Most Violent Countries

September 21, 2005

Scotland tops list of world's most violent countries

By Katrina Tweedie
Times Online

September 19, 2005

A UNITED Nations report has labelled Scotland the most violent country in the developed world, with people three times more likely to be assaulted than in America.

England and Wales recorded the second highest number of violent assaults while Northern Ireland recorded the fewest.

The study, based on telephone interviews with victims of crime in 21 countries, found that more than 2,000 Scots were attacked every week, almost ten times the official police figures. They include non-sexual crimes of violence and serious assaults.

Violent crime has doubled in Scotland over the past 20 years and levels, per head of population, are now comparable with cities such as Rio de Janeiro, Johannesburg and Tbilisi.

The attacks have been fuelled by a "booze and blades" culture in the west of Scotland which has claimed more than 160 lives over the past five years. Since January there have been 13 murders, 145 attempted murders and 1,100 serious assaults involving knives in the west of Scotland. The problem is made worse by sectarian violence, with hospitals reporting higher admissions following Old Firm matches.

David Ritchie, an accident and emergency consultant at Glasgow's Victoria Infirmary, said that the figures were a national disgrace. "I am embarrassed as a Scot that we are seeing this level of violence. Politicians must do something about this problem. This is a serious public health issue. Violence is a cancer in this part of the world," he said.

Detective Chief Superintendent John Carnochan, head of the Strathclyde Police's violence reduction unit, said the problem was chronic and restricting access to drink and limiting the sale of knives would at least reduce the problem.

The study, by the UN's crime research institute, found that 3 per cent of Scots had been victims of assault compared with 1.2 per cent in America and just 0.1 per cent in Japan, 0.2 per cent in Italy and 0.8 per cent in Austria. In England and Wales the figure was 2.8 per cent.

Scotland was eighth for total crime, 13th for property crime, 12th for robbery and 14th for sexual assault. New Zealand had the most property crimes and sexual assaults, while Poland had the most robberies.

Chief Constable Peter Wilson, president of the Association of Chief Police Officers in Scotland, questioned the figures. "It must be near impossible to compare assault figures from one country to the next based on phone calls," he said.

"We have been doing extensive research into violent crime in Scotland for some years now and this has shown that in the vast majority of cases, victims of violent crime are known to each other. We do accept, however, that, despite your chances of being a victim of assault being low in Scotland, a problem does exist."


Argentinean Italians Are Mostly Southern

September 9, 2005

Migration from Southern Italy to Argentina: Calabrians and Sicilians (1880-1930)

Cacopardo et al. (1990)
Studi Emigr

ABSTRACT: The study analyzes Italian emigration to Argentina from Sicily and Calabria between 1880-1930, compared with out-migration flows from Piedmont. The concepts of cultural patrimony and of migratory strategy are used to measure the different potentials and job opportunities in the Argentinean labor market as well as in the Italian context for those returning home. Considering the high proportion of returnees, a positive or negative correlation between region of origin and of destination can be proposed. Southern Italians indicate a more permanent settlement. The authors conclude that the Argentinean society in its Italian component is the result of Southern rather than Northern influences.


Here are some photos of the Calabrian community in Argentina (click to enlarge):


More on the King Tut Reconstructions

September 1, 2005

We've seen the recent French reconstruction of King Tut. Now let's compare it to the Egyptian and American ones done at the same time, the latter with no prior knowledge of the race or identity of the individual being reconstructed. They're the first ever Tut reconstructions based on CT scans of his mummy, and therefore considered to be the most accurate to date.

Egyptologist Dr. Zahi Hawass notes that "The results of the three teams were identical or very similar in the basic shape of the face, the size, shape and setting of the eyes, and the proportion of the skull." All three teams identify Tut as a Caucasoid North African, and Hawass remarks on the striking resemblance their models bear to ancient portraits of the boy pharaoh.

[ click images to enlarge ]

French Reconstruction

Egyptian Reconstruction

American "Blind" Reconstruction


- Jean-Noël Vignal, forensic expert, Institut de Recherche Criminelle de la Gendarmerie Nationale, Paris
- Elisabeth Daynes, anthropological sculptor, Atelier Daynes, Paris

- Khaled Elsaid, biomedical engineer and team leader

- Susan Antón, physical anthropologist, New York University, New York City
- Michael Anderson, forensic sculptor, Yale Peabody Museum, New Haven, Connecticut