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How Pope Francis is using the Popemobile to change the papacy


Earlier this week, Pope Francis plucked two lucky 5th graders from Perugia out of a crowd in Vatican City to ride along with him in the Popemobile.

Thanks to IVF, the US has one million more twins


From about 1915, when the statistical record begins, until 1980, about one in every 50 babies born was a twin, a rate of 2 percent.  Then, the rate began to increase: by 1995, it was 2.5 percent.

Narendra Modi is the most disliked world figure right now, according to this poll


Since 1927, Time Magazine has selected as its “Person of the Year” an individual who the magazine’s editors felt has “done the most to influence the events of the year.” Past winners have included Albert Einsten, Adolf Hitler, and Elvis Presley.

Men outnumber women in India’s voting rolls by over 10%


883: The number of registered women voters for every 1,000 men in India, a ratio that reflects the general gender imbalance of the country.

Quartz Daily Brief—Asia edition—Boston runs, shooting in Ukraine, Korea’s ferry death toll, criminal weed farm drones

What to watch for today Boston runs its marathon. The world’s oldest marathon will be run amid tightened security a year after a bombing at the finish line killed three and injured 264 others.

Five children’s book with the best leadership lessons


Managers may rely on a multitude of tropes but seldom do we hear them encouraging their teams to “ride the wise eagle.” Yet their workers could chase away evil worms and cultivate courage by reading and sharing Neil Gaiman‘s Instructions (2010), a 40-page children’s book that may resonate with leaders or anyone steering their business into unknown territories.

Harvard is teaching the Chinese their own history


Two middle-aged professors sit at a table surrounded by shelves full of books. Both a little shy, they urge each other to sing “that song.” Then they agree to sing it together.

Google just revealed the incredibly simple formula for killer résumés


It’s not exactly E=mc². But for would-be job hunters, it’s probably a lot more useful. In a Q&A-style interview with Google’s senior vice president of people operations Laszlo Bock, The New York Times’ Tom Friedman fished a few seriously helpful words of wisdom out of the search giant’s human resources chief.

Thousands of Chinese spent their “best years” making Nike shoes and now have no pensions


​ Sina Weibo For the past week, as many as 30,000 workers have been on strike, disrupting work at plants in the southern China that make shoes for Nike, Adidas, and Puma.

Ordinary Americans are powerless, but the US isn’t really an oligarchy


It’s not that ordinary Americans never get what they want from the political system. It’s just that they only get what they want if the elites want the same thing.

The art of Easter eggs in Europe


The origins of the association between eggs and the celebration of Easter aren’t certain: one religious tale claims that Mary Magdalene carried eggs to Jesus’s tomb to share with the other women present at his vigil and saw them turn brilliant red during his resurrection.

This video will make you even more reluctant to gate-check your carry-on

It’s a common experience these days for air travelers to arrive at the gate and be told that they have to check their carry-on luggage.

Making your business lean might be a surefire way to lose customers


Recently, I lost my wallet and had to replace a couple of bank cards (a situation millions of people face yearly).

Spain’s sudden ban on drones is a punch in the gut for its film industry


Last October, Ridley Scott and more than a thousand extras and film crew arrived in Andalusia, in southern Spain, to shoot Exodus, his new epic about the life of Moses starring Christian Bale. “They spent a whole month here”, Piluca Querol, the director of the Andalusia Film Commission, told Quartz: “It’s the first time unemployment has gone down in Almería at that time of year, thanks to all of the construction.” The movie industry is an important contributor to the economy in Andalusia, the region with the highest unemployment rate in all of Europe (pdf). “Film producers use drones a lot,” Querol said, “especially in pre-production to get things ready, prepare shots and look for possible camera positions.” She added, “of course [drone images] promote Spain abroad, in our case as a great place to film movies”.

What countries around the world give their citizens for having children


Almost half of the world faces the same demographic problem: not enough babies are being born to keep up with an aging population.

With western oil companies tripping over themselves to assure Putin, it’s no wonder he’s so confident


Europe is warning Russian president Vladimir Putin of reputational harm if he shuts off the natural gas flow to the West, but judging by the behavior of western oil chiefs, he is secure if he dismisses the admonishment as so much noise.

Companies have turned killing time into an art form


Technologies like email and videoconferencing, designed to save time, end up helping people waste more of it.

Under LED lights, your clothes can’t get “whiter-than-white”


Uh oh. Flickr/Classic_Films LED lightbulbs are incredibly energy efficient (pdf), but they could do a number on your crisp white button-downs: According to a new study led by Kevin Houser, a professor of architectural engineering at Penn State University, the most common type of LED lightbulb renders clothing brighteners—the chemicals in detergents that claim to make your whites whiter—useless.

Quartz Weekend Brief—Piketty’s optimism, ferry safety, environmentalism and beauty, the iVaporizer

Thomas Piketty’s Capital in the Twenty-First Century went on sale in the US this week, and its central message can seem like a prophecy of doom.

Vladimir Putin is now pushing around the markets, as well as his neighbors


It’s as good as gold. In fact, it’s much better this week. Reuters/Gleb Garanich The prospect of outright war between Russia and Ukraine seemed a real possibility this week (though the tensions have eased a bit), and that made for some interesting dynamics in the markets this week.


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