Human Conditions Improving at a Remarkable Rate

Human Conditions Improving at a Remarkable Rate

On a number of previous occasions, I have written about the extent of human progress around the world, but the remarkable speed of improvements in the state of humanity should not go unnoticed. To that end, I have looked at some of the most important indicators of human wellbeing, especially in the poor countries, over the last decade (or, when the latest data is not available, ten years prior to the last data point). The results are encouraging and ought to give us reason for 7:00 am

3.14.17 7:00 am

3.07.17 8:50 GDP per capita in real 2010 dollars (2005-2015)
Global: $8,858 → $10,194 or a 15.1 percent Africa (SSA): $1,363 → $1,660 or a 21.8 percent increase
India: $982 → $1,751 or a 78.3 percent increase
China: $2,738 → $6,498 or a 137.3 percent increase
2. Infant mortality (i.e., children under age of 1) per 1,000 live births (2005-2015)
Global: 44.3 → 31.7 or a 28.4 percent decline
SSA: 80 → 56.4 or a 29.5 percent decline
India: 55.8 → 37.9 or a 32.1 percent decline
China: 20.3 → 9.2 or a 54.7 percent decline
3. Life expectancy (2004-2014)
Global: 69 → 71.5 or a 3.6 percent increase
SSA: 52 → 58.6 or a 12.7 percent increase
India: 64.2 → 68 or a 5.9 percent increase
China: 73.4 → 75.8 or a 3.3 percent increase
4. Depth of the food deficit, kilocalories per person per day (2006-2016)*
Global: 129 → 88.4 or a 31.5 percent decline

This nana had her nursing home install speedy Wifi so she could Snapchat her grandkids

This nana had her nursing home install speedy Wifi so she could Snapchat her grandkids

Doreen Thew (92) moved to Ireland from London two years ago to be closer to her son Peter, five grandchildren and seven great-grandchildren after the death of her husband. The iPad loving granny made sure, however, that her nursing home had an adequate Wifi system in place before her arrival.

The pensioner regularly Facetimes with her friends and family in the UK and keeps up to date with her grandchildren on Snapchat.Doreen, who lives in TLC Nursing Home in Maynooth, also loves a bit of online shopping and said Google is really handy to help identify the types of birds that find the way into her garden.

Speaking of the awards, held this afternoon in eir HQ, Eamon Timmins, CEO of Age Action Ireland said 92-year-old Doreen is an inspiration.“Doreen is an amazing woman, inspiring all of us to know that age is no barrier to taking advantage of the thrilling opportunities presented by the internet and new technology.  The majority of older people in Ireland have never been online. We hope Doreen and all of our Silver Surfers encourage anyone with a computer sitting unused in the kitchen, or a tablet still in its wrapping paper, to get online and open up new worlds of information and entertainment”.

Speaking of the award, which was presented by TV presenter Baz Ashmawy and his mum Nancy, Minister of State for Mental Health and Older People Helen McEntee said the internet can open up new opportunities for elderly people in Ireland. “Going online can have enormous benefits for older people and I would encourage everyone to embrace technology. If we do it can open up a whole new world of opportunity, helping to reduce social isolation, allowing us to develop and pursue new hobbies and interests, as well as making new friends,” she said.

Beloved family cat Freddie returned to Auckland family 18 months after going missing

Beloved family cat Freddie returned to Auckland family 18 months after going missing

