• Fri. Jul 30th, 2021

Wergosum's

Food, climate, disasters, analyses and more…

politics

Refugees

An analysis published by FAO at mid September 2019 [10] lists dry weather and protracted conflicts as the main factors behind the external food assistance required by 41 countries. 31…

East African humanitarian crisis

East Africa is suffering a deep humanitarian crisis brought about a complex interaction between war and climate, with large refugee fluxes affecting at least seven countries. The situation is compounded…

Un succès mondial qui dure: l’école prussienne

  L’école primaire obligatoire telle que nous la connaissons s’est mise en place petit à petit depuis la fin du 18ème siècle. Elle est souvent l’oeuvre d’éducateurs, philosophes et théoriciens…

Using an Amazon Kindle in Beijing

Dear Amazon helpdesk I am writing to confirm, as I have done before, that downloading English books to a Kindle from amazon.com (as opposed to amazon.cn, I assume) takes forever in China.…

Why are US presidents taller than ordinary Americans?

Many websites, including Wikipedia, compare the height of US presidents with their main contenders and find that, in most cases, the elected president is the taller of the two. This…

Je suis Charlie. OK, mais qui suis-je, au juste?

Il y a d’une part, des terroristes, et de l’autre, des récupérateurs. Pour les terroristes, Mélenchon a raison: leur combat n’est pas religieux, est politique. La cible du combat à…

La France remporte enfin Waterloo? La saga continue!

Sous la pression de son voisin français, la Belgique – au lieu de crier à l’ingérence – a retiré un projet de pièce de deux Euros commémorant la bataille de…

African geomatics centres

Many African countries have established and operate dedicated institutions dealing with remote sensing, mapping, GIS, GPS, warning systems and other geomatics applications. In addition, at the initiative of groups of…

Cellphone and internet boom in Africa!

The adoption of new Information and Communicatons Technology (ICT) at the macro and micro levels in Africa and elsewhere is closely linked to socioeconomic growth and development (Obijofor, 2009).  To…

Amazing maize…

The post analyses current trends of maize yield and production, and tries to look ahead and see where changes are likely in the future. It is related to a previous…

NSA 62nd anniversary

The National Security Agency (NSA) was established at the beginning of November 1952 (on the 4th of November, to be precise) . Join me in congratulating them on the occasion…

Global food supply trends in 2014, and beyond!

This post analyses the trends of yield, area, and production in the 31 countries that together make up 80 percent of the world supply of maize, rice, wheat, and soybean.…

Forecast and even planned: the Vajont dam disaster

The post on the risky business of forecasting is updated every time something happens with the trial of the scientists who failed to predict the L’Aquila earthquake. The trial reminded me of…

The cost of hunger and malnutrition

Malnutrition remains the world’s most serious health problem and the single biggest contributor to child mortality. Nearly one-third of children in the developing world are either underweight or stunted, and…

Climate change: vehemence Vs competence

This text by Didier Nordon appeared in February 2011 in Pour la science, the French edition of Scientific American (N.400, Bloc-notes, page 5). Related posts: How difficult it is to…

Projects that will (perhaps) save the planet

(Published 20100212 / Last updated 20111207) There are basically three types of BIG problems facing the earth and, ultimately, the survival of man as a dominant species. The majority (1)…

News from the future

Version française, cliquez ici. After “The risky business of forecasting“, which focused on  natural disasters, here is a note that looks more closely at the broader picture of our societies.…

Are all EC and UN languages really needed

While writing the “fun” post below on Eurobabel, I collected some data on the actual use of European languages. Here is thus a more serious note about the importance of…

Eurobabel

This post is about the use of languages in the European Commision (EC) and the  European Union (EU). There are at present twenty-two languages, which are designated in the EC…

Mixing oil, water and food in Saudi Arabia

Updated 20110922 In reaction to the first oil crisis of the mid seventies, the kingdom of Saudi Arabia decided to decrease its dependency on food imports by developing local food…

Xenophobia: who’s immune?

The extreme right, xenophobia and nationalism are gaining ground in many countries in Europe. Sometimes (Belgium), the situation borders on the ridiculous, but no-one dies! In Norway, after a bomb…

Exegesis of a scary and – therefore – often quoted passage from the second book of AR4 (II AR4, 9.4.4)

Updated 20111007 This post explains how a vague and unsubstantiated statement in a non-peer reviewed “report” about climate change and agriculture in Maghreb countries made its way via a poor…

Le droit d’ignorance, version soft

[Cet article a été écrit dans le sillage d’un cours que j’ai donné en 2009 à l’université de L., et dont je suis revenu catastrophé par l’ignorance et le manque…