For the Global Thinker

Friday, December 25, 2009

The Christmas Truce of 1914

..."At the first light of dawn on Christmas Day, some German soldiers emerged from their trenches and approached the Allied lines across no-man's-land, calling out "Merry Christmas" in their enemies' native tongues. At first, the Allied soldiers feared it was a trick, but...."
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Thursday, December 24, 2009

World's Most Useless Facts

Did you that earthworms have five hearts? That a blink lasts approximately 0.3 seconds? That Cleopatra married two of her brothers? There are millions of incredibly strange facts you may not know, and you probably don't really need to know, but might be interested in learning anyway.
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Tuesday, December 22, 2009

Experience: I fell 6,000 feet and survived

James Boole: Fell 6,000ft and lived to tell the tale.

Excerpt: "Quite suddenly, I realised I could see the texture of the snow and ice, meaning I had two or three seconds before I hit the ground. I can't have been more than 20 metres up. Terror gripped my heart and stomach, the darkest of darkness. Then I had a clear thought of my wife and three-month-old daughter, and was overwhelmed by sadness as I felt the..."
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Monday, December 21, 2009

In praise of hybridity Globalization and the modern western paradigm

The division of the world into "the West and the rest" is a misrepresentation, writes Ales Debeljak. Cultural globalization is not the transplantation of western ideas and technologies across the planet, but the adaptation of these according to local requirements. Hybridity, the product of a longue durée, is at the heart of the contemporary western paradigm.


Saturday, December 12, 2009

Nothing to Envy: Ordinary Lives in North Korea


In North Korea at the time, girls weren’t supposed to ride bicycles. There was a social stigma—people thought it unsightly and sexually suggestive—and periodically the Workers’ Party would issue formal edicts, making it technically illegal. Mi-ran ignored the rules. From the time she was eleven years old she would set out on the family’s only bicycle, a used Japanese model, on the road to Ch’ongjin. She needed to get away from her little village, to go anywhere at all. It was an arduous ride for a child, about three hours, uphill mostly, on an unpaved road. Men cursed her for her audacity—“You’ll tear your cunt!”—and teenage boys would try to knock her off the bicycle. Mi-ran screamed back, matching obscenity with obscenity, and she kept pedaling.

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Thursday, December 10, 2009

The Funniest Facebook Mistakes of All Time

Ever complained about your boss to your boss? Told your son you're getting divorced through a wall post? Lied about your grandma dying only to be called out by your own electronic trail? If not, you're lucky and you're obviously not using Facebook enough.

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Sunday, December 6, 2009

Negotiators at Climate Talks Face Deep Set of Fault Lines

Divisions that will make an agreement difficult include rich versus poor nations, carbon taxers versus carbon traders, and areas of Europe versus others.