Pages Navigation Menu

The blog of DataDiggers

Categories Navigation Menu

Top 3, in Norway

Posted by on Mar 31, 2020 in by DataDiggers, by MyVoice | 0 comments

Surely, we all know the situation of the global pandemic, so it is pointless to ignore the elephant in the room. We took all precautionary measures (we hope you will), moving our offices for a moment at home, in the bedroom, kitchen or living room and we continued to provide you with the best content.

Given the evolution of the news of the last period, it is not surprising that we had to take a break from departures and trips, even if they were planned in advance. As much as we are interested in discovering this wonderful planet that we have taken advantage of lately, so much should concern our health and others. With this idea in mind, we decided to bring back on the blog a type of article already known by some readers, our Top 3.

It is no mystery that Norway has become the most productive nation in the world, having discovered its remarkable natural resources and, first and foremost, oil, which has been totally missing in the past. But where do we find Norway on the map? For Europeans that might be an easy guess, but for people outside of it, not so much. Geographically, it is situated as far north of mainland Europe as you can and hosts the northernmost point in mainland Europe that can be accessed by vehicle–the North Cape Cliff. It’s part of the Scandinavian Peninsula. It is a long country that’s bordering Sweden, Finland and Russia on the east, and a wide coastline facing the North Atlantic Ocean on the west.

Nearly half of the country’s inhabitants live in the far south, in the area surrounding Oslo, the capital. Starting from this, let’s see what cities have the highest population:

  • Oslo – around 675.000 people
  • Bergen – around 270.000 people
  • Trondheim – around 180.000 people

Did you know that in recent years, Norway has consistently been rated as the ‘ best country to live in’ by the United Nations Human Development Survey? This annual ranking is primarily based on average rates of education and employment, together with life expectancy, but also on factors such as civil rights and cultural freedom. There are 5.2 million people living in Norway and it is said that almost 32% of them have higher education.

Since we have mentioned the total population, we should also mention the ethnic groups:

  • Norwegian 2% (includes about 60.000 Sami)
  • Other European3%
  • Other 5%

Moving forward, let’s see what this country really has to offer. Norway is mostly famous for its natural scenery, fjords and glaciers, the beautiful Northern Lights and the Midnight Sun. There are 291 peaks with a sea level height of 2,000 meters (6,562 ft) or more and a topographical prominence of more than 10 metres. Fun fact, modern and ancient skiing were invented in Norway. The highest mountain peaks are:

  • Galdhøpiggen – 2469 meters 8100 ft)
  • Glittertind – 2465 meters (8087 ft)
  • Store Skagastølstinden – 2405 meters (7890 ft)

Most of us have dreamed at least once in their lives about the islands on the Mediterranean or the Caribbean and how breathtaking and exotic they are. But you know what else they can be? Mainstream and overcrowded during the season time. Norway’s beautiful islands, on the hand, have to offer an even better scenery. Here are some that captured our attention:

  • Moskenesøya, Lofoten (a great place for hiking)
  • Hidra, Vest-Agder (an idyllic landscape)
  • Vestvågøy, Lofoten (some of the best beaches for surfing in Europe)

 We’ve mentioned people, mountains, beaches, but what about attractions? According to different opinions, Norway provides tourists an amazing blend of cultural and natural wonders. Getting around the state is convenient, and the country’s top-notch transit systems offer some of the best opportunities for sightseeing, whether by rail or by fantastic coastal steamers. The top 3 are:

  • Geirangerfjord – The most popular tourist destinations in Norway are undoubtedly the fjords.
  • Arctic Circle – A wide part of northern Norway is situated inside the Arctic Circle, which provides the country with two of its most popular tourist attractions. The first, the Midnight Sun, is an incredible sight and feel, which can be experienced during the summertime. Yet, it’s the dazzling Aurora Borealis, or Northern Lights, that really steals the spotlight in the winter.
  • Rock of the Pulpit (Preikestolen) – A massive cliff best-known for providing great views and lifetime experiences.

And since we’ve already talked about the demographic and geographic factors, let’s consider the economic ones as well.  The country has a very high standard of living relative to other European nations and a highly developed healthcare system. The current development and welfare system of Norway depends on a financial surplus provided by the extraction of natural resources, in particular North Sea oil. According to United Nations statistics for 2016, Norway, along with Luxembourg (a small country) and Switzerland, are the only three countries in the world with GDP per capita of more than $70,000 that are neither island nations nor micro-states.

Norway is the 36th biggest export market in the world and, according to the Economic Complexity Index (ECI), the 22nd most dynamic economy. In 2017, Norway exported $106B and imported $84.8B, which resulted in a healthy trade surplus of $21.2B. The top 3 exports are:

  • Crude petroleum ($28.1B)
  • Pretoleum gas ($27.7B)
  • Non-fillet fresh fish ($5.61B)

In terms of imports, the most recent are:

  • Cars (7.4%)
  • Iron structures (4.8%)
  • Refined petroleum (2.7%)

Now that we’ve talked about all the general issues, it’s time to move on to more pleasant things. Let’s talk about culture and entertainment. Have nothing to do? What about watching some of the best TV that Norway has to offer? Over the last few years, a lot of very good shows have made it to the international stage. Best of part? They’re all either shot, dubbed, or subtitled in English. Some of the most popular are:

  • Ragnarok (and it has nothing to do with the Marvel movie)
  • Norsemen, Vikingane (which the Guardian termed it as “Monty Python meets Game of Thrones”)
  • Skam (a high-school sensation that most teenagers have watched)

Last but not least, the culture is represented by the culinary preparations. The favorite part of all of us. If you want to plan your vacation, we help you get the full experience through the delicious recommendations we have ‘stolen’ from those able to recommend or judge. Someone said that you don’t truly know a country — or its people — until you know its cuisine, and authentic Norwegian fare certainly isn’t something you’re likely to find back home. With respect to that, here are the top 3 highlights of this country’s most famous recipes:

  • Brown cheese (an almost caramelized fudgy-salty cheese)
  • Pickled herring (a popular dish at Christmas)
  • Potato lefse (a type of pancake eaten for breakfast)

An as another fun fact, the cheese slicer was invented way back in 1925 by Thor Bjørklund and has become a staple of all Scandinavian kitchens, and many others around the world. Amazing, right?

So, to close, for now we feel that we have covered all the categories needed to make an attempt at what it wants to be an article on travelling about this amazing country. We hope you found this article interesting, and if you liked it, we expect you both in the comments and on our site to make your voices heard. Until next time, stay safe!

Read More

How will the coronavirus outbreak impact the global economy?

Posted by on Mar 24, 2020 in by DataDiggers, by MyVoice | 0 comments

The outbreak of Covid-19, as the disease is officially called, is crippling supply chains, sapping sales of certain goods, throwing transportation into turmoil, alarming financial prices, and heightening expectations of a global recession.

There is still so much we don’t know about coronavirus, which leaves the future economic implications very unpredictable for both China and the rest of the world. It is also impossible to fully distinguish one factor— in this situation, a virus outbreak — from something else that occurs in the world that can ratchet up stocks or pressure economies. It is also impossible to determine how large, long or widespread any economic effect would be. But it is obvious from how crazy stocks are responding, and from the government’s response that the planet is on the verge of a possible coronavirus-slowdown.

In some aspects, the 2020 pandemic looks a little like the crisis that spread through the globe in 2008, where the threats that undermined economic recovery could be tracked back to mortgage-backed securities and other speculative loans. Since then, the entire environment of the workplace has changed to the freelance economy and online networks that put employers and practitioners together.

China makes up a much greater share of the global economy than it did in 2003, when SARS, another form of coronavirus disease, broke out. Today, businesses like Apple and Nike and other manufacturers and corporations around the world are now acknowledging that they experience the negative impact of the epidemic and most of them have even announced closing down their factories and stores.  Luxury brands producers, who rely on Chinese customers who spend a lot of time at home and on vacation, have also been affected. Luxury fashion brands in particular, which are highly dependent on Chinese consumers, are reaching. The investment consulting firm Bernstein’s study showed that the coronavirus could end up losing the luxury industry as much as $43 billion in revenue in 2020, says Business Insider.

