Democracies Dominate the World Economy

Democracies control the vast majority of the world economy – roughly 70%. The remainder (28%) is controlled by a mix of authoritarian regimes and what the Economist Intelligence Unit calls “hybrid regimes” meaning they have a mix of authoritarian and democratic features. According to IMF figures, non-US democracies annual economic activity totals over 44 trillion, the US over 22 trillion, …

US state of Vermont claims an 80 percent vaccination rate. On what is this percentage based and how is it calculated?

The governor of the US state of Vermont announced on June 14, 2021 that his state would “reopen”, entailing the steady lifting of restrictions leveled during the COVID-19 pandemic. The decision to reopen came earlier than expected, and was based on the determination that 80 percent of the northeast state’s eligible residents had received at least their first dose of a COVID-19 vaccine. Vermont appears to be outpacing all other states in its vaccination drive, so how did authorities there determine that 80 percent of eligible residents had received their first dose?

According to information provided by the Vermont Department of Health, two sets of data are used to reach this determination: US Centers for Disease Control state-specific data and Vermont Department of Health data. The former is more broad and inclusive, whereas the latter is more granular, allowing for deeper analysis at the local level. Both are compiled using information submitted to the Vermont Immunization Registry by [healthcare] provider offices, hospitals, pharmacies, and health insurance companies, which all provide vaccinations.

That data is then used to calculate the percentage of vaccinated residents. By subtracting the number of people aged 0-11 and others not eligible to receive the vaccine from the state’s total population (according to the Census bureau, Vermont’s population is 623,989), the number of eligible residents can be determined. According to the Vermont Department of Health, this leaves 550,950 people in total. Based on data submitted to the Vermont Immunization Registry, as of June 17, 2021, (the date of this article’s publication) 444,061 people in Vermont have been vaccinated. Accordingly:

It seems that the numbers check out.

Why are there no birds in Malta?

Since arriving in Malta a few months ago, I’ve noticed something odd. There are no birds. I mean, I’m sure they’re around, but I haven’t seen any. Not one. This seemed rather peculiar given Malta’s position as a small island nation in the Mediteranian, right between Africa and Europe and presumably on well trafficked routes for numerous migratory birds. Determined …

Artemis Accords Explained

This past week New Zealand became the latest signatory to the Artemis Accords. But what are they? The Artemis accords are a set of bilateral agreements between the US and an increasing number of partner nations that establish a framework for cooperation as humanity ventures once more out to the Moon and beyond. They emanate from the Artemis program – …