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How to Endear Yourself to an Asian Woman Writer

Here Be Dragons
People in the US are usually surprised when I say that my Thai mother lives in Ireland. “How did that happen? That’s so strange.” Strange, and their little laugh that accompanies the statement, are code for their assumptions about the education and mobility of this foreign woman of color, who in this case is my mom. She most recently worked for Salesforce, a fast growing tech company headquartered in San Francisco. When she moved to Singapore it was to work for Intel, another large tech company. She is ambitious and accomplished. She defies the stereotypes. My dad runs up against a different stereotype. That he, a white American man, lives in Thailand is not unusual. White American Men have more world-conquering powers according to a general, Western, unexamined assumption of normalcy.

posted by infini on Nov 21, 2014 - 27 comments

Putin on the ritz

Most people in the English-speaking parts of the world missed Putin's speech at the Valdai conference in Sochi a few days ago, and, chances are, those of you who have heard of the speech didn't get a chance to read it, and missed its importance. (For your convenience, I am pasting in the full transcript of his speech below.) Western media did their best to ignore it or to twist its meaning. Regardless of what you think or don't think of Putin (like the sun and the moon, he does not exist for you to cultivate an opinion) this is probably the most important political speech since Churchill's “Iron Curtain” speech of March 5, 1946.
Via includes tl;dr of top 10 points
posted by infini on Oct 29, 2014 - 160 comments

My favorite ice cream comes from ~cow

A day in the life, imagined 50 years from now, by ftrain: "It’s interesting when you scan old history scrolls to learn just how panicked everyone was about total global micro-surveillance. They just didn’t see it as a means of liberation, like we do now. Of course they lived in the era of giant government-run spying computers like Multivac. No one could imagine the upside of having every human interaction observed by penny sensors at all times. I’m glad to live in a world where a young woman can hop into a self-driving car with a total stranger and not feel a bit of concern." [more inside]
posted by Wordshore on Oct 13, 2014 - 111 comments

Global population likely to hit 11 bn +

New global population predictions published in Science today says that world population stabilisation is unlikely this century, with an 80% probability that world population, now 7.2 billion, will increase to between 9.6 and 12.3 billion in 2100, greatly exceeding previous consensus figures that settled around 9 billion, and is expected to keep growing next century. More in the Guardian.
posted by wilful on Sep 18, 2014 - 105 comments

Scared Scientists

Photographer Nick Bower captures portraits of varying scientists contemplating global warming.
posted by xammerboy on Aug 25, 2014 - 23 comments

Dancehall in Japan

Dancehall in Japan. A short mini documentary from the Scene Unseen project at #ListenForYourself. [more inside]
posted by chunking express on Aug 20, 2014 - 5 comments

Currency Wars

Currency Wars, or Why You Should Care About the Global Struggle Over the Value of Money In October 2010, the Brazilian Finance Minister made news by claiming an 'international currency war' had broken out. The term 'currency war' promptly became a buzz phrase with commentators and public officials warning about the dangers of these wars and their historical roots in the Great Depression. The U.S. government, in turn, has applied the idea to China, which it has accused of currency manipulation for the better part of a decade. So why does this matter? And how unusual is this all? Historian Steven Bryan puts currency wars in historical perspective and reminds us that currency policy is inextricably linked to national interests and that manipulation is the historical norm, not the exception. [more inside]
posted by infini on Jul 19, 2014 - 25 comments

Blog of the Centre for Imperial and Global History-University of Exeter

This blog will keep you up half the night when you should be trying to sleep for an early morning meeting. The post The Secret History Behind Today’s Algeria-Germany #WorldCup Match being timely and tweeted is what brought it to my attention. But what to share? There is so much good stuff, that the rabbit hole beckons...
posted by infini on Jun 30, 2014 - 581 comments

Globe Trot (50 filmmakers, 23 countries, 1 dance)

Globe Trot (50 filmmakers, 23 countries, 1 dance) A fun little romp around the world as over 50 people do a cool dance that combined with sharp editing can't help but make you feel good. [via mefi projects] [more inside]
posted by mathowie on Jun 30, 2014 - 4 comments

Listening west with the sunrise

Global Breakfast Radio aggregates radio stations from across the world, constantly streaming broadcasts from wherever it’s breakfast-time right now. (via)
posted by davidjmcgee on May 5, 2014 - 12 comments

The Moral Question Of Our Time: Can We Share The Planet?

