PERMISSIONS:
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APOLOGIES
I have been over zealous with political comment lately so have now accepted the offer to assemble and write for two blogs on the WatchingUK website. The "Good News" blog is for items where we have benefited from the Brexit referendum vote and the "Bad News" blog is where others have tried to damage our chances of leaving the EU.

SUBSCRIPTIONS:
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Saturday, 25 March 2017

A very frightening voice, with an equally frightening message

I first met Rodney Atkinson when he was giving this lecture in an House of Lords Committee Room. It was pretty full, of both peers and MPs, it was over a decade ago as far as I can remember, maybe even longer. It terrified me, but when one looks at the ignorance of our political classes, it hadn't frighten them.

I pray that many will pay the price in 2020.

Rodney is the brother of Rowan and where the latter kept us amused with Mr Bean, Rodney just terrifies me with his grasp of the history of the European Union.

It's not a short video so make sure you have time to watch it in one sitting. But you can relax in the knowledge that there's no waffling.



Ampers.

Friday, 24 March 2017

We are British, you'll never destroy our spirit.

What do we do when we've lost everything? we have a cup of tea.


And what do we do when you kill us?


 

So, I suggest you go back and stew in your Middle East cesspool.
.
Ampers

Saturday, 18 March 2017

Do you remember those bulldog clips?

Here's an enterprising Korean (I presume from the South as he seems a bright cookie) showing us fifteen ways of making our lives a little easier.

Ampers

Interesting video, but be careful, you could be in trouble if you watch it.

I am expecting a knock on the door at any minute but this video needs to be aired. I have actually had a word with my solicitor and he assures me as long as it is on YouTube, and it allowed to be shown there, I will be OK.

Once it comes off, I shall delete this post.

Ampers.

Friday, 17 March 2017

Scots Nationalists and Democracy don't go together.


