Globetrotting: news from around the world — May 2016

Three people recently won a free night’s stay in a room inside a shark tank, courtesy of Airbnb. Plus, China has been opening the equivalent of one university a week.


Sleeping with sharks

It’s unusual to find a hotel where you are told “to keep your heads and feet into [sic] the bedroom at all times.” But that is one of the house rules for an unusual room recently listed on Airbnb, reports Business Insider UK.

This room happens to be inside the shark tank at the Aquarium de Paris, which contains 35 sharks. Airbnb recently ran a contest where three people won a free night’s stay there with a guest.

Participants were asked to explain (in 50 to 550 words) why they deserved to sleep beside sharks. They also had to be medically fit and able to climb easily in and out of the bedroom.


A university a week

University students 

China has been opening the equivalent of almost one university every week, reports BBC News. This is emblematic of a “silent revolution that is causing a huge shift in the composition of the world’s population of graduates.” India is also part of that revolution.

For many years, the US has had the highest percentage of university students in the world. Among those aged 55 to 64, nearly a third of graduates in advanced economies are US citizens.

But in younger age groups, China is overtaking not only the US, but also the combined university systems of EU countries.

The change is not just quantitative. Chinese and Indian students also favour the disciplines that promote technological change: mathematics, science, computing and engineering. In 2013, 40% of Chinese graduates came from these disciplines — double the US percentage.


Driving to infraction

Speeding sign 

It’s getting even harder to tell when you’re being scammed through email. Recently, at least three US residents received messages notifying them of speeding infractions, reports The Fiscal Times. The “tickets” were in fact malware that, once opened, loaded malicious code onto their computers.

The most troubling aspect of the scams is that the emails contained accurate information, including the drivers’ actual speeds. Those who were targeted had really been speeding at the place and time indicated in the emails. Police suspect that the scammers got the data through a traffic app that tracks phone GPS data.


Moscow, USA 

How many Moscows does Russia have? Good question. But there are at least 20 in the US, according to PRI News.

Older residents of Moscow, Tenn., can’t really say how their village got its name. One thought it might have to do with the moss where the cows went to graze: moss cow. Another mused about ownership: ma’s cow.

Residents of Hog’s Hollow, Idaho, didn’t like that name; they wanted a more prestigious one. Ergo: Moscow. But Lester, NY, which was once called Moscow, cast that name aside for political reasons. Only one Moscow, in Pennsylvania, allegedly got its name from Russians.