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A cartographic history of why North, not East or South, is up

How the north ended up on top of the map is an article by Nick Danforth, author/curator of (The/Mid) Afternoon Map blog, detailing how the north-up orientation came to be the default orientation, looking beyond Eurocentrism to Byzantine monks and Majorcan Jews who set the path for modern cartography. If you want more information, you might enjoy the Wikipedia article on the history of cartography, or you can really dig deep with the three-volume text, The History of Cartography, which is available in full from the University of Chicago Press online, split into individual PDFs for each chapter. [more inside]
posted by filthy light thief on Feb 18, 2014 - 28 comments

Flipping the corruption myth

Dr. Jason Hickel, LSE lecturer who was born and brought up in Swaziland, writes on Transparency International's latest Corruption Perception Index and its eyecatching global map. Here's a tiny snippet to encourage you to read the rest of the article on Al Jazeera:
Many international development organisations hold that persistent poverty in the Global South is caused largely by corruption among local public officials. In 2003 these concerns led to the United Nations Convention against Corruption, which asserts that, while corruption exists in all countries, this "evil phenomenon" is "most destructive" in the global South, where it is a "key element in economic underperformance and a major obstacle to poverty alleviation and development". There's only one problem with this theory: It's just not true.
[more inside]
posted by infini on Feb 3, 2014 - 46 comments

Is Canada's future in the North?

As part of a Globe and Mail series on the North exploring Canada's last frontier, writer Ian Brown and photojournalist Peter Power learn that the High Arctic, touted as Canada’s future, is like nothing any southerner expects. [more inside]
posted by jamincan on Jan 19, 2014 - 21 comments

Hoop Nightmares

There's some confusion surrounding Dennis Rodman's most recent visit to North Korea and his espoused 'Basketball Diplomacy' mission. He sung Happy Birthday (potential auto-play sound) and bowed deeply to 'Dear Leader', before his team of ex-NBA players scored 39 points to 47 against the NK team. Rodman played only in the first half and then sat next to Kim during the second half. [more inside]
posted by panaceanot on Jan 9, 2014 - 85 comments

Just out for a rip

Who says our friends to the north are too polite to cause trouble ? Sometimes, they like to go out for a rip eh. (slyt)
posted by Pogo_Fuzzybutt on Dec 5, 2013 - 49 comments

Ask: did you know they have wi-fi and sushi?

How to write about the North
posted by mippy on Nov 28, 2013 - 63 comments

The Greatest Web Comic Based On A Classic Namco Video Game

Galaga: Invasion is a webcomic from Ryan North, Christopher Hastings and Anthony Clark. Drop whatever it is you're doing and get reading!
posted by boo_radley on Apr 30, 2013 - 23 comments

North Korea Sets April 10th Deadline

North Korea has warned foreign embassies in Pyongyang that it cannot guarantee their safety from the threat of conflict after 10 April, and has advised them to consider pulling their staff out of the capital. This follows North Korea blocking South Korean Workers from the Kaesong industrial complex - a sign that this might be more material than the usual posturing, warning that a 'moment of explosion' is nearing and moving missiles with "considerable range" to its east coast. Though the US is playing down the threat and the UK and Russia have no plans of moving their diplomats the possibility of an accident or miscalculation leading to war looms. North Korea has earned the reprobation of Russia and Fidel Castro in recent days and even longtime supporter China is beginning to lose patience with it - something some say is not before time.
posted by Artw on Apr 5, 2013 - 239 comments

Why Austin?

