11 Things We Learned This Week

This week, we learned …

… the Nile is sick, and getting sicker. Read of the week!

The “Lower Nile” is the northern stretch of the river, including the dazzlingly fertile delta. The Lower Nile flows almost entirely through Egypt.
Photograph courtesy Jacques Descloitres, MODIS Rapid Response Team, NASA/GSFC

Navigate the anatomy of the Nile with our interactive map.



… young white people demonstrate a decline in racism after moving to Hawaii.

It is harder to hold onto racial prejudices—either subtle or overt—when your social circle features people of various ethnicities.
Photograph of beautiful Hawaiian girls and boys by Cristina Mittermeier, National Geographic

Start surfing Hawaiian culture with our great study guide.



… economic citizenship programs really can make you a citizen of the world.

Between 30 and 40 countries have active economic-citizenship programs. The required investment ranges from upwards of $10,000 (Thai residence, for instance) to more than $10 million (fast-track residence in Britain).
Photograph by Ivan Kashinsky and Karla Gachet, National Geographic

What has citizenship meant throughout history?



… Toyota is marketing the same car to different ethnic groups with different ads.

How does advertising “market to your brain”?



… school board reelections are tied to achievement of white students, even in heavily minority districts.

The scores of black and Hispanic students, and their gaps relative to whites, often have little to no bearing on the election of school board members.
Photograph by Lynn Johnson, National Geographic

Do you think the outcome of school board elections would change of 16-year-olds were allowed to vote?



… “the possibility that some [Vikings] were Muslim cannot be completely ruled out.”

CLICK TO ENLARGE! The words “Allah” and “Ali” (the legendary fourth caliph of Islam) were recently discovered woven into garments won by high-status Scandinavian Vikings.
Map by Fernando G. Baptista, National Geographic

How are the Vikings still puzzling us?



… Tokyo is the world’s safest city.

Other urban areas ranking high on the “safe cities” list include Singapore, Osaka, Toronto, and Melbourne.
Photograph by Randy Olson, National Geographic

What is the overlap between the world’s safest and most livable cities?



… a canoe churned up by Hurricane Irma may date to the 1600s.

Native Americans (like this Seminole family) and European settlers have been using dugout canoes in Florida’s wetlands for hundreds of years.
Illustration by W. Langdon Kihn, National Geographic

Where else do canoes help define a historic culture?



… the endangered Liberian greenbul never actually existed.

The elusive Liberian greenbul was part of the big bulbul family, which also includes this lovely species (the grey-eyed bulbul) found in Thailand.
Photograph by Rushenb, courtesy Wikimedia. CC-BY-SA-3.0

How do you go about identifying a species? We have an activity for that.



… Apple Chief Tim Cook says it’s smarter to learn to code than learn English as a second language.

Get coded for success!



… scientists have completed the first map of every vertebrate on Earth.

The top map illustrates the richness of all tetrapods (reptiles, amphibians, birds and mammals). Map B shows the abundance of all reptiles. Map C shows the abundance of lizards. Map D shows the abundance of snakes. Map E shows the abundance of turtles.
Map by Uri Roll, etc. “The global distribution of tetrapods reveals a need for targeted reptile conservation,” Nature Ecology & Evolution (2017) doi:10.1038/s41559-017-0332-2

Where are those vertebrates most at risk?

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