Video will play inPlay nowDon’t auto playNever auto playAn Auckland family are overjoyed their beloved family cat Freddie has been returned to them after going missing 18 months ago. Lisa Baillie said Freddie spent the last two weeks hanging around the Animates store at St Lukes, so staff took him to the nearby vet to have his microchip scanned. “I just got a call out of the blue from Pet Doctors. ‘Did you have a cat called Freddie? We’ve found him,'” Baillie said. “I think I screamed. I was at work, I just yelled when they said we’ve got a cat called Freddie, I was just in shock.” Jack Baillie cuddles Freddie the cat, who has returned to his family 18 months after going missing. Photo / Supplied Freddie had disappeared “basically off the face of the earth” from their home in September 2015. Baillie was unsure why he went missing but thought it might have been because the house was on the market and Freddie had been disrupted by all the open homes and strangers coming through the house. She reported him missing and put out fliers in her neighbourhood, but five weeks later had to move to a different area. “The kids chose him and he was only two, they were just devastated,” she said. Though the kids had talked about Freddie every week since he went missing, Baillie had given up hope on ever seeing him again, which was why the call from the vet last Thursday was such a surprise. Continued below.Related ContentVideoCat returns home after 18 months Loyalty low in 30pc of bank customers My car accident left me terrified of driving – so I asked racing legend Greg Murphy for help Freddie has made himself at home in his family’s new house. Photo / Supplied Freddie appeared to be well-fed and in good health, so Baillie suspects someone may have taken him in and looked after him, though questions why they did not take him in to see if he had a microchip. She picked up her daughter, Sophie, from school and got Freddie from the vet, then surprised her son, Jack, when he came home for the day. A video Baillie took shows Jack, 8, coming home from school and discovering Freddie asleep on a bed in the house, then gently wrapping his arms around the cat and cuddling him. “Jack, you can see in his face, he just couldn’t believe it. They’ve just been doting over him ever since.” Baillie said Freddie seemed happy as ever, “totally affectionate”, and appeared to be enjoying spending time around the kids. Freddie is happy to be back with his family, Lisa Baillie says. Photo / Supplied “We’ve just been on a high ever since Thursday night.” Baillie wanted to thank the Animates staff for getting Freddie scanned, and also whoever cared for Freddie over the past year and a half. – NZ Herald

Donations flood into Meals on Wheels after White House threatens to pull funding

Donations flood into Meals on Wheels after White House threatens to pull funding

Donations flood into Meals on Wheels after White House threatens to pull funding

Ann Kondos, on the far left, is an 81-year-old Meals on Wheels client in Providence, Rhode Island.Image: Stew Milne/AP/REX/Shutterstock
By Marissa Wenzke2017-03-17 22:15:38 UTC

For the elderly, living at home alone can be difficult to say the least. Just getting the meals they need can be a struggle, and for many, Meals on Wheels has been the answer.
So when Trump’s budget proposal released Thursday threatened to slash all federal funding for the program, a whole lot of Americans were outraged. And they acted on that outrage.

Following the news, 50 times the usual donations flooded into Meals on Wheels America in a single day, Yahoo! News reports. The organization also saw a whole lot of people offering up their time as well as their cash.
Jenny Bertolette, vice president of communications at Meals on Wheels, said it saw “an almost 500 percent jump in volunteer sign-ups” through their website AmericaLetsDoLunch.org.
The mass goodwill came after a social media storm of backlash.

When my dad was first showing signs of dementia I couldn’t get to OH to get to him yet #MealsOnWheels SAVED him. Literally kept him alive.
— yvette nicole brown (@YNB) March 16, 2017

Even Meals on Wheels itself explained exactly why taking away those public funds would be so destructive.

Homebound elderly people who may otherwise have to live in a nursing home are especially helped by the program. 2.4 million seniors — including half a million veterans — have received a total of 217 million meals through the program. It’s received $517 million in federal funding through the Older Americans Act, which supports social and nutritional services for Americans over the age of 60.
But all that would end under Trump’s proposal.

Trump’s budget outline takes away federal money for the program, as it strips away 17.9 percent of the budget for the Department of Health and Human Services, which oversees programs under the Older Americans Act, as explained by Alison Foreman, the director of Meals on Wheels in Ypsilanti, Michigan. 
She told The Washington Post that while some details around the budget cuts are not totally definitive, it’s clear that funding cuts will happen regardless. 
And that means programs like Meals on Wheels won’t get the government support that’s helped them survive for years. 
“We realize it is unclear what the president’s proposal means for nutrition and aging programs,” Foreman said in an email to the Post. “The overall proposed funding cut of 17.9 percent for HHS, which includes the Older Americans Act funding for aging programs, is concerning.”