Dozens of global airlines have slashed flights to and from China. Major institutions and banks have cut their forecasts for the global economy, with the Organization for Economic Co-operation and Development being one of the latest to do so.

Overall, it was a bruising year for China. A trade war with the United States left its economy expanding at the slowest pace in 30 years. Analysts predict that 4 million jobs might have been lost in 2019. The coronavirus epidemic has already been identified this year, killing thousands and infecting thousands more, putting a brake on China’s economy.

To make matters worse, the illness travels exponentially across the world, with countries like Italy, Iran and South Korea registering more than 7,000 cases each. Other European countries, such as France, Germany and Spain, have also seen a recent surge of more than 1,000 cases.

The vulnerability to multinational supply chains is far more alarming. Qualcomm (QCOM), the world’s largest supplier of mobile chips, warned that the epidemic created “major” concern about the market for smartphones and the supplies required to produce them. Auto parts shortages have also prompted Hyundai (HYMTF) to close plants in South Korea and led Fiat Chrysler (FCAU) to make contingency arrangements to prevent the same outcome at one of its plants in Europe.

The epidemic has prompted large companies and banks to that their estimates for the global economy. The Organization for Economic Co-operation and Cooperation is one of the most recent organizations to do so. In its March report, the OECD reported that it had downgraded its 2020 growth prediction for almost all economies:

According to the survey, China’s gross domestic product performance was the biggest downgrade in magnitude. The Asian economic giant is projected to rise by 4.9% this year, which is slower than the previous estimate of 5.7%, according to the OECD. Elsewhere, the global economy is predicted to expand by 2.4% in 2020—down from the 2.9% estimated earlier, the study said.

In other words, the entire planet has to suffer economically. Of course, the situation differs from state to state because not all countries have applied increased or critical measures, and daily activities can still be present. In our country of origin, Romania, education has been suspended for an unknown period of time, cultural activities as well, and recently restaurants and venues have also announced their closure. Several companies have decided to send their employees home, in the idea that they can work remotely, or have had to fire them. At the moment, this creates many irregularities, because many employees can no longer receive their salary, since their managers do not produce anything to pay them.

If the epidemic lasts far into April, the number of individuals affected would be exponentially higher and customers and supply chains will not recover easily. Not only will there be a longer period of lower investment, but even what economists call “second-round consequences” will intensify the impact. For example, sustained disruption may lead to lower customer and company trust and lower spending across a wide variety of categories. Businesses hanging on to staff, looking for a transient benefit, might start sending them down, and families will have less money to spend.

It will be impossible to stop a full-fledged recession. Worse, long-term interest rates are now close to zero, seriously restricting the Fed’s ability to improve the US economy. Fiscal policies, such as tax cuts on payrolls, may benefit, but what restricts spending at this period is not lack of resources, but lack of desire to spend.

In conclusion, whether investors are overreacting depends on the probability that the epidemic will continue. Markets also tend to expect the effects of the epidemic to last more than a few months. Nevertheless, resilience depends to a large degree on containment mechanisms and on our decision makers.

Read More

Celebrations around the world

Posted by on Mar 17, 2020 in by DataDiggers, by MyVoice | 0 comments

Over the years, traditions have shifted and with them, the way we perceive them. The dictionary.com description notes traditions as “the transfer of claims, beliefs, stories, rituals, knowledge, etc., from generation to generation, in particular by word of mouth or practice.” But if we were to follow tradition’s modern-day usage, we would come to the conclusion that we have a lot of them. Nowadays, everything can become a tradition if you’re brave enough.

Celebrations of holidays, religious practices and birthdays are the main ones, which we all know. Cultural traditions, instead, depend on where we grow up and have nothing to do with the ones mentioned above. They bring families together and connect us to people with similar values.

For those of you interested, the word tradition comes from the Latin noun traditio (handing over), which derives from the verb tradere (hand over, deliver). Traditions can be verbal or non-verbal. Non-verbal traditions include traditional artifacts (e.g. icons, monuments, symbolic objects), sites, designs, gestures, postures, customs and institutions. Oral traditions are represented by knowledge handed on through centuries by word of mouth but is not written down. This encompasses historical and spiritual traditions, literature and the rule of law (e.g. blowing out candles at birthday celebrations, tipping a waiter or waitress for good service, removing shoes before entering a home).

In today’s article we wanted to make a different kind of list/top, in which we explore traditions from around the globe. Here are a few of the world’s most popular celebrations:

  • Holi, Festival of Color (India) – happening at the beginning of March

Holi is an ancient Hindu holy festival, also known – for obvious reasons – as the Color Festival. While it originated in India as a celebration of Prahlada’s victory over the evil Hiranyakaship in Bhagavata Purana, it has since been embraced in other nations, particularly where there is a large Indian diaspora. The event, celebrated annually in the spring, ends with the traditional Holika bonfire. The outcome is a spectacular free-for-all, with plumes of water and colorful powders filling the room, where everybody – regardless of their history or status –enters the ‘ fight ‘.

  • Yi Peng Lantern Festival (Thailand) – happening on the 22nd of November

Celebrated in the northern Lanna province of Thailand, Yi Peng – performed alongside the greater Loi Krathong festival (where miniature painted water floats are released into rivers) is a festival of lights in which sky lanterns are launched into the air. As well as the impressive sight of thousands of flickering lanterns being hurled into the sky, there are occasional parades, firework shows and lighting of houses and temples. Traditionally, the festival is observed on the full moon of the 12th month of the Thai lunar calendar (usually November) and takes place in Chiang Mai, the ancient capital of the former Lanna Kingdom.

  • Oktoberfest (Germany) – happening in Autumn

Oktoberfest (German pronunciation: is the biggest Volksfest in the world (beer festival and funfair). Annually held in Munich, Bavaria, Germany, the 16-to 18-day folk festival runs from mid-September to the first Sunday in October, with more than six million participants from all over the world attending the celebration every year. High amounts of Oktoberfest beer are drunk during the event: 7,7 million liters (66,000 US bbl; 1,700,000 imp gal) were sold during the 16-day celebration in 2013. Visitors can enjoy a variety of attractions, such as thrill parks, sidewalks and sports. There is also a wide variety of conventional foods available.

  • Patrick’s Day (Ireland, and in countries with a large Irish diaspora) – happening on the 17th of March

St. Patrick’s Day is a regional festival of Irish history on or near 17 March. It is especially reminiscent of St Patrick, one of Ireland’s patron saints, who operated as a Christian in Ireland in the fifth century. St. Patrick’s Day is observed in other parts of the world, in particular by Irish societies and organizations. A lot of people wear green clothes on the day. Parties of Irish cuisine and cocktails colored in green fruit are part of this celebration. It’s a time when children can indulge in sweets and adults can share a pint of beer in a local pub. St Patrick’s Day is a holiday in Northern Ireland (United Kingdom) and the Republic of Ireland. St. Patrick’s Day is also a festive day in parts of the country where it is not a national holiday.

  • Rio de Janeiro Carnival (Brazil) – happening Friday before Ash Wednesday (51 days to Easter)

The Rio de Janeiro Carnival is a festival that takes place every year before Lent and is considered the biggest carnival in the world, with two million people on the streets every day. The first carnival festival in Rio took place in 1723. A traditional Rio carnival parade is packed with revelers, floats and ornaments from various samba schools based in Rio (about 200, split into 5 leagues / divisions). The Samba Schools Parade is the highlight of the Rio Carnival and takes place at the Sambadrome Prof. Six different groups of samba schools play every night, taking up to 80 minutes to walk down the runway.