Our guest blog, today, comes from  P Williams, a life time Conservative (from age 15) from the Labour stronghold of Rotherham, and now living on the Scottish borders.
In between, five years were spent living in France and discovering the French were no more enamoured with being ruled from Brussels as most Brits are. And, in England, as a factory owner, Williams repeatedly came head to head with debilitating EU red tape.
Thank goodness for a PM with the strength and commitment to stand up to the Scottish Nationalists call for yet another Referendum – mainly because they lost the first one. I have asked many people living here on the border what they would want and resoundingly the reply comes back that they do NOT want another horribly divisive time which many endured the first- time round. It became very hard to remain calm in the face of downright racist attitudes put forth by the Nationalists – but of course, in the UK, racism seems to be reserved to the colour of skin, and not the division of English and Scots. There are a lot of us English living in Scotland for many different reasons. Some of us came up here to be near to our families, and many just because they love the country and wanted to live here in peace and harmony – something which was in very real danger in the run up to the first Referendum. The Nationalists cannot accept defeat, and do not understand the word ‘Democracy’ as meaning standing by the majority decision of a poll taking purely in Scotland.
If you think of it in terms of a teenager wanting Independence it is a very good parallel. Ask any teenager if they would like their own flat or house and the reply comes very fast. Yes please. THEN tell them that Mum and Dad will not be paying anything towards their living in future – they won’t be paying the rent, the utility bills, or stocking the store cupboard with food, or indeed lending them the equipment to cook or clean with, and the reply starts to change. They suddenly realise just how much Mum and Dad pay for their nice comfortable life-style at home. All they have had to do up to the point of Independence is fund their entertainment, and any clothes that they feel they would like that Mum and Dad won’t pay for. This is exactly what happens with Scotland. Imagine, if you will, the taxation that would be necessary if not a penny that is collected outside Scotland is available to the Scottish Government.
With 5.5 million people in the country (and that is a lot less than live and pay taxes in London alone) the whole infrastructure would have to be maintained by Scottish taxation. Schools, Health Services, care of the elderly, roads, and all the thousands of things currently supported by the Barnett Formula (which is the division of money from the whole taxation income from the whole of the UK, the lion’s share of which (per capita) goes to Northern Ireland and Scotland). If the Scots want to be Independent, then this would mean total Independence, not ‘Oh yes, but the UK will still pay the bills, Independence’. It would not be true Independence to continue the farce that is the Barnett Formula. Pensions alone would face a huge black hole of enormous proportions, to such an extent that Scotland would not be able to pay the Old Age Pension. As for free prescriptions for everyone, that would be another impossibility. In fact, Scotland would be Bankrupt in the first month – and its tax-payers (less than 50% of the total population, since children and old people do not pay tax and they make up at least 50% of the population) would have to bear the whole burden themselves. At the first Referendum, which was voted by a clear majority against, the Nationalists argued that ‘Scotland has oil’. Well, what price is oil now, and being a diminishing resource, and exploited by foreign countries, and therefore most of the profits are not taxed in Scotland anyway, the income would not go very far to paying for all the other demands on the Scottish Treasury.
Such is the feeling in England, I fear, that if the Scots asked for a Referendum on their Independence and allowed the English to vote, they would be Independent and without a penny piece of support coming from England. Then it would be a Laurel and Hardy moment, as the Scots would be saying to Sturgeon "That’s another fine mess you’ve got us into"!
Scottish Nationalists claim that the majority of Scots wish to stay in the European Union. Of course, that was voted on against a backdrop, put forward by the Scottish Nationalists, of how many benefits the Scots might lose from Brussels, but the farmers have now realised that the rest of the UKs farming community could end up much better off post Brexit and now the farming community is having a serious re-think on that. Go and chat to farmers at the Marts up and down the country, and the majority now want to get out of Europe – and the main trade of all Scottish businesses is with England not Europe. I see more foreign lorries heading up the M6 to Scotland every day, and I cannot see those European companies wanting to lose their trade with the UK – after all, we import far more than we export so it would be brainless to want to lose our market, and if Europe (or rather, Brussels) wants to set up barriers to trade, the UK is actually in a much stronger position that Europe because they need us far more than we need them.
We have been governed for too many years by faceless bureaucrats in Brussels, under the guise of the European Parliament. The real truth is that the European Parliament is a toothless tiger, only there to enact the laws which have been concocted by the Council of Europe, none of whom are directly elected, and over whom not a single country in Europe has any jurisdiction. Indeed, there is an inner sanctum that meets and to which not even the Prime Minister of any of the member countries is allowed to attend (let alone have a voice in) and that is where the majority of our laws are formulated. Scotland claims it wants to remain in that club?
I don’t consider that Scotland would even be allowed to join as an Independent country anyway, because one of the main criteria for any country joining is its fiscal stability and Scotland cannot claim to have that with its main claim to income coming from such a volatile material as oil (in both senses of the word). Certainly, if it were to rely totally on taxation of the people it would sink beneath the weight of its burden like a lead weight dropped from a great height into water. All the rules currently in force from Europe can be vetoed by any one member state, and getting all 27 to agree to any one rule is a minefield of diplomacy and guile, to say nothing of corrupt dealings to get something passed that the other 26 do not like. Holding one’s breath and hoping would not be an option.
P E Williams

Wednesday, 15 March 2017

One's politics is sometimes a little difficult to define

I have had this bug which has been doing the rounds and I have been able to do little other than sit and think for these last few days.

What politics do I stand for?
Looking at all the parties on the scene, it is hard to fit myself inside any of them.

On the right, I stand for business. The country needs business to survive. There are three classes of business. SoHo, which covers a business from one man to 20, including directors. They consist of about 97.5% of our UK Companies. Then we have SMEs which range up to around a 1,000 employees and cover another 2% of our companies. Finally the Corporates, including International Conglomerates, which account for the last half a percent.

The SoHo companies are the best to encourage as they only have to employ a single person each to double our people in employment over night. It is these, and the smaller SMEs who are to be encouraged.

When companies grow too big and look for the easy way to expand, by buying their competitors, jobs are shed, unemployment goes up. Not so bad with the larger SMEs but disastrous when the Corporates amalgamate.

I tend to think of SoHo and small to medium SMEs as right of centre but the larger SMEs as left of centre, with the largest Corporates almost communist in nature.

On the left, I stand for a fairer society. I would like to see a higher benefit offered when someone loses their job for three months only, say 10% less than their annual salary package. This to be increased, on a month by month basis, as long as they attend interviews and write at least 50 letters a week approved by the job centre. i.e. genuine attempts. They must have the skills required when writing the letters. Job centres to stamp the mail after they check the letters.