UN Climate Report: We Must Focus On 'Decarbonization', and It Won't Wreck the Economy - "The basic message is simple: We share a planet. Let's start acting like it." [more inside]
posted by kliuless on Apr 23, 2014 - 50 comments

Unrecognized state continues to exist anyway

Somaliland is an odd land. In global limbo since its birth, it continues to develop economically and socially in a reasonably stable and secure environment. Recently, the British town of Sheffield was the first to recognize its very existence as an independent country. In the meantime, the capital Hargeisa city, which has only one paved road, recently installed streetlights for the first time, and an enterprising entrepreneur returned home from Australia to start a familiar city service - the yellow cab. Investors and businesses have started paying attention while the major powers still prefer to pretend it doesn't exist. Even while experts debate whether their model can be utilized in far more volatile Somalia, Hargeisa's residents want you to know they are Happy.
posted by infini on Apr 6, 2014 - 13 comments

O Woman's Day

Talking gender to Africa
International donors have sought to improve the social, political and economic position of women in Africa through an approach known as “gender”. This donor-driven strategy is failing. The jargon of gender programmes is ambiguous and easily misunderstood. It fosters inaction and lip service on the part of patriarchal African governments and civil servants. Gender has become the preserve of the educated elite. The voices of African women have been lost.
[more inside]
posted by infini on Mar 8, 2014 - 6 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

Our year in weather, 2013 edition.

A one-year timelapse of global weather, described. [more inside]
posted by pjern on Jan 30, 2014 - 13 comments

The Tragedy of the Diluted Commons [SLNYT]

Extra Virgin Suicides is an interactive graphic from the New York Times about the global business of counterfeit olive oil. The NYT graphic is pretty slick, too.
posted by Mad_Carew on Jan 27, 2014 - 71 comments

"Big waste country, the U.S."

To a Chinese Scrap-Metal Hunter, America's Trash Is Treasure: Johnson Zeng is a Chinese trader who travels across the U.S. in search of scrap metal. By his estimate, there are at least 100 others like him driving from scrap yard to scrap yard, right now, in search of what Americans won’t or can’t be bothered to recycle. His favorite product: wires, cables, and other kinds of copper. His purchases, millions of pounds of metal worth millions of dollars, will eventually be shipped to China. [more inside]
posted by zarq on Sep 7, 2013 - 29 comments

The eye of Michele Bachmann will be hitting Florida in a few hours

Climate Name Change "Since 1954, the World Meteorological Organization has been naming extreme storms after people. As scientific evidence shows that climate change is creating increasingly frequent and devastating storms, and with climate scientists declaring these extreme weather events as the new normal, we propose a new naming system. A system that names extreme storms caused by climate change, after the policy makers who deny climate change and obstruct climate policy."
posted by roomthreeseventeen on Aug 28, 2013 - 30 comments

22, Female, Kottayam

The Malayali Nurse on the Moon
She is everywhere, so it becomes difficult to see her. At some point you have to squint to see past the chimera that is the Malayali nurse. You have to ask why even Libya — broken, bullet-scarred and currently in possession of 14 psychiatrists for the whole nation — a better choice than any place in India? You have to ask why she chooses nursing at all. And if we don’t see her as a martyr to the family coffers, who is the woman emerging out of the smoke then?

posted by infini on Jul 2, 2013 - 13 comments

In global politics, playing by the rules doesn’t always help.

Western Sahara: Why Africa’s last colony can’t break free
posted by infini on Jun 19, 2013 - 20 comments

Taibbi held a gun to my head, er, I mean...

Everything Is Rigged: The Biggest Price-Fixing Scandal Ever The Illuminati were amateurs. The second huge financial scandal of the year reveals the real international conspiracy: There's no price the big banks can't fix
posted by infini on Apr 26, 2013 - 127 comments

It's Just Toronto

Between 1986 and 1993, rather than showing a test pattern, Global Television would, in the dead hours of the night, broadcast long videos of walking and driving through Toronto. [more inside]
posted by frimble on Apr 12, 2013 - 35 comments

How African Feminism Changed the World

'Feminism' has often been seen as a Western concept, but African women are increasingly redefining it to suit their own purposes. This, in turn, is influencing the rest of the world.
posted by infini on Mar 18, 2013 - 21 comments

Students all over the world are demanding a new curriculum.

