fingers all those efforts will contain this nasty virus.
Mar 27, 2020
Mar 22, 2020
According to the latest data aggregated by the John Hopkins university world cases dashboard, there are 307277 COVID-19 confirmed cases in the world. Europe is still an epicenter of the disease with more than 50k cases in Italy, but also more than 10k cases in France, Germany and Spain.
There are more death cases reported in Italy (4825) than they were repored during in China (3265). The US has the highest number of active cases (26747) after Italy.
In many places of the world there are measures in place to encourage or force people to stay home. Please stay safe!
Mar 14, 2020
According to the WHO, Europe has become the new epicenter of the COVID-19 pandemic as the deadly coronavirus runs through Italy and nearby countries including Germany, Switzerland and France. It's the same situation in Spain where the total number of cases increased dramatically during the last 2 days, leading the goverment to set in place drastic measures for force slowing down the transmission of the virus.
Mar 03, 2020
One month ago I was blogging about how the 2019-nCoV coronavirus had been in the news headlines lately because of the human-to-human transmission and its rapid spread both in China and outside its borders.
At the end of January there were 9776 confirmed cases in China, but one month later this number is around 80k and Iran, South Korea and Italy have become additional geographical points with more than 1k cases.
The COVID-19 Virus as it’s called now, it’s a public issue all around the world and prevenive measures will have to be in place to slowdown the spread of this disease.
The following animation from wikipedia shows how the virus have been spreading fast in a couple of months.
Again for reference this is the John Hopkins university world cases dashboard, using the most recent data available.
Jan 31, 2020
The 2019-nCoV coronavirus have been in the news headlines lately because of the human-to-human transmission and its rapid spread both in China and outside its borders. This virus apparently originated in animals and it was first identified in seafood and animals markets in Wuhan, China
As of yesterday there are 9776 cases confirmed affecting 20 countries already, with the vast majority in China. The John Hopkins university is maintining this world cases dashboard, using the most recent data available.
Aug 5, 2019
In february last year, I was blogging about how the mass shootings in the US were happening constantly and 86 people had been killed at the time of the Parkland massacre (528 ended up dying that year according to the data from the massshootingtracker.org project). The current year unfortunately has followed a similar pattern (347 people have been killed) and as the NY Times put it: "In a country that has become nearly numb to men with guns opening fire in schools, at concerts and in churches, the back-to-back bursts of gun violence in less than 24 hours were enough to leave the public stunned and shaken..."
The shootings have followed a darker tone this time, as hate speech has been added to the motivation of these horrible events, like the ones that just happened in El Paso, TX.
May 04, 2019
According to the CDC website there have been multiple cases of measles confirmed in 22 separate US states. This a sad figure given the fact that Measles was declared eliminated in 2000 across the United States. The misinformation promoted by the anti-vaxxer movement is having detrimental effects on the epidemiology of this highly contagious, yet preventable disease.
Mar 18, 2019
The map above shows the countries with a large population of people that claim Irish Heritage, based on the mapa available in Wikipedia . Assuming the data is correct, the highest population of Irish descendants is located in the U.S. (~33 Million). There are also considerable number of people with Irish ancestry in the UK, Australia and Canada. To all of you ... belated Happy St. Patrick's day.
Feb 06, 2019
Jan 07, 2019
Eurostats published recently a report about the alcohol consumption in Europe. The report that in In 2017, households in the European Union (EU) spent 1.6% of their total consumption expenditure on alcoholic beverages. As you can observe on the map above the baltic states have the highest percentage of expenditure related to their GDP.
Feb 15, 2018
Unfortunately another day and another mass shooting in the US (In Florida this time). The massshootingtracker.org website compiles all the public data available of those type of incidents in the news and the numbers are staggering. Just this year 86 people have been killed and 142 wounded on those type of incidents. The charts above show how this affect every single state on that country.
Is it time now to discuss sensible gun control laws? or how many more are needed?
