Cultural Comment: Hobson's choice

Life expectancy of babies born in Zimbabwe five years ago: 61

Life expectancy of babies born this year in Zimbabwe, due to the prevalence of HIV: 39

Percentage by which the amount consumed by an average African household has fallen in the last 25 years: 20

Number of deans of faculty at the University of Belgrade replaced before their terms had expired under a recent law brought in after demonstrations against the Serb coalition government: 16

Number of deans of faculty at the University of Belgrade newly appointed from members of the parties that form Serbia's coalition government: 15

Number of mortgage lending programmes set up by Russian banks during the last seven years of economic reform: 0

Amount of Imelda Marcos's outstanding US tax bill: $5m

International sales of American software and entertainment products in 1996, making popular culture America's largest industry: $60.2bn

International circulation of Reader's Digest: 28 million

Age at which David Hahn attempted - with relative success - to build a nuclear reactor in his mother's potting shed in Golf Manor, near Detroit, USA, as part of his Boy Scout's merit badge project: 15

Number of injuries each year, out of a total of 2.5 million domestic accidents in Great Britain, caused by decorative candles and aromatherapy burners: 1,450

Percentage of customers of call centres who hang up when greeted by an automatic response: 82

Number of times a second the Autonomous Observer, a small mobile robot being developed at Stanford University in California as a prototype for surveillance systems that can follow people, updates its 3D laser rangefinder map: 4

Number of disciplinary proceedings launched a year, by the awarding body in France, against holders of the Legion of Honour and the National Order of Merit on the grounds of "dishonourable acts": 100

Compiled by Will Hobson

SOURCES: New Scientist(x2). UN Human Development Report, The Contemporary Review(x2), New Republic, Time, Contemporary Review, International Herald Tribune(x2), Harpers, Focus(x2), Marketing Direct, New Scientist, The Guardian.

Arts and Entertainment
Rachel McAdams in True Detective season 2

TV review
Arts and Entertainment
Off the wall: the cast of ‘Life in Squares’

TV
Arts and Entertainment

Books And it is whizzpopping!

Arts and Entertainment
Bono throws water at the crowd while the Edge watches as they perform in the band's first concert of their new world tour in Vancouver

MusicThey're running their own restaurants

Voices
The main entrance to the BBC headquarters in London
TV & Radio
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Arts and Entertainment

ebooksNow available in paperback
Arts and Entertainment

ebooks
Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
SPONSORED FEATURES

ES Rentals

    Independent Dating
    and  

    By clicking 'Search' you
    are agreeing to our
    Terms of Use.

    Turkey's conflict with Kurdish guerrillas in Iraq can benefit Isis in Syria

    Turkey's conflict with Kurdish guerrillas in Iraq can benefit Isis in Syria

    Turkish President Erdogan could benefit politically from the targeting of the PKK, says Patrick Cockburn
    Yvette Cooper: Our choice is years of Tory rule under Jeremy Corbyn or a return to a Labour government

    Our choice is years of Tory rule under Corbyn or a return to a Labour government

    Yvette Cooper urged Labour members to 'get serious' about the next general election rather than become 'a protest movement'
    Singapore's domestic workers routinely exploited and often abused in the service of rich nationals

    Singapore's hidden secret of domestic worker abuse

    David Cameron was shown the country's shiniest veneer on his tour. What he didn't see was the army of foreign women who are routinely exploited and often abused in the service of rich nationals
    Showdown by Shirley Jackson: A previously unpublished short story from the queen of American Gothic

    Showdown, by Shirley Jackson

    A previously unpublished short story from the queen of American Gothic
    10 best DSLRs

    Be sharp! 10 best DSLRs

    Up your photography game with a versatile, powerful machine
    Solved after 200 years: the mysterious deaths of 3,000 soldiers from Napoleon's army

    Solved after 200 years

    The mysterious deaths of 3,000 soldiers from Napoleon's army
    Every regional power has betrayed the Kurds so Turkish bombing is no surprise

    Robert Fisk on the Turkey conflict

    Every regional power has betrayed the Kurds so Turkish bombing is no surprise
    Investigation into wreck of unidentified submarine found off the coast of Sweden

    Sunken sub

    Investigation underway into wreck of an unidentified submarine found off the coast of Sweden
    Instagram and Facebook have 'totally changed' the way people buy clothes

    Age of the selfie

    Instagram and Facebook have 'totally changed' the way people buy clothes
    Not so square: How BBC's Bloomsbury saga is sexing up the period drama

    Not so square

    How Virginia Woolf saga is sexing up the BBC period drama
    Rio Olympics 2016: The seven teenagers still carrying a torch for our Games hopes

    Still carrying the torch

    The seven teenagers given our Olympic hopes
    The West likes to think that 'civilisation' will defeat Isis, but history suggests otherwise

    The West likes to think that 'civilisation' will defeat Isis...

    ...but history suggests otherwise
    The bald truth: How one author's thinning hair made him a Wayne Rooney sympathiser

    The bald truth

    How thinning hair made me a Wayne Rooney sympathiser
    Froome wins second Tour de France after triumphant ride into Paris with Team Sky

    Tour de France 2015

    Froome rides into Paris to win historic second Tour
    Fifteen years ago, Concorde crashed, and a dream died. Today, the desire to travel faster than the speed of sound is growing once again

    A new beginning for supersonic flight?

    Concorde's successors are in the works 15 years on from the Paris crash