  • Comic Con (San Diego, California) – happening usually in July

San Diego Comic-Con International is a non-profit multi-genre film and comic book festival organized annually in San Diego, California, USA. It is a four-day festival (Thursday–Sunday) organized during the summer. Originally featuring mainly comic books and science fiction / fantasy based film, television, and similar mainstream media, the festival has also incorporated a broader variety of pop culture and cultural features from nearly all genres, including horror, Western animation, anime, manga, toys, collectible card games, computer games, webcomics, and fantasy novels. Annually, about 130.000 people take part in the event.

  • La Tomatina (Valencia, Spain) – happening usually at the end of August

La Tomatina is an annual, globally-renowned Spanish festival. As the name suggests, tomatoes are a huge part of this day-long festival, with thousands taking part in a mass tomato-fueled food war. La Tomatina can trace its roots back to the mid-1940s, when the first public tomato food fight accidentally took place in Buñol. La Tomatina might not be the longest fight, but the one-hour battle is pretty serious. You’re going to get drenched with a water hose, and then, as the cannon fire happens, it’s all hands on as many tomatoes as you can bring to the enemy, who could just be your best friend.

  • AgitÁgueda (Águeda, Portugal) – happening in July

Some of the most identifiable features of this lively Portuguese festival is the construction of hundreds of bright parasols on one of the city’s avenues. Other areas of the urban environment, such as park benches, steps and utility lines, are often covered in vivid samples of street art, producing an enchanting atmosphere. The goal of the festival is to encourage new musical and creative ventures with the’ Talentos AgitAgueda,’ a competition for young artists. As well as new aspirations, there are many proven national and international acts that grace the stage.

  • Fuji Shibazakura Festival – happening during Spring time

The Fuji Shibazakura Festival takes place every year and last year welcomed more than 500,000 people. From mid-April to the end of May, 800,000 shibazakura flowers (pink moss or phlox moss) bloom near Lake Motosu in the Fuji Five Lakes area. It creates colorful colors of pink, orange, brown, and white— all set against the image of Mount Fuji. The Mt. Fuji Wonderful Food Festival also takes place during the Fuji Shibazakura Season, with stalls selling pink moss pots along with the regular season food and a variety of local souvenirs.

  • Mardi Gras (New Orleans, USA) –happening two weeks before Shrove Tuesday

Mardi Gras is a Christian celebration and a common culture tradition that traces back thousands of years to the ancient celebrations of springtime and fertility. Often known as the Carnival, it is celebrated in many countries around the world— mainly those with significant Roman Catholic populations— on the day before the holy season of Lent starts. The largest parades of the season and the best celebrations are in the two weeks leading up to Mardi Gras Day, getting people of all ages and dresses together in parades, pubs, formal balls and more.

To sum it all up, holding traditions alive is necessary for the next generation to know about a common or shared history. Traditions are values or practices that are carried down from one generation to the next within a social community or culture. Traditions are also related to one’s ethnicity or religion. Any practices are secular and shared by a wide variety of ethnic cultures.

But in our current civilization, keeping rituals alive remains difficult. Diversity of existence is essential for the adoption of new concepts and ways of being. However, the lack of sanctity attributed to rituals is a detrimental result of globalization. Some claim that customs are out of date or represent a belief structure that is not relevant in today’s world.

We would like to discover more traditions or celebrations, so let us know in the comments below what YOU use to celebrate in your country of origin.

Read More

The impact of social media on today’s society

Posted by on Mar 10, 2020 in by DataDiggers, by MyVoice | 0 comments

In just over a decade, for many, the influence of social media has gone from being an amusing bonus to being a fully integrated part of almost every area of everyday life. In the 21st century, if you aren’t online, you risk missing valuable opportunities to learn, earn, and live better. If you’re offline, you don’t have the opportunity to access valuable services or easily get updated from multiple sources, or participate actively in life and social and political discussions.

The Internet should represent our interests, aspirations and ambitions and empower us to achieve our dreams, rather than amplifying our worries and grievances or broadening the tensions of today’s society by radicalizing opposing groups.

Social media has grown exponentially since 2004, and has not yet reached its peak in prominence. There’s no doubt that social media platforms are a big source of information and news today. But not all of it. The social media platforms are unique in their way of interacting with customers. These not only provide users with a forum for connecting outside geographic and social borders, but they also provide endless possibilities for sharing user-generated content, such as photos and videos.

As it’s the beginning of the year, we felt posting the most important social media figures to keep in mind for 2020 would be a great idea. Staying on top of the latest social media trends will help improve your marketing strategy and prepare your company’s experiences with social media. Let’s take a look at the top social media statistics for 2020, and how they can help shape your year ahead.

  1. The worldwide use of social media is ever growing. It is certainly one of the most popular online activities the users participate in. The 2019 social media statistics show that there are 3.5 billion users on social media around the globe, and that figure is only increasing. That is approximately 45 percent of the current population;

  1. Since its inception, Facebook has dominated the social media environment, and continues to evolve to meet the needs of its users. With more than 2.32 billion active monthly users Facebook is the most commonly used site for social media. Active users are the people who have logged in to Facebook over the last 30 days. Around two-thirds (68 per cent) of U.S. people currently disclose being Facebook users (Pewinternet, 2018). Ironically, Facebook was also the first social network ever to cross this milestone in the third quarter of 2012.
  2. Emarketer has broken down social media usage and the findings by generation, to say the least, are significant. To break it down, 90.4% of Millennials, 77.5% of Generation X, and 48.2% of Baby Boomers are active users of social media (Emarketer, 2019). Millennials tend to be the group with the largest social media usage, and also the broadest mobile exposure. Conversely, Gen X is more likely to use smartphones. Finally, Baby Boomers are also bridging the technological gap and becoming more familiar with social media platforms.
  3. We are all gradually becoming slaves to social media in this day and age. Whether it’s scrolling down the subway streams from our bottomless Twitter, or sharing the ultimate brunch shot on Instagram before dining, social media has become inevitable. Social media research shows that social networks and texting are spent on average 3 hours a day per person (Globalwebindex, 2019).
  4. The brands are riding the social media marketing surge. 73 percent of advertisers claim that their social media marketing campaigns have been ‘ slightly effective ‘ or ‘ extremely effective ‘ for their company (Buffer, 2019).

However, apart from seeing the new baby of your friends on Facebook, or hearing about the recent encounter of Justin Bieber with the law on Twitter, what are some of the real impacts that social media has had on our culture, both positive and negative?

  • Impact on politics: Each politician who is worth his money wants to jump on the bandwagon for social media. This is because social websites have played a significant role in many worldwide campaigns, including in the United States, Iran and India. These have also helped to rally people for a cause, and in many countries motivated mass movements and political unrest.
  • Impact on businesses: Net-savvy businesses use social media to advertise their products, create
    loyalty to consumers and many other functions. Consumer experiences and reviews help companies understand the market, and fine tune their offerings and tactics. Many companies organize contests and give away prizes to enthuse consumers more often to visit their social website. Compared with television advertisements and other costly methods of marketing, the presence of social media is a cheap and effective means of improving brand image and visibility.
  • Impact on socialization: Social networks provide users with the ability to re-connect with their old friends and acquaintances, make new friends, exchange ideas, share content and photos, and many more. Users will stay up-to-date with the latest global and local trends, and take part in their variety of initiatives and events. Professionals use social media sites such as LinkedIn to improve their career prospects and business prospects. Students should collaborate with their colleagues to develop their communication skills and academic abilities. Through communicating with people in other countries you can learn about the diverse cultures and societies.

  • Cyber bullying: If you’re not vigilant, unscrupulous people will threaten you on social sites to cyber bully and harass you. Kids in classrooms, young girls and women can fall prey to online attacks that can create tension and distress. Do not take it lying down if you’re a victim of cyber bullying so try to take appropriate legal action against the perpetrator.
  • Impact on privacy: What you post on the Net will come back to haunt you if you are not careful. By sharing personal information on social sites, people can be exposed to crimes such as identity theft, bullying etc. When recruiting an employee, several businesses run a background check over the Internet in order to see if that person will embarrass the company or not.

