Tag Archives | Globalization

Get A Master’s Degree In Vampire Literature?

TrueBloodLucy Tobin writes in the Guardian:

Robert Pattinson has a lot to answer for. Ever since his lanky frame immortalised Stephenie Meyer’s Twilight character Edward Cullen with an American twang, all the vampires of the world seem to have lost their British passports. Those populating Bon Temps, the fictional town in Louisiana that is the setting for TV drama True Blood, have a southern American drawl. Meanwhile Mystic Falls, Virginia, where The Vampire Diaries is set, is a long way from the London and Whitby homes of the most famous vampire of all: Count Dracula.

But watch out, bloodsuckers: the Brits want to bring you home. Academics at the University of Hertfordshire are organising a conference that will serve ketchup-smothered food (it’s tastier than blood) from coffins, all in the name of putting British vampire fiction back on the map. It’s the brainchild of Dr Sam George, a lecturer in English literature at Hertfordshire who is fascinated by vampires and keen to use them to make literature exciting.

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The BBC’s April Fool’s Day Spaghetti Tree Hoax (Video)

Spaghetti HarvestGood to discover that the BBC has a much better sense of humor than American news networks, even in 1957. Via Wikipedia:
The spaghetti tree hoax is a famous 3-minute hoax report broadcast on April Fools' Day 1957 by the BBC current affairs program Panorama. It told a tale of a family in southern Switzerland harvesting spaghetti from the fictitious spaghetti tree, broadcast at a time when this Italian dish was not widely eaten in the UK and some Britons were unaware spaghetti is a pasta made from wheat flour and water. Hundreds of viewers phoned into the BBC, either to say the story was not true, or wondering about it, with some even asking how to grow their own spaghetti trees. Decades later CNN called this broadcast "the biggest hoax that any reputable news establishment ever pulled."
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Is There An International Crime Ring Involving Robbers Wearing Spider-Man Masks?

J. Jonah Jameson: Is Spider-Man A Criminal?Charlie Jane Anders asks the tough question on io9.com: Was J. Jonah Jameson right all along?
Yesterday, a weirdly polite criminal dressed in a Spider-Man mask and armed with a screwdriver robbed a video store near Sydney, Australia. This is just the latest in a long string of Spidey-masked crimes around the world. What gives? No criminals ever put on Batman's cowl before going out on a crime spree — maybe because it doesn't cover their full faces, or maybe because they are cowardly and superstitious. We did news searches for all the major superheroes, plus things like "Klingon" and "Stormtrooper," and no dice. When evildoers want to seem like a threat or a menace, they don a Spidey mask. Could J. Jonah Jameson have been right all along?
Consider the evidence on io9.com. Here's just one example from Chattanooga, Tennessee:
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First Online Islamic Sex Shop Open For Business

Hanina Ajarai and Joke Mat write on nrc handelsblad:

Abdelaziz Aouragh is a Muslim, lives in Amsterdam, and deals in sex articles. His webshop El Asira, which is for Muslims, will soon be selling Pure Power capsules which “heighten male performance, desire and pleasure.” Desire capsules for women will also be available, sensual stimulators for him and her and lubricants based on cocoa butter, water or silicon. El Asira calls itself “the first Islamic online webshop for sex articles and care products.”

El Asira

There are ‘Tupperware parties’ in Morocco for women looking for sex toys, which are not on general sale. “But there are networks, very discrete and well organised, which fill the vacuum,” writes the Moroccan journalist Vanessa Pellegrin on the website casawaves.com.

There are cultural differences. Vibrators are not popular because women do not want to admit their husband’s shortcomings. A 25 centimetre surrogate penis is too obvious.

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IMF Chief Wants Global Currency

IMFThose on the lookout for signs of a one world government/new world order will be all over this, as reported by ABC News/AP:

Dominique Strauss-Kahn, the head of the International Monetary Fund, suggested Friday the organization might one day be called on to provide countries with a global reserve currency that would serve as an alternative to the U.S. dollar.

“That day has not yet come, but I think it is intellectually healthy to explore these kinds of ideas now,” he said in a speech on the future mandate of the 186-nation Washington-based lending organization.