After three months, or longer if they write application letters, their money drops to the present rate, and after another six months, they get no money, but bills paid, and food stamps. We are here to give a helping hand to get them back on their feet. And encourage them to do so.

Disabled. There are so many sob stories here, I would need to know a little more. We have a duty to look after those less fortunate than ourselves. Whatever their allowance, if they manage to take a job, even if only for a day or two, they keep their allowance. They also keep their wages, and receive an extra bonus from the state as a reward for getting up and doing something. I once employed a charming Ashanti girl from West Africa in a wheelchair. Best receptionist I ever had. Had to widen the door to accommodate her wheelchair, and she was absolutely totally loyal to me, might have had a different ending if I were single at the time..

Perceptions

The problem in this country


People on the left view people on the right as right wing National Front types or cold, hard hearted businessmen. There used to be a back street car hire company in New York which became a world leader and second only to Hertz. Read Robert Townsend’s “Up the Organisation” - there’s a used copy for a penny on AmazonUK. It shows how Robert turned the company around. I’d have loved to have worked for him. All of the bosses I worked for in my youth were fair and decent men. The only nasty ones I came across were in the Army, lefty Corporals and Sergeants. Hateful, but after training I became one!

People on the right view people on the left as lazy, shiftless trouble-makers. Yes there certainly seems to be a lot like that, but are there really that many? People like George Soros pays millions to stir the left up; recently those protesting against Trump were paid from $35 a day upwards by Soros to try and destroy their new President. George Soros made his initial fortune selling fellow Jews to the Nazi Kamps at age 14 in Hungary in 1944, and turned that money, over the years into billions. Not a nice person. People on the left, the militants, make so much noise that we tend to think every socialist is a militant left winger. They are not. I know many who are decent, and although I am of the right, I have a good friend who is a Labour Councillor and prefer his company to any Conservative councillor I know. And even most of my Brexiteers, even though he is a remainer!

So, saying someone is a right-winger or a left-winger is not always as simple as it may seem. I am not referring to the filthy Right Wing Fanatics or the Dirty Scruffy Left Wing Fanatics. I am speaking about the ordinary Conservatives, the ordinary UKIPpers and the ordinary Socialists. The quiet ones who go about their jobs without causing mayhem. The people with a little bit of decency, who know we need businesses to generate wealth, and know we need to give those less able a helping hand.

Ampers

Saturday, 11 March 2017

A new subject to be taught in schools

We need to introduce a new subject in the curriculum of Comprehensive, Grammar and Free Schools, from the age of 13.

The purpose of this subject is to prepare our young for the tough world of employment.

The subject should consist of
  1. Research
  2. Negotiating
  3. Job Hunting
  4. Money handling
Searching for research
This should be the first subject to teach, as it will assist on all the other subjects.

How to use libraries
  • This is the most important area for research as it is more reliable than the Internet.
  • Showing that choosing a few books on the subject can help get a better overall picture.
How to use the Internet.
  • Searching Google will throw up a lot of unreliable information. However, a lot of it can point you in the right direction for using libraries.
  • Searching Amazon for books on the research subject so you know what to ask for when you visit your local library.
Outside influences
  • Listening to Television News and learning how to treat what you hear with a sceptical view. Look for other sources to confirm news that is important to your life.
  • Reading newspapers and learning how to recognise the slant your newspaper puts on the news.
  • The benefits of reading more than one newspaper so get to know how newspapers can bend the news with different slants depending on the political views of the owners and editor.
  • When you hear news from friends and acquaintances, it is not wrong to verify sources as your friends may not have been taught the importance of verification.
Negotiating

Our first experiences of negotiating comes to us when we are one day old. We quickly learn to negotiate for milk by using noise. Alas, afterwards it all seems to go downhill. We must learn the science of negotiating. In particular for:
  • University, to get the most out of our tutors.
  • Job interviews, how to get picked for the job, and how to negotiate a good remuneration package.
  • How to negotiate a mortgage package from your bank or building society.
It should be born in mind that your University tutor, potential employer and banker are all skilled negotiators and without a fundamental knowledge of this subject, you will be like babes in the woods and will always get a raw deal.

Job Hunting

There are good ways and bad ways to do this. The subject needs to explain various methods to you so you can choose which one will suit you.

Writing your CV


Going from College will make it difficult to do a good CV; you need to learn the value of doing part time jobs whilst at University rather than partying all the time. A couple of part time jobs will give you a better CV than the party goers.

