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Posts Tagged ‘United Nations’

Are you happy?

That’s a tough question to answer because it all depends on what your definition of happiness is. Does being happy revolve around family, career, love, creativity, or none (or all) of the above.

If it’s tough to gauge how happy an individual is, it must be mind-boggling nuts to determine how happy a whole country is.

Well, it’s apparent not that bonkers as CNN brings us this story about the 2013 edition of the United Nations (UN) Happiness Index.

For those of you who enjoy reading press releases from international organizations, this is your lucky day as you jump to this link here and read until your heart’s content.

For those who want to jump to the actual number and see where the various countries lie on the Happiness Spectrum, hop on over here.

Here is what I found interesting personally about the UN numbers.

My country of current residence, Thailand, ranks number 36 (with an overall score of 6.371 and with 10 being the highest possible score). This ranking is particularly appropriate given my fascination with the number 36 (see here and here and here for examples).

For comparison, the United States of America, my country of birth, ranks 17 (score = 7.082)

My last country of residence, France, clocks in at #25 (score = 6.764)

Denmark took the top spot with a score of 7.693 while the last spot, down at number 156, was held by the African country of Togo with a score of 2.936.

As for me, I can blog, I can eat, I have a roof over my head, I work, I write, and I have a loving family nine ways to Sunday. That makes me happy.

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On this day, the day after American Thanksgiving, is a day to move away from the turkey recipes and to discuss goose and ganders.

To all the Americans protesting the Israeli’s government use of automated lethal weaponry against the self-governing enclave of the Gaza Strip…

…I look forward to your protests against the United States government use of automated lethal weaponry against the sovereign nation of Pakistan.

To all the Americans protesting the deaths of children in Israeli’s military activities in the Gaza Strip…

…I look forward to your protest against the death of children in Afghanistan at the hands of the American military.

To all the Americans protesting the settlements created by the Israeli government on land seized after wars…

…I look forward to your protests demanding that the United States return California and New Mexico.

To all the Americans protesting the Israeli’s government ignoring resolutions from the United Nations…

…I look forward to your protests against the government of the United States ignoring resolutions from the UN.

After all, the protest-sauce that is good for the goose is good for the gander.

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For United Nations Day

Last week, the trivial news came out that the organizers of the 2012 Summer Olympic Games in London had managed to secure a truce from all the nations that are members of the United Nations. This means that everyone agrees not to engage in hostilities while the Games are underway.

Now, while I would love to show off my cynical side and rant how this agreement isn’t even worth the piece of paper it is written on, I instead wanted to know how many countries comprise the United Nations and who was not a member of the club based in New York.

As the linked-to story above mentions, there are 193 (there’s your number for the day) members of the United Nations. This even includes the newest member, South Sudan.

So what countries exist in the world that are not part of this august body?

Turns out, there are three.

First on the list of no-shows is the Holy See, also known as Vatican City. This entity does have the status of Permanent Observer at the United Nations.

Next up is Kosovo, the former republic of Yugoslavia.

Last on the list of non-members is Taiwan.

Hmmm…I wonder if they would have signed the truce also.

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