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Book Review: The State of HEALTH ATLAS

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The State of Health Atlas: Mapping the Challenges and Causes of Disease (Paperback) by Diarmuid O'Donovan

You've seen the usual atlas that shows a map of the world or a country.

This book takes flat, boring columnar data related to health and the causes of disease and turns it into fascinating color maps. They show the world, based on life expectancy, violence, impact of global warming, illnesses like cancer, respiratory disease, HIV/AIDS, tobacco, alcohol use, unhealthy diet, access to health care...

And the images show surprising, enlightening findings.

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This book is pure fact and data, yet it kept me up the night I received it, reading just one more page.

Seeing the data visualized in color maps makes it so clear just how brutally the industrialized world is inflicting the death and illness causes by climate change upon the third world.

We see how the US is one of the most violent nations in the world, at least when it comes to murders of males. The safest places for males, in terms of murdered men per 100,000 are France, Switzerland and Japan. We can see that China is addicted to tobacco more than almost any other nation. And the most suicidal nations are Russia and Eastern Europe.

This is an obvious gem for people doing international work-- not just in health. It's good to know where the violence is in the world, where the life expectancy is under 40 years, where the doctors available per 10,000 people is a tiny fraction of what it is in most of the world.

It makes sense that a book that displays health measures would measure the use of health measures. In this case, it displays a map of world, displaying which countries count what percentage of deaths. The US, Europe, Australia, Argentina, Syria, Israel, Lebanon and Uruguay measure 100%. Much of the world records less than 25%, including, not suprisingly, if I may get political, Iraq.

I can even see this book as useful to marketers seeking to identify markets for products and services.

The planet is overflowing with numbers and raw data. If all of it could be displayed in such meaningful, insightful ways, we would understand the world and each other much better.

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Rob Kall has spent his adult life as an awakener and empowerer-- first in the field of biofeedback, inventing products, developing software and a music recording label, MuPsych, within the company he founded in 1978-- Futurehealth, and founding, organizing and running 3 conferences: Winter Brain, on Neurofeedback and consciousness, Optimal Functioning and Positive Psychology (a pioneer in the field of Positive Psychology, first presenting workshops on it in 1985) and Storycon Summit Meeting on the Art Science and Application of Story-- each the first of their kind. Then, when he found the process of raising people's consciousness and empowering them to take more control of their lives one person at a time was too slow, he founded Opednews.com-- which has been the top search result on Google for the terms liberal news and progressive opinion for several years. Rob began his Bottom-up Radio show, broadcast on WNJC 1360 AM to Metro Philly, also available on iTunes, covering the transition of our culture, business and world from predominantly Top-down (hierarchical, centralized, authoritarian, patriarchal, big) to bottom-up (egalitarian, local, interdependent, grassroots, archetypal feminine and small.) Recent long-term projects include a book, Bottom-up-- The Connection Revolution, debillionairizing the planet and the Psychopathy Defense and Optimization Project.

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Rob Kall's Bottom Up Radio Show: Over 200 podcasts are archived for downloading here, or can be accessed from iTunes. Rob is also published regularly on the Huffingtonpost.com

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