When preparing your CV, keep it short, and easy to read. Use bullet points. List your part time jobs and underneath, list the skills you have.
  • Skills learned from your part time jobs
  • Add skills you learned from hobbies, providing they will be of help at work
  • Add skills you may have received if you were good at sports. (Football: working with a team); (Tennis: A quick eye and fast reactions).
But, there’s another point to bear in mind when writing your CV. Your prospective employer will sift through the CVs and put them into three piles.
  • Bin it
  • Acceptable
  • Interesting, we need to wheel him in to find out more
Think carefully, out of the second two piles, which one do you want your CV to be in? Which one stands a better chance of getting employed.

Searching for jobs
  • Read the newspaper adverts and apply for an interview.
  • Get taken on with an employment agency
Both the above methods will have you fighting against hundreds of other people. But this doesn’t mean you shouldn’t do this. However, there is another way.

I will tell you a story of what I did when I was younger in 1963. After the army. I lived on the Central Line in Notting Hill Gate and wanted to work in the City. I didn’t want to spend my life changing tube trains, and wanted to work near the tube station so I didn’t waste time walking. I took my voice recorder, travelled to St Paul’s and looked around for large companies and recorded the address in my tape machine. Then the next station and so on. I eventually got my first job at a South African Gold Mine company called Union Corporation in the Shares department. I worked there for two years and every morning I walked through the doors at exactly 9am (got in early and had a coffee and read the newspaper at the coffee bar next door). But my punctuality got me a fantastic reference when I left. All my army reference said was, this man smiles and whistles under all difficulties! Not enough to get a good job.

Nowadays with a voice recorder available on every telephone and everyone having a computer, it should be a doddle.

The additional Benefit
When I wrote and posted my letters, they arrived out of the blue. That same moment the Union Corporation boss received my letter, he also received a resignation and he decided to wheel me in before going to the expense of finding an additional member of staff.

Money Handling
The interest rates on savings are so low that many people think it’s not worth it to save.

I don’t. And now I am in my seventies I am benefiting from years of savings.

I put away money into a savings account every pay day and when it built up to a sizeable amount, I started an insurance business. I would insure myself against loss of my valuable items. I would get quotes, take the best quote, and increase my savings by the payments recommended. I had to pay out on one or two items over the years but my savings grew at a good rate. After many years, I insured my cars; expensive ones, such as an E-type and Mark Ten Jag, for third party only, and added the difference from the full insurance to my savings. Then the account really took off.

This is just one way of increasing savings, but it shows how you can make money once you have a reasonable amount saved up. And, remember, you’ll never get on the housing ladder unless you start saving money from your first job.

I am not suggesting the teachers teach the following; it is merely to give some idea of how it is possible to make money work for you. Adam Faith, the 60s rock ‘n’ roll singer made his real money because he was good with his hands. He bought a cheap dilapidated house, renovated it to a high standard, sold it, bought a house twice as large, did the same. He did this four times over the years, then moved down to a size he wanted, renovated it, and kept it for his home.

The Money handling section should also teach you how to use a bank account, how to invest your money wisely (half in a low risk venture, three quarters of the remaining on a medium risk and higher returns [I get 6.45% now from LendInvest] and the remainder on a more high risk strategy).

It should teach you about credit cards and the importance of paying the balance off, automatically, by direct debit every month. Then find a card which pays you for using it, my Barclaycard two card system gives me an Amex card with a 1% rebate and a Visa card for those who don’t take Amex, which has a 0.5% rebate. I use credit cards for everything and get a very sizeable present from Barclaycard every year.

Finally, before building up the course notes, a questionnaire should be sent to all captains of industry asking for their ideas on each of the four items.

Have I left anything out? And should there be just one period a week set aside? Remember, I suggested starting at age 13. Any ideas in Comments, below will be answered.

Ampers.

Monday, 6 March 2017

Interesting geographical facts

Excuse the bad fitting, but these are so interesting and it would take me a month of Sundays to decrease all the photos and change the type face, and delete the extraneous spaces!

Ampers

PS - All now corrected, and much easier to read and look at. And, it took much less than a month of Sundays!




Where is the world's hottest place?                             
Guess before you check the answer.               
  
