Degrees of Poverty
Among the many challenges to the world's effort to overcome poverty are government corruption, geographic isolation, disease and natural disasters. Nearly half of the world's population is classified as poor, having been divided into three degrees of poverty: extreme poverty, moderate poverty and relative poverty.
The World Bank's definition of extreme poverty is based on an income of less than $1or the equivalent per day. This means that such households can't pay for all their basic needs for survival. In other words, they do not have access to enough food, safe drinking water, proper sanitation, and basic health care. Adequate shelter, preventative medication and education, even warm clothing are out of the question for such families living in developing countries.
Those who suffer from moderate poverty can cover their basic needs with an income of$1 to $2 per day, but barely. Food lacks adequate nutrition, clean water isn't always easily accessible and health care is still out of reach. It is still a struggle for the moderately poor to gain the advantages that education would offer. These households are a long way from achieving relative poverty-a level described as being below the national average, and they are unable to afford things that the middle class take for granted.
The World Bank estimates that 1.1 billion live in extreme poverty and suffer from drought, civil wars, malnutrition and AIDS.
Superhero movies, many of them based on comic books, have become the most popular genre in the multiplex cinemas of the 2lst century. Hero worship has provided profits for long established publishers like DC Comics and Marvel Comics, who began their successful business with Superman, Wonder Woman, Spider Man and Captain America. Since the first comic books appeared just before the Second World War, they have gone through several resurgences in popularity. It has been suggested that no other icons have come back strongly again and again after being marginalized for decades. This raises the question of why muscle-bound men in tights continue to capture the interest and imagination of young and old alike.
One factor that is very noticeable is that the resurgence in interest coincides with war.
The first band of superheroes emerged during the Second World War and they were part of the graphic novels that depicted good triumphing over evil. Once the war was over, comic superheroes almost disappeared from popular culture. They came back into favor when the Vietnam War filled the news . More recently , this material is not only aimed at children ; but also at adults. So it is not unreasonable to suppose that the war in Iraq has given rise to a need for superheroes again.
Another explanation for superhero popularity is that the technology to create such unrealistic stories on film has caught up with the fantasy of the comic book graphics.Computer animation allows directors to create realistic scenes of superheroes fighting evil in mid-flight. This suggests that the purpose of the superhero film is to make a nation feel able to win a real conflict somewhere in the world.
Real differences have been discovered between male and female brains as a result of studies using new brain-imaging technology. In fact, some of the differences found go beyond the confines of the brain to the eyes , nose and ears . The sense The senses that information ears to the brain are not only different in men and women, but also are constantly changing. As the brain matures, so the differences become more apparent.
Up until now there have been many theories about the differences between the male and the female brain-and what these differences mean. For example, it has been found that overall men’s brains are about 10% bigger than females' brains . But there has been not proof that size indicates intellectual ability . However , it has been discovered that the brain grows at different rates in boys and girls . Growth peaks at about 11 or 12 in girls , whereas it doesn't mature for another three years in boys . One study showed that most parts of the brain mature faster in girls , but those involving mechanical reasoning , visual targeting and spatial reasoning mature 4 to 8 years earlier in boys . Girls , however , develop verbal fluency ,handwriting, and facial recognition skills several years earlier than boys.
These findings go some way to explain why in numerous studies it became clear that boys are better able to rotate 3-D objects in their minds, and girls tend to have better verbal skills and social sensitivities . What is more , tests have shown that women see colors and textures that men cannot see, hear sounds and smell things men are not aware of at all. Even in rats, differences have been found where the female retina has more cells for gathering information on color and texture. The same might be true of humans, which would explain why newborn boys are more likely to stare at a mobile turning above them , and prefer to play with moving toys , while girls like richly textured dolls and draw with a wider range of colors.
Script for Lecture
What is the world's greatest challenge? I'd like to suggest that it's ridding the developing countries of poverty.Granted , it is a considerable challenge , but the truth is there are known , reliable , suitable technologies available to achieve this goal at relatively low cost. The needs of the extreme poor are comparatively simple and inexpensive clean water, safe shelter, adequate nutrition, health care and education.