Social media, and the internet as a whole, has given people more access to information than ever before. And not just more access but better access-at any time anyone with a mobile device can check for almost any information they need.

“The amount of digital information increases tenfold every five years. Moreover, there are now many more people who interact with information. Between 1990 and 2005 more than 1 billion people worldwide entered the middle class. As they get richer, they become more literate, which fuels information growth.” – The Economist

What’s the answer, then? Is social media fundamentally good, or does it have a “negative impact on society”? Social media as stated in this article has its benefits and drawbacks. It is up to each user to carefully use social sites to improve their professional and social life, and to exercise caution to ensure that online hazards do not fall victim to them. Our advice, though, is to always be careful and not to get too lost in the endless world of the Internet.

 

 

Read More

How do we protect ourselves from the flu?

Posted by on Mar 3, 2020 in by DataDiggers, by MyVoice | 0 comments

Changing seasons does not always come with good news. Often, this can increase the occurrence of colds or viruses, so it is essential to know how we protect ourselves and what we can do to avoid such unpleasant situations.

As for today’s topic, we all know that lately things have taken a rather strange turn. With this occasion, we considered it important to do some kind of informing.

Did you know that most people get a minimum of 2 colds a year? Well, you could also be one of the 1 in 5 Americans coming down with the flu. Do not worry though, you can beat those odds and make this cold and flu season different if you take the right steps, which we will present later on our discussion.

A good placed to start is by understanding the differences between terms. Cold and flu are similar, but the two conditions are different in manifestation. Both are caused by viruses which are contagious. Often the cold is mild, it starts slowly but may take longer. There is this old saying that a cold can last for 7 days if it’s treated and a whole week if it’s not. The flu is often more severe, happens suddenly and passes in a shorter period of time.

Various researches showed that people who practice good hygiene, get sick less often than those who do not regularly wash their hands or cover their mouths when they cough. One of the best ways to prevent seasonal flu is to get vaccinated every year (although it is a very delicate topic, that can stir up discussions pretty easily), but good health habits can often help stop germ spread and prevent respiratory diseases such as flu. Thus, if there is one tip to take seriously during the cold and flu season, it is to soap up at the sink. A 2011 survey conducted by the Hygiene Council, an international group to reduce the spread of infectious disease, examined the hygiene behaviors of more than 1,000 people in 12 countries. The results were the following:

  • Respondents who reported being concerned about good manners (such as covering their mouths to avoid affecting others with cough or sneeze) were 2.5 times more likely to report avoiding colds and flu.
  • Respondents who considered hand-washing a common practice were twice as likely as those who didn’t care about hand-washing to report better health.
  • Women were 1.6 times more likely than men to frequently wash their hands with soap, and were 1.3 times more likely to report frequent cleaning of home surfaces.
  • People over age of 55 were 1.6 times more likely than younger adults to wash their hands with soap.

Since we are not doctors, and all of our writings are either from personal experience and knowledge, or from after long exploration, we should get to the main point of this article and find out together how to protect ourselves and stay healthy during the most difficult period of the season.

  1. Consume tons of fruits! Fresh fruit not only tastes good but also strengthens your immune system. For example, bananas, apples and grapes provide the necessary vitamin B and energy boosts. Also, instead of coffee, try ginger tea with honey and a slice of lemon.

  1. Stay hydrated! Increasing your intake of water will help you stay healthy and reduce your chances of getting down with flu. Drinking extra fluids prevents dehydration caused by fever when you’re feeling under the weather, loosens mucus and keeps your throat moist. Warm liquids are preferable, and there is some evidence to suggest that inhaling steam early in the course of a cold or flu may reduce the spread of viruses in your upper airway.
  2. Get some fresh air! Breaks are important, and fresh air helps clear your head. Even if it is cold, fresh air keeps your brain on its toes. Take a break, therefore, at least once in the afternoon to regain energy. In addition, the office should also be ventilated on a regular basis because dry, sticky air causes viruses and makes employees tired, which can kill productivity.
  3. Maintain a good hygiene! Good hygiene is necessary for any season. In winter, however, employees should prioritize their hygiene above all else. Wash your hands with plenty of soap and warm water to effectively kill all bacteria and viruses. In addition, employers should provide disinfectant gels in all kitchens and bathrooms.
  4. Take the day off if needed! Nobody benefits when your colleagues cough and sneeze. When a team member is sick and stays at work, they could unintentionally make the entire office sick. Therefore, if you’re feeling sick, stay at home to recover properly.
  5. Have a good diet! Fresh, healthy food is good for the body and the soul, therefore make it a priority. Research shows that diets that are too low in protein can deplete the immune system. So, make sure you get foods that are rich in protein all day long, especially fish, eggs and yogurt.
  6. Avoid close contact! Avoid intimate contact with sick people. Keep your distance from others when you are sick, to protect them from getting sick too.
  7. Get a good night’s sleep!  Sleeplessness can deeply inhibit your immune system. Get a full night’s sleep to keep the natural defenses of your body to optimum efficiency.
  8. Exercise regularly! Regular exercise can not only reduce stress, but research suggests exercise can stimulate the immune system and promote healthy sleep. In a study reported in Sports and Exercise in Medicine and Science, scientists found that modest exercise could prevent elderly people from getting colds and flu.
  9. Do your laundry! Clothing, towels and bedding can be a key culprit in spreading infectious germs and flu, and yes, those favorite stuffed animals fall into this category too. Wash items in the hottest water, and use color-safe bleach to wipe off germs.

Viruses are present throughout the year, but there are ways of preparing for cold and flu season and reducing chances of getting sick. Getting an annual flu vaccine and exercising good hygiene are great ways for one person and others to protect themselves. Some lifestyle and dietary changes that may decrease the likelihood of getting sick include regular exercise, zinc and fiber intake, and a good sleeping schedule.

Obviously, these tips are not universally valid and cannot be considered 100% effective, but if taken into consideration, they can help strengthen a person’s immune system.

It is important to know what our body needs and what we can do to help and protect it. Also, it is our duty to take care of ourselves, to have a healthy lifestyle and not to panic if something really happens. Panic is more and more common among people, sometimes appearing even in moments of uncertainty.

 

Read More

Should we trust polls?

Posted by on Feb 25, 2020 in by DataDiggers, by MyVoice | 0 comments

With election season fast approaching, we have decided to make a discussion on this topic and see if the polls we all seem to be so keen on, are to be trusted or not.

It’s no surprise that the news cycle is brimming with polling. You’ll be bombarded with the new “statistics” about the number of people from planet Earth who believe in God; the distribution between dog-lovers and cat-lovers; and how many people between the ages of 65 and 85 own a Nintendo.

First, some clarification: The object of any poll is not to predict what will happen. Instead, a poll is like a public opinion barometer which tries to measure how people feel about politicians during a short window of time as accurately as possible. Clearly, those feelings have a major impact on who wins elections at the top, so they’re what most pundits use to forecast an election result.

Political polling wasn’t always so scientific. In the late 19th and early 20th centuries, journalists would conduct informal straw polls of average citizens to gauge public opinion on politicians and upcoming elections. In the 1930s, the influential “Literary Digest” magazine published via mail and telephone public opinion polls of its large subscriber base, assuming that a large sample size would inevitably produce infallible outcomes. The magazine failed to notice that its readership was richer and more likely to be Democratic than the typical U.S. elector, causing the paper to erroneously forecast Alf Landon’s landslide victory over Franklin D. Roosevelt in 1936.

 Today, predicting the future is difficult, but some suppositions are stronger than others. Later polls are less likely to be reliable, as there is more room for some game-changing event (scandal, economic collapse, meteorite obliterating D.C.) to occur between the survey and the final voting. Perhaps candidates could drop out of the race, freeing up potential voters to give someone else their support. Then, there are individual flaws that can affect outcomes: people may say they’re going to vote and then choose not to. Can we blame them?