Feb 12, 2018
According to their website, the good country index attempts to measure what each country on earth contributes to the common good of humanity, and what it takes away, relative to its size. The index takes into account several data points in different areas such as: Science & Technology, Culture, International Peace & Security, World Order, Planet & Climate, Prosperity & Equality, Health & Wellbeing. The concept is quite interesting because but truly live in one single planet so the policies taken by any single country have effects on the rest of the world. The results for 2017 are:
Dec 24, 2017
Dec 04, 2017
At the end of last month Eurostats published a report with the updated unemployment rate figures across the Euro Area. The overall unemployment was 8.8% and even if the highest rates are still observed in Greece (20.6% Aug. 2017) and Spain (16.7%), they have the decreased compared to the previous year.
The lowest rates on the other hand were observed in October 2017: Czechia (2.7%), Malta (3.5%) and Germany (3.6%).
Nov 13, 2017
Oct 16, 2017
Two weeks ago the horrible mass shooting in las Vegas Ocurred where 59 people were killed and 241 were injured, followed by prayers and minutes of silence, but nothing substantially changed in the US to regulate the Gun Violence. The firearms ownership of that country is insane compared with the rest of the nations of the world.
There are many reasons why people become violent around the plante. but in the United States in particular, this violence become deadly when the perpetrator can get so easily a fire weapon.
Aug 22, 2017
Wikipedia has an interesting article called Where to be Born Index where they discussed an article published by the economist about the classification of countries based on the criteria of which one provide the best opportunities for a healthy, safe and prosperous life in the years ahead.
Not surprising Switzerland and the Scandinavian countries are on top of the list joined by Australia, Canada, New Zealand and Singapore.
Aug 21, 2017
Last week a friend of mine an Anesthesiologist friend of mine was on TV discussing how in the US the opiods abuse has created a huge crisis. I was searching the web for statistics about this subject and I found a 2017 report published by the United Nations Office on drugs and crime that shows that the US indeed has the highest mortality rate related to drugs by far. Those deaths are related mainly to Opiods so the public discussion about this subject is definitely worth it.
Aug 06, 2017
Currently there is a heat wave named Lucifer that's brining scorching hot temperatures to sourthern and central europe. Maybe that's the reason why Eurostat published some days ago statistics about the largest producers of Ice cream in the continent. It's not surprising that the "Gelato" country is on top of the list, but I was surprised to learn Germany was the second one in the rankings.
Jun 08, 2017
The content delivery company Akami publishes an State of the Internet report where it's possible to get an internet connection speeds and broadband adoption by country. On this dataset is not surprising that South Korea is on top of the chart:
Followed by Norway and Sweden. Most of the South American and African countries are still behind.
Jun 01, 2017
Yesterday it was the No tobacco day, an event setup by the member states of the World Health Organization (WHO) in 1987. This day serves as a good reminder about what is the tobacco consumption world wide. The dataset available in wikipedia shows that China is the biggest consumer in the world. Unfortunately this consumption is on the rise on the developing nations.
May 23, 2017
A couple of days ago Eurostats published a report describing the annual inflation rate in the EU area and some other non-EU european countries. As you can observe in the map above the baltic countries had the highest inflation rates (Estonia: 3.6%, Lithuania: 3.5% and Latvia: 3.3%), While Romania (0.6%), Ireland (0.7%) and Slovakia (0.8%) had the lowest ones.
Apr 13, 2017
The world health organization has some datasets related to the immnunization coverage around the world.. The map above is generated with the estimates related to Polio. As you can see in the cases of Ukraine, Syria and South Sudan the conflicts don't only destroy people's lifes but also decreases the immunization coverage massively.
Apr 01, 2017
Eurostats offers a balance of trade dataset showing the trade surplus and deficit of each one of the European Union members. Germany is still the country with the highest surplus, compared to France and the UK that have the highest deficits:
Mar 26, 2017
Eurostats has an interesting dataset showing the percentage of the population experiencing depression in Europe. The map above shows that Hungary, Portugal and Sweden and the countries with a higher percentage of population experiencing depressive symptoms.
