January 2015

Flying the Longest Distance

Crossing an ocean from one continent to another used to be an act of incredible adventure. Now it can it be done in a matter of hours and requires little more than the purchase of an airline ticket. We wonder: What is longest non-stop flight in the world today?

A. Washington, DC to Beijing, China
B. Johannesburg, South Africa to Atlanta, Georgia
C. Sydney, Australia to Dallas, Texas
D. Singapore to Newark, New Jersey

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Where the World’s Muslims Live

Following a series of tragic events occurring in France, Nigeria and elsewhere, Islam is back in the global headlines. Part of the debate concerns the question of whether Islam is compatible with cultures outside its birthplace in the Middle East. We wonder: Which of the following statements about the world’s Muslim communities is true?

A. China has as many Muslims as Saudi Arabia.
B. There are more Muslims in Indonesia and India than in the entire Arab World.
C. There are fewer Muslims in the United States than Europe.
D. Muslims account for less than a quarter of the world’s population.

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France’s Islam Problem

The attacks in Paris at the office of the satirical magazine Charlie Hebdo have highlighted Europe’s troubled relationship with Islam and with its growing immigrant population. While this is a challenge faced by many countries, the unrest is especially acute in France. We wonder: Which of the following statements are true?

A. France has the largest immigrant population in Western Europe.
B. France has the largest Muslim population in Western Europe.
C. Most of France’s immigrants come from Africa.
D. More French have traveled to fight in Syria than from any other Western nation.

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Taking Stock of the World’s Billionaires

One of the surprising bestsellers in 2014 was a dense academic tome by the French economist Thomas Piketty. In “Capital in the Twenty-First Century,” Piketty focused on the age-old question of why the rich seem to get richer. We wonder: Which of the following statements about the world’s billionaires is true?

A. Billionaires make up 0.00003% of the world’s population.
B. The number of billionaires has increased by 70% since 2009.
C. Billionaires’ total wealth is $7.3 trillion.
D. Only 286 of the world’s billionaires are women.

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Women in the Workforce

Over the past several decades, women have managed to increase their presence in the workplace all over the Western world. Beginning with World War II, the United States was the vanguard of that move toward higher labor participation rates for women. We wonder: Seven decades onward, is the United States still leading the way among developed countries?

A. Yes, the United States still leads.
B. Not quite, but it is still near the top.
C. No, it is in the middle of the pack.
D. No, it is near the bottom.

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