It must be said, from the outset, that the science of public opinion polling is not accurate. There is always a margin of error. In ordinary surveys, this margin can go up to 3%. It doesn’t seem like much, but it can be the difference between 4% and 7%. That is, whether or not to have Members of the European Parliament. Or win the presidential election.

The problem is that sociologists’ lives are compromised by certain factors. Another such is the so-called “spiral of silence”. When people feel their view is a minority, or even stigmatized, they would refrain from openly sharing it. But they’ll convey that in the vote booth’s safe. Another thing that can happen is that some people are simply not honest about their preferences.

Now, given the state of the polling in 2016, and despite Hillary Clinton’s inevitably mistaken expectations of a victory, can we trust polls that running into 2020?  Here are five reasons why we should be more distrustful of political polls than ever before.

  1. Media can be fallible

You may have noted this: a new poll – often a poll commissioned and released by a media company – comes out and is heavily publicized by the media. In doing so, the media often increase the name recognition of whichever candidate is in the lead. As a result, that candidate becomes even more well-known and gets an extra boost the next time people are surveyed. Donald Trump was 2%polling before announcing his candidacy. Immediately afterwards (when the newspapers committed 20% to 30% of the campaign headlines to one candidate) his interest soared to 11%.

  1. Journalists can be fallible

You’ve read that right, even journalists who are scientifically literate, may be stupid sometimes. It’s the reason that just about everyone has failed to predict the spectacular rise of Trump. That’s not just because the polling methodology itself is faulty (more on that below), it’s also because the person performing the research is influenced by it. Personal experience and personal beliefs get in the way. Many of the journalists who dismissed Trump with projections that he had a mere 2% chance of winning simply didn’t know any potential Trump supporters in their personal lives – they didn’t get it. And their personal beliefs also encouraged a bit of wishful thinking – they didn’t want to get it.

  1. Predicting the future is not easy

Consider how different your present and future responses would be to questions like: “What would you eat if you had to eat your lunch right now?”Or” If you had to pick a romantic partner right now, who would you choose?”You might argue that food, romance, and politics are not all that similar, but the answers all point to a fundamental and consistent human preferences truth: things change.

  1. It’s hard to contact people

41% of U.S. households had a cellphone in 2013, but no landline, and that number is rising. This poses a problem for polling companies because the Telephone Consumer Protection Act of 1991 means that these cell phones cannot just be autodial. Not being able to autodial means that interviewing certain people is incredibly costly and time-consuming for companies.

  1. Most people don’t want to be contacted

Response rates (that is the percentage of people who respond when questioned to a survey) have plummeted. It was over 90 percent in the 1930s; it was 9 percent in 2012, and since then it has continued to decline. Whether they’re cold calling or they’ve created a panel of individuals that they’re able to survey repeatedly, polling firms all face the same basic issue of how to encourage people to answer questions.

We thought of explaining some recent examples of polls that garnered big headlines but that turned out to be innacurate.

  • On August 13th, reports blacked about a Fox News poll rating the Democrats and saying Donald Trump would lose to each of the top three Democratic candidates if the election was held today. This poll reached the mainstream news echo chamber for a week, as a variety of doomsday articles were created by reporters. The statement of course hit the news for another week. Here too the results appear to be distorted. This points out that 8% more Democrats than Republicans were interviewed by Fox News.
  • Only remember the Trump vs. Clinton campaign in 2016 for evidence of the distorting results of such polls. Of the twenty polls conducted by some of the US’s most reputable news sources, only one (IBD / TIPP) gave Trump the lead on election day. Most of these polls gave Clinton a 70 percent chance of winning and some were persuaded by 99 percent. Not unexpectedly, a month before the election, CNBC released an article titled, “Trump Win All but Possible Based on Recent Races.” CNBC was obviously pretty far off the mark. Once, attention to the data. 43% of the people interviewed in the October 2016 study were Democrats, 36% were Republicans, and 16% appeared to be Democratic. It’s probable that seven percentage points are more than just a rounding error, based on their estimate and the actual election result.

As said in the beginning of our discussion, the election period is approaching, including in our country of origin, Romania. It is important not to be fooled by appearances and not to rejoice earlier than is the case. This is true in any other state. This type of polls cannot be trusted, for the reasons mentioned above, so it is preferable to be cautious, not to believe anything that appears in the media and to look only after reliable sources (if any).

Of course, it is up to everyone to choose whether or not they want to believe what is predicted in election campaigns. We do not want to influence anyone, but we hope you will remember what was said and make the right choice on the ballots.

 

Read More

How dangerous is pollution and how can we stop it?

Posted by on Feb 18, 2020 in by DataDiggers, by MyVoice | 0 comments

Pollution, we hear about it all from kindergarten, throughout college and later on read about it in newspapers every other day. What is it then? Pollution happens as chemicals and impurities contaminate the natural environment; this causes changes that adversely affect our regular lives. Pollutants are the key elements or emission components which are usually different forms of waste materials. Pollution disturbs our ecosystem and the environmental balance, so it’s crucial for us to understand the harness it does, or better said the harness WE cause without realizing. Pollution has reached its peak with modernization and development in our lives; giving rise to global warming and human illness.

Pollution occurs in various forms; air, water, soil, radioactive, noise, thermal / heat, and light. That type of emission has two points of occurrence; the point and the non-point. Point sources can be easily identified, monitored and controlled, although nonpoint sources are difficult to control.

The earth is polluted by many of the activities and products which make modern human life possible. Even areas which are relatively untouched by changes in the 21st century suffer the pollution impacts. In the next part we will break down the various types of pollutions and their effects.

  • AIR POLLUTION is the most prominent and dangerous source of pollution. This happens for a lot of reasons. Excessive fuel burning – which is a requirement in our daily lives for heating, transportation and other commercial activities – emits an enormous amount of chemical substances into the environment every day. Industrial processes also emit particulate matter such as dioxide, carbon monoxide and other noxious gases. Smoking and cooking emissions can pollute indoor areas. Once released into the air, some of those contaminants lead to smog and acid rain. Long-term exposure can also lead to significant changes in climate, which can have far-reaching negative impacts on health, water and habitats.

  • WATER POLLUTION has taken toll on all of the earth’s living animals. About 60% of the species live in bodies of water. This happens because of several factors, such as industrial waste discharged into the waterways, cans coming off ships after floods, garbage flooding down city streets onto waterways flowing into the sea and waste from landfills overflowing into lakes or even straight into the seas and oceans. All of these cause an imbalance in the water leading to its severe contamination and death of aquatic species.

 

  • In the last 50 years, the use of PESTICIDES AND FERTILIZERS on crops has grown by 26%, driving growth over crop production worldwide. But the environmental consequences were serious. Indiscriminate use of pesticides and fertilizers can pollute surrounding land and water, and when it rains, contaminants can flow into local lakes, rivers, and groundwater. Pesticides, including beneficial insects, soil bacteria and fish, can kill non-target species. Fertilizers are not specifically harmful but their presence in freshwater and marine environments can change the nutrient balance. This modification will cause algae to grow explosively due to excess nutrients.

  • Artificial LIGHT AND NOISE POLLUTION often block out natural scenery. The noises of oil and gas explorations in the Arctic are so loud that belugas, bowhead whales and other sea life have had trouble feeding and breeding. Light pollution interferes with circadian rhythms for both humans and animals, and can even lead to cancer growth. Sea turtles can also be harmed by light pollution. Adult and hatchling sea turtles are attracted along the beach towards lights, believing that they are going towards the moon/sky. Therefore, coastal projects are advised to shut off their lights or cover them at night

 

  • If RADIOACTIVE POLLUTION happens, just know it is highly dangerous. It may occur due to malfunctions at the nuclear plant, improper disposal of nuclear waste, injuries, etc. It causes cancer, miscarriage, autism, birth defects; it can sterilize soil, and it can affect air and water.