A breakdown by Sex shows that Portugal is the contry with the highest percentage of female population experiencing depression.
Mar 20, 2017
The World Happiness Report, published by the Sustainable Development Solutions Network of the United Nations, attempts to measure the happiness around the world. The 2017 issue published this month, puts Norway on the top of the list followed by Denmark, Iceland, Switzerland and Finland. On the other hand on the bottom of the list, the least happy places are the Central African Republic, Burundi, Tanzania, Syria and Rwanda. You can find the whole report here worldhappiness.report.
Mar 5, 2017
Eurostats has an interesting dataset with the time spent excersising per country in Europe. It's not surprising that on the top of the list of the countries that excersises 2.5h or more are the Scandinavian countries: Iceland, Norway, Denmark, Finland and Sweden are on the top of the list. Way to go Scandinavia!
Feb 25, 2017
Wikipedia provides an article containing a list of the top 100 sites in the world in terms of traffic, using Alexa and SimilarWeb as sources. The chart above shows the type of sites count based on that list and Search Engines is the top category by far. Now, it's interesting to see how the main reason of this finding is due to the massive popularity of Google around the world: Its localized version on all this countries make it to the top 100 list:
Feb 22, 2017
The USA is indeed a country of immigrants. In 2013, 41M people out of the total 316M population were foreign born, coming from all over the world. The top countries from that list are Mexico, China, India, Phillipines and Vietnam, but it's a true multinacional and multicultural society that should be embraced!
Feb 18, 2017
Feb 4, 2017
The Global Peace Index (GPI) is an attempt to measure the relative peacefulness of the countries around the world. The latest publication considers Syria, South Sudan, Iraq, Somalia and Afghanistan as the least peaceful places in the world. On the other hand Iceland, Denmark, Austria, New Zealand and Portugal are considered the most peaceful.
Jan 25, 2017
A year ago a published the 2015 update on the Corruption Perceptions Index and the data for 2016 is already available at the transparency international (transparency.org) website. As a recap this organizatio fights for a a world in which government, business, civil society and the daily lives of people are free of corruption. This year the least corrupt countries on the list are New Zealand and Finland and the most corrupt are Somalia and South Sudan.
In Europe the trend is similar to last year: the most northern and western countries are least corrupt and viceversa.
In South America, Venezuela is again this year at the bottom of the list.
Jan 9, 2017
Eurostat updated its unemployment rates figures http://appsso.eurostat.ec.europa.eu/nui/show.do?dataset=une_rt_m&lang=en. Iceland has one the lowest unemployment rate in Europe (followed by the Czechia and Germany), while Greece still have the highest, followed by Spain.
Jan 6, 2017
One of the many controversies of the incoming US presidential administration is the incoming cabinet composed of very wealthy individuals. It's interesting to note that the US is not a very equal country compared to all the other western democracies. Even it's northern neighboor is way more equal comparing the Gini index.
It shoud be noted that this inequality is even worst in the south. The comparison between South America and Europe is striking:
Nov 9, 2016
This morning I woke up very early feeling a bit uneasy. I started to follow the live US presidential transmission and then slowly, it began to be clear that the Republican nominee was going to win. I was mentioning a couple of days ago, the main danger with this outcome is that the nationalists groups might feel empowered to spread and promote their hate speech. I'm really hoping this won't happen. And it was definitely a complete poll miss. A dangerous one.
Oct 31, 2016
The Halloween query data from Google Search Trends shows some interesting points. The countries most interested in this tradition originated from Celtic harvest festivals are the US, Canada and Ireland
On the other hand the search queries for halloween always spiked a week before the actual celebration (Looking for costumes).
Oct 25, 2016
Reading about http://fortune.com/2016/10/06/13th-netflix-documentary-ava-duvernay/. The US incarceration rate is shameful. Particularly in the southern states of the country.
