HARD NUMBERS

2.3 trillion: There’s no better place in the world to be a pet than Japan, where spending on cats alonecontributed ¥2.3 trillion ($20 billion) to the economy. Since 2003 there have been more pets than humans under 15 in Japan, but cats just recently overtook dogs as the pet of choice.


 

120: In 2017, over 120 million people gained access to electricity worldwide, bringing the total number of people without electricity below 1 billion for the first time ever. In Kenya, electricity reaches 73 percent of the population today, up from just 8 percent in 2000.

 

67: In a recent poll, 67 percent of people in the EU said they agree with the statement, “The world used to be a better place.” But compared to when? It’s still only a generation ago that Europe was mired in the deadliest conflict in human history.

 

3: In mid-term elections, the party of the sitting president has picked upseats in the US Congress only 3 times since 1934. The Democrats did it in 1934 (FDR) and 1998 (Clinton), and the Republicans did it in 2002 (George W. Bush).

 

1: Signal asks our readers for one (1) moment of silence for T-1, the wily killer tigress who evaded capture for months in the Indian state of Maharashtra. She was killed in an attempt to tranquilize and capture her over the weekend. Her story highlighted the challenges surrounding India’s tiger population – conservation efforts have caused the population to rise, while development has eroded their habitats, often bringing them into deadly contact with humans.

Coffee is one of the most popular drinks in the world, but that means it creates a lot of waste in the form of cups and used coffee grinds. Every year, we drink out of 600 billion single-use plastic and paper cups, most of which end up in a landfill or our environment. Could coffee also contribute to a more sustainable future? A German company is now recovering leftover coffee grounds from bars, restaurants and hotels, and it's recycling them into reusable coffee cups. In other words, they're creating cups of coffee made from coffee.

Learn more at Eniday: Energy Is A Good Story

What technology was used to assist Eliud Kipchoge's historic sub two-hour marathon time?

A lot. If you watched the video of him, you saw that he was within a pace group, a whole bunch of runners in front of him cutting the wind. Some runners behind him, actually improving his wind resistance by having people behind him. There was a green laser showing him exactly what time he had to run. He had really high-tech gels that he took, these Maurten gels. I actually like those a lot, too. But the main thing were the shoes. These are the early prototypes of the shoes or the first version. He's now in the third version. But what's most important is there is a carbon fiber plate. You cannot bend this thing. So, Nike introduced these shoes, I don't know, two years ago. Now, there's a new generation. It's very controversial.

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Will the Catalonia question be a big issue in the Spanish election coming up in November?

You bet it will. Passions have been further inflamed now, and the question that has been difficult from the very beginning, by the very heavy prison sentences that was given to those that are accused of sedition, that is organizing the independence referendum. So, passions are heating up. It will be a difficult issue for the entire Spanish political system to handle for years to come.

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You'd think, being the relatively hopeful person that you are, that the nauseating anguish of Brexit would be more or less over now that UK Prime Minister Boris Johnson has finally reached a deal with Brussels on how to extricate the UK from the European Union.

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