Currently, mankind is facing the most important and disastrous type of pollution; the air pollution.

All regions of the world are affected by air pollution. However, populations in low-income cities are the most impacted. According to the latest database on air quality, 97% of cities in low-and middle-income countries with more than 100,000 inhabitants do not meet the guidelines on air quality of the WHO. However, in high-income countries, that percentage decreases to 49%. Air pollution kills an estimated seven million people worldwide every year. WHO data shows that 9 out of 10 people breathe air containing high levels of pollutants.

Even though pollution death tolls are eye-opening, they aren’t telling the whole story. In 2016, the World Health Organization compiled a list of the top ten cause of death from, “environmental risk factors, such as air, water and soil pollution, chemical exposures, climate change, and ultraviolet radiation.

  1. Stroke – 2.5 million deaths annually
  2. Ischaemic heart disease – 2.3 million deaths annually
  3. Unintentional injuries (such as road traffic deaths) – 1.7 million deaths annually
  4. Cancers – 1.7 million deaths annually
  5. Chronic respiratory diseases – 1.4 million deaths annually
  6. Diarrheal diseases – 846,000 deaths annually
  7. Respiratory infections – 567,000 deaths annually
  8. Neonatal conditions – 270,000 deaths annually
  9. Malaria – 259,000 deaths annually
  10. Intentional injuries (such as suicides) – 246,000 deaths annually”

It is important to remember that cardiovascular and respiratory problems caused the bulk of deaths because pollution impacts our health over time. Continuous breathing with carcinogens in air and even living in a polluted area has acute and chronic effects on your organs and different systems.

A new study by IQAir AirVisual and Greenpeace has identified the cities where air pollution is highest. The list is dominated by India, with seven of the worst 10 cities, and 22 of the worst 30.

Gurugram, a financial and commercial center of nearly 1 million residents situated about 30 kilometers southwest of New Delhi, is the most polluted city on earth. There, in 2018, average levels of air pollution were more than 13 times the amount allowed under WHO standards, although air quality had actually improved marginally since the previous year.

We believe that change must start with each of us, we cannot expect others to do everything for us. Therefore, we encourage all those who will read this to take care and implement in your day-to-day lives at least some of the actions proposed below:

  • Conserve energy – at home, at work, everywhere.
  • Look for the ENERGY STAR label when buying home or office equipment.
  • Carpool, use public transportation, bike, or walk whenever possible.
  • Follow gasoline refueling instructions for efficient vapor recovery, being careful not to spill fuel and always tightening your gas cap securely.
  • Consider purchasing portable gasoline containers labeled “spill-proof,” where available.
  • Keep car, boat, and other engines properly tuned.
  • Be sure your tires are properly inflated.
  • Use environmentally safe paints and cleaning products whenever possible.
  • Mulch or compost leaves and yard waste.
  • Consider using gas logs instead of wood.

 

On days when high particle levels are expected, take these extra steps to reduce pollution:

  • Reduce the number of trips you take in your car.
  • Reduce or eliminate fireplace and wood stove use.
  • Avoid burning leaves, trash, and other materials.
  • Avoid using gas-powered lawn and garden equipment.

All this pollution is felt by global warming, which is becoming more and more worrying. According to new opinions, the planet (meaning climate) has only 18 months to be saved, so it is our duty to take attitude and get serious, otherwise it will be too late.

What are you doing to combat pollution? How many of you recycle? How many of you use public transport in the days when the weather outside is not so nice? How many of you go shopping with your own bags, without buying unnecessary plastic ones? Let us know!

If you love to express your opinions, we can give more power to your voice. The more we are, the more powerful! Join one of our panels!

 

 

 

Read More

A further look into the online world of surveys

Posted by on Feb 11, 2020 in by DataDiggers, by MyVoice | 0 comments

“Survey sites inspect an area where work is suggested, collecting information for a design or estimate to complete the preliminary tasks required for outdoor activities. It can determine the exact location, accessibility, best site alignment and obstacles location”.

Surveys are relevant for the general public and the consumers to gather reviews, opinions, critique and suggestions. Normally, surveys used to be printed printed in the past and passed on to individuals for completion. As the times changed, feedback gathering became very simple with the advent of online surveys, as the manual aspect of the collation process was omitted.

In the online survey room, there are a range of rivals, but SurveyMonkey is perhaps the best known and most commonly used. SurveyMonkey is on par with industry standards, but adds a lot of other features which makes data collection and analysis extremely easy. And for those who don’t know, SurveyMonkey is an online survey software that helps you create and run professional surveys. This very powerful online application has become quite popular and is perhaps the most well-known in the industry.

But before getting into more details regarding SurveyMonkey, we should find out together what these survey softwares really do.

Survey software lets users create online surveys, quizzes, interviews, and other web types quickly. These are then given out to the clients of an organization or user base to perform market research or to seek reviews and opinions.

Survey software products provide insight into what the participants think about events, projects, customer service, or another aspect of their business. Such tools are third-party add-ons that work to improve marketing and consumer service teams ‘ efforts to understand how and what their clients want to do. Surveys are most often distributed via email blasts or on a company’s website as pop-ups. EFM solutions are more applicable to enterprise use cases and provide important functions such as estimation of the Net Promoter Score (NPS) and CRM and related software integrations.

They also offer more standardized analytical tools, causes, and post-feedback behavior compared to survey products. Goods can only be classified in both if they provide a tiered pricing range where their simple choice fits best in Survey and their more sophisticated choices are expressed more specifically in EFM.

To qualify for inclusion in the Survey category, a product must:

  • Enable query formation and customization
  • Gather, report on, and archive response data
  • Be exchanged and transmitted

Surveys are extremely useful for companies. Internally, surveys can be used to gauge employee satisfaction and, externally, to engineer new approaches to marketing or sales. That said, the glut of data that BI tools collect should equally be accessible to human marketers who need to make sense of it. And for surveys, not just any online survey tool should do.

 

With the huge demand in software that can analyze and recognize the patterns in such feedback, it’s projected that this industry is expected to grow to a worth of US$6.9 billion by 2022. One of the top-rated solutions in this area is SurveyMonkey.

Below, we gathered a list of top survey softwares. The main one is SurveyMonkey because of its wide popularity.

SurveyMonkey can be used to launch a variety of online survey projects for various purposes, such as getting feedback from employees or customers, competitive analysis, fast polling, market research, etc. It is an easy-to-use application that allows you to customize your surveys to suit your target audience.

It provides innovative and automatic tools to help users perform different forms of online surveys, reach millions of respondents, and collect results in real time. Besides, by using the monitoring and data analysis tools, you can analyze the data gathered. The software also promotes teamwork, as you can publish and exchange the files with your team members in different formats. It encourages companies to make smart, data-driven decisions and enhance their activities and processes.

Furthermore, we will present some key benefits of using SurveyMonkey:

  • You can create simple as well as complex surveys in minutes.
  • It offers an intuitive interface and customizable features.
  • The app provides a wide question bank that has specific inbuilt and customizable questions on a range of topics.
  • Your survey data is protected as the vendor uses the latest encryption techniques.
  • Data is validated by HIPAA, Norton, and TRUSTe features.
  • Finally, you can export survey results to PDF and Excel.