Kim Jong Un indirectly threatened to nuke Austin today. Austin Responds. [more inside]
posted by DecemberBoy on Mar 29, 2013 - 133 comments

Cinema Verite

How Americans live today. A video report describing the living conditions of modern Americans.
posted by (Arsenio) Hall and (Warren) Oates on Mar 13, 2013 - 37 comments

Recent Video of North Korea

A few American students visited North Korea last month (SLYT) and took some amazing footage. While mostly within the confines of the official guided tour it still offers a fascinating glimpse of life in North Korea under Kim Jong Un. A "relentless stream of hyper-positive propaganda."
posted by gallois on Jul 7, 2012 - 74 comments

In a day or twooooooo

North Korean Accordion quintet covers "Take On Me." (SLYT) Part of a project by Morten Traavik, a Norwegian theatre and film director, (previously featured on Metafilter). [more inside]
posted by dismas on Feb 3, 2012 - 51 comments

Miniature DPRKs in Siberia

Vice.com takes a ride on the Trans-Siberian Railway to visit remote North Korean labor camps.
posted by Burhanistan on Dec 19, 2011 - 50 comments

Internet and telecom in Northern Canada: Driver’s-licence pictures crash the network

Internet and telecom infrastructure in northern Canada is so bad it threatens the whole region. That’s the conclusion from a new report cited in a Globe and Mail article, which notes: “The government of Nunavut bought new digital cameras to produce photos for driver’s licences. But the photo files were too large for local E-mail systems and so must be loaded onto memory sticks and flown to Iqaluit for processing.” [more inside]
posted by joeclark on Sep 8, 2011 - 78 comments

Nunavut

The Trials of Nunavut: Has Canada created a northern Haiti? Despite hundreds of millions of dollars a year spent via Indian and Northern Affairs Canada, the Nunavut government, and many other federal agencies, we have the following situation: [more inside]
posted by thewalrus on Apr 1, 2011 - 77 comments

The Juche View of the World is a New Man-centred View

North Korean Tourism Video
posted by KokuRyu on Aug 23, 2010 - 16 comments

The Game of Their Lives - Part 둘

North Korea played in the World Cup in 1966 [BBC Documentary on YouTube]. The 1966 World Cup was the subject of bitter disagreement before a ball was ever kicked. Sixteen African nations boycotted the tournament in protest of a 1964 FIFA ruling that required the champion team from the African zone to enter a playoff round against the winners of either the Asian or the Oceania zone in order to win a place in the Cup. [more inside]
posted by vectr on Jun 16, 2010 - 22 comments

Find direction in your wardrobe

The North Skirt. You need never be fashionably lost in the woods again.
posted by ardgedee on Jun 2, 2010 - 52 comments

South Korean navy ship sinking near border with North Korea

Reports coming through that a South Korean Navy Ship with 104 crew is currently sinking off Baengnyeong island in the Yellow Sea near the North Korean Border. No reports of casualties and causation yet to be determined. No word from the North Korean Korean Central News Agency.
posted by numberstation on Mar 26, 2010 - 41 comments

Kim Jong-il's European bank accounts

Kim Jong-il, the Supreme Leader of North Korea, has a $4 billion (£2.6 billion) “emergency fund” hidden in secret accounts in European banks that he will use to continue his lavish way of life if he is forced to flee the country.
posted by Tlery on Mar 17, 2010 - 37 comments

Money in Socialist Economies: The Case of North Korea

Money in Socialist Economies: The Case of North Korea by Dr. Rüdiger Frank [more inside]
posted by Tlery on Mar 1, 2010 - 27 comments

Technocolor Tarheels

A View To Hugh. After Hugh Morton's death in 2006, the widow of North Carolina's most prolific photographer donated his entire collection, half a million transparencies, photographs, and negatives, to the North Carolina Collection at UNC. The "A View to Hugh" blog details the work of the team of archivists who are organizing and digitizing the collection. [more inside]
posted by Horace Rumpole on Jun 10, 2009 - 6 comments

Great, plain, still emptying

Faded Dreams, Emptied in Emmons County and Memories in McIntosh County. Three flickr photo sets of (mostly) abandoned, crumbling farms, businesses and homes in rural North Dakota. [previously] [via]
posted by dersins on Apr 6, 2009 - 20 comments

The North Korea of the Privileged

North Korea: A rare photographic insight into a very foreign country
posted by dawson on Sep 9, 2008 - 34 comments

Will Rigby recounts meeting some pre-indie rock heroes.

