Visualizing Empires; updated

Did you ever wonder what the major European Empires would look like if they were balloons?

Of course you did!

I found this fascinating visual display by Pedro M Cruz while searching Vimeo last December and thought that it was a fascinating visual display of the rise and fall of the four large European empires. Want to read more?

How religious is your country?

Which countries are the most religious? — Here is a ranking of the importance of religion to the residents of many countries of the world. This is based upon a Gallup survey.  

How religious is your country?

The Distribution of World Religions

The most religious countries tend to be either poor, Muslim or both. Your country is probably less religious if it is wealthy and European. Gallup just did a survey in 114 countries and found that religion pays an important part of the lives of most people in the world. I have taken their survey and worked with information from the CIA Factbook that I have listed on my “The Types of World Governments” post and came up with the table listed at the bottom of this page. 

Want to read more?

What is a Cassandra?

If you have ever heard someone called a ‘Cassandra’ and wanted to know what the term meant? Then you are on the right What is a Cassandra?page. I was curious myself and researched the question and here is what I found—

–A Cassandra is someone who can accurately see reality or who can accurately guess what will happen in the future but is ignored.

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The Phrase of the Day; Moral Hazard

If you are like me; you have heard the term “moral hazard” in discussions without completely understanding the meaning of the phrase. I think that this term is worth understanding since it applies to many situations that are occurring in our world; so I looked it up. Here is what I found.

The term originated in the insurance industry and according to the dictionary; moral hazard is the lack of any incentive to guard against a risk when you are protected against it. The term has expanded over time to cover many situations outside of insurance. Want to read more?

Live Concert Videos of Rush

One of my favorite bands is the Canadian Progressive-Rock Band Rush. This talented trio features Geddy Lee on vocals, bass and keyboards, Alex Lifeson on guitar and the talented Neal Peart on Drums. Here are a couple live YouTube videos for your enjoyment.

 Is there a better drummer than Neal Peart? Want to read more?

Stock Market Returns over the last 12 Years

As everybody already knows, the American Stock market crashed in November of 2008. It hit bottom early in 2009 and then rebounded. As you can see from the stock chart below, the Dow Jones has nearly doubled from its lows and moved past the 11000 point level.

However if we look at this index over the last 12 years, we can see that the djia was above the 9000 level in 1998. This means that there has been only a 2000 point gain, or only a total of 22% increase during the last 12 year period. 

This makes me wonder whether the strategy of buying and holding conservative American stocks is dead. We probably won’t have another 1929 stock market crash ahead of us, but is there any reason to think that we can make a reasonable rate of return by buying and holding the stocks of the dow jones industrial average?

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Stock Market Returns over the last 12 Years

Wasting money on Childhood Obesity

All thinking people can agree the childhood obesity is a problem in the United States. However many of us will disagree on how to solve the problem. I am certainly not an expert on the subject, but here is one way not to solve the childhood obesity problem. Want to read more?

An Amazing Chinese Magician

Check out this magic show. A Chinese magician named Liu Qian does things with coins in front of a camera and a group of people which are amazing. The best part is at the end of the show.

I have absolutely no idea how he does any of this. Want to read more?

What isn’t in the Constitution

My thanks to Big Fish; whoever he is, for pointing me to the website that gives a list of things that aren’t in the constitution.

I moved his comment to this post because there is some bug in the comment section on my pages. For some reason only one comment is allowed.

Here is a list of some things that aren’t in the constitution: Want to read more?