 

In the end, we will list the main competitors and present them briefly in order to offer you a better look of what each one of them does:

  1. Qualtrics Research Core is mainly a market research tool but it comes with the elegant features of multichannel survey management. Equipped with a drag-and-drop gui, this tool allows you to create stunning surveys that suit your branding without having to have detailed coding know-how.
  2. SoGoSurvey is an online survey platform that is intuitive and user-friendly and specifically designed to help you connect members and build relationships. It comes with an extensive list of pre-constructed templates and question styles for the hassle-free survey development.
  3. Qualaroo is an application designed on a simple premise: helping you to receive and interpret customer feedback. You can then act on those ideas armed with such knowledge, helping you to create more leads and retain your existing customer base.
  4. Zoho Survey is an online survey tool designed to be quick enough for novice users but efficient enough for advanced users to use. This offers a wide selection of survey models for faster setup but also comes with a drag-and-drop builder where you can design eye-catching surveys from scratch.
  5. SurveyGizmo makes it easy for consumers to create and administer questionnaires, quizzes, interviews and surveys of all kinds. The tool can be used to perform academic research, reach out to customers and maintain workplace and corporate partnerships.

 

Read More

Top 3, in Mexico

Posted by on Feb 4, 2020 in by DataDiggers, by MyVoice | 0 comments

Some time ago we started talking about South America in our already known series, the Top 3. Today, we decided not to leave things unfinished and to explore in more depth this continent, because we are convinced that it has much to offer.

Mexico, the place that many have the impression that they know all kinds of things, is a country of mysteries, with a fascinating history, a country that does not immediately reveal itself to tourists. This could be a reason why a fact it could be quite difficult to understand it, because of its strong diversity. Mexico is the most northern Hispanic country in Latin America and also the most populous Spanish-speaking country in the world. And because it is in fact a federal republic, its official name is the Estados Unidos Mexicanos.

More than half of the Mexican people live in the center of the country, while vast areas are sparsely settled in the arid north and tropical south. Let’s see what the most populous cities are:

  • Mexico City – 8.851.080 people
  • Ecatepec – 1.655.015 people
  • Guadalajara – 1.495.182 people

Mexico is a huge country in its own right and figuratively: 120 million people on an area as many as 20 European states at one place, live at their place in a mix of culture rarely encountered elsewhere on this earth.

Mexican society is marked by disparities of wealth and poverty, with a small middle class wedged between, on the one hand, an elite group of landowners and businessmen and, on the other, the rural and urban poor. Yet despite the challenges it faces as a developing country, Mexico is one of Latin America’s chief economic and political forces. Here are some statistics regarding the states with the highest GDP ($millions):

  • Mexico City – 169.636 mil
  • Mexico State – 90.987 mil
  • Nuevo León – 75.187 mil

Because winter is coming to an end, we thought Mexico will be a point of interest for many of people that love exotic destinations. Mexico is a country of amazing food, culture, and stunning ruins. It also features an extensive coastline and is home to some of the most amazing beaches in the world. There are nearly 500 beaches that span over the Pacific Ocean, the Gulf of Mexico, the Gulf of California, and the Caribbean Sea. Let’s have a look at the best beaches:

  • Tulum – This picturesque beach features crystal clear waters, palm trees, and pristine white sand. There are several limestone pools nearby which are perfect for swimming and several amazing beach hotels in the area.
  • Akumal Beach – The name ‘Akumal’ translates to “Place of Turtles” and for good reason. This is a favorite place for large sea turtles to come and lay their eggs. In case you are into snorkeling and scuba diving, Akumal Beach is home to amazing coral beds which feature various fish life.
  • Playa Las Gatas – A white-sand beach that’s named after the whiskered nurse sharks that used to swim in these waters a long time ago.

Not only Mexico encourages diversity, but we do as well. Taking into consideration people’s needs, we came up with different solutions in order to make your holiday the best one. Not everyone enjoys the sun, so there’s always an alternative. Mexico makes for an ideal hiking destination; it has a number of excellent mountain ranges and (generally) ideal weather, which more than compensate for the often-brutal altitude problems posed by Mexico City, the country’s capital. There’s no question that the best time to hike in this North American country is during the dry season, which lasts from October to May, and provides temperate conditions and the opportunity to experience some truly epic hiking trails. The most epic hikes to take are:

  • Copper Canyon/ Tararecua Canyon – this approx. five-day hiking trail was ranked one of the best in the world by National Geographic and it’s easy to see why.
  • Desierto de los Leones – you’re far more likely to see hordes of hikers, bikers and families tackling the craggy trails of this spectacular national park, than you are to see lions roaming amongst the trees.
  • Chipinque – This northern natural park, located in Monterrey, Nuevo León, is blessed with a wealth of excellent hiking routes that will delight experienced pros and introduce newbies to the world of outdoor fitness.

But before we venture on any mountainous relief, it is good to know what heights these mountains can reach. The 3 highest peaks are:

  • Pico de Orizaba – 5680m – This mountain is located on the border of the states of Puebla and Veracruz and is classified as a dormant volcano.
  • Popocatépetl – 5500m – This is the most active volcano in the country. In 1947, it had a major eruption. Since then, it has had significant activity, emitting smoke, ash, and lava as well as producing tremors.
  • Iztaccíhuatl – 5220m – This mountain has 4 individual peaks which, according to local beliefs, represent the head, chest, knees, and feet of a woman.

Still on the geographic side, we want to talk about national parks also. There are almost 70 of them, dotted across the country. Here are the most must-visit Mexican national parks to add to your ‘to do list’:

  • Sumidero Canyon National Park, Chiapas
  • Grutas de Cacahuamilpa National Park, Guerrero
  • Islas Marietas National Park, Nayarit

Regarding the economy, Mexico is the 9th largest export economy in the world and the 21st most complex economy according to the Economic Complexity Index (ECI). In 2017, Mexico exported $418B and imported $356B, resulting in a positive trade balance of $62.6B. In 2017 the GDP of Mexico was $1.15T and its GDP per capita was $18.3k. The top 3 exports are:

  • Cars ($45.1B)
  • Vehicle parts ($28B)
  • Delivery trucks ($22.5B)

In terms of imports, Mexico imported $356B, making it the 13th largest importer in the world. During the last five years the imports of Mexico have increased at an annualized rate of 0.4%, from $337B in 2012 to $356B in 2017. The most recent imports are led by:

  • Vehicle parts (7.1%)
  • Refined Petroleum (6.6%)
  • Computers (2.7%)

Putting all these numbers aside, we should also focus on the more beautiful part of Mexico, the cultural one. The Nobel Prize-winning Mexican writer Octavio Paz said, ‘The art of the fiesta has been debased almost everywhere else, but not in Mexico. Mexico is a rich and historical country that is known not only for its unique Latin flavors, but for the great sense of fun and life that reverberates through its people, who know plenty about throwing a great fiesta. For those looking to escape to this scenic and thrilling part of the world, and are after the ultimate in a good party, here are 3 of the top festivals in Mexico:

  • Festival de Mexico – This huge and energetic festival takes place in the heart of the Federal District and operates across 50 different sites that host shows ranging from dance and theatre, to music and art.
  • Día de Muertos – Unlike what the name of this festival actually states, the Mexican festival Day of the Dead, or Día de Muertos is a celebration of life! In actuality, November 1 and 2 are important. While the 1st is dedicated to children, and is called as the “Day of the Innocents”, the second is dedicated to the people who have passed on.
  • Fiesta de la Candelaria – Thousands of people flock to the colonial riverside town of Tlacotalpan in early February to celebrate Candelaria (Candlemas), a religious celebration featuring a glorious image of the Virgin being floated down the river.

We could not end this article without taking a trip into the kitchen as well. Mexico has long been among the world’s most popular holiday destinations, attracting sun seekers and food lovers alike. If you’re lucky enough to be planning a trip, make sure you sample the best tastes and flavors the country has to offer with at least 3 dishes to try while you’re there:

  • Chilaquiles – This popular traditional breakfast dish features lightly fried corn tortillas cut into quarters and topped with green or red salsa (the red is slightly spicier). Scrambled or fried eggs and pulled chicken are usually added on top, as well as cheese and cream. Chilaquiles are often served with a healthy dose of frijoles (refried beans).
  • Quesadilla – Made of round tortilla, folded in half and filled with Oaxaca cheese, then cooked until the cheese has melted. Quesadillas are served with green or red sauce and chopped onion and acidified cream on top, to add taste to cheese.
  • Taco – It is a traditional Mexican dish composed of a corn or wheat tortilla folded or rolled around a filling. A taco can be made with a variety of fillings, including beef, chicken, seafood, vegetables, and cheese, allowing for great versatility and variety.

