Vaguely Interesting Round-up | 6 April – 13 April 2012

  • The opulent motorcades of African leaders are discussed in the Economist’s Baobab blog, including the King of Swaziland’s convoy of up to 20 vehicles and Uganda’s Yoweri Museveni’s silver Mercedes truck with a mobile lavatory.
  • The value of the precious metals contained in this year’s Olympic gold medals is considered in the Economist’s Daily Chart blog. Obviously more valuable for symbolic and sentimental reasons, the medals will have a ‘scrap’ value of about $750.
  • Comparisons between the Scottish referendum on independence and the break up of Yugoslavia may seem far-fetched. The Economist’s Eastern Approaches blog sees a number of parallels and an obsession with referencing the Balkanisation of Britain.
  • You can chart the rise and fall of Olympic nations in the BBC Sport’s table of all-time Summer Olympic Gold Medals, and see who tops the all time league of most gold medals.
  • Microsoft’s new operating system, Windows 8, will feature designs inspired by the London Underground. The Tube is not the only network to be given the nod – Microsoft’s design team was apparently inspired by signs from a range of transport networks and modes across the world.
  • China has overtaken the USA to become the world’s largest grocery market. According to the Economist’s Daily Chart blog, the market in China is worth just shy of $1 trillion. This still only equates to $722 per person per year – quite a way behind America’s $2,931 per person per year. Unsurprisingly, France tops the chart in terms of amount spent per person per year at $4,740 – a gourmet selection or Gallic gluttony?

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