From VOX – Short poppies: the height of WWI servicemen

The Long Run

From Timothy Hatton, Professor of Economics, Australian National University and University of Essex. Originally published on 9 May 2014

The height of today’s populations cannot explain which factors matter for long-run trends in health and height. This column highlights the correlates of height in the past using a sample of British army soldiers from World War I. While the socioeconomic status of the household mattered, the local disease environment mattered even more. Better education and modest medical advances led to an improvement in average health, despite the war and depression.

The last century has seen unprecedented increases in the heights of adults (Bleakley et al., 2013). Among young men in western Europe, that increase amounts to about four inches. On average, sons have been taller than their fathers for the last five generations. These gains in height are linked to improvements in health and longevity.

Increases in human stature have…

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30 Seconds Over Tokyo

The Story Behind The Story

This is a tribute to the American Spirit.

It is not a tribute to War – or worse, the Geo-Politics that spawn War.

It is a tribute to 80 men with courage, principle, and backbone – Men who simply wished to avenge injustice and right a wrong.  By so doing, they inspired an entire nation.

This is a tribute to men who understand the importance of a mere 30 seconds – and how half a minute not only changed a nation, but also the entire world.

This is the Story Behind the Story of the “Doolittle Raiders”.

They didn’t “do – little” – NO —-

in only 30 seconds over Tokyo, they “did a lot”.

DoolittleRaiders

Once, not too long ago, they were among the most universally admired and revered men in the United States . There were 80 of the Raiders 72 years ago back in April 1942, when they carried…

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In a time of great powers and empires, just Europe experienced extraordinary economic growth. How and Why?

Mostly Economics

Prof Joel Mokyr of Northwestern University sums up years of his scholarship in this article.

One of the holy grails of economic history is how and why did Europe experience economic growth in 18th century. Prof Mokyr says there is no one answer:

How and why did the modern world and its unprecedented prosperity begin? Learned tomes by historians, economists, political scientists and other scholars fill many bookshelves with explanations of how and why the process of modern economic growth or ‘the Great Enrichment’ exploded in western Europe in the 18th century. One of the oldest and most persuasive explanations is the long political fragmentation of Europe. For centuries, no ruler had ever been able to unite Europe the way the Mongols and the Mings had united China.

It should be emphasised that Europe’s success was not the result of any inherent superiority of European (much less Christian) culture. It…

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