A founding father of DIY indie rock, Will Rigby recounts the pilgrimages to locate underground rock legends Alex Chilton, (during his wry Americana deconstructo anarchy phase), and the 'McCartney' to Chilton's Big Star 'Lennon', the Brydsian Chris Bell. Blogs on bands may not seem to rate but cats with these sensibilities, unlike today, seemed incredibly uncommon then . Also mentioned, the Dbs, Little Diesel, and Mitch Easter. Free Mp3s of the rare 45s included.
posted by celerystick on May 2, 2008 - 12 comments

Avoiding death by plastic

Talk about plastic accumulating in the North Pacific gyre has popped up on and off for quite a while now. Vice is running a series on the state of the gyre, as part of their "Toxic Series". Given the fact that most plastics are not biodegradable, we need to start looking more carefully at how much damage we are doing to ourselves through our use of plastic, and what we can do about it. [more inside]
posted by TheyCallItPeace on Apr 22, 2008 - 36 comments

Denny's Saved by Googie

A recent decision by the Seattle Landmarks Preservation Board has saved an abandoned Denny's restaurant from the wrecking ball. On closer inspection the restaurant represents Googie-style architecture which was considered futuristic in the 60's. Granted it's not on par with the future of today. But there are some appealing offshoots in North West modernist designs. (Googie previously here).
posted by lightweight on Mar 15, 2008 - 42 comments

Great, plain, empty.

"The Emptied Prairie," a National Geographic article on North Dakota's ghost towns and the decline of the Great Plains. Typically amazing National Geographic photos here. Reminds me of a similar series that ran in the New York Times several years ago, which included this fascinating article by Timothy Egan.
posted by dersins on Jan 17, 2008 - 42 comments

Funny Money

Super funny money turning up on the world stage
Along with pranks going on in the gulf this week, some funny stuff going on with US Currency as well - Perhaps part of the explanation of the seemingly endless run on gold?
posted by specialk420 on Jan 13, 2008 - 52 comments

Dakota, the Last Dinosaur

Scientists find a 'mummified' Hadrosaur in North Dakota "He looks like a blow-up dinosaur in some parts," said Phillip Manning, a paleontologist at the University of Manchester in England who is leading the inquiry. "When you actually look at the detail of the skin, the scales themselves are three dimensional. . . . The arm is breathtaking. It's a three-dimensional arm, you can shake the dinosaur by the hand. It just defies logic that such a remarkable specimen could preserve." [more inside]
posted by Uther Bentrazor on Dec 3, 2007 - 52 comments

A Picture Counts

On Sept. 4th, 1957, a 15-year-old girl named Dorothy Counts took a walk that changed Charlotte. The photograph was taken by Don Sturkey. He took a lot of great pictures of North Carolina history.
posted by zzazazz on Sep 4, 2007 - 42 comments

"The house wine of the South"

Where the South Really Begins [Flash] Forget the Mason-Dixon Line. The South really starts at the Sweet Tea Line. [more inside]
posted by kirkaracha on Jun 8, 2007 - 98 comments

Free Snow Balls For Life

Alaska's calling Yoooooooooooou! Not interested in that Free Land in North Dakota or Kansas? Anderson, Alaska is giving away 26 lots on a first come, first serve basis. No gas station, no grocery store, no traffic lights, but grizzley bears abound!
posted by Secret Life of Gravy on Mar 17, 2007 - 19 comments

China may back coup against Kim

Newsfilter: North Korea's response to a toothless UN resolution may be a second nuclear test. With military solutions pretty much off the table, it may be up to rival factions within the DPRK to topple the regime. NK coups have been discussed here before, and the end result may not be as pretty as one would hope, but maybe this time the Chinese have had enough.
posted by ernie on Oct 17, 2006 - 57 comments

