Watching the World
An encyclical letter of Pope Benedict XVI states: “There is a strongly felt need . . . for a reform of the United Nations Organization, and likewise of economic institutions and international finance, so that the concept of the family of nations can acquire real teeth.”—L’OSSERVATORE ROMANO; italics theirs.
“Every third Ukrainian smokes about a pack of cigarettes daily.”—EXPRESS, UKRAINE.
In the United States, 44 percent of teenage boys surveyed said that they have “seen at least one nude photo of a female classmate online or via cell phone.”—TIME, U.S.A.
“A Grim Milestone”
War, drought, political instability, high food prices, and poverty have pushed mankind past “a grim milestone,” says the Associated Press. The ranks of the world’s hungry have now surpassed one billion. According to Josette Sheeran of the UN World Food Program, “a hungry world is a dangerous world. . . . Without food, people have only three options: They riot, they emigrate or they die. None of these are acceptable options.” What is more, the number of hungry people is growing faster than the world population. Even in developed countries, the number of undernourished people has increased by 15.4 percent.
Bedtime Reading Beneficial
When parents read to their children at bedtime, they do more than simply lull them off to sleep. Researchers say that this activity enhances children’s language abilities, helps develop their motor skills by teaching them to grip and turn the pages, and sharpens their memory. “Most important, though, . . . is that reading aloud is a period of shared attention and emotion between parent and child,” says The Guardian newspaper. “This reinforces reading as a pleasurable activity.” And according to Professor Barry Zuckerman, who led the study, “children ultimately learn to love books because they are sharing [them] with someone they love.”
Contented Cows, More Milk
“A cow with a name produces more milk than one without,” say scientists at Newcastle University, England. In fact, treating cows as individuals can increase their milk yields by almost 500 pints a year. Why? “Just as people respond better to the personal touch, cows also feel happier and more relaxed if they are given a bit more one-to-one attention,” says Dr. Catherine Douglas of the university’s School of Agriculture, Food and Rural Development. “What our study shows is what many good, caring farmers have long since believed,” she explains. “By placing more importance on the individual, such as calling a cow by her name or interacting with the animal more as it grows up, we can not only improve the animal’s welfare and her perception of humans, but also increase milk production.”