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Death Valley National Park   ....   The highest air temperature ever recorded on Earth was 134 degrees Fahrenheit, at Death Valley National Park on July 10, 1913.  
  
  
  
  
Where is the world's   coldest place   ?
  
  
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East Antarctic Plateau ... On the high ridge of the East Antarctic Plateau, the temperature can drop to as low as  -135.8  degrees Fahrenheit, which was recorded in August, 2010.    
  


Where is the world's most populated city   ? 
  
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Shanghai  ...   At a whopping 24,150,000 permanent inhabitants, Shanghai is the only city that is home to over 24 million people in one city.    
  
  
 
Where is the world's least populated city? (the picture is the clue)
  
  
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Vatican City ...  With a paltry population of 842, the city-state of Vatican City is the smallest city and state in the world.  
  


  

Where is the world's  wealthiest city   ? 
  
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Tokyo, Japan   ..   That tower might as well be made of gold since Tokyo tops the charts with a GDP of $1,520 billion, beating New York City by a mere $310 billion.  
  
  


  

Where is the world's poorest city in the poorest country   ?  
  
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Kinshasa, Congo   ....   it is the poorest city in the Democratic Republic of the Congo, which is also the poorest country in the world, at a GDP of $55 billion. Many of its residents live on less $1 a day.     



  




What is the highest point in the world?   (this one is easy)  
  
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Mount Everest ... Towering 29,029 feet in the air, the top of Mount Everest is the closest you can get to touching outer space while still standing on Earth.  
  
  


  
  
Where is the lowest point in the world?
  
  
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The Challenger Deep Trench  It is the lowest known natural point in the world at 35,797 ft      below sea level at the bottom of the Mariana Trench. Only three people have ever made it to the bottom in a submersible, one of which was filmmaker James Cameron.    
  
  
  
  
 

What is the most photographed place      in the U.S.?  
  
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Surprise: the Guggenheim building in New York  ...   Photos have always told stories, but in today's world of cell phone cameras and social media, that story is relayed as data to companies who monitor everything we do. Geotagged data was culled by Sightsmap using a Google-based image sharing software, and can show us the most photographed places in the world, right down to this landmark. The strange winner is this building in New York City.  Guess it impresses a lot of visitors.  
  
  
  
  
 

Where is the wettest spot on Earth?  (and it's not the Amazon!)  
  
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Mawsynram, India  ...   In this city in India, it rains an average of 467.35 inches per year,   and has a record of 1000 inches in 1985 ... much more than any rain forest!  
  
  
  
 

Where is the driest spot on Earth? (It's not the Sahara!)  
  
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The Atacama Desert  ... The 600 miles of South America's Atacama desert is recorded as the driest place on Earth, no contest. This desert has an average of only 4 inches of rain every hundred years. Incredible, but true.  
  
  


  
  
 

What city claims to be the sunniest place in the U.S.?  
  
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Yuma, Arizona  ...   In this city in Arizona, the sun shines for an average of 11 hours a day.   The usual forecast is sun for 90 percent of the year, averaging a total of 4015 daylight hours each year.    
  
  
  
  

Where is the most expensive city to live in?   (It's not in the U.S. thankfully)  
  
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Singapore    ...   This city has recently beat out Tokyo, Japan, for the title of "most expensive city" for 2014. Cars can cost between 4-6 times as much in Singapore from what they cost in the US or UK  (for example, a Toyota Prius actually costs about $150,000.00 there).  
  
  
  
  
 

Where is the      least expensive city      to live in?  
  
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M
umbai, India   ...   At the other end of the spectrum, Mumbai, India, is the cheapest place to live in the world, according to the Worldwide Cost of Living Index, 2014.  For some comparison, a loaf of bread that would cost $3.36 in Singapore,   would only cost $0.91 in Mumbai. A lot of poverty brings the cost of living down.  
  
  
  
  
  
What country consumes the most food per capita?
  
  
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The overweight United States   ...   We eat an average of 3,770 calories a day each.   Shamefully, obesity is becoming more of a problem every year.  
  
  
  
  

 Where is the world's oldest city ?  
  
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Damascus    ...   There's quite a bit of controversy over which city gets to officially claim the title of "oldest continuously inhabited city. However, Damascus is the safest bet, with evidence of civilization that extends back over 11,000 years.  
  
  
  
  
 
 

Which is the youngest country in the world?  
  
