A Message of Hope

...the sons of Issachar who had understanding of the times, to know what Israel ought to do, their chiefs were two hundred; and all their brethren were at their command.
1 Chronicles 12:32

January 25, 2019

News This Week


Monday — Davos, Switzerland hosts just over 3,000 delegates representing 114 countries from Jan. 22 to Jan. 25. An array of homefront crises will keep several world leaders away from the forum, which takes place against a backdrop of trade wars, rising nationalism and fretting over what happens next to the global economy.

Tuesday — Exactly 226 years after the decapitation of King Louis XVI, who failed to quell popular discontent over a France’s feudal society, President Emmanuel Macron started his speech at a pre-Davos dinner at Versailles by invoking the king and his wife Marie-Antoinette. Macron, speaking to an audience that included J.P. Morgan CEO Jamie Dimon, Snapchat chief Evan Spiegel and Microsoft boss Satya Nadella, said he would not follow the path of guillotined French royals and would continue to reform the French economy despite occasional violent revolt.

Wednesday — Brazil’s newly elected president, Jair Bolsonaro, laid out the welcome mat for big business and foreign investors at a summit with CEOs in Davos. The former army captain-turned-right-wing-politician said he would work to open up Brazil’s relatively closed economy, cut and simplify taxes, privatize state companies and arm his new justice minister with tools to tackle corruption.

Thursday — The two most powerful men in the world are not at the World Economic Forum this year, so why is seemingly everyone at Davos talking about the fight between presidents Trump and Xi? Well, that’s because the U.S.-China trade war has begun to weigh on global growth and hitting countries from Canada to Singapore.

Friday — Executives from across the global oil industry held a series of closed-door meetings and invited banking bosses and fund managers to discuss two key topics - climate change and pressure from investors. The meeting, held on the sidelines away from official Davos events, focused on generating high enough investor returns and fluffy enough PR to keep critics and regulators at bay.

January 9, 2019

Is the world getting better

A few years ago Vox published a list of ways in which it saw the world as getting better. These included:
  1. Extreme poverty has fallen
  2. Hunger is falling
  3. Child labor is on the decline
  4. People in developed countries have more leisure time
  5. The share of income spent on food has plummeted in the US
  6. Life expectancy is rising
  7. Child mortality is down
  8. Death in childbirth is rarer
  9. People have been getting taller for centuries
  10. More people have access to malaria bednets
  11. Guinea worm is almost eradicated
  12. Teen births in the US are down
  13. Smoking is down, too
  14. In the long term, homicide rates have fallen dramatically
  15. In the short term, they’re down in the US, too
  16. Violent crime in the US is going down
  17. We’ve rapidly reduced the supply of nuclear weapons
  18. More people in the world live in a democracy now
  19. More people are going to school for longer
  20. And literacy is, predictably, up as well
  21. Moore’s law isn’t quite over yet
  22. Access to the internet is increasing
  23. Solar energy is getting cheaper

The question is, Are these the measures by which the world is good or not?

January 8, 2019

#9 Most Popular in 2018: DNA Testing Kits

It's not that surprising that DNA testing kits are so high on the list this year. They not only make great gifts during the holidays, but Ancestry's kits also saw big sales for Black Friday and Prime Day back in July. With a massive database, Ancestry is the best choice if you're hoping to find a long-lost relative or find out if your family really did sail over with the Pilgrims.

Ancestry DNA Testing Kit from Ancestry.com for $59

Not only was Ancestry a top option for the genetically curious, but 23andMe, one of the other most popular DNA kits out there, was equally as sought-after. The version people really loved was a little more expensive at $139, but it includes a closer look at your genetics as well as your heritage.

The 23andMe DNA Health + Ancestry Testing Kit on Amazon for $139
Source: The 20 most popular things everyone bought in 2018: 9. Ancestry DNA Testing Kits

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