Now that our journey has come to an end, we would like you to tell us if we missed any important facts about Mexico. Share them in a comment, for the world to know!

If you love to express your opinions, we can give more power to your voice. The more we are, the more powerful! Join one of our panels!

 

 

 

Read More

What to attend in 2020 and other market research insights

Posted by on Jan 28, 2020 in by DataDiggers, by MyVoice | 0 comments

Given that the year has just begun, it would be good to inform ourselves about the events that will take place in 2020, in terms of market research, as this is ultimately our field of activity, right?

In today’s article we will find out what these meetings actually are and what is the difference between a conference, a seminar, a workshop and a symposium. Also, considering that February is approaching fast, we will also review the event that DataDiggers will be attending. To find out what it is all about, we invite you to read the following lines:

You may want to attend several different types of academic activities, such as conferences, lectures, workshops, and symposia. Each has its own advantages and disadvantages and they usually have a different slant. For starters, scale is usually a big factor in whether it is seen as a conference or a symposium.

When speaking about academic activities, there are different types that you may want to attend, so it’s better to know what to expect from each of them, in case you have never been in the position of being present at one before. Each has its own advantages and disadvantages and they usually have a different slant. Of starters, size is usually the main factor in whether something is seen as a conference of symposium. Generally, the distinction between a conference and a symposium is that it will be a either a big gathering or a small one.

Moreover, the difference between a conference and a seminar may be that a conference has a more general theme that centers on presentations and lectures, while a workshop is typically more specific and, so to speak, hands-on.

However, understanding exactly what you are getting into is nice, particularly if you are really delivering a paper or giving a lecture. So, let’s immerse ourselves in the specific differences between a conference, a seminar, a workshop and a symposium.

What is a conference?

A conference is generally understood to be a gathering of multiple people to address a particular subject. It is often confused with convention, symposium, or colloquium. While the scale and purpose of a conference varies from the others, the term can be used to describe the general concept. A convention is broader than a conference; it is a meeting of delegates from several communities. Innovative ideas are thrown about at a conference and new information is exchanged between experts. The function might be as follows:

  • An academic conference is a meeting of scientists or scholars, where results of study are discussed or a workshop is conducted;
  • It is a business conference for people working in the same organization or sector. We sit together to discuss new business patterns and prospects;
  • A trade conference takes place on a larger scale. There are members of the public, in addition to businessmen, who come to network with vendors and make new connections. Such a conference is made up of workshops and written presentations.
  • The unconference varies from the conventional conference as it removes high costs, top-down structure of organisation and sponsored presentations. Both members are similarly informed about the subject and an interactive mode of debate follows; typically, without a single speaker addressing the crowd.

Most conferences will have one or more keynote speakers to give the keynote address. These are common at conferences in academic and business types. The chosen speakers are prominent personalities in the related field, and their participation is expected to draw more people to attend the meeting.

What is a seminar?

The distinction between a seminar and a workshop is that a seminar tends to take place within one institution or organization, and will often be a small group of people – say, between five and ten participants – who come together to reflect on a particular issue.

Seminars will often be less professionally planned than conferences, so a presentation may be made by one person but it will also be short. At these activities there is more emphasis on dialogue so feel free to chime in with your thoughts on the subject during hand. Seminars are a great place to test out some new ideas or theories you’ve been thinking about but still aren’t 100% confident.

 

Another distinction between a seminar and a conference is that while conferences normally last for a few days to a week, seminars will be much shorter. You may be in the afternoon for an hour or two, instead of spending the whole day. Many divisions would hold monthly meetings, so you could meet on the first Monday of each month, for example.

What is a workshop?

The distinction between a workshop and a conference is that workshops are generally smaller than conferences, normally only a day or two long and are devoted to a single topic being discussed. Though these events are held as part of a group, you will often meet guests from outside who are also attending them. Also, worth mentioning is that they are less organized than a conference but more formal than a seminar. Workshops can sometimes be more attendee representative than other activities.

What is a symposium?

The main difference between a conference and a symposium is that a symposium aims to be similar to a conference but smaller. The concept of a symposium is not entirely clear – the dictionary of Oxford Advanced Learner defines it clearly as ‘ a small conference. ‘

Compared to a workshop, though, a symposium tends to focus more on a particular issue than a more general theme. A number of experts will generally come together to present their theories and reports to one another. Similar to a conference is that the focus is on presentations and lectures, and less hands-on than a workshop, a symposium is typically completed in a single day.

Entrepreneurs and experts in market research are hungry for faster and better insights. And so we tell it, the business of market research is growing at an unprecedented pace. Futuristic technology and automation are making the MR landscape revolutionise.

WHAT TO ATTEND THIS YEAR?

Staying in touch with the latest trends to provide world-class perspectives is very critical for Market research practitioners. If you’re a professional and you’re looking to gain new insights, network with peers and develop new ideas, we suggest attending one of the most important global market research event: The London Quirk’s.

Quirk’s London conference this year is completely unmissable, with more to give than ever before. In the corporate community, Quirk’s is so special that it has shut out costly keynote speakers and lunches, concentrating instead on creating a functional, stimulating learning environment. The Quirk’s activity on 11/12 February is a two-day event, filled with instructional and networking sessions offered by client-side experts or testing providers. As with all Quirk’s meetings, all speaking slots are reserved for educational value alone, with attendees subscribing to the ‘ Q-mandments ‘ – sessions need to be engaging, insightful and above all sales-pitch-free.

 

So far, there is an estimated count of 1000-5000 visitors and 100-500 exhibitors. We’ll also be at Booth 155 in the exhibit hall, waiting for all of you that want to meet us. Don’t be shy!

Here is a list of market research and insight conferences, trade shows, summits, seminars for 2020. If you would like to add a market research or marketing research event to our list, let us know and maybe we will be there!

Date

Event

Location

Organiser
 

January 27-29

Media Insights and Engagement Conference  

New Orleans, Louisiana, USA

 

KNect365

January 29-31 QRCA Annual Conference Austin, Texas, USA

 

QRCA
 

February 5-6

 

QRPharma Market Research Conference USA Newark, New Jersey,USA Pharma Market Research Conference
February 11-12 2020 Quirk’s Event – London London, UK Quirk’s
February 14-16 2020 AMA Winter Academic Conference San Diego, CA, USA AMA – American Marketing Association
February 17-19 QUAL360 Europe 2020 Berlin, Germany Merlien Institute
February 24-25 Ethnographic Qualitative Research Conference Flamingo Las Vegas, Las Vegas, USA EQRC
March 3-4 2020 Quirk’s Event – New York Brooklyn, New York, USA Quirk’s
March 24-25 QUAL360 North America 2020 Washington D.C., USA Merlien Institute
April 6-7 2020 Quirk’s Event – Chicago Chicago, USA Quirk’s
April 14-16 IIeX 2020 Austin, Texas, USA Greenbook
April 15-16 QUAL360 Asia-Pacific 2020 Singapore Merlien Institute
April 22 – 25 PAA 2020 Annual Meeting Washington, D.C., USA PAA – Population Association of America
June 16-17 MRMW Europe 2020 Amsterdam, Netherlands Merlien Institute
Sep 30- Oct 1 MRMW North America 2020 Atlanta, USA Merlien Institute
November 17-18 MRMW Asia-Pacific 2020 Singapore

Merlien Institute

Now that we have a clearer view of what’s in store for 2020 in terms of market research events, we will leave you the option of choosing whatever best suits your interests. Don’t forget, though, to come say hi to us on February, at the Quirk’s event in London.

 

Read More