Oct 14, 2016
FiveThirtyEight, the interesting site focused on opinion poll analysis, has become of the most quoted sites in political news. A couple of days ago the published an interesting article on how the USA election electoral map would look like if only women voted, based on their polls models. It's interesting on how it would be landslide defeat of Donald Trump!
Oct 8, 2016
Yesterday the the Norwegian Nobel Committee decided to award the Nobel Peace Prize for 2016 to Colombian President Juan Manuel Santos for his resolute efforts to bring the country's more than 50-year-long civil war to an end, a war that has cost the lives of at least 220 000 Colombians and displaced close to six million people.
I was really happy about this outcome because it's encouraging the international community recognizes the historical importance of this peace process and the prize keeps it on the highlight and put some pressure in all the parties to keep working to get a resolution.
Oct 5, 2016
I have been quite bummed this week because Colombia, the country where I was born, rejected last Sunday an historic opportunity to sign a peace agreement with the oldest guerrilla movement in the Latin American continent. It's sad that the people most affected by the conflict approved the accord while the voters who are safer in the cities decided to go to the NO camp.
Sep 15, 2016
Eurostat published some very interesting stats regarding the mobile internet connectivity of the EU citizens in the Information society section of the Eurostat regional yearbook publication. The map above shows the countries with the largest and smallest percentage of users browsing the internet through mobile devices in cities. It was not surprising to see the nordic countries at the top of the list, but I wasn't aware Italy was at the bottom.
Here is a barchart with the countries sorted by percentage:
Sep 13, 2016
Eurostats have a very interesting article and dataset about tourism in the different European cities. The chart above, shows the most visited European cities in terms of millions of nights spent by tourists, next to the percentage of those related to the local population.
Sep 11, 2016
15 year ago today I was working from home when I got a call from my ex. "Are you watching TV? Because it seems there was an explosion in NYC in the WTC". I turn on the small TV set I had in my room and I saw in CNN the footage showing one of the twin towers in flames. Many of the fatalities on that attack where foreigners as you can see in the map above.
Sep 9, 2016
This morning I was reading in the news that North Korea conducted a fifth nuclear test. Pretty scary to think this nation could launch a nuclear attack. There is organization called ican that leads an international campaign to abolish nuclear weapons. They track the arsenals maintained by the different nuclear powers.
Sep 8, 2016
As I mentioned a couple of days ago I have been working on this project to migrate my breaksian travel blog to the node platform where I'm running my applications. I already finished the main blog, but there are a couple of pieces more pending. Today I finished one of them. It was a small map showing the itinerary I followed while I was travelling in Asia and Oceania. I also took the opportunity to updated it with the missing data points.
Aug 25, 2016
I was reading this morning about the countries having the highest risk of a natural disaster. Wikipedia has a list with the World Risk Index, calculated by the United Nations University for Environment and Human Securit. The map above is generated with this data.
Aug 3, 2016
Jul 27, 2016
According to their website "THE Big Mac index was invented by The Economist in 1986 as a lighthearted guide to whether currencies are at their 'correct' level". It's interesting because even if it was designed to compare the purchasing-power parity, it shows the imbalance between different currencies. This map shows the last calculated index in July 2016.
Jul 11, 2016
Jul 2, 2016
Jun 25, 2016
Wikipedia contains an interesting article about emigration from Colombia. It has a constant phenomenon for political and economic reasons. The map and chart above shows the preferred destinations for the Colombians are USA, Venezuela, Ecuador and Canada. The data is a bit stale but nevertheless interesting.
Jun 22, 2016
The UEFA European Championship is being played now in France and I was asking myself this morning what are the teams that have won this cup and how many times. The answer is Germany and Spain with 3 titles each. I didn't know but the winner of the first tournament of this type was the Soviet Union in 1960. You can check this map here
May 30, 2016
May 1, 2016
May 1st. was chosen to be the International Workers' Day in order to commemorate the events that happened on May 4, 1886 at Haymarket in Chicago. The police tried to disperse a public meeting during a general strike demanding for eight-hour workday, when an unidentified person threw a bomb at police. The Police responded by firing on the workers, killing four protesters.
