July 8, 2011

Weekly Roundup: ‘Slum golf,’ retro everything, m-commerce

Posted by: in North America

American obesity is still climbing, finds the annual “F as in Fat” report: While the 1995 obesity rate was below 20 percent in every state, today 49 states are above that bar, as The Wall Street Journal reports.

The first report from the new agency UN Women finds that “justice remains out of reach” for many millions of women. The Guardian also covers the U.N.’s progress report on its millennium development goals; the good news: The global poverty rate is expected to drop well below the target set for 2015.

Golf is getting more popular in India as public courses become plentiful and “slum golf” invades Mumbai, reports the BBC.

While South Koreans are “overworked, overstressed and ever anxious,” they’re not looking to Western-style therapy for help, according to The New York Times.

America’s “mancession” is giving way to a recovery in which women are bouncing back more slowly, with men moving into some traditionally female jobs, according to a new Pew study.

Time examines the future of fish, asking whether farming can take the place of catching fish as oceans get “picked clean.”

Mexican migration to the U.S. has slowed significantly, reports The New York Times, due in part to “unheralded changes in Mexico that have made staying home more attractive.”

“Sugar Is Back on Menus,” reports The Wall Street Journalas American restaurants shift to “a cuisine that appears more wholesome and hand-crafted,” they’re replacing high-fructose corn syrup with other sweeteners.

New York spotlights the “neo-Luddite counterculture” with a “primer on the anti-tech bubble” where typewriters, turntables, celluloid film and the like flourish. And The New York Times looks at the new retro appeal of men’s wristwatches.

In the beauty sector, the resurgence of retro has given rise to luxury apothecary brands, which position themselves as “throwbacks to simpler times,” says The New York Times.

Knitting has been hot for a decade, as The Guardian reports, but in the U.K. its popularity has spiked further in the past year. And Slate looks at the success of an alternative social network—one just for knitters.

U.S. album sales for the first half eked out their first rise in seven years, reports the L.A. Times.

The spike in electronic payment options means less need for cash: In the U.S., production of low-denomination bills is declining, reports The New York Times.

A “State of the Global Mobile Industry” report, which says mobile accounts for nearly 2 percent of the world’s GDP, examines how it’s “fundamentally reshaping” the way consumers spend across categories, ReadWriteWeb reports.

British consumers lead the world in m-commerce, with a Mobile Entertainment Forum study finding that nine in 10 have used their mobile phones for shopping.

The Next Web lists the Top 20 brands on Facebook and the strategies they used to gain millions of fans.

Smartphone consumers in the U.S. are more willing to pay for game apps than news apps, reports Nielsen.

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