All boom, no alpha

Air samples over North Korea show no radiation "It is possible there was no radiological data. That could be the case if: the North Koreans successfully sealed the site; it was such a small detonation and so deep underground there was no escape of nuclear debris; or the test was actually conventional explosives."
posted by Artw on Oct 13, 2006 - 57 comments

North Korean Socialist Realism

Art Under Control in North Korea. A slide show from Jane Portal's book by the same name (Reaktion Books, May 2005). You can find an essay by Portal here.
posted by MarshallPoe on Jul 17, 2006 - 12 comments

Kim Jong-"Licensed to"-il; fireworks in the sky

Newsfilter: North Korea tests at least two smaller missiles, and one long-range which was unsuccessful, failing in flight. Bush says last week: "Should they launch a missile, that will cause various -- we would apply various pressures. ... I believe it is best that I do not discuss what specific pressures we were talking about."
posted by nitsuj on Jul 4, 2006 - 65 comments

North by South

North by South : web content on the Great Migration, the result of a six-year, NEH-funded collaboration between Kenyon College and K-12 students in Ohio and various Southern communities.
posted by Miko on May 1, 2006 - 3 comments

"This is NOT a game for me, I live this lifestyle."

"This right here beats everything I have ever seen." Michael Mendez, Danny Reeves, and "Master Rick" Sciara were arrested a month ago for castrating at least six men in their sadomasochistic dungeon in Waynesville, NC. Inside the house were found a tin of used instruments, an electric shock paddle, a Physician's Desk Reference, an invoice for lidocaine, and a pair of frozen human testicles.
posted by stemlot on Apr 24, 2006 - 61 comments

Harry Taylor, US Citizen of the Day

Man tells President Bush that he should be ashamed of himself. Bushie has been touring the country talking to the people and the people have been talking back. Today he met with his toughest and most elequent angry citizen, one Mr. Harry Taylor who began with this salvo:

Q: You never stop talking about freedom, and I appreciate that. But while I listen to you talk about freedom, I see you assert your right to tap my telephone, to arrest me and hold me without charges, to try to preclude me from breathing clean air and drinking clean water and eating safe food. If I were a woman, you'd like to restrict my opportunity to make a choice and decision about whether I can abort a pregnancy on my own behalf. You are --

THE PRESIDENT: I'm not your favorite guy. Go ahead. (Laughter and applause.) Go on, what's your question? (full transcript here)
posted by tsarfan on Apr 6, 2006 - 106 comments

Stuck in the middle with everyone

In Europe, it's debated whether it's Suchowola Poland, the village of Krahule near Kremnica Slovakia, Dilove in western Ukraine, or Bernotai Lithuania. In Asia, there are more disputes, but Kyzyl put up an obelisk and stages tours. Various places claim that the Central African Republic is at the geographical centre of Africa, but that seems more likely based on looking at a map than measuring anything. On January 9 1956, Admiral Byrd flew over the geographical center of Antarctica. Alice Springs is pretty close to the centre of Australia. The center of North America is at latitude 48°21'19" north, longitude 99°59' 57" west in Rugby North Dakota. South America's center is officially Chapada dos Guimaraes in Cuiaba Brazil.
posted by Kickstart70 on Dec 1, 2005 - 11 comments

Politics

North Korea is the most secretive country in the world today, with its main railway lined with walls so high that its foreign passengers can't see the countryside.
posted by semmi on Jan 22, 2005 - 19 comments

NAFTA

It's the ten-year anniversary of NAFTA this week. Has it been a success? [more inside].
posted by acridrabbit on Dec 12, 2002 - 31 comments

North Korea: The Bright Eyes of Tailless Beasts: testimony of Sun-Ok Lee.
Inside the Gulag from the Hoover Digest.
Human Rights Without Frontiers: Concentration Camp Analysis
posted by hama7 on Oct 27, 2002 - 11 comments

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