This day is celebrated in many countries either today or tomorrow.
Apr 26, 2016
The Chenobyl plant nuclear accident happened 30 years ago today. The previous map show the nuclear energy as a percentage of domestic generation across the world. France have a highest percentage overall.
Even if the evidence shows that nuclear power is a safe means of generating electricity, the problems with major incidents man-made or nature-made are well documented.
Apr 22, 2016
Eurostats have a dataset with the average rating of life satisfaction by income quintile, household type and degree of urbanisation. The overall data shows the Scandinavian countries are the most satisfied, while Bulgaria and Serbia are the less satisfied.
Apr 21, 2016
The reporters without borders organization published their last update on the Press Freedom Index around the world. Finland, Netherlands, Norway, Denmark and New Zealand are the best countries to exercise journalism. On the other hand China, Syria, Turkmenistan, North Korea and Eritrea are the worst on that matter.
Apr 16, 2016
It's surprising but the country with the highest number of timezone is France with 12. This nation has territories in South America, the Caribbean and the Pacific islands. The US, the UK and Russia have also a high number of unique different timezones.
The full list of timezones per country can be found in wikipedia.
Apr 14, 2016
The European Union Stats office offers a dataset with the population density per country. The map above shows the latest data available from 2014. It's not surprising that Netherlands and Belgium have the highest density in continental Europe.
Apr 9, 2016
A recent article published by the lancet magazine shows that obesity is becoming a real world health problem above the underweight issue. They used population-based data sources, with more than 19·2 million adult participants in 186 of 200 countries and found out that the number of obese people has increased from 105 million in 1975 to 641 million in 2014.
The world health organization also publishes data about Obesity and Overweight and the percentage of population with overweight (BMI > 25) is more than half of the population in almost all the industralized countries in the world:
This problem is particularly bad in the pacific islands.
Apr 6, 2016
The news cycle during the last couple of days has been dominated by the Panama Papers. Those are a leaked set of 11.5 million confidential documents that provide detailed information about 214000 offshore companies listed by a Panamanian Law Firm. Many of those shell companies were set abroad by World leader, Politicians and Associated around the world.
The map above show the countries that have been mentioned in the Panama Papers.
Apr 5, 2016
This morning I was reading in the news about the discussion in the US primaries related to the minimum wage in the US, particularly in NY and CA. Wikipedia contains an article tracking the mininum wage worldwide. The map above summarises the data.
Apr 2, 2016
The european union stats office publishes interesting statistics related to the acquisition of citizenship in the EU. Yesterday it was the anniversary of my Irish one, so I pulled out some stats related to the green island.
The first chart shows the increase in the number of new citizens from 2011, when the goverment streamlined the process of reviewing the applications, cutting a very important backlog.
The data has some additional information about the origin of the naturalised citizens both from the EU and Non-EU countries:
Living in Europe with an European passport defintively makes life way easier, so thank you very much Ireland.
Mar 31, 2016
I was thinking today that one year ago I was flying back to Europe after finishing my 6 months career break travelling in Asia, Australia and New Zealand.
I tried to document this experience on the road in: Breaksian.com. I was checking today some the interesting experiences I described there and I found these posts:
Visiting the Angkor Temple Complex by bike
Making new friends in the Jeju Island of Korea by playing the Piano:
Cruising the Halong Bay in a 1906 replica boat
Travelling from Bangkok to Penang in an overnight train:
Experiencing the Portuguese flavor in the Chinese Macau
enjoying the amazing Autumn Colors in Nara
Biking in the isolated Island of Zamami, off of the coast of Okinawa.
I was such an amazing experience that I would definitively recommend it to anyone!
