Fifth Dimension

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Archive for July, 2007

Lenses on Hunger and Poverty- Let’s Take a Look at the Stats

Posted by fifthdimension on July 25, 2007

The world hunger and poverty scenario breaks me apart. Many of us might be unaware, but statistics have touch moved me. I think it’s time to act, not just sit and look at lame stats.

   

  • Today, 854 million people across the world are hungry. A 2 million increase since last year.  
  • Every 5 seconds, one child dies from hunger related causes. The stats say that 16,000 children die from this everyday. 

Officially, hunger is the “most extreme form of poverty, where individuals or families cannot afford to meet their most basic need for food.”  It’s not just famine and starvation where hunger manifests itself. There are people who are suffering from chronic undernourishment and vitamin or mineral deficiencies, which result in stunted growth, weakness and heightened susceptibility to illness. These are all different hues of the same portrait- hunger.

Countries in which a huge portion of the population battles hunger daily are usually poor and often unable to provide the basic social safety cover that we enjoy, such as soup kitchens, food stamps, and job training programs.  Today, if I’m living in a poor country, which is unable to grow enough food or earn enough money to buy food, I have nowhere to turn for help.  

  • Today our world is home to just over 6.55 billion people.

 The developed/industrialized world, of which the US is a part, comprises of about 57 countries with a combined population of about 1 billion. This is less than 1/6th of the world’s total population. But approximately 5.1 billion people live in the developing world consisting of about 125 low and middle-income countries, where people generally have a lower standard of living and have access to fewer goods and services than people in high-income countries. The remaining 0.4 billion live in countries in transition, which include the Baltic states, eastern Europe and the Commonwealth of Independent States.  

Hunger and Poverty Stats Combined 

In 2004, almost 1 billion people lived below the international poverty line. This they earned less than $1 per day. This group of poor people had numerous problems obtaining adequate, nutritious food for themselves and their families. As such, 1 billion people in the developing remain undernourished.   

Undernourishment has negative affects on people’s health, productivity, sense of hope and overall well-being. It results in stunt growth, slow thinking, sap energy, hinder fetal development and contribute to mental retardation. From an economic standpoint, the constant search for food consumes valuable time and energy of poor people, allowing less time for work and earning income. Socially, it eats into relationships.  Click to see presentations on hunger and poverty around the world. 

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Coming up Next Airbus A 390

Posted by fifthdimension on July 20, 2007

That’s right!  A380 has just made a head start and an overwhelming majority of the frequent and not-so-frequent fliers are yet to get the real taste of this innovative carrier. But what’s buzzing everywhere in the aviation industry is the news that Airbus has initiated preliminary studies for the design and manufacture of a 2600 capacity passenger carrier.

Still on the drawing board phase, the aircraft will have ten decks—seven for passengers, three for cargo and baggage, and is to be called “Airbus A 390”. Designed for long haul flights of over 20 hours, the proposed features on this airplane include six restaurants, three duty free shops, a lounge with a discothèque, two full sized movie theatres, a 14 lane bowling alley, a swimming pool with water slides, a wedding chapel, a fully functional medical clinic, and a 11,000 volume library.

The target market for this airplane is international long distance flights of over 9,000 nautical miles (about 16,600 kilometers). It will need six Rolls-Royce turbofan engines to power this flight, with each developing thrusts of over 340,000lb. Plus it will need a passenger load of around 1750 passengers to reach the break-even point for operating, meaning it must have 1750 passengers on board in order to fly. 

But what about the environment? A 390 looks more glitzy and fascinating, but who’s going to control emission levels? 

Posted in Airlines, Environment, News, Perceptions, Reviews, Society, Travel | Leave a Comment »

The Green Jet- 787 Dreamliner, Boeing’s Reply to Airbus A380

Posted by fifthdimension on July 18, 2007

Boeing’s 787 Dreamliner- the Green Jet is almost set to revolutionize the aviation industry. No, it’s not a mega passenger craft like the Airbus A380. But the 330-capacity 787 is surely a wonderful innovation. What’s so special about the aircraft is it’s ability to fly long haul routes on 20% lesser fuel than conventional airplanes.

With the world growing more and more conscious about the environment, Boeing is surely going to capitalize on this. The Green Jet is claimed to emit fewer greenhouse gases, too. What a sigh of relief for environmentalists!

Added to this, the Dreamliner is going to offer greater and higher levels of comfort for passengers. In addition, it promises a healthier flight experience, for the higher levels of humidity within the cabin have been expected to reduce passenger dehydration. 

After a 13 year hiatus, Boeing has ceratinly come back with a bang. It brags a phenomenal detour from the design perspective, too. So, instead of alluminium, the airplane uses high-tech plastic composites. Up to 50 percent of the basic structure of the plane, including the fuselage and wing, will be made of materials such as carbon-fiber. In fact, the shift from aluminium to other lighter but stronger composites is the  main basis for the 787’s lesser fuel consumption.  

Ultimately, from a business perspective, Boeing is going to achieve the same as Airbus in terms offering cheap travel to consumers.  Flying under-price than a competitor will be a major advantage for airline companies counting on the 787 .

Posted in Airlines, News, Reviews, Society, Travel | 2 Comments »

Rats are Back on the Platter- Southern China Cuisine Springs to Life!!

Posted by fifthdimension on July 16, 2007

Finally, the rats have made a comeback on the menu in southern China. “Thanks to the rodent out break”, that’s what some of the locals are saying! Truckloads of mice arrived and were sold to a wild animal market in Baiyun.  Rats are considered as a traditional delicacy in southern China, and many believe that the flesh is more nutritious than pork or chicken.

“It’s like going back to the pre-2003 years”. It maybe recalled that during the outbreak of SARS, which started in southern China in 2003, authorities banned the sale of rats, besides other animals, to prevent the disease from spreading from contaminated meat. In spite of the fact that there is no there is no common consensus in the scientific community over whether certain animals can spread SARS, vendors in China are no longer allowed to sell wild animals.

However, officials in Hunan,  where floods have sparked off an outbreak of about two billion rats after their holes were submerged by water,  denied this savory news!

A rat could fetch anything between between 40 and 50 yuan ($5.2 to $6.5) and could be found at dinner tables in the cities of Fanyu, Zhaoqing, Dongguan and Hanhai.

Posted in News, Reviews, Society, Travel | 1 Comment »

Metal Camp 2007: Time to Storm Tolmin, Slovenia

Posted by fifthdimension on July 10, 2007

Date: July 16- 22

Venue: Tolmin, Slovenia ( within an hours drive from Trieste airport)

Metal Camp is no cake walk, or any run-of-the-mill European Metal concert. The biggest metal competition in Europe, with the main stage featuring cult-pioneers like Motorhead, Cradle of Filth, Blind Guardian, Immortal, Hatebreed and Sepultura, it’s the ultimate vacation for all headbangers, rivetheads and metal mongers!

Tickets / Cash Point

Tickets will be available at the cash desk. The prices for each category are fixed at:
Festival (week) tickets € 110,00
3-day-tickets € 80,00
1-day-tickets € 45,00

You can’t be Bringing

Cans, bottles, hard drugs, objects that can be used as projectiles, knifes, and of course any kind of weapons and other objects that can be used as such are strictly forbidden. 

First Aid

The First Aid Point is open 24 hours a day throughout the festival. Goodbye scratches! 

Food & Drinks

Food and drinks will be available to sate your hunger. It’s going to be affordable, too.

Shuttle Service?? Yes!!!

Available from the train station in Most na Soci. A shuttle bus will transfer you to the METALCAMP (and back) from Monday noon. 
    

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