A Renaissance in Economics The American President Ronald Reagan once quipped, “The nine most terrifying words in the English language are, ‘I’m from the government and I’m here to help.’” I get the same shivers when someone introduces themselves as an economist.
posted by infini on Feb 13, 2013 - 39 comments

Masters of the Internet, Le Monde Diplomatique

To understand what is at stake we need to make our way through the rhetorical smog. For months prior to the WCIT, the Euro-American press trumpeted warnings that this was to be an epochal clash between upholders of an open Internet and would-be government usurpers, led by authoritarian states like Russia, Iran and China. The terms of reference were set so rigidly that one European telecom company executive called it a campaign of “propaganda warfare” (2). ~ Masters of the Internet, Le Monde Diplomatique
posted by infini on Feb 12, 2013 - 22 comments

Baby Brosteps Towards The Elevator

"This year, two monumental genres with decidedly global pedigrees arrived on our shores and attempted to crack the American pop code, with one enjoying far more decisive success than the other...One of those is definitely sexier and zeitgeistier than the other, but that doesn't always result in sustained cultural relevance."
K-Pop, EDM, and Baby Brosteps Toward a More Global Pop Landscape
posted by mannequito on Dec 18, 2012 - 33 comments

291 diseases and injuries + 67 risk factors + 1,160 non-fatal complications = 650 million estimates of how we age, sicken, and die

As humans live longer, what ails us isn't necessarily what kills us: five data visualizations of how we age, sicken, and die. Causes of death by age, sex, region, and year. Heat map of leading causes and risks by region. Changes in leading causes and risks between 1990 and 2010. Healthy years lost to disability vs. life expectancy in 1990 and 2010. Uncertainties of causes and risks. From the team for the massive Institute for Health Metrics and Evaluation Global Burden of Diseases, Injuries, and Risk Factors Study 2010. [more inside]
posted by hat on Dec 14, 2012 - 11 comments

Where are the flying cars? I was promised flying cars. I don't see any flying cars!

Global Trends 2030 Alternate Worlds is the latest quadrennial report from The US National Intelligence Council (NIC). (Report: PDF / Talking Points: PDF.) Similar to its predecessors, '2030' attempts to predict 'alternate visions of the future.' An official blog discusses their speculations. The Atlantic Council has published a "companion publication": "Envisioning 2030: US Strategy for a Post-Western World." [more inside]
posted by zarq on Dec 11, 2012 - 21 comments

gentle observer

Why People Really Love Technology: An Interview with Genevieve Bell The thing I love about Intel researcher Genevieve Bell is that she finds surprising things by looking at what's left out of the dominant narratives about technology. She finds data that's ignored because it didn't fit into the paradigm of, say, how people adopt technology. The dominant narrative is that young men determine the popularity of phones, computers, websites, and the like. But when Bell looked at the data, the story we told ourselves about how the world worked was not reflected in the numbers. That's why I wanted to talk to her about what gadgets people around the world might be using over the next decade. I figured she was someone who could look past the conventional wisdom and find the missing pieces of the future
posted by infini on Nov 29, 2012 - 30 comments

Documentary

When China met Africa
posted by infini on Oct 29, 2012 - 37 comments

Pyridomycin: nature's isoniazid

Drug-resistant and "extensively" resistant strains make containment and treatment of tuberculosis ever more difficult. Fortunately, researchers based in Switzerland have (re-)discovered a naturally-made antibiotic called pyridomycin, which will kill isoniazid-resistant M. tuberculosis bacteria.
posted by Blazecock Pileon on Sep 21, 2012 - 31 comments

Infographics, Olympics, potentially hot-button issues...what could go wrong?

Global issues as depicted by Olympic rings. [more inside]
posted by phunniemee on Aug 2, 2012 - 20 comments

Clown car counts noses

The Global Middle Class Is Bigger Than We Thought A new way of measuring prosperity has enormous implications for geopolitics and economics.[...] the number of passenger cars in circulation serves as the most reliable gauge we have about the size of a country's middle class.
posted by infini on Jun 2, 2012 - 26 comments

As she is spoked

The myth of English as a global language One would have to say that English, far from being a pure maiden, looks like a woman who has appeared out of some distant fen, had more partners than Moll Flanders, learned a lot in the process, and is now running a house of negotiable affection near an international airport
posted by infini on May 26, 2012 - 76 comments

Global Internet population and knowledge

The world's Internet population has doubled in the last 5 years, reaching 2.27 billion. A recently published ebook Geographies of the World's Knowledge shows that despite its growing availability knowledge is not necessarily "more accessible." "Many commentators speculated that [the Internet] would allow people outside of industrialised nations to gain access to all networked and codified knowledge, thus mitigating the traditionally concentrated nature of information production and consumption." "These early expectations remain largely unrealised." It was found that not only academic knowledge but also user generated content predominantly originates in "rich countries, especially the United States."
posted by travelwithcats on Apr 19, 2012 - 33 comments