Mar 29, 2016
Mar 25, 2016
Mar 21, 2016
Last weekend I was checking out different alternatives for holidays in the American continent and I started to wonder what is the most visited country on that region. US and Mexico are the most visited countries. Brazil and Argentina are the most visited in South America and the Dominican Republic in the Caribbean.
The following chart shows the number of visitors in millions during 2014 (light green) and 2013 (dark green)
Mar 18, 2016
Last thursday it was Saint Patrick's Day and the Irish pubs were celebrating the occasion in Berlin. I remembered last year I also celebrated it in Dunedin NZ. The Irish TImes published a couple of years ago an article with data about where the Irish emigrants live in the world:
The usual suspects are on top of the list: United Kingdom, United States, Australia, Canada and South Africa.
Mar 17, 2016
Mar 11, 2016
Some weeks ago I wrote about the percentage of foreigners living in Berlin. The office for Statistics for Brandenburg Berlin offers an interesting dataset related to tourism and the foreigners visiting the city. The last data available is from January 2016 and it shows how the highest number of European tourists come from the UK:
Mar 10, 2016
A couple of days ago it was celebrated the International Women's Day. Even if some friends get offended by this day, I believe it's important to highlight how unfortunately there are differences between men and women as reported by the WEC Genger Gap Report:
It's nice to see how this index is really good in Europe, particularly in the Scandinavian countires. Kudos to Iceland.
Mar 2, 2016
When I was at school I learned the blood type 0+ was the most common one and AB- the rarest one. Wikipedia has a good article about this information with a breakdown by country.
O+ and A+ are the most common ones and AB- is the least common:.
Mar 1, 2016
Today an Irish friend at work shared a very interesting news article describing how the German passport was the most convenient one to travel around the world. There is a visa restriction index that classifies the passports based to the number of countries and territories that a holder can visit visa free. Germany has indeed the highest score followed close by many other European countries. Here is a map of this index worldwide:
Feb 29, 2016
Last Thursday the Eurostats Office published the inflation data for January 2016. Even if those numbers are definitively better than the hyperinflation happening in other regions of the world (cough ... Venezuela), there is always the risk on deflation:
Now it's remarkable how the highest rate in Europe was Norway, a pretty expensive country already. I'm sorry for my Norwegian friends.
Feb 26, 2016
The last episode of the excellent show Last Week tonight from John Oliver dealt with a very contentious issue in the US: <a href="https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=DRauXXz6t0Y". I really like the approach that he took on this matter, acknowledging there are different positions on this topic, but hammering the "hypocritical" laws that under the umbrella of protecting the "Women's health" target="_blank">The abortion laws crear barriers for people who need this medical procedure and unfortunately don't have the money to go somewhere else.
The next map shows the US states that had enacted laws to force the women requiring an abortion for see an ultrasound on the unwanted pregnancy:
Feb 24, 2016
Amnesty international published a report about the Human Rights in the world and the death penalty (capital punishment) is still a dark spot in many places. A 2014 report published by same organization shows that unfortunately there are still 58 countries in the world that retain and actively use the Death Penalty.
Feb 23, 2016
Yesterday at the office we were discussing the issue about the possibility of the UK leaving the European Union. Actually we wrote in our company blog, what this brexit would mean for European workers, some time ago. But with all this brexit discussion, we forget the UK is actually one of the oldest members of the European Union (1973).
You can check this map in detail here
Feb 21, 2016
I saw an editorial piece last weekend on the guardian where the author asked the question: If condoms are OK for Zika, why not Aids, Pope Francis? and I thought it's true the HIV Virus / AIDS infection is rarely mentioned in the news nowadays. There have been a huge progress in the HIV / Aids treatments, since the times I was a medical student, but the prevalence of HIV (the percentage of a population that is affected with a the virus at a given time), is still bad, particularly in Subsaharian Africa:
Feb 17, 2016
Map of Ireland with population by county (including NI as well). Dublin is by far the most populated county
Feb 13, 2016
Yesterday I finished the week with a couple of nice wine glasses from Portugal. This morning when I woke up and I was looking at the bottle, I started to ask myself what are the top counties in the world in terms of wine production. I thought about France?, Italy?, Spain?.