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South Sudan   ...   The people of South Sudan were formally recognized as an independent country in 2011   making it the youngest country in the world to-date.    
  
  
  
  
 

Which is the world's most visited city?  
  
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London   ...   After a several years of competition with Bangkok, London has regained its place as the world's most visited city (according to MasterCard's 2014 Global Destinations City Index). The city sees about 18.69 million international visitors annually, generating      $19.3 billion in revenue for their city.    
  


  
  

 What is the world's least popular country   ?  
  
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Iran    ...     On that same rating scale, Iran has come in dead last (at a 79% negativity rating) for many years.  Only 15% of people polled viewed Iran in a positive light.  
  
  
  
  
  

Where is the world's most dangerous city to live in?  
  
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San Pedro, Honduras   ...   This city averages  over three murders a day. The violence stems from the city's role as a major hub for illegal drug and arms trafficking.  
  
  
  
  

 Which country consumes the      most caffeine      in the world?  
  
  
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Sweden        ...   The strong coffee in Sweden will put a spring in your step, and hair on your tongue.       The Swedes consume an average of 388 mg of caffeine in coffee per person, per day   (that's almost 5 Red Bulls in the U.S.).  
  
  
  
  
Which country in the world drinks the most alcohol   ?
  
  
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Belarus    ...   In the little country of Belarus, each person above the age of 16 drinks an average of 4.62 gallons of alcohol every year. That's a lot of booze.    
  
  
  
  
Which country is the most bicycle friendly in the world?  
  
  
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The Netherlands … By comparing cities using the average number of bicycle trips made daily, one city reigns supreme: Groningen   in the Netherlands.  About 50 percent of the population commute via bike daily, making it the city with the greatest proportion of cyclists.   However, many other cities in the Netherlands have a great bicycling tradition.    
  
  
  
  
  

Where is the world's most energy efficient city?  
  
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Reykjavik, Iceland   ...   All of the energy and heat used by the citizens of Reykjavik, Iceland   come from geothermal plants and renewable hydropower making it the most sustainable and energy efficient city in the world. This city has also been replacing traditional buses with hydrogen-fueled buses,   from which the only emissions are water.  
  
  
  
  
  
  

Which country has the      longest life expectancy      in the world?  
   
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Monaco  ...   According to the World Health Organization's study from 2013, Monaco tops the charts for longest living citizens with an average life expectancy of 87.2 years. Men in Monaco live an average 85.3 years, and women live longer to an average of 89 years.  
  
  
  
  
  
 

Which country has the shortest life expectancy   ?  
  
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Sierra Leone      On the opposite side of that coin, the population of Sierra Leone live only to an average of 47 years. The men of Sierra Leone live to an average of 47 years old, whereas   women live a little longer, an average of 48 years. Poverty plays a big roll in their short life expectancy.  
  
  
  
  
What country would qualify as the most stressed-out nation in the world because of their living conditions?
  
  
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Nigeria    ...   By looking at the homicide rate, the GDP per capita, continued income inequality, corruption, lack of education opportunities and unemployment numbers, one thing is clear: Nigeria's people are, hands-down, the most stressed out population in the world.  
  
  
  
  


  
  
Which city has the highest average IQ?
  
  
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Hong Kong    ...   There are a lot of factors that affect an IQ score, ranging from national and personal wealth, to simply what test is used. As a result, these findings are highly controversial, but suggest that Hong Kong has the highest IQ level,   at an average of 107 points per person. 

*However, Hong Kong is a special administrative region of China, meaning that it falls within the sovereignty of the People's Republic of China, yet does not form part of Mainland China, because it has it's own government. So these results are questionable. 
  





  




Which foreign city is the world's most  well-connected one for Internet use   ?
    
  
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Seoul, South Korea  ... Surprisingly, despite China's 618 million Internet users who spend an average of 18.7 hours a week surfing the net, China didn't even make the top 10 for Internet connection. Seoul, Korea is a different story considering the average connection speed, availability,   (including free access), openness to innovation, support of public data, and privacy/security,  Seoul, South Korea  is the champion of Internet-connectedness. With 10,000 government supported  free WiFi spots dotting the city, and an Internet speed that goes unchallenged globally, Seoul is an Internet junkie's paradise. 

I hope you enjoyed these fascinating snippets.

Ampers.