Strauss-Kahn said such an asset could be similar to but distinctly different from the IMF’s special drawing rights, or SDRs, the accounting unit that countries use to hold funds within the IMF. It is based on a basket of major currencies.

He said having other alternatives to the dollar “would limit the extent to which the international monetary system as a whole depends on the policies and conditions of a single, albeit dominant, country.”

Strauss-Kahn, a former finance minister of France, said that during the recent global financial crisis, the dollar “played its role as a safe haven” asset, and the current international monetary system demonstrated resilience…

[continues at ABC News/AP]

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The Virginia Colonists at Jamestown Practiced Cannibalism

Another chapter from my book 50 Things You’re Not Supposed to Know, inspired by historian Howard Zinn, who passed away earlier this year.

For more me, check out: The Memory Hole.

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Jamestown

During the harsh winter of 1609–1610, British subjects in the famous colony of Jamestown, Virginia, ate their dead and their shit. This fact doesn’t make it into very many U.S. history textbooks, and the state’s official website apparently forgot to mention it in their history section.

When you think about it rationally, this fact should be a part of mainstream history. After all, it demonstrates the strong will to survive among the colonists. It shows the mind-boggling hardships they endured and overcame. Yet the taboo against eating these two items is so overpowering that this episode can’t be mentioned in conventional history.

Luckily, an unconventional historian, Howard Zinn, revealed this fact in his classic, A People’s History of the United States.… Read the rest

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Debt Dynamite Dominoes: The Coming Financial Catastrophe

By Andrew Gavin Marshall for the Centre for Research on Globalization:

Understanding the Nature of the Global Economic Crisis

The people have been lulled into a false sense of safety under the ruse of a perceived “economic recovery.” Unfortunately, what the majority of people think does not make it so, especially when the people making the key decisions think and act to the contrary. The sovereign debt crises that have been unfolding in the past couple years and more recently in Greece, are canaries in the coal mine for the rest of Western “civilization.” The crisis threatens to spread to Spain, Portugal and Ireland; like dominoes, one country after another will collapse into a debt and currency crisis, all the way to America.

In October 2008, the mainstream media and politicians of the Western world were warning of an impending depression if actions were not taken to quickly prevent this.

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Try to Find New Island on a Map: You Can’t, Even Though People Have Lived There for 43,500 Years…

Sounds to me like where Lost takes place. Fascinating story from Annalee Newitz on io9.com:

You can’t find New Island on most maps of the Indian Ocean because its location was a secret for most of the twentieth century. But now one man has chronicled the long, strange history of its ancient inhabitants.

The ruins you see here come from a group known locally as the “Old People,” who probably started living on the island 43,500 years ago. In the modern age, the island was discovered in the late eighteenth century by two convict ships that crashed there on the way to Australia. One of those ships was filled with hundreds of female convicts, who eventually founded their own civilization on the island, based on sexual equality and paganism. Today the island is a bustling place, full of trains and welcoming visitors.

Unfortunately, you can only visit via a website created from the imagination of Lee (Rusty) Mothes, a worldbuilder who loves to draw maps and island landscapes.

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Amazing Rice Field Art In Japan

This story from Hemmy.net is one of the first sites I found taking about this. Since then, the Guardian reported on it. Via Hemmy.net:
Every year, farmers in the rural town Inakadate, Japan create rice field art by using red rice in with their regular rice in special patterns. A few others fields in rural Japan also followed the trend of this beautiful rice field art. Rice Art in Japan
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90 Percent Of Languages Will Be Extinct Next Century

LanguageTreeAlasdair Wilkins writes on io9.com:

Linguist and conservative commentator John McWhorter estimates the 6,000 languages spoken today will dwindle to only 600 next century. He argues that this is part of a process that will confer economic and health benefits to the affected speakers.

His main point is that the vast, vast majority of threatened languages are those spoken by isolated indigenous groups, and that these languages are, in fact, a driving force of their isolation. The language barrier prevents the absorption of such groups into the larger society, and this often leaves those affected in significantly worse economic conditions than their neighbors that speak the majority language.

McWhorter outlines how the pursuit of a better life can often mean leaving one’s ancestral language behind:

As people speaking indigenous languages migrate to cities, inevitably they learn globally dominant languages like English and use them in their interactions with one another.

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