Let's look at the realities for half the world's population. They live in geographically isolated regions of the world,far away from industrial economies, health care and often far from government concern. For the most part, they farm tiny plots of land that are often too small to support their families, that are too overworked to offer adequate yields,and that are frequently subject to drought. The typical farmer is a grandmother supporting orphaned grandchildren,who must carry water from a distant standpipe or stream before going to an overcrowded school. Her limited funds don't cover the cost of fertilizer or anti-malaria nets, shoes or warm clothes. The lack of proper sanitation, inoculation and other disease prevention, and adequate nutrition have meant that whole generations of young people grow up too weak to farm successfully or to achieve significant economic progress.
What would it be like for the extremely poor if they were to gain the means to reach even the level of moderate poverty ? For a mere YI or Y2 per day , villagers in Africa could afford better food , water , and shelter . For a little more money , they can have adequate sanitation , elementary education and access to transportation . The main difference is in the mortality rate . More children survive , grow up strong enough to work and learn .
Script for Lecture
The movie-going public has been subjected to one superhero movie after another in recent years. Judging by the success of such films, there will be many more to come. Let's face it, the familiar sight of caped crusaders conquering evil is a relatively safe bet at the box office. The truth is that what was once only aimed at children has become entertainment for adults. For even more profit, Hollywood can offer a sense of triumph to a generation watching news of death and destruction in Iraq. But what it comes to is that these superheroes are an integral part of the entertainment offered to children. What I question is whether these examples of problem solving using superhuman violence are the sort of messages we as a society want to give our young people.
There are those who might argue that superhero movies, filled with action for the kids and inside jokes for Mor and Dad, provide a vehicle by which children and parents can bond. In fact, watching those superheroes, children can dream about being more powerful than their parents. Do we want that attitude in our children? I don't think so.Furthermore, these movies give children the idea that there is some big powerful being who will fight off evil for them. What is more, they get the idea that if only they could fight back with superhuman strength, they could solve their problems. And they become disappointed when they realize it's not even remotely realistic.
Adults , on the other hand , are given a substitute for dealing with the anxiety and distress that comes from being in a country at war. In the films, realistic issues and violence are avoided and replaced by global threats conquered by superheroes without significant repercussions.
These forms of entertainment numb adult senses to real conflict, and portray a dangerous message to children and adults alike:violence solves problems.
Script for Lecture
So you all agree with me ? There are many differences between men and women . Do you think these differences have more to do with how we are socialized differently from birth ? I mean , let's face it - we were all expected to behave and think a certain way as children . The truth is those stereotypes are starting to disappear somewhat , aren't they?
Girls play ice hockey and boys learn to cook . But even when the old fashioned stereotyping is eliminated ; we will still find differences between men and women that stem from the differences in the brain.
One of the scientists in this field actually thinks we should go back to educating girls and boys separately so that the differences won't limit them. Let me explain where he is coming from. Most of the research in this field has shown that girls' brains mature at a very different rate from boys' brains. And they gain maturity in different areas at different times in their development. For example, because girls gain verbal maturity earlier, they like reading sooner.Boys tend to have a better handle on mechanical reasoning earlier and so like science at an earlier age. By age 12,there is a very distinct difference in aptitude and development between boys and girls. So the old system of sending them off to separate boarding schools actually has some merit.
But the reason why fewer girls grow up to be engineers and computer technicians isn't because they aren't capable of doing this kind of work. It is because they were taught the fundamentals at an age when they were not developmentally ready for them. The gender gap can be said to be less a matter of talent and more to do with motivation. This is also true when we look at what is currently happening in schools. Girls are doing better than ever in math in rural schools, probably because they don't want to end up cooking meals for the farm hands. They see their skills as a means of escape to the freedoms of urban living. Actually, this is born out by the fact that in many countries 60% of university students are now women.
Motivation is a powerful thing , really . Don't you agree ? There is real evidence that when women are motivate and encouraged , they too excel at science and math . In fact , in some cases , they outperform the boys at the high school level . The key is providing the right incentive and support to the 12 years old. That is when they form pretty hard and fast ideas about what subjects they are good at . So maybe it is at the middle school level that single-sex math and science courses would be a good idea . Believe it or not , some schools in the US have actually started to do that But it is too early yet to tell whether the results will mean the end of the debate about whether girls can grow up to bi scientists.