Wealth, poverty and inequality

December 13th, 2013


Try this brief quiz:

  1. Which country is the richest in the world in terms of median wealth?
  2. Which countries come close?
  3. Which countries have the greatest and least disparity between the rich and the rest?
  4. In the richest country, what percentage of people live in poverty?

Have a guess, then check out the answers.

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How much did your T-shirt cost?

October 20th, 2013

T Shirt

Aussies wear T-shirts. We wear them at the beach, or around the house, or under a shirt when we go out. So we buy lots of them. And we like to pick up a bargain.

And we’re not alone – T-shirts seem to be popular all over the world.

So how much did your last T-shirt cost?

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Is anybody listening?

August 27th, 2013

Child with hands over ears

I have commented before that discussions between atheists and christians, on the internet at least, seem to be mostly unproductive at best and downright nasty at worst (Atheists vs christians: does it have to be war?.) It seems no-one is listening and a lot of the ‘discussion’ is more name-calling than information exchange.

So it is gratifying to be able to report that it isn’t always so – and that an atheist is setting the good example.

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Two films about Australia’s boat refugees

June 20th, 2013

Villawood detention centre

Persecution and death threats in their home countries lead many Afghanis, Sri Lankans and others to seek to enter Australia as refugees. Many attempt the often perilous journey to Australia by crowded boat. Many die in the attempt, but most are found to be genuine refugees.

We can assimilate these people without too much difficulty, though there must be practical limits. However the political situation in Australia, fanned by rabid right wing media, has often turned public opinion against these refugees.

But there is a human side to the story.

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A better way

May 30th, 2013

York mosque

It’s a feel-good story that’s been doing the rounds, but it bears repeating. A potentially nasty situation defused by a simple act of friendliness.

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The rich get richer, and the poor get the picture *

May 6th, 2013


Money’s not supposed to be important, but we all know it is. The poor can’t do without it, the rich act as if they can’t either, and everyone’s after their share of the pie. And if you’re reading this, most likely you (like me) are among the word’s richest, even though you probably don’t feel like it.

So how well is the money getting shared around?

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Believers vs unbelievers – who are more generous?

April 17th, 2013


Atheists and christians alike often feel that not only is their belief true, but it is “nicer”. One argument, which has been made to me several times by atheists recently, is over who is more generous in giving to charity.

It has little to do with the truth of belief, but are there any facts to resolve this question?

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Slavery in the spotlight

April 15th, 2013

End it

When I was at school, we were taught about how slavery was abolished in Britain and the USA. This was obviously a good thing.

It came as a shock to find out, some years ago now, that there are more slaves in the world than ever before.

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