I still read Newsweek and Time magazines. Or maybe I should say, I still skim Newsweek and Time. Those formerly upstanding magazines are now mostly fluff, dumbing-down the news for the masses in efforts to compete with the Internet. For instance, in this week's Newsweek, you'd be surprised how many times that Jet Blue flight attendant who freaked out gets a mention.
Both magazines these days love lists -- for instance, The 100 Most Influential People in the World. Who comes up with these lists I don't know. This week's Newsweek cover story is the Best 100 Countries in the World, listed from "best" to "least best", I guess, based on factors of health, education, economy, and politics. And the Best Country in the World, or so they say, is Finland! 2nd - Switzerland; 3rd - Sweden; 4th - Australia; 5th - Luxembourg. The U.S. is generously listed at #11, somehow just ahead of Germany and the U.K. (Our education and health systems would obviously keep us out of the Top 10). Of the countries I've been to, I'd rank the Netherlands as the Most Civilized (it shows up as #8 on the Newsweek list), but I do admit that I'd love to visit Finland sometime. It has become perhaps the most literate country on the planet. Kippis!! ("cheers!" in Finnish, I think).
Here's the Newsweek list (not sure how long the link will be on line): http://www.newsweek.com/2010/08/15/interactive-infographic-of-the-worlds-best-countries.html.
I sort of wish that Jet Blue flew in and out of the Twin Cities. What an entertaining airline!