Fortunatelly wikipedia has an article with data coming from the UN Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO), sorting the countries by their volume of wine production for the year 2013 in metric tonnes.
There are no suprises in the Top 3 positions (they are indeed France, Italy and Spain), but it's interesting how China has climbed to the 6th position, above Argentina and Australia:
Feb 7, 2016
The Economist published a couple of days ago in their daily chart section an interesting graph with the most violent cities in the world (in terms of homicide rate). They have an analysis on how the Venezuelan economy is in turmoil and how according to a Mexican report "Venezuela's capital Caracas had the highest murder rate in the world last year"
Wikipedia also offers a page compiling a List of cities by murder rate. Unfortunately most of the Top 50 cities from this list are located in South America (and many of those in Brazil!). Take a look at the following chart and map:
Feb 4, 2016
I wanted to wrap up this series of post I have been writing about the people living in Berlin, using data provided by the Statistical Office of Berlin-Brandenburg, with a final post about EU foreign citizens living in the city.
A couple of days ago I was discussing how Poland, Italy and Bulgaria where the EU countries with the highest number of expats living in the Berlin, but the data also contains a very interesting breakdown per district (berzik).
I put the totals in a density map:
I also used the specific countries data to create a matrix heatmap using an the tutorial on how to create a heatmap with jQuery and Tables. See the resulting table below:
There a couple of interesting conclussions from the data: Polish are definitively the highest minority from the EU countries and this can be observed in every district. Mitte is definitively the most popular district for most of the EU citizens and finally Marzahn-Hellersdorf is the least popular overall.
Feb 1, 2016
Following my post yesterday I kept digging in the data published by the Statistical Office of Berlin-Brandenburg. I wanted to discover where most of the "Foreign" Europeans living in Berlin come from. Since the European Union agreement allows the free movement of people across the state members I was expecting that the number 1 slot was going to be taken by a country within the EU borders. Actually it's Turkey the place with most immigrants living in Berlin with almost 100k people:
Now the second and third positions are from countries from the European Union: Poland and Italy. This is followed by one of the newcomers in the union: Bulgaria.
Jan 31, 2016
The Statistical Office of Berlin-Brandenburg publish some very interesting reports including: Einwohnerinnen und Einwohner im Land Berlin (Residents in the State of Berlin, 31 December 2014). One of the remarkable sections of this document, is about the country of origin, of the foreign residents living in Berlin. It offers a break down per continents, regions and countries, so I was curious about the top countries in South America:
I'm not surprised to discover Brazil (3948 people) is the top #1 on the list but I wasn't expecting that Colombia (1527) was going to be second one in that region. Interesting.
Jan 29, 2016
I have to confess I have never heard about the Zika virus, until it started to read about it in some Colombian newspapers articles a couple of weeks ago. The outbreak of this virus in South America and the Caribbean has been in the international news lately because the infection in pregnant women is unfortunately associated to microcephaly cases.
The incidence of those malformations have increased substantially in Brazil and it's apparently related to the Zika, so there are now travel warnings in place to the countries affected by this virus:
Jan 28, 2016
This morning I was reading the Corruption Perceptions Index 2015 published by transparency international (transparency.org). This organization fights for a a world in which government, business, civil society and the daily lives of people are free of corruption and publishes this report that quantifies perceptions of corruption in the public sector and normalizes the data from multiple countries in an index from 0 (the most corrupt) to 100 (the least corrupt).
I compiled a couple of maps from their data sources.
One of the first conclusions from this report is that the scandinavian countries have the highest scores in the Corruption Perception Index (Least corrupted countries) as it can be observed in the following European map:
In South America, Chile and Uruguay have the highest scores, while Venezuela has the lowest.