Long Live Ligers

"It fits with what we would expect as a result of the rapid change in Arctic habitat." The stuff of science fiction is becoming increasingly the stuff of science fact. And now, it seems, you can crack open a white Coke (if you can stomach the campaign) and watch it all from the comfort of your couch. [more inside]
posted by huckhound on Apr 9, 2012 - 40 comments

Once upon a time, consumption meant you were thin and sick

How America Is Making the Whole World Fat and Unhealthy It is hardly news that the United States faces epidemic health problems linked to poor diets. Nearly two out of every five Americans are obese. But according to a press release from the UN Special Rapporteur on the Right to Food, Olivier de Schutter, "The West is now exporting diabetes and heart disease to developing countries, along with the processed foods that line the shelves of global supermarkets. By 2030, more than 5 million people will die each year before the age of 60 from non-communicable diseases linked to diets." [...] De Schutter, whose work usually focuses on ending hunger, just published a new report saying, "The right to food cannot be reduced to a right not to starve. It is an inclusive right to an adequate diet providing all the nutritional elements an individual requires to live a healthy and active life, and the means to access them."
posted by infini on Apr 4, 2012 - 59 comments

A look behind the curtain of the Heartland Institute’s climate change spin

Reported in Discover Magazine online, The Heartland Institute — a self-described "think tank" that actually serves in part as a way for climate change denialism to get funded — has a potentially embarrassing situation on their hands. Someone going by the handle "Heartland Insider" has anonymously released quite a few of what are claimed to be internal documents from Heartland, revealing the Institute’s strategies, funds, and much more. [more inside]
posted by Man with Lantern on Feb 15, 2012 - 86 comments

face to face

The UnFacebook World via
posted by infini on Nov 17, 2011 - 57 comments

Human Resource 3,766,707,775

What's your global ranking? [more inside]
posted by TangerineGurl on Oct 27, 2011 - 67 comments

The global reach of social networks

Social network popularity around the world in 2011 as determined by Google search statistics. [more inside]
posted by OverlappingElvis on Oct 21, 2011 - 22 comments

Way-oh-way-oh-way-ooo-aaa-ooo...

In the early 1960s, East German Karl Peglau came up with the idea to put hats on pedestrian crossing signal figures. To commemorate the 50th anniversary, Der Spiegel has posted pictures of two dozen crossing signals from around the world.
posted by gman on Oct 12, 2011 - 24 comments

Anywhere you like it

The Traveling Hungryboy: A Californian now based overseas in Singapore but regularly on the road all over the world. I am in neither the F&B nor travel industries (and I'm horrible at cooking - so don't expect recipes in my blog), but I love food and will literally go the distance in search of it. (I plan vacation itineraries around food rather than sightseeing spots.) Although I can appreciate fine dining from time to time, I find that those places are usually a bit too snobby and overrated. More often than not, I'll prefer a hole in the wall or a street vendor instead - as long as the food is tasty and authentic. I hope you enjoy reading about some of my findings, and please feel free to browse the Archives too - there's lots of stuff in there.
posted by infini on Aug 8, 2011 - 18 comments

Flying High

GE has posted a searchable bird's-eye view of the 6,000 most popular airports in the world.
posted by gman on Jul 25, 2011 - 19 comments

The Global Food Outlook

The New Geopolitics of Food. [more inside]
posted by StrikeTheViol on May 28, 2011 - 32 comments

how to organize society

-A parable for the world economy
-The economics of a parable, explained
-The Mauritius Miracle
posted by kliuless on May 12, 2011 - 9 comments

Don't wait for Arbor Day!

Cloning trees to stop global warming! Archangel Ancient Tree Archive is a non profit organization that creates clones of ancient trees and uses them for the purpose of functional forestation. They are doing their part to stop deforestation and fight global warming by planting these cloned trees in different area across the planet. They are also preserve some of the oldest living things on the planet for future generations as well!
posted by Mastercheddaar on Mar 14, 2011 - 63 comments

With one voice

Mariella Frostrup on International Women's Day, feminism and the emancipation of women in the developing world.
posted by Artw on Mar 6, 2011 - 10 comments

Women's Economic Opportunity Index

The Economist Intelligence Unit recently presented a 6 minute animated infographic summary of their global Women’s Economic Opportunity Index as designed by data visualisation agency JESS3. [more inside]
posted by jzed on Feb 10, 2011 - 9 comments

Freeman Dyson's Global Warming Heresy

The Danger of Cosmic Genius. Why is Freeman Dyson now considered "perhaps our most prominent global-warming skeptic?" Previously
posted by zarq on Jan 19, 2011 - 50 comments

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